Holland Track

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesBroomehill
FinishCoolgardie
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance731.26 km
Minimum Days3
Average Speed46.1 km/hr
Driving Time15 hrs 51 mins
Page Updated: 21 Jan 2016

Description

The Holland Track is the longest cart road ever made in one stretch in Western Australia. It is a unique route that was created by pioneers in 1893 to enable prospectors arriving at the port of Albany to shorten their trip to the Goldfields by more than a fortnight. But the route was soon forgotten as prospectors used the newly built railway line to travel to the Coolgardie Goldfields and John Holland was never given any recognition or recompense for "services rendered" to his country for his efforts. The north east portion was slowly reclaimed by the bush, whilst the south western section was overtaken by pastoralists and their farmlands for nearly 100 years.

Then in 1992, a small group of enthusiasts understood the importance of the Holland Track and planed to re-cut the track so that it wasn't forgotten for ever. In doing so, they have given us the chance to retrace the footsteps of the important pioneer John Holland and Co. and to marvel at his incredible feat. In opening the route, we now have a unique 4WD track that allows us to experience the beauty of isolated camping in this long forgotten area that still contains wonderful relics of pioneering days.

The Holland Track begins in the heart of the Southern Wheatbelt region and heads in a general north-easterly direction into remote bushland and eventually meets the Great Eastern Highway at Coolgardie in the Goldfields. Although much of the southern half is now incorporated into the present road system around pastoral lands, you can still find many points of interest pertaining to Holland and his party with numerous commemorative plaques too see, heritage signs to follow, and many nice campsites to enjoy.

You will find these trek notes follow the route as faithfully as possible, and they should because the author was personally led to each site by Graeme Newbey, who together with researcher Adrian Malloy, are the men whose efforts we thank for re-opening the Holland Track.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
  • Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

Starting in Broomehill, the route wanders through farmland and salt lake country on a mix of gravel and bitumen roads to Nyabing. From here, the terrain begins to change to much broader valleys and longer flats and the vegetation mix begins to change as well. Farmlands continue with Sandplain Rocks and Dragon Rocks tracks re-routed in recent years to skirt private property.

Just beyond Emu Rocks you enter beautiful virgin bush and heath, and long sections of burn-out from bush fires. The track vegetation gets in close in places, and side mirrors and any protrusions should be brought in to minimise damage. During Spring, this area produces magnificent wildflower and flowering shrubs.

Once crossing the Hyden-Norseman Rd, there's more granite rocks and a huge Gnows nest (Mallee Fowl). After crossing the Forrestania-Southern Cross Rd you come to Mt Holland - which 4WDrivers can summit for excellent views of the area. Nearby are gnamma holes at the T-junction of the Forrestania-Southern Cross Rd and the Bounty Mine Rd. Holland described these as "a splendid supply of water". Unfortunately, most travellers with find the water putrid from animals that have fallen in. There is quite a bit of mining activity here, but a little way along the country changes back again and you soon come into the Jilbadji Nature Reserve. This 200,000 hectare reserve is set aside to protect flora and fauna some of which is found nowhere else. Watch out for the Thorny Devils as they inhabit this area.
Beyond here is heavily wooded and slow and winding and camps alongside the track are hard to find if you need a bit of room. The thickets of Gimlet are a treat to see with their red-brown bark in contrast to the green of their leaves and the understorey.

The numerous gnamma holes and water-harvesting systems that you will see on the main granite outcrops of the named rocks remind us of the importance of water for survival in the harsh bush. During times of rain, water will quickly pool on the surface of the granite rocks and can be used for fun with the kids, or to collect for your own usage just as the pioneers did to survive.

History

On 14 April 1893, John Holland, Rudolph Krakouer, David Krakouer and John Carmody left Broomehill with 5 ponies, a light dray, a 100 gallon (450 litres) water tank and provisions for 5-6 months. Their mission was to cut a track through virgin bushland from Broomehill to Coolgardie providing a short cut to the Goldfields from the port of Albany. Using a small compass they aimed for Gnarlbine Rock, the goldfields main water supply. Holland would go ahead each day and scout for water and horse feed, while the others cut the track. They arrived at King Rock (now Emu Rock) on May 15th, Mt Holland around May 20th, Sandalwood Rocks on May 27th, Victoria Rock on June 14th and arrived at Gnarlbine Rock on June 16th. They reached Bayley's Find at Fly Flat (now Coolgardie) on June 18th, having covered nearly 330 miles (538 km) in 2 months and 4 days, cutting the longest cart road ever made in one stretch in Western Australia. Prospectors could now land in Albany and make their way to Broomehill and on up the Holland Track to the goldfields, cutting off more than a fortnight to their journey.

Some 18,000 fortune seekers used the track and teams laden with food, general stores and mining equipment made regular use of the track until the railway from Perth created Southern Cross and then eventually, Coolgardie. For nearly 100 years the Holland Track was forgotten - the north east portion was left to be reclaimed by the bush, whilst the south western section was overtaken by farmlands.

There are numerous plaques and memorials that today's travellers will find along the route to make rememberance to both John Holland's party and those that re-cut today's modern route for 4WDrivers. A memorial was erected in 1956 by the Katanning Historical Society to mark the site from which Holland and his companions departed in Broomehill; a commemorative plaque, paying tribute to the courage of these four men, has now been placed in each of the Shires through which the Holland Track passes; and numerous centennary plaques adorn the route laid down by enthusiasts in 1993.

Preparation

Preparation for this route should be as for any other remote 4WD track.
Check your fuel range and plan detours for resupply at either Newdegate or Hyden.

The terrain is dense in many places and the track winding with driver visibility impaired when passing traffic so a flag on your vehicle is recommended. Why not get an ExplorOz Sandflag? These are sold in our online shop as flag only, or as a complete kit with rugged offroad pole and bracket.

There are numerous tracks in the area and some may be unnamed or not shown on maps. A wise precaution is to get hold of some updated and detailed maps of the area. You could also get some digital maps of the region such as: Explore the Holland Track and Cave Hill Woodlines. For useful information about mapping, see the articles in our Navigation section.

Permits

No permits are needed for the Holland Track trek.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel SymbolHyden.There is also fuel available at Newdegate (approximately 13kms south east of Lake Biddy). This town is not featured on the trek route.
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 103 litres4cyl 118 litres4cyl 146 litres
6cyl 95 litres *6cyl 132 litres6cyl 129 litres
8cyl 112 litres8cyl 121 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Anytime, but summer can be very hot. Popular during school holidays & long weekends. Avoid travel during rain.

Closest Climatic Station

Hyden
Distance from Trek Mid Point 50.25km W
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C33.633.030.025.720.817.416.417.520.324.728.431.8
Mean Min. °C15.515.814.211.17.65.74.64.65.88.211.513.9
Mean Rain mm19.519.320.123.539.049.347.740.527.721.618.915.1
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

The following locations have various services And supplies:Hyden
There are supplies available at Newdegate (approximately 13kms south east of Lake Biddy). This town is not featured on the trek route.

Map

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What to See

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This is just a selection. We recommend also browsing the map for other Places nearby.

Showing 24 Places

Where to Stay

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This is just a selection. We recommend also browsing the map for other Places nearby.
Most travellers tend to camp at the well-known rock sites as these are well cleared areas suitable for large groups and most provide interesting options for bush walking, including easy climbs up the rock face to the summits. Some sites will pool with water in the gnamma holes and rocky surfaces after rain which provides additional interest. No site has facilities other than at Victoria Rock. Equally good bush camps can be found literally anywhere along the route of the Holland Track.

Showing 14 Places

Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Broomehill to Holland Memorial Park0.7 kmW274°
Holland Memorial Park to Great Southern Hwy & Holland Tk1.69 kmN344° 1 min
Great Southern Hwy & Holland Tk to Holland Tk & Murdong Rd10.53 kmNE34° 11 min
Holland Tk & Murdong Rd to Langaweira Rd & Tabenup Rd8.13 kmNE52° 8 min
Langaweira Rd & Tabenup Rd to Tabenup Rd (Orig Holland Tk) & Gairen Rd1.86 kmE90° 1 min
Tabenup Rd (Orig Holland Tk) & Gairen Rd to South Coyrecup Rd & Katanning Nyabing Rd14.06 kmNE39° 12 min
South Coyrecup Rd & Katanning Nyabing Rd to Kwobrup16.05 kmE69° 10 min
Kwobrup to Moornaming10.34 kmNE62° 6 min
Moornaming to Nyabing7.2 kmNE65° 4 min
Nyabing to Nyabing Pingrup Rd & Holland Tank Reserve Access9.55 kmSE117° 10 min
Nyabing Pingrup Rd & Holland Tank Reserve Access to Original Holland Tank0.44 kmNE35° 1 min
Original Holland Tank to Kuringup14.79 kmNE47° 12 min
Kuringup to Kuringup Nth Rd & Tees Rd4.7 kmN13° 3 min
Kuringup Nth Rd & Tees Rd to Tees Rd & Chindup Rd5.85 kmE84° 4 min
Tees Rd & Chindup Rd to Rasmussen Rd & Pingrup Lake Grace Rd19.71 kmNE57° 14 min
Rasmussen Rd & Pingrup Lake Grace Rd to Zwecks Rd & Holland Tank Rd13.02 kmNE57° 14 min
Zwecks Rd & Holland Tank Rd to Holland Rocks14.12 kmE90° 10 min
Holland Rocks to Holland Tk & Newdegate Pingrup Rd5.05 kmE95° 7 min
Holland Tk & Newdegate Pingrup Rd to Fourteen Mile Rd & Mallee Hill Rd16.1 kmN340° 13 min
Fourteen Mile Rd & Mallee Hill Rd to Mallee Rd & Silver Wattle Hill NR Access10.99 kmNE59° 10 min
Mallee Rd & Silver Wattle Hill NR Access to Plaque1.94 kmNW325° 3 min
Plaque to Lake Grace Newdegate Rd & Holland Tk Rest Area13.05 kmNE29° 18 min
Lake Grace Newdegate Rd & Holland Tk Rest Area to Lake Biddy Rd & Rodger Rd11.53 kmNE51° 11 min
Lake Biddy Rd & Rodger Rd to Lake Biddy Historic Site5.16 kmNW328° 3 min
Lake Biddy Historic Site to Witham Rd & Mt Sheridan Rd13.86 kmN17° 18 min
Witham Rd & Mt Sheridan Rd to Green Shed7.88 kmNE41° 8 min
Green Shed to Sandplain Rocks2.77 kmE85° 4 min
Sandplain Rocks to Newdegate Rd Nth & Dragon Rocks Access9.73 kmNE24° 9 min
Newdegate Rd Nth & Dragon Rocks Access to Dragon Rocks2.97 kmSW216° 4 min
Dragon Rocks to Newdegate Rd Nth & Dragon Rocks Access2.97 kmNE36° 4 min
Newdegate Rd Nth & Dragon Rocks Access to Holland Tk & Pingaring Valley Rd7.93 kmNE43° 5 min
Holland Tk & Pingaring Valley Rd to Holland Tk & Hyden Lake King Rd30.03 kmNE43° 24 min
Holland Tk & Hyden Lake King Rd to Emu Rock17.88 kmNE38° 19 min
Emu Rock to Holland Tk & Hyden Norseman Rd6.42 kmNE39° 13 min
Holland Tk & Hyden Norseman Rd to State Barrier Fence4.75 kmW258° 3 min
State Barrier Fence to East Hyden Bin Rd & Wave Rock Access47.57 kmW267° 31 min
East Hyden Bin Rd & Wave Rock Access to Wave Rock1.37 kmW262° 5 min
Wave Rock to Hyden4.79 kmW258° 6 min
Hyden to Wave Rock4.79 kmE78° 6 min
Wave Rock to East Hyden Bin Rd & Wave Rock Access1.37 kmE82° 5 min
East Hyden Bin Rd & Wave Rock Access to State Barrier Fence47.57 kmE87° 31 min
State Barrier Fence to Holland Tk & Hyden Norseman Rd4.75 kmE78° 3 min
Holland Tk & Hyden Norseman Rd to Holland Tk & Un-named Cleared Line7.41 kmNE30° 14 min
Holland Tk & Un-named Cleared Line to Holland Tk & Sheoak Rock Access5.1 kmNE37° 6 min
Holland Tk & Sheoak Rock Access to Sheoak Rock Trigg Marker0.45 kmNW315° 1 min
Sheoak Rock Trigg Marker to Microwave Tower3.37 kmNE53° 5 min
Microwave Tower to Native Rocks0.46 kmNE26° 1 min
Native Rocks to Wattle Rocks6.18 kmNE36° 14 min
Wattle Rocks to Mallee Fowl's Nest1.79 kmNE61° 4 min
Mallee Fowl's Nest to Holland Tk & Forrestania Southern Cross Rd15.89 kmNE52° 29 min
Holland Tk & Forrestania Southern Cross Rd to Mount Holland0.63 kmE108° 2 min
Mount Holland to Gnamma Holes1.02 kmNW329° 3 min
Gnamma Holes to Suitable Bush Camp (Holland Tk)8.27 kmE78° 14 min
Suitable Bush Camp (Holland Tk) to Holland Tk & Sandalwood Rocks Access23.41 kmNE44° 1 hr 2 min
Holland Tk & Sandalwood Rocks Access to Sandalwood Rocks0.64 kmSE156° 1 min
Sandalwood Rocks to State Barrier Fence0.35 kmS173°
State Barrier Fence to State Barrier Fence & Holland Tk9.3 kmE83° 16 min
State Barrier Fence & Holland Tk to Holland Tk & Banker Mount Day Rd3.73 kmN4 min
Holland Tk & Banker Mount Day Rd to Centenary Rocks Campsites11.34 kmNE56° 20 min
Centenary Rocks Campsites to Holland Tk Trail Radio (Sign)22.1 kmNE54° 39 min
Holland Tk Trail Radio (Sign) to Explorer Frank Hann's Cat Camp 19011.77 kmNE55° 4 min
Explorer Frank Hann's Cat Camp 1901 to Nice Campsites (Un-named Cut Line)0.38 kmNE29° 1 min
Nice Campsites (Un-named Cut Line) to Impressive Cairns5.89 kmNE54° 14 min
Impressive Cairns to Newbey Rock11.59 kmNE38° 16 min
Newbey Rock to Krakouer Rock0.3 kmNE42° 1 min
Krakouer Rock to Bush Campsites (Holland Tk)0.31 kmNW336° 1 min
Bush Campsites (Holland Tk) to Agnes Gnamma Hole4.55 kmNE55° 8 min
Agnes Gnamma Hole to Diamond Rock11.05 kmNE51° 21 min
Diamond Rock to Holland Tk & Thursday Rock Access5.21 kmNE32° 8 min
Holland Tk & Thursday Rock Access to Thursday Rock8.58 kmNE47° 17 min
Thursday Rock to Holland Tk & Thursday Rock Access1.9 kmNE51° 4 min
Holland Tk & Thursday Rock Access to Holland Tk & Victoria Rock Rd1.9 kmSW231° 4 min
Holland Tk & Victoria Rock Rd to Victoria Rock Rd & Pigeon Hole Access17.61 kmE91° 26 min
Victoria Rock Rd & Pigeon Hole Access to Old Bedframe9.87 kmNE34° 7 min
Old Bedframe to Pigeon Hole4.15 kmW288° 7 min
Pigeon Hole to Old Bedframe4.8 kmNW316° 8 min
Old Bedframe to Victoria Rock Rd & Pigeon Hole Access4.8 kmSE136° 8 min
Victoria Rock Rd & Pigeon Hole Access to Victoria Rock Rd & Victoria Rock Access4.15 kmE108° 7 min
Victoria Rock Rd & Victoria Rock Access to Victoria Rock25.82 kmNE25° 19 min
Victoria Rock to Victoria Rock Campground0.57 kmSE129°
Victoria Rock Campground to Victoria Rock0.09 kmNN/A
Victoria Rock to Victoria Rock Rd & Victoria Rock Access1.02 kmSE152° 1 min
Victoria Rock Rd & Victoria Rock Access to Victoria Rock Rd & Gnarlbine Rock Access1.02 kmNW332° 1 min
Victoria Rock Rd & Gnarlbine Rock Access to Gnarlbine Rock Well and Plaques0.09 kmS180° N/A
Gnarlbine Rock Well and Plaques to Victoria Rock Rd & Gnarlbine Rock Access0.57 kmNW309°
Victoria Rock Rd & Gnarlbine Rock Access to Great Eastern Hwy & Victoria Rock Rd15.83 kmN11° 10 min
Great Eastern Hwy & Victoria Rock Rd to Coolgardie0.04 kmW292° N/A
Broomehill to Coolgardie731.26 km  15 hr 51 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

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