Ok so here goes, did this trip at the end of September in 2014 with my mate Davo and his missus Jess, there was supposed to be a few more people but as always is the way everyone started dropping out as the weekend got closer. Ah well, shit happens.
So this was the first real test for the Cruiser since the engine rebuild other than a sneaky Boranup overnighter the weekend before.
I didn’t get anywhere near as many pics I hoped for on this trip, especially action shots but that is somewhat made up for by this video, the quality is shocking and so are my tastes in music to most people but I hope you enjoy 🙂
OK so back to the trip report! The plan was to meet up with Davo on the outskirts of the metro area then head the 350km to Hyden for a splash and dash before hitting the track just out of town, unbelievably everything went to plan for once and we were airing down in no time, I was stoked with how the Cruiser was going and even returned my best fuel economy figures ever on the highway trip returning 11.2l/100km not bad at all for a 3 tonne brick running 35’s.
Now for a bit of info and history on the Holland Track, it’s around 700km in total start to finish (but we were only doing the offroad section between Hyden and Coolgardie which is around 220km). It was originally cut back in 1893 by John Holland and was used as a quicker access route to the Goldfields from the Albany ports, it was however soon thereafter forgotten about as a train line was built, that is until 1992 when a group decided to try trace and reopen the track. I don’t know who that group is but it must have been bloody hard work, compounded by the isolation I doubt it was very fun.
Ok so we start the track deciding to air down almost straight away, just up the track you can see ruts filled with water, I knew it already but that just confirmed that it was going to be a muddy trip, generally ih8mud (not just a good forum, its bloody true!). I was somewhat looking forward to it on this trip though, after cleaning the car afterwards not again for a long time!
First landmark on the map was Sheoak Rock so we called past that and got a few happy snaps. we almost camped there but there was still plenty of daylight so we headed on a bit further and ended up camping near Wattle Rocks, already we had been through more than a dozen bog holes, including one that nearly caught me out, I should have know when we pulled up to a Patrol getting pulled out but I had to have a crack, I took it a bit easier after that. I reckon I would have had it on second attempt though.
That night Davo and Jess shouted me dinner and it was blood delicious, something called pickled pork which from what I gather is un-cured ham, the thing that got me though, all they cooked it in was Ginger Ale, 2litres straight in the pot then the pork was chucked in for 2 or 3 hours I was dubious but it was amazing, fall apart an juicy as!
Next morning we where up fairly early after a chilly night cooked feeds and started heading on our way again, I left camp with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth after I snapped the handle off my tap, whilst it was in the ON position…. I tried plugging it up but had lost the 40 litres by the end of the day,
First stop of the day was Mount Holland, from memory there was an awesome campsite near the base if anyone is thinking of going.
After passing Mount Holland you will pass Blue Vein Mine, We didn’t look there, I just saw it on my map now and thought that is a hilarious name….
From there after around 1000 bog holes it was onto Sandalwood Rocks where we stopped for a bite to eat, but the wind was really starting to kick up so we didn’t hang around long.
On the road again!
After a few more hours on the track we decided to pull up near Cat Camp, the wind was absolutely horrendous, so much so we couldn’t even get the awning up between the 3 of us, I have been on some bloody windy beaches and never had an issue, wind would have been around the 50km/h mark constantly with some heavy gusts ontop of that then a storm started rolling in. We trecked a bit further up the track but struggled to find a nice sheltered spot so we headed back, and the weather hit, thankfully we were treated to a pretty spectacular sunset which almost made up for the terrible weather. That is the first and only time I have ever slept in the front seat of the Cruiser.
Next morning we hit the road early again thinking we had a fair bit of track to go, we called past a place couple more rocky outcrops, I forget the name of the first lot but the second set was called Krakouer Rock (I think) this is where I noticed I had no low beam headlights, by this stage the whole car was covered in mud so I assumed it was an earthing issue.
From there it was on to Thursday Rock, there was a nice campsite right out the front of it too but another group pulled up and where setup by the time we were leaving, I thought it was strange they where setting up so early, we still had a solid 1/3rd of the track to go! But around 30mins down it became very clear as to why they were setting up so early, we hit gravel road and that was it for the bog holes and windy tight sections and the Holland Track, it was all over within the hour and we were airing up, Davo decided to head further East to Kalgoorlie to check out the Superpit mine but I was keen to beat the long weekend traffic and head back that arvo.
Unfortunately those blown low beams came back to bite me in the ass and after leaving Coolgardie at 2pm there was no way I was going to get to Perth before sundown. I adjusted my high beams right down and just drove it home on them, the damage was worse than I thought though, after cleaning my car I could see the high tide marks in every single light on the front of my car, Half I saved half had to be replaced – ih8mud,
And that’s it for this one unfortunately, keep an eye on the website though I plan on adding a few more trips both new and old over the coming weeks and months!