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Old 11-02-2005, 03:29 AM   #1
Eaglebeak OP
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Holland Track Western Australia

Just back from a ride down the Holland Track.

The track was cut in 1893 by a team of four experienced bushmen led by John Holland with the aim of opening up the goldfields around Coolgardie for prospective diggers arriving in the southern port of Albany.

Over 500 kms were cut from around the townsite of Broomehill in just over two months. Holland roamed up to 30 km ahead every day and by compass, dead reckoning and a lot of tree climbing he led them straight to Coolgardie.

He then ran a cartage business for three years until the State Government completed the rail line from Northam to Coolgardie.

The track fell into disrepair until the northern portion of nearly 400 kms was reopened by a group of history enthusiasts in 1993. It has now been adopted by the local Toyota club who maintain some small signs and do occassional track clearing.
The southern portion has been swallowed up by freehold farming whereas the top lies in virtually pristine crown land.

Three of us...


Pat, sensibly leaving his Harley in the shed and borrowing John's old XR600, John on his new GS1200 after countless dirt miles on his 20 y.o K100RS and ...


me on my R1150R.

We left Perth Friday and planned to make Hyden by midday, refuel and start up the track, hopefully making Mt Holland by nightfall.

Passing through York we stopped at the old Greenhills Church, still in use today.



If you plan to head to Hyden simply to see Wave Rock, forget it. Heaps of tourists and they charge you to park ! Go to Elachbutting Rock north of Merredin. It's bigger, better,with no crowds, free camping and you can drop by the brilliant Military Museum at Nungarin on the way home.





Crossing the Rabbit proof (not) fence



The track can be impassable in heavy rain and although we have been in a drought for some years this last few months have seen fairly good rains. That is why we left this trip relatively late in the year.
The locals told us they hadn't had much for some weeks but there was a lot of water lying around.






Finally making Mt Holland on dusk.




There are excellent trip notes with waypoints marked both in distance and GPS. These are in a locally published booklet available from map and chart shops in W.A. The Toyota club have done an excellent job with the track markers but without them it would be easy to get lost. There are a lot of cross roads from mining exploration activity.
I used my original bike trip meter to monitor my overall distance in relation to fuel and a pushbike speedo for the constant waypoint distances. (tracks sometimes crossing every 5-10 k's)


Morning at Mt Holland.

After a cold night the next two days began to heat up. A weird feeling as there was still a lot of water on the track and the countryside was very green.




Track conditions varied. Light sand/deep sand, clay, deep ruts tight corner.
We averaged 25 kms/hr.






I hate sand but love the bush. Over 30 years on bikes and I'm still learning.

John complained his new GS didn't handle the sand as well as his old K100RS. Yes, he had road tyres on but so did the old K and we took that to Israelite Bay with my old GS80 in the '80's. He kept saying the front washed out but he and Pat still moved smoother and faster than me.













I had dropped my bike twice in deep sand when finally the GS went down. John was trying to ride the ridge between the deep ruts when his rear slid off and down he went...




Slight damage to pride and bike. Busted indicator.




Well, I tried to post this in the Oz regional forum and couldn't get any text space under my first image posting. That wasted an hour. It's late and I'm knackered from work (that's "tired" to northern hemisphere people).

Still to come, Cave Hill, rusting V8's, a sports bike (?), wildflowers ...and oh yes, why the BM riders had to start the Honda every day.

More tomorrow.

Andrew Linton.

Eaglebeak screwed with this post 11-02-2005 at 06:41 AM
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Old 11-02-2005, 03:47 AM   #2
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Well done Andrew - looking forward to the next installment.

Great pix

WA bush is amazing - so different to the eastern states - must get over there again on a bike, some time soon (wishing).
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:06 AM   #3
sandgroper
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Andrew
thanks for posting nice report and pictures. We did the trip late 90's in a defender. Always wondered what it would be like doing it on my 1100gs. I've been looking around on line for a map of the track with not much luck. Do you have one just to give the punters a general idea of where it is.
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:43 AM   #4
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Great report

Looking forward to see the next part.
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:27 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments fellas.
Not only did I have trouble posting in the regional forum earlier but my photo host kept logging me out as well. Then I would lose my original opening paragraphs.
I'm not a techno wiz, more of a Luddite really. That's probably why I've been riding BM's for 28 years. Like it simple I do !

Each time I rewrote the opening it seemed to get worse. Never mind.

I'm on Mrs Beak's laptop at home now. I'm off to bed, got to go training in my kayak at 0500 tomorrow.
Ed, I'll take a pic of the map and add it with my further post, hopefully finish this tomorrow afternoon.

Andrew Linton
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:48 AM   #6
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Nice trip Andrew, thanks.
Brings back memories when I was working around Lake Grace, Varley and Coolgardie in the early 70's.

Hope to get back there on 2 wheels one day.
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:50 PM   #7
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great report Andrew - looks like a good loop after the OCR
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:20 PM   #8
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Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to post for us. We enjoy it tremendously. I hope to see your homeland in the not too distant future. Regards, HB
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:52 PM   #9
richard cabesa
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Great stuff, Andrew

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Old 11-02-2005, 11:28 PM   #10
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Excellent Andrew.Hopefully coming over next year for the OCR.

Andrew
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Old 11-03-2005, 12:09 AM   #11
Burren Rider
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Great report and photo's.

I remember reading about the Holland track in an early Sidetrack and thought it sounded good, you have definately confirmed that.

Looking forward to the next instalment .
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Old 11-03-2005, 12:20 AM   #12
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Stay tuned. I'm busy at work for another hour then I'll finish it off. Few more good photo's to come.

Thanks again for all the feedback.
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Old 11-03-2005, 01:38 AM   #13
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Nice to see some of WA again. I lived over there for 6 years, Nullagine, Perth, Dampier,Karratha, Margaret River, Agnew Nickle Mine and Kalgoorlie. Lots off good memories. Can you tell me the make of soft saddle bags on the BMW that fell over. Are they any good. Cheers Toddy
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Old 11-03-2005, 02:07 AM   #14
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Howdy Andrew,

Great report and pics mate.

Glad ya couldn't post in the regional forum...it really does deserve to be for everyone....top stuff!!!

Eagerly awaiting the next installment...
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Old 11-03-2005, 02:21 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=FuddyLogic]

Glad ya couldn't post in the regional forum...it really does deserve to be for everyone....top stuff!!!

QUOTE]

Agree wholeheartedly

Now get posting - so what it if its only 5:30 over there - its 8:30 here and we want more pix... OH well do it for the seth efricanns.
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