Week 22 – 26/12/06 through 1/1/07

Week 22 Bremer Bay, Wave Rock, Holland Track, Kalgoorlie

Day 148 Tuesday 26 December 2006

With a big day of eating all sorts of goodies behind us, we headed to Bremer Bay for a swim and to see some of the beautiful beaches. The coastline has become less rugged and more rounded again with the beaches returning to a pure white silica colour. The last week has been very mild (temperature wise) and we have decided to defrost a little with a trip to Kalgoorlie via the Holland Track. Alison has wanted to see Wave Rock (at Hyden) along the way so this was also on the itinerary. The first part of this trip took us through the Fitzgerald River National Park which has been burnt out recently.

Day 149 Wednesday 27 December 2006

The last few days have been the killing fields for locusts! Dunc in Perth warned us about the locus, not that we could do much to avoid them, and there are many many splats on the front of the vehicle as testimony to the quantity.

In order to break up the journey a little bit we detoured up a few seldom used tracks, entering Dragon Rocks Nature Reserve. Not a great deal to see here except a flat rock in the middle of nowhere. Still it was good to get the dust stirred up in our veins and escape the heart clogging pace of the coast. As expected the temperature rose quickly and before we knew it, it was over 40c in our vehicles (Phil & Carole’s and our own). We all arrived at Wave Rock about 3pm and set off to see the site. We had been told by other tourists that there was this ugly fence around the top of the rock and yes there was. But this concrete barrier has been there since the early 50’s and was used to direct water runoff from the rock to the towns water supply. With the brightness of the sun and the shade cast by the wave, it was very difficult to get quality photos of the wave we had hoped for. Another one of these places where you have to be there at the right time to get a good photo.

From Wave Rock we headed off towards the start of the Holland Track. This track follows the 530km track taken by the explorer John Holland in 1803 from Broomehill (north of Albany) to the goldfields of Coolgardie. We were to follow the section from Hyden to Coolgardie, a total of 320 or so km.  Just before the start of the track, we passed over the State Barrier Fence which is part of a vermin fence system that used to keep the rabbits out of WA. The fence used to stretch from Kalbarii to Hopetoun, some 3,237 kms. Today parts are maintained to keep the wild dogs and feral goats away from agricultural areas and the fence stretches a mere 1,170 kms.

Day 150 Thursday 28 December 2006

It was a solid day of driving today. We travelled approx 70kms through winding, narrow tracks and eventually camped just short of Sandalwood Rocks. It is certainly a tight track, not so much for us, but for Phil and co.

Day 151 Friday 29 December 2006

Another solid day of driving today, but we did break to read the visitors book at the Centenary Monument. One of the previous entries was Susi and Ruedi who we featured a few weeks ago in their Oka. The Oka being a little taller than the Isuzu would have found the going very tight. The visitors book was close to full and we squeezed our entry in on page 100 of 100. Congratulations to the Landcruiser 4WD Club of WA for their marking and maintaining  of this track. It certainly took some of the guess work out of the tricky spots where many tracks disappeared in many directions. During the day the Holland Track veered around the start of the State Barrier Fence which made one of those classic fence photos. We also visited Agnes Gnamma Hole which was full of water and tadpoles. One of the Isuzu’s rear tyres took a small nick as well today. Phil decreased the pressure to allow the hernia type injury to protrude a little less. We hoped to not have to change the truck tyre before we reached Kalgoorlie. The temperature was about 40c again and we heard on the radio that Esperance was 26c, but suffering bush fires. (caused by lightning strikes)

Day 152 Saturday 30 December 2006

It was our last day on the Holland Track and this section of the track took in Thursday Rock, Victoria Rock and Gnarlbine Rock / Well. These rocks certainly dwarf all previous rocks outcrops on the track travelled since Wave Rock. Interestingly, there were pools of water on some of these rocks which seemed very out of place in such dry areas.

The track in places shows the scars of vehicles tearing the soft patches deeper, which cause some interesting angles at times. These holes have been caused by the mud holes that develop in the track after rain. The track is well known for holding water for longer periods after rain. Certainly not somewhere to be caught in the rain!!!!

We met Peter and Delainey in their BRITS camper about 15kms from the start of the Kalgoorlie end of the the Holland Track with a flat tyre. Sadly BRITS have not supplied equipment fit for the purpose and they had tried to change the tyre only to find the jack was unable to raise even a flat tyre from the ground. The jack was not faulty, just too small. This was made worse by the jack sinking into the sand (no jacking plate!!!!)  Steve and Phil set to work with the Maverick’s equipment to jack the camper up and Peter was able to change the tyre. Peter & Delainey had only been there 10 minutes before we arrived, but it could have been there a lot longer. We had been passed by 2 vehicles 2 days ago (Kalgoorlie bound) and these were the only other traffic we had seen in days. Peter and Delainey decided to not attempt the track alone, (and with no spare), and we followed them back to Victoria Rock Road to ensure they were safe.

We all arrived in Kalgoorlie and headed for a steak meal at one of the local hotels.

Day 153 Sunday 31 December 2006

The superpit at Kalgoorlie is huge, there is no other word that can describe such a big hole in the ground. You get the feeling that you are peering into some Tonka Toy playground and it seems to keep the guys interested for hours. From here we moved onto the worst meal of our trip. The beer might be good at the Metropole Hotel in Boulder, but the food was dreadful. Half cooked sausages and nachos that appeared to be the leftovers from previous meals, even Hungry Jacks was preferable to it! Very disappointing.

Now our afternoon was spent in the most unlikely locations. Langtrees of Kalgoorlie is a bordello that does tours 3 times a day. Madam Lee takes you on a tour through the doors that most of us have never seen before. It certainly was an eye opener for the uninitiated. You get a lesson on the history of prostitution in the gold fields, served up with a humorous wit and a mischievous smile. Lee, the person, was once a councillor on the local council and is a person you can take an instant liking to. Sorry everyone, but no photos, this is one experience you will need to do on your own.

New Years Eve was spent near Kalgoorlie back in the bush.  A quiet but enjoyable way to see in the New Year!!!

Day 154 Monday 1 January 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!! Rest Day.

Stay tuned as the adventure continues……