The Holland Track makes up the majority of the John Holland Way. First blazed through virgin bushland in 1893, the Holland Track is the longest cart road ever built in Australia. Originally built as a shortcut for miners travelling to the goldfields from the south of the state, it became disused a few short years later with the extension of the railway line through to Coolgardie. Lost to history for over 100 years, the track was resurrected by a group of passionate volunteers who didn’t want to see such an important, historic achievement from our state’s past disappear forever.
Today, the Holland Track is heavily traveled by those seeking an outback adventure.
This track is only suitable for 4WD vehicles and to prevent damaging the track, you should only drive it with 4WD engaged.
Regardless of the type of adventure you are embarking on, keeping the basics in your vehicle means that you should be bale to deal with most situation that may arise.
When you get onto the gravel, engage 4WD (high range) and only disengage 4WD when you get back to the bitumen. Doing so reduces the damage caused by driving in two-wheel drive and ensures that the track needs less maintenance to keep it open.
Great for getting yourself out of a sandy situation. They also work really well in mud. Depending on the time of year, you may need to get these out.
You never know when you are going to have to dig yourself out of trouble or when there is a call of nature that requires a hole.
You don’t always need this equipment BUT when you do, you do. Best to ensure that it is always in your vehicle.
Much better than a stick and a lot more accurate.
If you need to let your tyres down for any reason then you will also need to pump them back up again.
It is worth having a UHF radio fitted to your vehicle so that you can easily communicate with other vehicles in your group as well as other track users.
There are quite a few places where it can get very scratchy as the vegetation narrows in on the track. If you are wanting to protect your pride and joy then it might be worth considering investing in a set of Rhinohide for your vehicle. This WA made product provides a tough outer armour and protects your paint and panels from scratches and dents.
Make sure you let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be home. Mobile phone coverage should not be relied upon. This could impact how well Google Maps (or equivalent works) and you should either invest in a good quality GPS unit or ensure you have a map of the area.
Something to deal with minor cuts and scrapes as well as compression bandages to treat snake bite.
Make sure you have some sunscreen and insect repellant with you.
This is a remote location with no potable water available. Ensure you have enough for everyone in your group for your entire trip, allowing for any unexpected delays.
It is recommended that you allow a minimum of 10 litres of drinking water per person, per day.
We use and recommend HEMA’s HX2 GPS navigator. The unit does not require mobile phone signal to operate, shows you exactly where you are and what is around you (including points of interest and facilities). The HX2 also gives you turn by turn navigation when back on the bitumen if you need it.
Your other option is to grab a copy of one of HEMA’s maps or 4WD atlas relevant to your area of travel.
If you have a smart phone or an iPad (preferably one that can take a mobile SIM card – you don’t need a SIM installed) you can look at HEMA’s CamperX or 4×4 Explorer.
Keep a roll in the car, along with hand sanitiser and maybe some wipes. Make sure you have a rubbish bag handy and bring all of your rubbish home.
Your last chance for fuel and provisions is either Hyden or Coolgardie, depending on which way you are tackling the track. Ensure you are completely self sufficient.
The track takes you through the Great Western Woodlands which is the largest and healthiest temperate woodland still remaining on earth. This 16,000,000 hectare area is larger in size than England and Wales combined.
Take a camera and try your hand at some scenic shots or even some macro. It’s also a great spot to get some nice portrait shots of friends and family or even a candid shot of the natural surroundings.
Hyden is worth taking some time to explore before hitting the track and you should spend some time looking around Coolgardie at the other end.
There are plenty of places to stop along the way and explore. The No. 1 Rabbit Proof Fence crosses the track and there are multiple rock formations to stretch your legs on. There is also a large Mallee Fowl’s nest that last showed signs of use in 2013.
Avoid the wet winter months as the track can become severely degraded in spots. Summer and periods of extreme fire danger will result in total vehicle movement bans through the area so ensure that you before heading off.
What was once an adventurous journey through untamed bushland is now more of a scenic drive back in time. You can only travel as fast as the track and other track users allow so plan for it to take a couple of days. It’s not a race and there is no prize for the fastest trip along the track. Take your time and soak up the monumental achievement of John Holland carving out this route by hand.
The Holland Track is approximately 580km from Hyden to Coolgardie. The John Holland Way is slightly longer at 680km and has you starting in Broome Hill instead of Hyden.
The cooler months of Autumn and Spring usually offer the best experience. Summer months can be quite hot (and plenty of flies) and there is always the risk of bushfires or track closure due to bushfire risk.
Winter can get very wet and although for some, it is considered a right of passage in conquering the track when it is wet and muddy, this only damages it and leads to “chicken tracks” getting carved out of the bush to get around muddy holes, damaging the surrounding environment.
Check here for bush fire information and warnings.
There are no formal campsites anywhere along the track and you are asked to only stop at areas that have already been cleared.
Fires are permitted as long as a fire ban has not been declared for the area but you should bring your own firewood.
No. Caravans are NOT recommended on the track. Off-road campers and trailers are OK but caravans would be too large, especially if you need to pull over to allow other vehicles to pass.
The Landcruiser Club of WA have adopted The Holland Track and conduct regular maintenance activities along its length. Their volunteers remove rubbish and do basic track maintenance as well as ensuring the longevity of historic and natural points of interest along the way.