Thursday, 26 September 2019

Holland Track Trip – Day 5

Cave Hill Reserve is known for it’s cave and granite hill.  No surprise there!  It’s claimed access is restricted to 4WD vehicles but having travelled the road I believe it would be possible to reach the reserve in a 2WD vehicle.  The camping area is well laid out with long drop toilets and camping tables.  There is no water and no rubbish facilities. 


Ken cooked the evening meal (actually he reheated it) of pasta and mince with veg.  A good evening sitting beside the fire sinking beer and solving the world’s problems.                  


There was a storm during the night which woke both Ken and Bob.  They got up to resecure the tent whilst I slept through all the excitement (one of the few advantages of being deaf).  They both slept in whilst I woke and went for an early morning walk before the flies started to move.


There was very little firewood around the camping area which suggested to me the location is well used. 

After breakfast we packed the vehicles and drove to the rock.  It was a 300 metre walk from the car park to the cave which was large but not particularly impressive.


Ken and I then walked to the top of the rock.


Not a particularly steep climb

Endless native vegetation in all directions


With signs of the usual water erosion.


Bob thought he heard cattle lowing during the night but Ken thought it was camels.  It appears Ken may have been right as we came upon fresh camel droppings up on the rock. 


Why were the camels up on the rock?  There’s no vegetation so they must be searching for water.   Then I came upon a sign with a map, the contents of which surprised me.  I had assumed this area had been largely uninhabited.  It was quite a surprise to read the entire area around Cave Rock and as far north as Coolgardie had contained a network of bush railways.  These railways were used for two purposes.  The first was to cut timber for firewood which became the fuel to power the steam engines at the water pumping stations alone the pipeline from Perth to Kalgoorie.   The second purpose was for the collection and transportation of Sandalwood.  The timber is native to India and Australia.  In the mid 1800’s the oil from West Australian Sandalwood was more precious than gold.


The majority of the workers in these mobile logging crews were Italian or Yugoslav migrants.  Single men were housed in tents and families in small timber shed mounted on rail wagons.  The rock hills in the region were a source of both drinking and washing water whilst also providing water for the steam locomotives.   Today the region has returned to native flora and the railways have been removed.

Mick, you are correct.  Fuel in the UK is approximately twice the price as Australia.  Over here the vehicles tend to be bigger with larger engines so they use more fuel.  The UK would pay approximately the same base price for oil as Australia so I suggest it’s the government taxes that make UK fuel more expensive (don’t miss the opportunity… blame the EU!).  Of course if you go to Saudi Arabia you can buy a litre of petrol for 19p Smile

1 comment :

Mike Griffin said...

Another excellent blog of an amazing journey - Thanks. Mike Griffin.