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Home > Travelogues > 2007 Travelogues Index > The John Holland Way
2007 We investigate the history of the Coolgardie Kalgoorlie Goldfields including the Holland Track, the John Holland Way, the historicWoodlines and the Golden Quest Discovery Trail. This section takes us along the John Holland Way, on the Hyden-Norseman Road and Victoria Rock Roads to the huge Victoria Rock.

George Burvill, Chief Plant Research Office for the Department of Agriculture selected this site for trial plots.   Tom McDowell was the Officer in Charge of these trials.  With input from the local community, various trial plots were established. The Forests Department also trialled growing trees, including the Rottnest Island Pine, some of which are still thriving.  Although rainfall figures at the time indicated that farming in this area would be as successful as further west, a change in the State Government decreed that farming would cease at the State Barrier Fence. 

 

Only this shed remains today, and the site is sometimes used by travellers for overnight camping.  On the south side of the road, 64 kilometres east of Hyden.

We had not been in to see the Breakaways before, and found these colourful rocks well worth visiting as well as being an excellent camp site.  So close to the road but hidden from it, the red, pink and lilac rocks look like they have had white icing drizzled over them. Although only 100 metres from the road this colourful ridge lay hidden from those who sought to find them for many years. We had the very large campsite to ourselves, although we later met campers who had stopped there just the night before us, and others the night following.  On the south side of the road 135 kilometres east of Hyden.

McDermid Rock is one of the outcrops we visited.  Many granite rocks in the region have a wave like face, as well as pools of water and vegetation patches on top of the rocks. 191 kilometres east of Hyden on the north side of the road, neat Victoria Rocks Road turnoff.  

Lake Johnston is a large salt pan which the Hyden-Norseman Road crosses.  It is 196 kilometres east of Hyden and 107 kilometres west of Norseman.  Just west of this point, we turned north onto Victoria Rock Road.  

We continued north on this road, which at the start was rough from wheel ruts made during earlier wet weather.  The condition of the road improved as we continued north towards Victoria Rock, passing the junction of the Holland Track and stopping to talk to other travellers there. 

 

This marked the merging of the Holland Track and John Holland Way.  Continuing on to Victoria Rock, we selected a nice quiet spot from the huge expanse of camping spaces around the base of rock.  We then walked to the top of the rock.

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John Holland Way

 

Our deviation from the Holland Track to follow the John Holland Way along Hyden-Norseman Road proved worthwhile and had many points of interest, some of which we had visited previously and others we hadnít.

 

The Hyden-Norseman Road has features well signed as it traverses the Granite and Woodlands Discovery trail.  The brochure for this drive trail can be downloaded in .pdf as a printable brochure from here 

 

There are sixteen listed and signed stops along the three hundred kilometre route between Hyden and Norseman. 

 

During the 1920s the Western Australian Government established 3500 farms stretching from the lakes around Hyden to the rich timber country to the east.  An area of 110 hectares was to be cleared on each allocation which proved very difficult in the timbered land.  The scheme was abandoned during the Depression of 1929-30. 

 

In 1958 during the search for new farming land, the Hyden Progress Association investigated the vast area of sandy land between the State Barrier Fence and Forrestania as new techniques enabled this light land to be cropped.   

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To see more about the best camping spots on The Holland Way see Goldfields free camping
The Hyden - Norseman Road is a wide well maintained gravel road.  For up to date conditions and closures see Shire of Kondinin Road Conditions and Shire of Dundas Road Conditions. 

 

Along the entire Hyden to Norseman Road (of which the western two thirds of the length were travelled on whislt following the John Holland Way) there are marked features of interest.  Download the Granite Woodlands Discovery Trail brochure here
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The Forrestania Plots 1960 Ė 1967 

The Breakaways