Cave Hill via Mundale Track returning via The Woodlines Track

Thursday, 23rd April to Sunday 26th, April 2015

Last weekend we bought our Copper AT3s and had them fitted and were keen to test them. We decided to go back to the goldfields head to Cave Hill going down the Hyden Norseman Road then follow the Mundale Track returning to Hyden via The Woodline Track west of Cave Hill. This quick run should give a good indication of how the Cooper AT3 will perform. We’ll cover some of the same terrain we did a few weeks ago on our Dunns Track trip. It’ll be a good comparison. So here we are, it’s Friday arvo, we’ve knocked off work and we’re ready to go. The plan is after topping up the tank at Hyden we’ll head to Emu Rock on the Holland Track to camp for the night before making Mundale Track the next day.

We reach Hyden about 7.30 pm then shoot pass Wave Rock before traveling down the new Hyden – Norseman Road and head for the turn to Holland Track and Emu Rock . We reach the turn off to Emu Rock about 8.30pm. We’ve camped here before but arrived in daylight. It’s only about 6kms in but it certainly was different in the dark and the road had deteriorated a little since last here.

We pull in about 9.00pm, no one else was there so we pitched the tent and hit the sack. About 11.00pm we here what sounds like a truck on its last legs coming in. It finally reaches our spot, does a lap and keeps going. Brrr….. it was a little cold, luckily we had our new sleeping bags and we drifted off to sleep anyway.

Early next morning we woke to find we had some heavy dew fall so the tent was a little damp. Grabbed some breaky while waiting for the tent to dry a little so we could pack it up and we hit the track again.

The trip back out to the new Hyden- Norseman road seemed so much easier than the night before. Along the way we were treated to some lovely glistening cobwebs, the morning sunlight bouncing off the dew drops. Amazing how these little guys survive the cold nights.

We head toward the Mundale Track with Cave Hill as our next stop for the night.

Mundale Track is named after George Mundale who was an Aboriginal volunteer in Charles Hunt’s 1864 exploration to locate water in these arid regions for other travellers of the day. The wells and soaks Hunt built were based on the waterholes used by the local Aboriginals. The tracks Hunt and his parties walked later become major routes to the goldfields for those seeking their fortune and for those returning to Perth with or without their fortune. The soaks and wells making the journey so much easier. On many occasions George Mundale provide the party with food and at one point when they had run out of fresh meat he provided 3 roos and an emu over a couple of days. Meat was now aplenty.

It isn’t long before we put the Coopers into action thanks to the remnants of recent rains out this way.

We turn left to head down the Mundale Track

In the Western Australian Goldfields as in other parts of WA donkeys were used as pack animals up until the 1930’s when the introduction of the car reduced the need to use donkeys. As is the case with most things man decides he doesn’t need the donkeys were cast aside and left the their own devices in our outback and they are now considered feral. We saw evidence of donkeys along the Mundale Track but never actually saw one.

Even though the landscape looks pretty arid although there has been some rainfall recently, you can always find signs of life. It could be flora, fauna or even insects and spiders. We saw several of these little mounds with a covering of cobweb over the opening which had most likely been created by a spider possibly a trapdoor.

It’s seems it doesn’t matter when in the year we travel in the goldfields or down which tracks, there are always trees to clear from our path.

Ah! the peace and serenity of outback tracks, no traffic jams or road rage here 🙂

We turn off Mundale Track to head toward Cave Hill to camp for the night. It’s a lovely spot to camp.

When we got to Cave Hill it was pretty packed out but we found a spot and settled back to have tea and enjoy the evening. The night sky is so much better out here away from all the city and street lights.

Next morning we head toward home via The Woodlines. These woodline rail tracks ( and there are a few ) were once used to transport timber to the Goldfields. With the gold rush in Kalgoorlie in full swing timber was needed not only to shore up the underground mine shafts but also for domestic use and as fuel for the boilers that provided water. The region around Kalgoorlie had been stripped bare of timber so it had to be sourced from further afield. Many timber businesses flourished during this period and the last timber delivery on these lines was as recent as 1964 by the Lakewood Firewood Co Pty Ltd on the 22 Dec. A lot of the timber sleepers have rotted away although you can still see them here and there while the raised sleeper bed is still evident and now makes up “The Woodlines”

Further along the Woodlines track we encounter some more puddles, but thanks to our Copper AT3’s driving through them was easy.

We continue on our way homeward bound. It’s lovely traveling out this way. The region is littered with Salmon Gums, a lovely eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus salmonophloia). It’s salmon or rust color trunk stands our against the backdrop of the surrounding foliage. In ideal conditions they can grow up to 30 mt tall.

After the run along Dunns Track with the original tyres and this to Cave Hill via The Mundale Track with the Cooper AT3 tyres fitted, the Coopers is a choice well made.

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