When?- Friday August 25th to Noon Sunday August 27th 2017
Where?-Cave Hill is in the Great Western Woodlands 95km south of Coolgardie
Coolgardie is 558km east of Perth, The easy access to Cave Hill is from Coolgardie via 95km of good gravell road, standard cars, caravans, campers will have no trouble getting there with normal safe gravel driving practices.
Some may wish to try the more difficult route via Hyden to Norsman road 634 km with 300km of gravel.
Some may even wish to try the 4WD route from Hyden via the Holland Track, this is a great drive in a well equipted 4WD through the historically significant Holland Track, it is not especially difficult 4WDing but allow a day to get through the 256km of track.
What?- this is a self catering trip with guided tours of the surroundiing area,
How Much? it will cost you $25 per person with a refund of 90% for cancelations up to 30days prior to the event.
What is Cave Hill?- There are bush tracks throughout this region known as “The Woodlines” – a network of hundreds of kilometres of abandoned railway formations south of the Coolgardie/Kalgoorlie goldfields. 4WDrivers can explore the area by following the old formations – however it is advisable to carry a GPS as amongst the network of tracks you could easily become lost.
During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s timber cutters took hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wood out of this area to supply the goldfields with wood for structural timber for building and to shore up underground mining shafts as well as fuel for domestic use, locomotives and for steam engines which drove water pumping stations and electricity generators.
The Western Australian Goldfields Firewood Supply Ltd was formed in 1899 and initially operated from the Kurrawang Siding 13km west of Kalgoorlie. Camps moved as wood was exploited. A main camp was located at Burra Rock between 1928 and 1932 as the woodlines snaked south. Cave Hill became the main camp between 1932 to 1938, followed by Lakeside, 4km south of Boulder.
It was wonderful to see how the Salmon Gum and Gimlet forests have naturally reforested. This area lays within the environmentally significant Great Western Woodlands which is preserved by Nature Reserves, Conservation Parks and National Parks. The Great Western Woodlands covers sixteen million hectares - the largest and healthiest remaining Mediterranean climate woodland left on earth.
Cave Hill is an impressive granite monolith – 1 kilometre wide and 1.5km long – rising 50 metres above the surrounding woodland. For thousands of years prior to European settlement, the Ngajtu Aboriginal people passed through this area and camped at Cave Hill so it is an important indigenous cultural site.
Explorer, Charles Cooke Hunt camped at Cave Hill in 1864 and named Cave Hill for the hollowed out wind sculptured cave on the western face. Hunt camped here several times during his attempts to penetrate the desolate region in search of permanent water supplies. (in the picture above you might be able to see a "H" carved into the tree on the right of the bottom left photo - Did Hunt carve his initial on the tree? This was my start to a fascination with the history and explorations of Hunt).
The cave is a one kilometre walk from the camping area or 30 minutes return – moderate difficulty. Visitors are asked to view the cave from the viewing platform due to the instability of the cave formation. Four catchment dams can also be seen which were constructed on the rock near natural depressions during the Woodlines era. Rainwater was diverted into the dams by stone slab walls cut from the rock. You can see one of the dams and a diversion wall below.
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