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WA4WD (Western Australian 4 Wheel Drive) is a web site dedicated to 4WD tracks and activities in WA. It is a private site and you undertake any activity here at your own risk. The aim is to give 4WD enthusiasts some information pertinent to their hobby.
Around 2002, I started to provide a 4WD web site from Norseman. It was a lot of fun and there is some terrific scenery down there, I really loved it. I would say there is probably some of the best 4WDriving you can do around Norseman, not so much for the difficulty, but for the scenery and history. And there are camping places everywhere.
I returned to Perth from the Pilbara in 2010. I continue to add more information and tracks as I can. If I had to pick a place I love, Norseman would be it. I still believe that the area around Norseman is one of the most interesting and exciting.
It is hoped that 4WDrivers will be responsible and respect the bush and allow us to practice what we enjoy well into the future. We are all responsible for our actions and it is up to everyone to play the game properly.
all 4WDrivers: remember as
trite as this sounds, people judge all of us on your
actions. Make sure something you do is not the catalyst
for more restrictions. Be responsible, so we can continue
to enjoy this great past time.
There any number of organisations that are trying to prevent track closures and the like. Sadly to say, I have seen some disgusting things left in the bush, and I know it is from people using 4WD vehicles, because it is simply impossible to get to those places without one. Also, there are some idiots (this is the bottom of the pit when comparing people with a stupid gene) who use their 4WDs and simply "cut up" in the bush, giving all of us a bad name....stop it and bloody well grow up, before they ban roo bars, spot lights,winches and shut all the tracks!
WA4WD includes pages and information on Frank Hann, Lonely Graves in the bush, maps (well actually Mudmaps, which I see is now used commercially to describe a mapping product, though this word has been used for years by people in the bush, I hope they don't copyright the word "bush" too), information for people travelling the bush, how to shit in the bush and other tasty bits, plus many photos taken around the country side. Have fun.
The easiest route to Hyden is from Kelmscott to Brookton and through to Hyden. There are not many (if any) late night fuel opportunities so check your fuel status. Between Hyden and Norseman there are a few really good camp sites, but no other facilities, and there is no mobile phone coverage...you really are in the bush here!
This area is best seen in the cooler winter months. It has a harsh beauty that is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. If you travel here in the summer, make sure you are WELL prepared. People have died here in recent years from thirst (believe it or not). You also must take care with rain as creeks or rivers may rapidly rise from run off that may be from a storm 100km away. And we all make mistakes, just at the beginning of the 2009 wet season we visited Weeli Wolli Creek and chose a beaut camp spot near the water (which is present due to dewatering of an iron ore mine). Just at dusk it started to rain for about an hour then some time during the night we were woken by other campers calling out a warning about rising water. Sure enough the water had risen almost a metre, cutting off the route we had come in and starting to reach our table and chairs. We hurriedly but calmly packed all our gear after working out an escape plan, and waited as we watched the water slowly recede. This was the start of the wet, you can imagine if we had been a bit later in the year.
Then there are cyclones, treat them with excessive respect, they still kill people too, as we found out with Cyclone George early in 2007.
But the wet season also has the most water in creeks and gorges too, and it is a terrifyingly beautiful place!
My job has brought me back to the city. This isn't going to stop the adventure, but what we do will be different. The Pilbara is an exciting 4WD place, but requires a lot of planning even for simple trips to ensure safety. It is a sweet change to be able to have regular fuel stops, be able to buy what you want, when you want and get it just down the street.
We will be adding new treks to our pages and hopefully some of these will be much more accessible from Perth.
As you grow up you never truly appreciate your parents, perhaps you never really do. When they eventually go to the big beyond, the rock that was your family shifts, and the mantle passes to the next generation.
That time has come for us with Mum dying in 2012 and Dad shutting shop for the last time in 2014.
This web page owes its existence to them.
When we were little kids, Dad used to travel to Meekatharra to see Uncle Ross on Trilbar. I suppose as kids you always want to do what your parents do. Eventually, we had the opportunity when I was 10 (1969). Dad hired a caravan and we packed everything into that and away we went. In those days, it was a single lane highway from Wubin and passing another vehicle was uncommon. One time we even had a train toot to us up near Meeka, he must have been bored or just plain surprised.
In some ways we were probably at the forefront of caravanning.
That trip was so exciting, I have never forgotten it. Nor has anyone of us forgotten getting lost on the way to Big Bell and to find it at 10pm with the old hotel being illuminated by the yellow glow of the headlights. It scared the shit out of my sister (and she still remembers that). I remember waking up in the morning in a warm caravan and the temperature outside being bitterly cold.
That trip hooked me and I have loved visiting the bush ever since.
It was Dad that took us, and for the most mechanically unable person alive, that was a courageous act. I found out much later Mum hated those trips, camping wasn't for her, but she put up with it for us. I don't think she was a great cook, but the best meals I have ever eaten were made by her in that caravan, and it was simple stuff, just braised steak and onions with mashed potato (from a packet). And dessert was plums with reduced cream that was shaken to thicken it. I have never been able to replicate the taste of that meal.
I enjoy planning and preparing for trips and then undertaking the adventure part so much, and I owe it all to them.
Thanks Mum and Dad, I miss you.