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[WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

Daydreamin' at the desk. Caution - heaps of pics inside!
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[WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

Sunday saw a drizzling overcast day... so we packed some sandwiches, drinks, Looney Tunes Choc Chip Bikkies (hey, they taste pretty good, even if you are older than 4) and set off to do the CFC.
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Between Boyanup and Dwellingup we pass through: Dardanup, Burekup, Brunswick Junction, Benger, Wokalup, turn right at Harvey and follow the road to Dwellingup.

A scenic drive even on a rainy day- the region is renown for beef, dairy, orchards, wine, cheese and gelato :D

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Unread postby Missy » June 20th, 2011, 11:35 pm


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

After a 90km short jaunt, we arrived at the start of the track (after overshooting it- hanging a u-turn and going back)
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Armed with our small (yet tastefull in black and white) photocopied map from the Dwellingup Tourism Info shop from an earlier visit to the region, we started off. And made our first mistake... The kilometres are cumulative from one point to the next, we reset the trip meter at the first checkpoint... and then overshot the 2nd turn in a series of 42 steps. Yes, we lost the track in the first 5km (but found it again later) but if we hadn't we would have missed out on many other spectacular sights!
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The Fawcett Track commemorates one of the districts early pioneers, Captain Theo Fawcett from Pinjarra. In spite of his holding of 10,000 acres at Pinjarra, and land being easily available, Captain Fawcett realised he and his family would require heavier land, so decided to look towards the other side of the Darling Range. It was here he decided to build his house on a selected piece of land being over 5,000 acres. Captain Fawcett showed his bushcraft skills by making his return journey directly through the bush to nearest civilisation. He blazed trees on his way to show his workman and shepherds. That blazed track is almost exactly the route on which the present day road runs from Marradong to Dwellingup.

The easy to medium grade 4WD section starts within Lane Poole Conservation Reserve, Dwellingup. Much of the track runs along old rail embankments where the timber trains once hauled the forest trees into various mills. Remnants of an old rail bridge stand adjacent to the track. Other sections may be on tracks made by timber cutters to access the forest. There are places along the track where you can pull off and enjoy a picnic on your way.

You'll drive through historic farmland, here and there dissected by the belit-line that carries bauxite from the Worsely mine through to the refinery at Collie. Mining operations can be seen from various points along the track.

START POINT: Dawn Creek Road/Nanga Road intersection (approx. 3kms past Old Nanga Townsite)

FINISH POINT: Quindanning

TOTAL DISTANCE: 105kilometres

DURATION: Approx. 3 hours

4 X 4 GRADE: Easy - Medium

The karri and marri forests were vibrant after the recent rains.
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Unread postby Missy » June 20th, 2011, 11:48 pm


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

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Having been back on the coast for a year after spending over 6 in Alice Springs, the novelty of greenery and water ways still hasn't worn off. Alice had it's beauty, but South West WA is rapidly overtaking it in my books!

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A little ways up the track we stopped to head down the rocky slope to explore the river (and the Captain [4] will jump through fire for the opportunity to throw rocks into a river).

While looking, a GQ and a Zook Samurai passed by. When locking in the hubs, I heard the UHF crackle, hearing 'I think there's some rapids round here. Did you see that sweet blue Cruiser back there?' 'Gaaaaaaaaaar' (I'm not sure how to type the sound of an envious drool, but hey, the boys had taste!

While looking around, I looked up- and found a bull bar in a tree.
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Unread postby Missy » June 20th, 2011, 11:58 pm


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

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Camping is available along the track- as nice as it is, I'd hate to contend with the mozzies in summertime!

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At this point we thought we were still on the right track, and enjoying the scenery. I was enjoying the V8, the bouncy track and potholes with many puddles that I aimed for, Captain was enjoying his Scooby Doo DVD's, and HDJ78R was not enjoying my driving after having had a hernia operation on his stomach 3 weeks previously. Verdict: I avoided the larger pot holes :)
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It was surprising that there weren't more people out and enjoying the track. We saw few vehicles inthe first 2 hours.
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Unread postby Missy » June 21st, 2011, 12:09 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

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The big drawcard for me to do the trip today was that I have never driven in mud or thru puddles before! The most excitement I had 4WDing in Alice Springs was getting bogged to the axles twice- in bulldust of all things. Oh, and that situation of the 17 hours with HDJ78R in the Ghan Pan, but that's another story... :D (note: keep an eye out in the NT section- may elaborate, and have plenty of pics)
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Still driving obliviously in the complete wrong direction, enjoying the scenery and the mud. All along the track there are tracks heading down to the river, with rapids, water holes and plain good area to set up camp or have lunch.

We arrived at South Junction (right road, complete wrong section) and turned down to Stringers, a campsite on the river.

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Unread postby Missy » June 21st, 2011, 12:19 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

After some lunch in the deserted camp ground we walked down to the river. It's easy to imaging come summer it would be packed, but we had the luxury of the entire place to ourselves.
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The Captain thought I may fall off the log I was balanced on while taking this photo, and picture in his head of this happening caused a giggle fit. And yes- I sleep with one eye open!
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After walking along the river and taking many photos, we continued on the track and arrived at a T-junction that was not on the map. Another mude splattered 4by pulled up next to us, and they had lost the track too. Old mate suggested we lost the turn 4km from the start of the track, so back we turned. The group of 5 in front of us quickly disappeared out of sight, we mooched along and enjoyed the trip in reverse. Back to almost the start. Past the rapids, the scene of Blue Cruiser envy, the bullbar in the tree and past the bridge. Past a rude lady on a mountain bike, and around the corner, past an incredibly sour looking man also on a bike. 2 sour people exercising, 3 chipper people driving... Does exercise really make you happier?

We found the correct turn-off and adapted our map accordingly. (We have no GPS in the 76, and neither phone had reception to use sat nav on those. By adapted our route,I mean we took out a black pen and with a flourish changed the directions on the paper map. It sounds so 1995 doesn't it!)
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Unread postby Missy » June 21st, 2011, 12:31 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

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Unread postby Missy » June 21st, 2011, 12:37 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

I stepped out to take a panorama of the bridge, but it didn't work out.The bridge was quite dilapidated and crumbly- I usually walk on these things in order to take a better photo, but I skipped on this one. A feather may have brought it down, let alone my... kgs :D
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At this point we were desperately searching for a way point. Our trip meter was out after our earlier mistake (and running the 33's) so we went up and down the same pot holed (could swallow a Pajero some of those holes) 3km of track looking for a sign post, sign of life or even some lizard entrails to read for guidance. The Captain swore blind he had seen a sign on a tree so we gave him the benefit of the doubt and backtracked. Again. The sign was indeed on a tree, but was a warning of poison bait. I look forward to when Captain can read!
A vehicle came towards us, so we reversed to give them room to pass. It was a convoy of 11 vehicles, the Peel 4X4 Club out for a dash.
We then found the guys we were originally following and they had given up on the track, but pointed us further down the track 'Keep heading that way til you hit a pile of logs.'

On we went, joking that we would probably come along the next point. Oh, and we did. About 2km further up. At this point it was either laugh or cry. We started at 10:30am, and it was now 3:15pm. We laughed and continued on, the map now accurate we were out of the forestry.
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Unread postby Missy » June 21st, 2011, 12:53 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

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Our journey touched on the edge of the pine forest. At this point it was 4pm, and we knew it would be dark by the time we got home, so we looked for the shortest route back, and will return to finish the last part of the track next time. We only had around 40km left, nost of it bitumen.

The Harvey-Quindanning Rd would take us on the loop back through Collie and down the Coalfield H'way home. But we still had a way to go before we hit the bitumen.
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Long Gully Bridge has been closed to all vehicles these days, yet is open for foot traffic.
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Unread postby Missy » June 21st, 2011, 1:01 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

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The Captain was showing HDJ78R how to, how to... well fart. I have considered taking him for medical testing- he eats the same foods as us (from experience I have set limits on hard boiled eggs) but he must have some enzyme in his stomach that turns all food and beverage to pure methane. You could bottle this stuff for chemical warfare purposes!

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On the upside, when we come out driving we get plenty of exercise scrambling up and down hills.
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Unread postby Missy » June 21st, 2011, 1:09 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

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We found our way to Quindanning, and followed the Williams-Collie Rd to Collie, then down The Hill (Coalfields H'way) to the Southwestern H'way and back home.

On the way back it turned pitch black and drizzled. Had an absolutely fantastic day, and wouldn't hesitate to recomment the trip to anyone. But please remember-

1. The kilometres on the trip are cumulative- please don't reset your trip meter.
2. At the 4.1km mark, turn where the sign points to South Shore (but if you continue, it's a great drive too!)
3. If your co-pilot has had major abdominal surgery 3 weeks earlier, please be considerate eg don't speed up and aim for potholes. The recouperating passenger will suggest you read the road and avoid the holes. Don't pull up and say 'Would you like to drive then'- It will cause the back seat driver to loudly proclaim 'Mum's angry isn't she'.

I wasn't.

Honestly :D

4. If your 4 year old recommends you backtrack (again) to look at the sign on the tree, distract them with some biscuits or something shiny out the window- it's unlikely they can read and they are probably secretly paying you back for not giving them a 43rd drink of water after lights out time.
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Unread postby Missy » June 21st, 2011, 1:25 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

good photo's, looks like a good trip

Unread postby oncedisturbed » June 23rd, 2011, 10:38 am


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

Awesome trip report, and it looks like you had a blast

Aaron

Unread postby Aaron Schubert » June 23rd, 2011, 7:11 pm


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

my 6 yr old and 4 yr old wanna join you next time :cool:

great trip report

Unread postby coops62 » June 23rd, 2011, 7:26 pm


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Re: [WA] Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Trail (CFC)

coops62 wrote:my 6 yr old and 4 yr old wanna join you next time :cool:

great trip report



x2 - work permitting

Unread postby oncedisturbed » June 24th, 2011, 10:01 am


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