The weekend of the WIA Annual Conference was very busy, with the formalities of the AGM, then the Conference technical sessions, and some excellent meals along the way.
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park
I finally got underway at around 1100 Sunday morning and headed down to the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park and set up in one of the car park areas near Lake Hattah.
Operations were again on 40 m SSB, with several stations worked, including Ron VK3AFW/p who was also somewhere in the Hattah-Kulkyne NP.
After about 45 minutes of operating in , it was time to pack up and move down the road and into the Murray-Sunset National Park – a short trip down the Calder Highway and then turn right at Trinita and across the rail line and you are in the Park.
Murray-Sunset National Park
Operation was beside the road, using one of the road signs to hold the squid pole mast:
I worked Ron VK3AFW/p again from Hattah-Kulkyne NP, plus several other stations. I probably should have been patient and waited for Ron to move into the Murray-Sunset National Park so that I could work him from that park as well, but decided to get moving – it was well past lunch time and I was hungry. So down the Calder and into Ouyen to grab some lunch, and then across to Patchewollock and toward Hopetoun before finding a track that took me into the easternmost part of the Wyperfield National Park.
One minor mishap only a few kilometres before I reached my target was a blown out tyre.
Wyperfeld National Park
My operating site was just inside the park in a section that extends out to the east, with the main road swinging east as it passes the park boundary. The entry was easy to miss, as the track heads off innocuously as the road straightens up.
After working a few stations, I packed up and headed south to Warracknabeal and arrived just before the tyre service in town closed, only to be told that they did not have a suitable tyre in stock. That left 2 options: change plans and drive direct to Horsham to stay overnight, or to proceed to Dimboola and activate Little Desert National Park. I decided on the latter option.
Little Desert National Park
I arrived in the Park just on dark and quickly set up the 10 m squid pole and the 80/40/20/15/10 m link dipole. I worked 2 stations on 40 m SSB and 2 more on 80 m SSB. It was around meal time, so I received few responses to my calls, so I gave up after around 45 minutes, packed up and drove to Horsham to buy food. As I was awaiting my order, I heard the local radio club weekly net commence on the Mt William repeater, so called in. That resulted in an offer to stay with Ash VK3SSB and his parents just out of town, an offer gratefully accepted.
Mount William VK3/VS-001 in Grampians National Park
Most of Tuesday morning was lost to replacing the blown tyre, plus a second tyre. Then a drive down to Halls Gap to buy some lunch prior to driving to the Mt William car park and walking the 1.8 km up the road to the summit of Mount William (SOTA VS-001) in the Grampians National Park (the sign at the car park says “Strenuous Walking Involved”). The cloud was at around the top of the range – most of the time I was in the clouds, but occasionally had some views over the surrounding terrain.
The summit was comfortably qualified in short time, and about 45 minutes were spent on the summit prior to packing up and heading back down to the car. By time I was back down to the main road, the weather had decided to make things wet. Considering options and the time of day, I decided against any further activations on this day and drove to Portland to spend the night in a motel.
More on the trip in my next post.