A trip to Sydney – Day 1

23 May 2019

My departure from home was a little later than planned. The trip eastwards towards Bairnsdale was uneventful, with some minor delays with road works between Stratford and Bairnsdale. After filling the fuel tank, the route took me via Bruthen, Nowa Nowa, past Orbost and towards Cann River.

Lind National Park VKFF-0287

Lind National Park is an easy choice, with the Princes Highway running along much of the southern boundary. I have previously qualified this Park, so I decided on a short activation to add a VKFF qualification towards the Boomerang Award. . I needed a break from driving, so pulled into Stars and Stripes Track and parked a short distance into the bush and beyond the Park boundary. I operated from inside the car with the mobile whip. I operated only on 40 m and had nine SSB contacts in the log in 11 minutes. I was calling CQ when I heard a CW call, so swapped to CW to work John VK4TJ plus his two extra callsigns, giving me 12 contacts in under 20 minutes. With no further callers, I headed back to the Princes Highway and continued east to Cann River, with a stop at the bakery for a late lunch. I then headed north on the Monaro Highway to Chandlers Creek and turned into WD Line, crossed the Cann River East Branch and entered the Park.

Coopracambra National Park VKFF-0113

After crossing the ford and passing the Park sign, the road swings north and there is a small clearing on the left, a reasonable spot to park within the boundary. I again operated from the car with the mobile whip. John VK4TJ was first in the log and kindly spotted me and gave me the reference number – there was zero phone coverage.

I worked 15 stations over 21 minutes. With no further responses to calls, I started the car and headed back to the Monaro Highway to head north towards Bombala.

Bondi Gulf Nature Reserve VKFF-2535

This Park was first activated in early January by Peter VK3TKK/2 during a trip through East Gippsland and southeast NSW. Peter made only brief activations in each Park, making sure to work at least 10 stations plus any extras who were calling. I anticipated that there would be many Hunters who had not yet worked this Park and was hoping to qualify the Park easily for VKFF.

The Park covers 1888 ha to the south of the Monaro Highway. Access is simple: travel south along Gulf Road from the Highway to the junction with Eastern Boundary Track. But you must be careful, as the road reserve for Gulf Road is excluded from the Park. I travelled along Gulf Road to a track intersection on the right – North Boundary Track IIRC. I drove in a short distance and parked on the edge of the track to set up the station with the ZS6BKW antenna connected to the IC-7000 in the car.



Operating site location. Image courtesy Protected Planet

I started calling at 0556Z and John VK4TJ was the first Hunter to call. Most of the contacts made were on 40 m SSB, with eight contacts on CW and three contacts on 80 m SSB. The last contact was made at 0724Z, making 46 in the log.


Looking west from the operating site

I traced my route back to the Highway and headed into Bomballa and headed north towards Cooma. My original plan was to spend the night with a friend, but I had a phone call in the morning advising me to not come, as my friend was suffering a dose of a severe cold – he wanted to be selfish and keep it to himself. I was happy to oblige! I headed north and ended up finding a hotel room in Queenbeyan for the night.

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