The trip home from Sydney – Day 3

Wednesday 29 May 2019

The weather forecast was again for poor and cold conditions, so I abandoned any thoughts of visiting any summits. Instead, I decided to head back into Victoria and to activate some more Parks towards possible Boomerang Award status down the track.

After thanking Rod and Judy for their hospitality, I headed south to Bombala and towards Cann River. I again dropped into Coopracambra National Park.

Coopracambra National Park VKFF-0113

I parked at the same location used on Thursday and started calling at 0015Z. Deryck VK4FDJL was first in the log and agreed to spot me. I soon had another four in the log. I dropped down to 80 m briefly to work one station and returned to 40 m SSB. Going was slow…. Last in the log (contact number 10) was Mike VK6MB/3 in VKFF-0361 at 0123Z. I advised Mike that I was closing, so he could use the frequency.

I returned to the Highway and travelled to Cann River to buy some lunch and then headed to Lind National Park.

Lind National Park VKFF-0287

Once again I parked at the same location used on Thursday. I again operated using the mobile setup. Mike VK6MB/3 was first in the log. I moved down in frequency and started calling after spotting myself. I worked 12 stations (five on CW) before I moved to 80 m to work Mitch VK3XDM/p and Duncan VK3XBC/p, both on VK3/VE-098. I moved up slightly to work Geoff VK3SQ. With no further callers, I started the car and headed back onto the highway. I had 15 contacts in the log.

I quickly checked the maps and decided to use a backroads approach to my next target. I travelled a short distance back towards Cann River and headed south on Dinah Divide Track and then turned into Ghost Camp Road.  I reached Mount Bemm Road, which should have taken me to the base of Mount Cann, but within 100 metres the road had vegetation growing out of the surface. I retraced my route to Dinah Divide Track and travelled west until I reached Poddy Creek Road, and then headed southeast. This took me to the start of Bemm Tower Road. The southern end of Mount Bemm Road was also very scrubby. I was soon on the summit, with spectacular views for a low summit. There was a large solar panel array on the summit. I took some photos and retreated back about 100 m or so to close to some bush. The wind was strong!

Mount Cann VK3/VG-133  531 m 2 points

I quickly set up the SOTA station, with the car providing a small windbreak. I was close to the car, but completely independent of it. I could have set up in comfort on the summit, with a three-sided garage (carport with three sides covered) available to sit inside…..


Panorama from Mt Cann – W through N to NE


Panorama from Mt Cann – SW through S to  ESE

I spotted and started on 40 m CW and soon had five calls in the log. I moved up to 40 m SSB and worked seven stations. I waited around for Mitch and Duncan to finish setting up on their next summit and soon worked them on 80 m SSB for a S2S contact to VK3/VE-097. I closed down and packed up after working Mitch and Duncan. I retraced my route back down to Poddy Creek Road and followed it back out to the Princes Highway. That is probably the quickest and easiest route to access the summit – Poddy Creek Road to Bemm Tower Road. A new Activator Unique and Complete summit for me.

I travelled west along the highway and then turned south onto Marlo Cabbage Tree Road and then turned right to stay on the road – the sealed road continuing south is Cabbage Tree Conran Road. I then turned right onto Palm Track and drove around to the car park at the short walk.

Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve VKFF-2286

This is another Park activated by Peter VK3TKK earlier in the year.


Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve sign

I set up the ZS6BKW and connected it to the IC-7000 in the car. Sitting in the car made things a little warmer and reduced the number of mosquitos. I started calling on 7.144 SSB and had a steady stream of Hunters – 31 contacts in 35 minutes. I moved to 40 m CW and worked six stations. 80 m CW yielded five station, and 80 m SSB another four Hunters. I worked a total of 46 contacts in 74 minutes – a pretty reasonable rate for a mid-week activation. I packed up and headed back to Marlo Cabbage Tree Road and headed southwest to Marlo Conran Road (C107) and the western end of the Cape Conran Coastal Park.


Cape Conran Coastal Park sign

Cape Conran Coastal Park VKFF-0744

I turned into Marlo Aerodrome Road, but I did not find a reasonable spot to set up. I returned to C107 and drove into a narrow track opposite the road I was on. This led into a small track network which was definitely inside the Park and close to the Snowy River Backwater. I simply operated using the mobile whip and the IC-7000.

I spotted myself and soon had 16 stations in the log on 40 m SSB in only 11 minutes. I then worked Allan VK2MG and Gerard VK2IO on CW on the same frequency as I had been operating SSB. Last in the log was Nick VK3ANL on SSB. I closed down and took a couple of photographs as the light started to fade.


Looking SW across Snowy River Backwater


Detail of  small banksia near operating site

I then drove back onto the sealed road and headed to Marlo. I stopped at the Marlo Caravan Park and paid for a cabin for the night. I had a very good meal at The Marlo Hotel before returning to the cabin.

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