The trip home from Sydney – day 4

Thursday 30 May 2019

I was up at a reasonable time and packed the gear into the car. I then drove east and then into Curlip Drive. Here I found the track that looked on Street View as if it may provide vehicle access into my first target for the day (99 Curlip Drive).

William Hunter Flora Reserve VKFF-2486

The track quickly swung left and almost all of the Reserve had been burnt. The track runs inside the Park boundary along the entire northern boundary. I parked the car where the road does a right angle bend to the right and set up the ZS6BKW with a line over a tree branch. I again connected the antenna to the radio in the car.

I spotted and started calling on 80 m SSB and had my first station in the log at 2231Z – VK7MBP. I soon had two more Hunters in the log, but then nothing for several minutes. I moved down the band for 80 m CW and worked Ian VK5CZ and John VK2YW but no further stations despite calling. I moved up to 40 m SSB and soon had four VK4 stations logged, followed by three on CW. Back to SSB on the same frequency and I worked another eight stations. A dropped down the band for 40 m CW and worked Cliff VK2NP at 2319. With 21 contacts in the log, I closed down and packed up.

I returned to Marlon ad headed to Orbost and a stop at the Bakery for a late breakfast and to grab something for lunch later. I then headed out along the Bonang Road and swung east into South Boundary Road. This was a little rough in places and takes some twists and turns. I reached the T junction with Coulson Track with a Park sign in front of me. I swung to the right for 200 m and then turned onto an unnamed track that entered the Park.

Brodribb Flora Reserve VKFF-2278


The Brodbribb Flora Reserve Sign

Set up was the same as earlier – a line over a tree branch and the ZS6BKW connected to the IC-7000 in the car. Brett VK2VW was first in the log on 40 m SSB at 0031Z. Within 10 minutes I had 12 in the log. I then worked John VK4TJ et al. plus Gerard VK2IO on the same frequency on CW. I moved down to 80 m SSB for three more Hunters before returning to 40 m SSB for seven more Hunters. I had 26 contacts in 31 minutes.

I again closed and packed up before heading south on Coulson Track to reach the Princes Highway – a much easier route. I headed east and then took Tower Road until I reached the first knoll, with a track on the eastern side to a site which looks as if it has been used as a camp site.

Mount Raymond Regional Park VKFF-0975

I had activated this Park previously, so was planning on only a short activation. I again used the ZS6BKW with a line over a tree branch connected to the radio in the car. I spotted myself and started calling on 40 m SSB. First in the log at 0133Z was John VK4TJ. I worked 14 Hunters in less than 10 minutes, then nothing. I swapped to CW on the same frequency and worked six more Hunters. Back to SSB to work Rob VK4AAC/3 in VKFF-0549 and then nothing for a couple of minutes. I dropped down to 80 m SSB and worked three Hunters before I worked Mitch VK3XDM/2  and Duncan VK3XBC/2 on The Rock VK2/RI-026 in VKFF-2002. I returned to 40 m SSB to work another five Hunters, giving me a total of 31 contacts in just under an hour. I again packed up and returned to the Princes Highway to head west and turned into Lake Tyers House Road.

Lake Tyers State Park VKFF-0761

I parked near the Park sign, at a spot where there was an opening that allowed the car to off the road reserve. The purpose and setup here was the same as for Mount Raymond. First in the log was Mike VK6MB/3 in VKFF-0754 at 0328Z on 80 m SSB. I soon had another three Hunters in the log. With no more calls, I moved to 40 m SSB and worked 19 callers over the next 11 minutes. I stayed on the same frequency and switched to CW for six more Hunters, then back to SSB for another eight. The pattern continued, with some CW and mainly SSB contacts. I ended up with 47 in the log, including Rob VK4AAC/3 in VKFF-0549. Last in was Steve VK7CW on CW at 0416Z.


Operating site at Lake Tyers State Park

I again packed up and returned to the Highway, where I crossed into Wairewa Road to head north and onto Mottle Range Road and then east into Mahogany Road, taking me to the next Park.

Wombat Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2234


Wombat Creek sign

After reaching the Park boundary, Mahogany Road traverses the Park for about 500 m before the land to the west is outside the Park. On the right, the Park continues for about 200 m before the boundary swings to the east and follows Wombat Road for some distance. I parked off the edge of the road about 200 m past the Park sign and again set up the ZS6BKW with a line over a tree branch, with the antenna connected to the radio in the car.

First in the log at 0456Z was Mike VK6MB/3 in VKFF-0754 on 40 m SSB. I moved a few kHz away and started calling. Next was Rob VK4AAC/3 in VKFF-0549. By 0509Z I had 17 in the log, all on 40 m SSB. I move d down to 80 m SSB to work Geoff VK3SQ for contact number 18. I again closed down and packed up, driving to the road junction with Wombat Road and Kirby Track.

I swung left into Kirby Track and drove NNW to re-join Mottle Range Road and continued for about 3 km to the junction with Monument Track.

Mottle Range Flora Reserve VKFF-2395

I parked and set up just around the corner on the edge of Monument Track, about 100 m in from the junction. Same set up as all the earlier activations today. Mike VK6MB/3 in VKFF-0754 was again first in the log at0540, this time on 80 m SSB. I worked three more on 80 m SSB before moving up to 40 m SSB. I worked 18 stations here on SSB and four on CW. I made a total of 26 contacts in 30 minutes. I again closed the station and packed up.

I returned to Mottle Range Road and continued in a northerly direction eventually coming out on the Bruthen-Buchan Road (C608). I had travelled close to Mount Tara VK3/VG-125, but decided against tackling the summit given the time of day. I then turned south on C608 until just beyond Rankins Road and just before the bridge over Tea Tree Creek and entered the track into the water point.

Kanni Flora Reserve VKFF-2345 Not previously activated

The water point is inside the Park boundary. I set up in the same manner as all the earlier Parks.

I switched on the radio at 0649Z on 7.144 MHz to find Greg VK4VXX/3 in VKFF-0373 for a Park to Park first up. I moved down the band a little and worked 17 contacts, including Rob VK4AAC/3 in VKFF-0549. I moved down to 80 m SSB and worked seven stations in 10 minutes for a total of 25 contacts in 32 minutes.

The sun had already set, so I quickly packed up and returned to the sealed road and headed southwest. Once back on the Princes Highway, it was a simple matter to navigate back home.

It had been a long day!

Thanks to all the Chasers/Hunters.

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