My only planned summit activation for Thursday 13th June, 2013, was Pillaworta Hill, VK5/ SW-028.
Pillaworta Hill is located about 14 kms south west of Tumby Bay on the southern Eyre Peninsula in the Koppio Range. The summit is situated on private property owned by Emmie BORTHWICK. The 1,400 hectare ‘Pillaworta’ property has been in Emie’s family for six generations. Today the farm consists of merino sheep, and crops of oats and barley.
‘Pillaworta’ station was founded by Charles Christian DUTTON during the early 1840’s. It is associated with one of the worst conflicts between the European settlers and the native aboriginals, during the pastoral pioneer days of the Eyre Peninsula. DUTTON was apparently so hampered by the aborigines, that he and four other men cleared out on the 20th June, 1842, with the intention of driving several hundred head of cattle around the top of the Gulf to the mainland. A detachment of English soldiers, under Lieutenant HUGONIN, accompanied the party for the first day, but after that they were never seen again. It is believed they were massacred by the local aborigines.
Following arriving at the property I checked in with Andrew, who is the share farmer on the property. He gave me directions on how to access the summit.
Access to the summit is via Bratten Way which runs off the Lincoln Highway at Tumby Bay. Travel west along Bratten Way up through the hills, and then turn left into Pillaworta Road and travel south. About 5 kms up the road you will see on your left a dirt road with a red ‘Fire Track’ sign. This is the track you need to take, and this will take you to the top of the summit.
Follow the dirt track leading through the paddocks all the way to the summit. Despite it being winter time, the track was in good condition. There are a few gates to travel though, before reaching the summit. I parked the car at the final gate and walked the rest of the way to the summit.
There is a trig point which had seen better days. There is also a large communications tower and an amateur repeater at the site, VK5RAC. The view from the top is terrific, particularly out to the west over the Spencer Gult towards the Yorke Peninsula.
I attached the 7m squid pole to a fence post with an octopus strap, and one end of the dipole I tied off to the trig point, and the other end to a fencepost.
My first contact was a summit to summit QSO with Ron VK3AFW who was portable on the top of Mount Lofty, VK5/ SE-005. Ron had a good strong signal over onto the Eyre Peninsula (5/8 both ways), and was braving the elements on the top of Mt Lofty where it was windy & wet.
I decided to have a quick listen on 20m SSB, and managed to work two DX stations: Ralph H44IOTA and Roger ON7TQ. I also spoke with Ed VK2JI; Peter VK3PF, Barrie VK2ABD; & Ray VK4NH. During the afternoons, I always try to get onto 20m to work some of the more distant VK fellas, and hopefully a little bit of DX.
By the end of the afternoon I had worked a total of 28 stations.
I packed up my gear and headed to Port Lincoln. On the way I stopped off at the service station/take away food place at North Shields. Had one of the best hamburgers and chips, I’ve had in a long time. Well worth a visit if you’re down that way and feeling hungry.
Stations worked were:- Ron VK3AFW/p (SOTA); Bill VK5MBD; Ernie VK3DET; Col VK5HCF; Nev VK5WG; Rik VK3KAN/m; Peter VK3FPSR; Brian VK5FMID; John VK5BJE; Ed VK2JI; John VK5FTCT; Jim VK5KOB; David VK5UG; Marshall VK3MRG; Peter VK1IRC; Peter VK3PF; Bernard VK3AMB; Peter VK3BSF; Paul VK7CC; Tony VK3CAT/m; Doug VK3FJAE; Ian VK5CZ; Ed VK2JI (20m); Peter VK3PF (20m); Ralph H44IOTA (20m); Roger ON7TQ (20m); Barrie VK2ABD (20m); & Ray VK4NH (20m).
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Below is a video of my activation which I have placed on You Tube.