Pillaworta Hill, VK5/ SW-028

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.

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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).

More information on PeakClimbs…..


Below is a video of my activation which I have placed on You Tube.

Franklin Harbour Conservation Park

On the way down to Port Lincoln on Thursday 13th June, 2013, I stopped off at the Franklin Harbour Conservation Park, just outside of Cowell.

Cowell is a beautiful little coastal town on the Franklin Harbour on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula.  It is about 111 kms south of Whyalla, and about 493 kms from Adelaide.  Cowell is the centre of an agricultural district, farming, wheat, and sheep.  Fishing and oyster farming are also important industries of the area.


I set up very close to the salt water of Spencer Gulf on the road to Point Gibbon.  The weather was quite pleasant.  Plenty of blue sky, with a strong breeze off the ocean.  I nestled up behind some low lying bushes to get a break from the wind.


I worked a total of 7 stations on 40m SSB.

The following stations were worked:- David VK5UG; Bill VK5MBD; John VK5FTCT; Col VK5HCF; Ron VK3AFW/m; Brian VK5FMID; & Nev VK5WG.

Carappee Hill Conservation Park

I had intended on activating Carapee Hill, VK5/ -001 during the afternoon of Wednesday, 12th June, 2013.  But the weather was not kind, so I wasn’t keen on climbing to the top and getting rained out.  So I did activate the Carapee Hill Conservation Park.


The park was established in 1973, and covers an area of about 920 hectares.  Carappee Hill, which rises to a height of 495 metres above sea level, covers 63 % of the Conservation Park.  The hill is the highest point on the Eyre Peninsula and comprises of pre Cambrian rock.  The park had been a Water Conservation Reserve since 1955, and prior to this was leased for grazing purposes.

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I worked a total of 9 stations on 40m SSB.

The following stations were worked:- VK3FDJT; Craig VK5LI; John VK5FMJC; Trevor VK5ATW; Nev VK5WG; Ian VK5CZ; Bill VK5MBD; David VK5KC; and Brian VK5ALZ.

I will be back here on my next trip to the Eyre Peninsula, to activate the summit.

Carprie Puntha Hill, VK5/ SW-003

My first activation for Wednesday, 12th June, 2013, was Carprie Puntha Hill, VK5/ SW-003.

I had to leave earlier than planned this morning, due to staying att Whyalla overnight and not at Iron Knob.  Unfortunately there was just so much rain that the 6km road out to my friend’s station’ Cooyerdoo’ at Iron Knob was impassable.

Carprie Puntha is aboriginal for ‘plenty of water’, and this was certainly the case for the Eyre Peninsula in the past few days.   The summit is located on private property owned by Brian PETERS.  Access to the summit is through paddocks off the northern side of Hicks Road.


The weather was absolutely lousy this morning.  Very wet and windy.  Many of the local dirt roads in the area were impassable in a 2wd vehicle.  It was a very slow drive out to Brian’s property.  There is normally an excellent view from the top of the summit, but the rain and the fog put pay to that.


I set up the 7m squid pole using some moss rocks as support at the base, and tied the ends of the dipole off to the shrubs on the top of the summit.  Because the weather was so terrible, I didn’t really plan hanging around for long.  I had to ‘hide’ underneath some trees and shrubs to get out of the showers.  Must invest in one of those ‘bothie’ bags.  But I had plenty of ‘Chasers’ so I stayed around for the UTC rollover.


I ended up with a total of 23 QSO’s on 40m SSB.

Stations worked before the UTC rollover were:- David VK3VDL/m; Ron VK3AFW/m; Ed VK2JI; David VK5KC; Ernie VK3DET; Shaun VK5FAKV; Ian VK5CZ; Peter VK3PF; Col VK5HCF; Fred VK3JM; Nick VK3ANL; John VK5BJE; David VK5LSB; & Peter VK3FPSR.

Stations worked after the UTC rollover were:- Peeter VK3FPSR; Fred VK3JM; Ed VK2JI; Ron VK3AFW/m; Peter VK3PF; Col VK5HCF; David VK5KC; David VK5LSB; and Ian VK5CZ.

More information can be found on PeakClimbs at…..


Below is a video I compiled of the activation which I have placed on You Tube.

Darke Range Conservation Park

After activating the Darke Peak summit, I drove around the corner to the Darke Range Conservation Park, and activated the park as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.

The Darke Peak summit is located within the Darke Range, but not within the Darke Range Conservation Park.  The mountain range, summit, town, and Conservation Park take their name from the exploirer John Charles Darke, who was injured in a spear attack by Aborigines in the vicinity of the summit on the 24th October, 1844.  He died the next day and was buried at the foot of the large peak.


The Conservation Park is contained within the central section of the Darke Range, a few kms from the town of Darke Peak.  The hotel here is well worth popping in and having a feed or a beer.


I set up for about half an hour and worked 8 stations in VK2, VK3, & VK5, on 40m SSB.

The following stations were worked:- Peter VK2NEO; David VK5KC; Roy VK5NRG; Matt VK3FORD/m; Andrew VK3FABE; John VK5BJE; Ted VK5KBM; and Bill VK5MBD.

Darke Peak, VK5/ SW-006

My 2nd summit for Tuesday 11th June, 2013, was Darke Range, VK5/ SW-006.

The Darke Range summit is situated in the Darke Range, in close proximity to the little town of Darke Peak, and about 53 kms south of Kimba.


The town takes its name from the explorer John Charles Darke, who was injured in a spear attack by Aborigines in the vicinity of the peak on 24 October 1844.  He died the next day and was buried at the foot of the large peak.  His grave can be located on the western side of the Darke Range.  In 1910, the South Australian State Government erected a memorial at the site.

Governor Grey expressed a wish that some landform in the region of the grave should be named to honour him.  In 1865 surveyor Thomas Evans who was performing a trigonometrical survey of the Gawler Ranges, and named the 1,564 ft (477 m) high mount, ‘Darke’s Peak’.


I gained access to the summit via the southern side.  There is a track that will take you al the way to the summit, but this is for 4wd only, so I drove as far as I could and then walked the rest of the way.  It is quite a few kms to the actual summit.


Fortunately the weather held off for me and I ended up with 22 QSO’s.  The majority of these were on 40m SSB, but I did work some stations on 20m SSB, including some DX: England, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Hawaii.  They were a bit of a struggle, but nether the less, they are in the log.

Stations worked were:- Peter VK3PF; Rod VK5FTTC; Ernie VK3DET; Peter VK3FPSR; Bill VK5MBD; John VK2YW; Nev VK5WG; Grant VK5VGC; Roger VK5NWE; Ian VK1DI/3; John VK5FTCT; Dale VK5DC; Andrew VK5ARP; Keith VK5FEKH; Paul VK2HMV; Don G0RQL; Rob ZL1RD; William FO5JV; Owen ZL2GLG; Ray VK4NH; Clem VK4XCS; and Jamie KH6KW.

More information on PeakClimbs…..


Below is a video I put together of the activation, which I have placed on You Tube.

Caralue Bluff, VK5/ SW-002

Caralue Bluff, VK5/ SW-002, was my first proposed SOTA activation for Tuesday, 11th June, 2013.


Caralue Bluff is 486 metres above sea level, and is worth 1 point.  It is situated about 27kms west of the town of Kimba.

This was a real hit and run activation for me, as the weather during the morning was atrocious.  I almost didn’t make it out of ‘Cooyerdoo’ at Iron Knob because of the weather.  The upper Eyre Peninsula had torrential rain overnight and it continued until mid morning.  And when it did stop raining, the sunny breaks only lasted a short period of time.

Fortunately there is a track which takes you up to the summit.  So for the first time it was get 4 contacts and get out quick.

There is a communications tower and also a trig point at the top.

The following stations were worked:- David VK5KC; Peter VK3FPSR; John VK2YW; Peter VK3PF; Roger VK5NWE; Ernie VK3DET; and John VK5MG.

For more information, see PeakClimbs at…..