Bullock Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0873

My final activation for Saturday and day one of the inaugural VKFF Activation Weekend was the Bullock Hill Conservation Park, VKFF-0873, which is situated near Ashbourne on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 21.46.58

Above:- Map showing the location of the Bullock Hill Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Bullock Hill was my third park of the day that I had activated previously as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, but not as part of the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  So this was going to be my third unique WWFF park for the day.

For more information on my previous activations at Bullock Hill, please see my previous posts at…..

https://vk5pas.org/2014/04/12/bullock-hill-conservation-park/

https://vk5pas.org/2015/01/20/bullock-hill-conservation-park-2/

Bullock Hill Conservation Park is quite a new park.  It was only proclaimed on the 20th January 2014.  It consists of 200 hectares of undulating countryside, mainly consisting of Pink and Cup gum, with a dense under storey of acacia and mixed heath.  Most of the scrub is located in the upper section of the park on the western side.

I accessed the park via Wattle Flat Road.  There is a small area where you can park your car.  Be careful not to block the gate for the farmer who property is on the eastern side of the park.  I unloaded the 4WD and then climbed through the fence to gain access to the park.  I set up my little fold up table and deck chair under the shade of a small tree.  Again, for this activation I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20m/40m linked dipole.  I secured the 7 m squid pole to the park sign, using some octopus straps.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 21.46.21

Above:- Map showing my operating spot, in the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Prior to calling CQ I tuned to 7.135 and worked Greg VK5GJ in the nearby Cox Scrub Conservation Park, VKFF-0824 (5/7 both ways).  I then headed up to 7.144 and called CQ.  My first responder was another park to park contact.  It was Gerald VK2IO who was portable in the Botany Bay National Park, VKFF-0048.  This was followed by Allen VK3HRA who was activating the Creswick Regional Park VKFF-0964.  And then another park to park, this time with Marcus VK3TST/2 who was in the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, VKFF-0554.  All signals were very good, but there were quite severe static crashes present on the band.

A few calls later I spoke with Peter VK3YE who was operating a kite antenna on the beach.  The antenna consisted of 30 metres of wire.  Peter was a good strong 5/8 signal.  Peter never ever ceases to amaze me with what he can do with QRP, and his home brew transceivers and antennas.  A few QSOs later I spoke with Tim VK3MTB who was activating the Morwell National Park VKFF-0626, and this was followed by Ian VK5CZ who was in the Spring Gully Conservation Park, VKFF-0816, near Clare in the Mid North of South Australia.

I had a good steady flow of callers and all signals were exceptionally good.  I also managed another two park to park contacts.  They were with Peter VK3ZPF who was activating the Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-033, and Gary VK5FGRY who was in the Morialta Conservation Park, VKFF-0783, in the Adelaide Hills.

I now had a total of 27 contacts in the log and then saw a spot on parksnpeaks for Greg VK8AR who was activating the West McDonnell National Park, VKFF-0532, near Alice Springs.  So I quickly lowered the squid pole and removed the links and headed off to 14.280 on 20m.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear Greg coming in with a nice signal.  He had quite a few callers, but I patiently waited and made contact with him in a short period of time.

I then went to 14.225 and started calling CQ and this was answered by Jess VK6JES in Geraldton in Western Australia with a strong 5/8 signal.  About four contacts later I was called by Alex VK2HAS who was operating portable in an Armoured Personnel Carrier, with a 1/2 wave vertical.  I have worked Alex from this situation before.  It is certainly a very unique contact.

IMG_0650B

My first DX contact on 20m was with Max IK1GPG who had a good 5/7 signal on the long path.  This was followed shortly afterwards by regular park hunters, Xaver DK4RM and Uwe DL2ND in Germany.  Not long after I saw a 4WD pull up in the carpark area behind my 4WD.  It had the obvious amateur antenna fitted to it, but I wasn’t entirely sure of who my unexpected visitor was.  It turned out to be Greg VK5GJ, who had completed his activation at the nearby Cox Scub Conservation Park, and had called in to say hello.  I took a break from the radio to say gday to Greg.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 23.06.17

I returned to the radio about 15 minutes later, but unfortunately somebody else had jumped on to 14.225.  So I headed to 14.210 and called CQ and this was answered by David ZL1UA in Auckland with a strong 5/8 signal.  This was followed by Luc ON4BB and then Steve VK4QQ.  But sadly, an Italian station, an IT9, came up on the frequency and started calling CQ.  He was just too strong to compete with, so I decided to QSY.

Greg decided to head home at this point, so I headed up to 14.310 and started calling CQ again.  This was responded to by Don VK3MCK and then my good friends Danny ON4VT and Swa ON5SWA in Belgium. Danny was 5/6 and Swa was a little weaker at 5/5.  They were both hearing me around the 4/2-4/4 mark.  I worked just 2 more European stations: Hinko S52KM in Slovenia, and Luciano I5FLN.  The long path propagation seemed to just fall away at that point.

So I headed back to 40m and called CQ on 7.135.  It was now around 5.15 p.m.  My first taker was Peter VK3YE, who was still on the beach with his kite antenna, running just 1/2 watt.  His signal had come up even stronger, as had mine at Peter’s end.  My second contact was with Jonathan who was activating the Blackwood River National Park VKFF-0633.   It was a little bit of a struggle with Jonathan due to the static crashes, but I missed very little of our QSO.  This was followed by Rob VK4FFAB who was portable in the Crows Nest National Park VKFF-0121.  Rob was an excellent 5/9 signal.  But Rob was struggling with even stronger static crashes than me, and gave me a 4/9 signal report.

I had a steady flow of callers from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK6, when I was rather unexpectedly called by Mark AF6TC in California with a very strong 5/9 plus signal.  Mark reciprocated with a 5/9 for me.  Not long after I was called by John ZL2TUD in Wellington, and then Neil K6KWI in Santa Ana in California.  I was extremely pleased to work a second USA station on 40m.

I worked a further 27 stations on 40m, including VK3YSA running just 4 watts from Mount Disappointment, Mal VK5MJ who was maritime mobile on the Murray River, and Chris ZL2UKT in Auckland.

It was starting to get quite cool, and the local time was now just after 6.30 p.m.  I was also getting hammered by some local VK3’s talking to the USA on 7.136, so I thought it was a good time to pull the plug on what had been a great day.  I had a total of 102 contacts in the log from Bullock Hill, including a further 15 park to park contacts.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5GJ/p (Cox Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0824)
  2. VK2IO/p (Botany Bay National Park VKFF-0048)
  3. VK3HRA/p (Creswick Regional Park VKFF-0964)
  4. VK3TST/2 (Murrumbidgee Valley National Park VKFF-0554)
  5. VK5AV
  6. VK3YE/p
  7. VK5FMID
  8. VK3MTB/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  9. VK5CZ/p (Spring Gully Conservation Park, VKFF-0816)
  10. VK1AT/3
  11. VK3PMG/m
  12. VK5NFT
  13. VK5FANA
  14. VK3ZPF/p (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)
  15. VK3AV
  16. VK3OF
  17. VK7FGGT
  18. VK3ANL
  19. VK3FQSO
  20. VK5EE
  21. VK1MTS
  22. VK3PF
  23. VK7VW
  24. VK3FLCS
  25. VK3DAC
  26. VK5FGRY/p (Morialta Conservation Park, VKFF-0783)
  27. VK1MA
  28. VK5FO/p (Ramco Point Conservation Park VKFF-0930)
  29. VK3ZPF/p (Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750)
  30. VK8AR/p (West Macdonnell National Park VKFF-0532)
  31. VK3YE/p
  32. VK6JON/p (Blackwood River National Park VKFF-0633)
  33. VK4FFAB/p (Crows Nest National Park VKFF-0121)
  34. VK4FBMW
  35. VK3TKK
  36. VK3HN
  37. VK2PKT
  38. VK6HRC
  39. VK3ZZS/2
  40. VK2OD
  41. VK2NEO
  42. AF6TC
  43. VK3MLU
  44. VK7LCW
  45. VK3ALZ
  46. VK3FJIM
  47. VK3GMC
  48. ZL2TUD
  49. VK6XC
  50. VK3RU
  51. K6KWI
  52. VK3HRA
  53. VK3MCD
  54. VK3YSA/p
  55. VK5HYZ
  56. VK4RF
  57. VK4HA
  58. VK5MJ/mm
  59. VK3etC
  60. VK7VEK
  61. VK4AJT
  62. VK6FBMW
  63. VK2FWAY
  64. VK6NU/p (Wandoo National Park VKFF-0656)
  65. VK5FSPJ/p
  66. VK5KLV
  67. VK2VKB
  68. VK5FVSV
  69. VK3THX
  70. VK3NBL
  71. VK2STO
  72. VK2FOUZ
  73. ZL2UKT
  74. VK5ZX
  75. VK2ZMT
  76. VK3FENV
  77. VK1NS
  78. VK2TG/m

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK8AR/p (West Macdonnell National Park, VKFF-0532)
  2. VK6JES
  3. VK3MRH
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK2HAS/p
  7. IK1GPG
  8. VK6SN
  9. VK6MSC
  10. VK2LEE
  11. DK4RM
  12. DL2ND
  13. IZ4RCQ
  14. VK6LOL
  15. VK2FR
  16. ZL1UA
  17. ON4BB
  18. VK4QQ
  19. EA5CTE
  20. VK3MCK
  21. ON4VT
  22. ON5SWA
  23. S52KM
  24. I5FLN

 

Scott Conservation Park, VKFF-0934

My second park for Saturday 29th November 2015 was the Scott Conservation Park, VKFF-0934, which is situated north west of Currency Creek on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  It is about 75 km south of Adelaide.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 21.46.58

Above:- Map showing the location of Scott Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

This was another park that I had activated previously as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, but prior to it being added to the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  For more information on my previous activation back in December 2013, please see my previous post at…..

https://vk5pas.org/2013/12/27/scott-conservation-park/

After leaving Mount Magnificent I travelled along the Enterprise Road and then turned left onto Nangkita Road, passing through the little town of Nagkita.  I then turned right onto Deep Creek Road and then left onto Gould Road.  There is a sign for the park at this intersection.

DSC_0454

Scott Conservation Park is about 210 hectares in size.  It consists of Blue and Pink gum woodlands.  The scrub here is very thick.  That is compared to the cleared land on each side of the park.  The park is home to a large amount of native wildlife including Western Grey Kangaroos, Ringtail Possums and Western Pygmy-possums.  A number of endangered birds are also located in the park including the Chestnut-rumped Heathwren and the Diamond Firetail finch.

There is a small carpark on Gould Road on the northern side of the park.  This appears to be the only way to access the park, as it appears that private land is situated on the western, eastern and southern side of the park.  I parked the 4WD and walked a short distance down a fire access track.  There is a locked gate so you cannot drive down the track.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 21.46.21

Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the northern section of the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I set up my fold up table and deck chair, and the Yaesu FT-857d, and my 20m/40m linked dipole.  I was a little behind schedule but was up and ready to go by 0235 UTC (11.05 a.m. South Australian local time).  I had the transceiver on 14.310 when I turned it on and heard Gerard VK2IO calling CQ from a park.  But I still had not erected the 7 metre telescopic squid pole.  So I quickly put it in place and tied the ends of the dipole to some nearby trees, hoping to get Gerard before he left the frequency.  Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough.  I gave Gerard a call, but he had gone.

So I headed for 40m and started calling CQ on 7.145.  My first taker there was Stef VK5HSX who was portable in the Murray Sunset National Park, VKFF-0373.  Stef had a very strong 5/9 signal coming in from western Victoria.  My next caller was park regular Rex VK3OF, followed by another park stalwart Peter VK3TKK.  My fourth contact was with Greg VK5ZGY in the Nene Valley Conservation Park, VKFF-0801.

The 40m band was in good shape, with strong signals coming in from VK2, VK3, and VK5.  It wasn’t long before I had a number of other park contacts in the log.  They included:-

  • Gerard VK2IO in the Sydney Harbour National Park, VKFF-0473
  • Cliff VK2NP in the Sea Acres National Park, VKFF-0606
  • Ian VK1DI in the Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve VKFF-0841
  • Greg VK5GJ in the Kyeema Conservation Park VKFF-0826
  • Rob VK4AAC/5 in the Little Dip Conservation Park VKFF-0904
  • Les VK5KLV in the Whyalla Conservation Park, VKFF-0808
  • Pat VK5HAE in the Whyalla Conservation Park, VKFF-0808
  • Adrian VK5FANA in the Bird Islands Conservation Park, VKFF-0871
  • Tony VK3VTH in the Cobram Regional Park, VKFF-0961
  • Amanda VK3FQSO in the Kooyoora State Park VKFF-0729
  • Allen VK3HRA in the Hepburn Regional Park, VKFF-0968

I also had some good QRP contacts.  These included Ian VK5CZ running 5 watts from the Clare Valley (5/9 both ways), and Tom VK5NFT, also running 5 watts from Millicent in the South East (5/7 sent and 5/9 received).  Mal VK5MJ also called in from his boat on the Murray River near Lyrup, in the Riverland region of South Australia.

When things got a little quiet, I had a listen around the band and found Compton VK2HRX on SOTA peak, Mount Canobolas VK2/ CT-001, south west of Orange in New South Wales.  Although Compton was quite weak, we managed a contact (4/1 both ways).

I then returned back higher up the band to 7.144 and called CQ again.  This time my CQ call was answered by Peter VK5APR operating from the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio shack at Blackwood.  Again it wasn’t long before I had some more park to park contacts in the log.  This time they were:-

  • Tom VK5EE in the Penambol Conservation Park, VKFF-0802
  • Greg VK5ZGY in the Canunda National Park, VKFF-0075
  • Col VK5HCF in the Penambol Conservation Park, VKFF-0802
  • Gary VK5FGRY in the Morialta Conservation Park, VKFF-0783

When things slowed down again I seized the opportunity of looking across the band and I soon found Peter VK3ZPF on 7.090 calling CQ from the Point Nepean National Park, VKFF-0628 (5/9 both ways).  Next up was Mick VK3PMG on 7.120 calling CQ from the Gunbower National Park, VKFF-0740 (5/8 both ways).

I then headed off to 20m and started calling CQ on 14.310.  This was answered by Brett VK2VW with a very strong 5/9 signal.  And guess who was next.  Yes, the ever  reliable and ever so keen, Rick VK4RF/VK4HA. who was also 5/9.  I worked a further 4 stations on 20m, making my total contacts 49.

It was then back to 40m briefly to work Ray VK3YAR on a SOTA peak, Mount Bealiba VK3/ VN-026, and then I tried my luck on 15m.  It was down with the 20m/40m linked dipole, which I didn’t pack away, but rather, layed on the ground.  And up with the 15m dipole.  I called CQ on 21.244 and again, my first taker was Brett VK2VW with a good 5/7 signal (5/5 received).  And next, much to my surprise, was Rob VK4FFAB portable in the Geham National Park VKFF-0679 with a good 5/4 signal (5/5 received).  Rob had been encouraging me to use 15m a bit more often, so it was a pleasure to get him in the log.  I worked a further 5 stations on 15m, from VK2, VK4, and Vk6.  This included Gerald VK2HBG in the Bimberamala National Park VKFF-0032.

I then packed away the 15m dipole and re-erected the linked dipole and worked Tony VK3VTH on 14.310, who was portable in the Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961.

I was pushing it a bit for time, so I went back to 40m for a short period and spoke with Giles VK5GK in the Mount George Conservation Park, VKFF-0784.  This was Giles first ever park activation, so it was a pleasure to speak with Giles.  I then worked Ian VK5CZ in the Spring Gully Conservation Park, VKFF-0816, and then Greg VK5GJ in the Cox Scrub Conservation Park, VKFF-0824.

I decided to call CQ one last time on 7.135 and Joe VK3YSP responded.  Joe was operating portable from the Dromana Pier with his wife Julie VK3YSP.  My final contact was with Keith VK2PKT, who has recently become a regular park hunter.

So after about 2 and 1/2 hours in the park I had a total of 66 contacts in the log, including another 26 park to park contacts.  This was another great activation, which was watched on by the little fella below, a Shingleback lizard, who was sunning himself only a few metres away from where I was operating.  Fortunately I did not see any snakes.

DSC_0466.jpg

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5HSX/p (Murray Sunset National Park VKFF-0373)
  2. VK3OF
  3. VK3TKK
  4. VK5ZGY/p (Nene Valley Conservation Park VKFF-0801)
  5. VK5ZTS
  6. VK5CZ
  7. VK5HYZ
  8. VK5QI/m
  9. VK3NBV
  10. VK5FMID
  11. VK5KX
  12. VK2IO/p (Sydney Harbour National Park VKFF-0473)
  13. VK5FO/m
  14. VK2NP/p (Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606)
  15. VK1DI/p (Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve VKFF-0841)
  16. VK3PMG/m
  17. VK5GJ/p (Kyeema Conservation Park VKFF-0826)
  18. VK4AAC/5 (Little Dip Conservation Park, VKFF-0904)
  19. VK5KLV/p (Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808)
  20. Pat VK5HAE/p (Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808)
  21. VK5FANA/p (Bird Islands Conservation Park VKFF-0871)
  22. VK5BW
  23. VK3VTH/p (Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961)
  24. VK3FQSO/p (Kooyoora State Park VKFF-0729)
  25. VK3HRA/p (Hepburn Regional Park VKFF-0968)
  26. VK5AVQ
  27. VK5MJ/mm
  28. VK3DBP
  29. VK5NFT
  30. VK5AV
  31. VK5PL
  32. VK5TR
  33. VK2HRX/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-001)
  34. VK5APR
  35. VK3AKK
  36. VK5EE/p (Penambol Conservation Park VKFF-0802)
  37. VK5ZGY/p (Canunda National Park VKFF-0075)
  38. VK5HCF/p (Penambol Conservation Park VKFF-0802)
  39. VK5MRE
  40. VK5FGRY/p (Morialta Conservation Park VKFF-0783)
  41. VK3PF
  42. VK3ZPF/p (Point Nepean National Park VKFF-0628)
  43. VK3PMG/p (Gunbower National Park VKFF-0740)
  44. VK3YAR/p (SOTA VK3/ VN-026)
  45. VK5GK/p (Mount George Conservation Park VKFF-0784)
  46. VK5CZ/p (Spring Gully Conservation Park VKFF-0816)
  47. VK5GJ/p (Cox Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0824)
  48. VK3YSP/p
  49. VK3FOWL/p
  50. VK2PKT

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2VW
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. VK7CW
  5. VK2UH
  6. VK3PAT
  7. VK3HMV
  8. VK3VTH/p (Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961)

The following stations were worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2VW
  2. VK4FFAB/p (Geham National Park VKFF-0679)
  3. VK4RF
  4. VK4HA
  5. VK2PH
  6. VK2HBG/p (Bimberamala National Park VKFF-0032)
  7. VK4ZD
  8. VK6MJP

Mount Magnificent Conservation Park VKFF-0916

The weekend of Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November, 2015, saw the inaugural VKFF Activation Weekend.  I had planned on activating 5 Conservation Parks over the weekend: three on Saturday, and then two on Sunday.  My first activation for Saturday morning was the Mount Magnificent Conservation Park, VKFF-0916, which is about 66 km south of Adelaide, on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Screenshot 2015-12-12 16.19.36

Above:- Map showing the location of the Mount Magnifient CP.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.  

I have activated Mount Magnificent twice before: back in July 2013, and December 2014.  But these activations were prior to the park being placed on the VKFF list for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  So this was to be a unique VKFF park activation for me, and I was hoping to pick up the required 44 contacts to qualify the park.

For details on my previous activations, and full information on the park, please see my previous posts at…..

https://vk5pas.org/2013/07/26/mount-magnificent-conservation-park/

https://vk5pas.org/2014/12/21/mount-magnificent-conservation-park-2/

After leaving home early in the morning I headed out through Echunga and Meadows, and then on to Prospect Hill.  I then travelled south on Blackfellows Creek Road, passing the eastern boundary of the Kyeema Conservation Park.    This is a nice high point and there are some very nice views out to the west of the surrounding countryside which comprises natural scrub, cleared farming land, and pine forest.

I soon reached the western boundary of the park.  I had not activated from this side of the park previously.  My last two activations had been from the eastern side, off Mount Magnificent Road.  So I thought it was worth a look at a different operating spot.

Sadly, most of this section of the park was burnt out.  I later learnt that a fire had impacted on the park earlier in November.  The fire had originally started at nearby Yundi and had burnt out about 70 hectares of land, and was finally brought under control by about 65 firefighters and 17 appliances, including water bombing aircraft.

I continued south on Blackfellows Creek Road until I reached the south western corner of the park.  There was a little access track following the southern boundary of the park, and this is where I drove along.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 16.19.09

Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the Mount Magnifient CP.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.  

After a few hundred metres I reached a point where I could not go any further as the track came to an abrupt halt.  But this looked like an ideal place to set up and operate from.  It wasn’t until I had almost set up that I noticed some yellow tape around some trees at the top of an embankment.  I then put two and two together and realised that this was the site of the illegal dumping of some horses here in the conservation park which had come to light in May earlier in the year.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/dumped-dead-horses-at-mt-magnificent-conservation-park-adelaide-trainer-pleads-guilty/story-fni6uo1m-1227338855928

Although a little off putting I continued to set up.  I also had a view up to the Mount Magnificent summit.  The trig point of the summit is actually just outside of the conservation park boundary.  Sadly, the summit does not qualify for the Summits on the Air program as it does not have sufficient prominence.  However, there are superb views from up there of the surrounding countryside.

I used the boundary fence to secure my 7 metre telescopic squid pole and then secured the legs of the 20m/40m linked dipole to the fence.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and 40 watts for this activation.  I was all set up and ready to go by 2230 UTC (9.00 a.m. South Australian local time).

After turning on the radio, I found that 7.144 was already occupied, so I headed down to 7.139 and started calling CQ.  My CQ call was answered by Ian VK1DI who was operating portable from Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve, VKFF-0855.  Ian had a good strong 5/8 signal.  Next up was Ron VK3MRH, followed by Peter VK3PF and then Fred VK3DAC, all of whom had good strong signals coming out of Victoria.

I was then called by two more park activators.  First up was Rob VK4FFAB operating portable from Crows Nest National Park VKFF-0121, with a good 5/5 signal (5/6 received).  I was really pleased to be able to get Rob in the log on 40m.  Next up was Nick VK3ANL operating portable from Wandong Regional Park VKFF-0979, north of Melbourne.  A few calls later I was called by Mick VK3PMG who was operating portable from the Kerang Regional Park, VKFF-0970.  Mick had a good strong 5/8 signal to Mount Magnificent.  It was really pleasing to see so many park activators out and about.

I had quite a steady flow of callers from all across Australia (VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6, and VK7).  But there was a lot of QSB on the band and many of the park hunters were mentioning that they were experiencing fading signals.  Also noticeable was the lack of VK5’s.  It was clear that close in propagation was not working, which was a real shame.

My next park to park contact was about 14 contacts later.  It was Rob VK4FFAB who had now moved in to the Hampton National Park VKFF-0683.  A few QSOs later I was called by Warren VK3BYD in the Jarvis Creek Plateau Regional Park VKFF-0969.

And then as though someone had turned on a switch, about 4 QSOs later, I was called by Col VK5HCF at Mount Gambier with a weak but readable 5/3 signal.  Col informed me that he could not hear me at all a little earlier.  It was great that I was finally hearing a VK5.  And then two QSOs later, Brian VK5FMID, also in Mount Gambier, gave me a shout.  Brian had a strong 5/8 signal.

A few QSOs’ later, David VK5AAH who was activating the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-0782, gave me a shout.  David was very weak (3/3), but at least I was hearing a VK5 park activator.  David was hearing me a little better, than me him, and gave me a 5/3 signal report.

A few QSOs later I had my second VK5 Park activator in the log.  It was Stef VK5HSX who was activating the Murray River National Park, VKFF-0372.  Stef was very weak (5/1) but was very workable.  It appeared as though the 40m band was improving a little for the close in propagation.  Next up was Greg VK5GJ who almost lifted the transceiver up off the table.  Greg was operating portable from the nearby Kyeema Conservation Park, VKFF-0826.  And the park to park activity wasn’t finished.  I was also called by Amanda VK3FQSO who was operating from the Kara Kara Conservation Park, VKFF-0629 (5/5 both ways).

When things slowed down a little, I took the opportunity of tuning across the band.  I was hoping to find a few more park activators.  And it wasn’t long before I had found my mate Gerald VK2HBG on 7.095, who was activating the Bimberamala Nationa Park, VKFF-0032 (5/5 both ways).  Next was Nigel VK5NIG and Stuart VK5STU who were on 7.110, operating portable from Sandy Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-0933.  Although they were very weak (5/1), they were very workable, as there was no man made noise in either of our parks.

I then found Rob VK4AAC/5 on 7.115.  Rob was in the Little Dip Conservation Park, VKFF-0904 (5/5 sent and 4/3 received).  I was so pleased that propagation had opened up a little around VK5.  Next, I worked Adrian VK5FANA on 7.125, who was in the Bird Islands Conservation Park VKFF-0871 on the Yorke Peninsula, followed by Tony VK3VTH on 7.144, who was activating the Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978 (5/7 sent and 5/8 received).  I then found Ray VK3YAR on 7.090 who was operating from SOTA peak, Mount Moliagul, VK3/ VN-024, west of Bendigo.

After working Ray I headed to 7.100 and called CQ.  This was answered by John VK3FCAN, and then Peter VK3PF, followed by Alan VK3LSD, who I was struggling with a little.  Alan had a very severe hum on his transmission and it made reception quite difficult.  A few contacts later, I was called by Les VK5KLV operating from the Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808.  Les had a very strong 5/9 signal coming in from the north of the State.  Unfortunately I started experiencing QRM from some VK6’s who were very closeby, so if I missed any low down callers, I apologise.

It wasn’t long before, I had another park to park contact.  This time it was Gerard VK2IO, who called in from the Sydney Harbour National Park, VKFF-0473.  Gerald’s signal was down a little (4/3) but we managed a successful contact (4/5 received).  Immediately after, Cliff VK2NP called me.  Cliff was activating the Sea Acres National Park, VKFF-0606, near Port Macquarie (5/3 both ways).  Two contacts later, I spoke with Greg VK5ZGY who was in the Nene Valley Conservation Park, VKFF-0801 in the South East of South Australia.  Greg had a strong 5/8 signal, so it was clear the band was improving.  And then finally, I was called by David VK5PL operating portable in the Warren Conservation Park, VKFF-0941 (5/3 sent and 5/5 received).

Time was getting on, so I headed to 20m and called CQ on 14.310.  This was answered by Fred VK3DAC (5/1 both ways), followed by John VK2FR, and then Robert VK2XXM.  But that was the end of the park hunters despite many CQ calls.  I tuned across the band and heard Gary VK8BN calling CQ from Darwin.  We had a good chat, as Gary was a good strong 5/9 and he was hearing me well (5/5).  At the end of my QSO with Gary, Geoff VK3SQ asked me to QSY down, which I did and placed Geoff in the log.

I then tried my luck on 15m.  I packed away the 20m/40m linked dipole and erected the 15m dipole.  I called CQ on 15m and this was answered by Geoff VK3SQ who had followed me up.  Geoff had a strong 5/8 signal on 15m.  This was followed by John VK2FR (5/9 both ways), who had also followed me up, and then Cleeve VK2MOR.  Rob VK4FFAB then called in from Hampton National Park, VKFF-0683.  Rob was not strong (4/1) but was very workable.  My final contact on 15m, and the final contact for the activation was with Kyoyu JA8RJE in Japan.

I packed up and headed off to my second activation of the day, the Scott Conservation Park.  I was very pleased, with a total of 75 contacts in the log, including 24 park to park contacts.  What an activation!  And what a great way to start the VKFF Activation Weekend.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1DI/p (Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve VKFF-0855)
  2. VK3MRH
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK3DAC
  5. VK4FFAB/p (Crows Nest National Park VKFF-0121)
  6. VK3ANL/p (Wandong Regional Park VKFF-09979)
  7. VK3SL
  8. VK3PMG/p (Kerang Regional Park, VKFF-0970)
  9. VK7MK
  10. VK2MOR
  11. VK3WHO
  12. VK4CWL
  13. VK3SIM
  14. VK1MTS
  15. VK7CW
  16. VK3ZPF
  17. VK6ZZZ
  18. VK3AV
  19. VK2FBEP
  20. VK2XXM
  21. VK3FABE
  22. VK4FFAB/p (Hampton National Park VKFF-0683)
  23. VK3MDB
  24. VK1AT/3
  25. VK3BYD/p (Jarvis Creek Plateau Regional Park VKFF-0969)
  26. VK3OHM
  27. VK1MA
  28. VK7VKV
  29. VK5HCF
  30. VK3HRA
  31. VK5FMID
  32. VK2CPC
  33. VK5AAH/p (Mark Oliphant Conservation Park VKFF-0782)
  34. VK2FADV
  35. VK5HSX/p (Murray River National Park VKFF-0372)
  36. VK5GJ/p (Kyeema Conservation Park VKFF-0826)
  37. VK2AWJ
  38. VK3AJA/m
  39. VK5EE
  40. VK3FQSO/p (Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629)
  41. VK2HBG/p (Bimberamala National Park VKFF-0032)
  42. VK5NIG/p (Sandy Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0933)
  43. VK5STU/p (Sandy Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0933)
  44. VK4AAC/5 (Little Dip Conservation Park VKFF-0904)
  45. VK5FANA/p (Bird Islands Conservation Park VKFF-0871)
  46. VK3VTH/p (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  47. VK3YAR/p (SOTA VK3/ VN-024)
  48. VK3FCAN/m
  49. VK3PF
  50. VK3LSD
  51. VK2VW
  52. VK5KLV/p (Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808)
  53. VK3UT
  54. VK5FMID
  55. VK5FUZZ
  56. VK3JP
  57. VK3PAT
  58. VK5GJ/p (Kyeema Conservation Park VKFF-0826)
  59.  VK2PKT
  60. VK2IO/p (Sydney Harbour National Park VKFF-0473)
  61. VK2NP/p (Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606)
  62. VK3TKK/m
  63. VK5ZGY/p (Nene Valley Conservation Park VKFF-0801)
  64. VK5PL/p (Warren Conservation Park VKFF-0941)

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK3DAC
  2. VK2FR
  3. VK2XXM
  4. VK5GJ/p (Kyeema Conservation Park VKFF-0826)
  5. VK8BN
  6. VK3SQ

The following stations were worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK2FR
  3. VK2MOR
  4. VK4FFAB/p (Hampton National Park, VKFF-0683)
  5. JA8RJE

Little Desert National Park VKFF-0291

Our final day of our two week trip down the Great Ocean Road had arrived.  It was Friday 20th November 2015.  We had just one planned activation for the day.  That was to be the Little Desert National Park VKFF-0291.  I need just a handful of contacts to qualify the park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, as I had activating the park previously, and fallen a bit short of the 44 QSO threshold.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 14.57.30

Above:- Map showing the location of the Little Desert National Park in western Victoria.  Map courtesy of http://www.here.com

After leaving Ararat we travelled west on the Western Highway towards Stawell.  Along the way Marija tried to locate a phone number for Mick VK3PMG who lives in Stawell.  We had hoped to pop in to say a quick hello.  Unfortunately we could not find a contact number for Mick.  But we did divert into Stawell and tried at the local bakery to see if they knew Mick.  Sadly the answer was no.

So we continued on to Horsham, where we stopped for a few hours to say hi to my Uncle Jack and Aunty Dawn, and cousin Debbie.

After leaving Horsham, we continued our journey west along the Western Highway and then turned off to Dimboola.  It was from here that we would access the Little Desert National Park.  Dimboola is a little town located in the Wimmera region of Victoria.  It was originally known as ‘Nine Creeks’ and later become Dimboola in the 1860’s.  It is generally accepted that the name ‘Dimboola’ comes from the Sinhalese word ‘dimbula’ meaning Land of Figs.

We travelled south out of Dimboola, along the Horeshoe Bend Road, which follows the Wimmera River.

Little Desert National Park is situated about 375 kms from Melbourne, between the Wimmera River and the South Australian border.  The park was originally known as the Kiata Lowan Sanctuary and was created in 1955.  A total of 217 hectares was set aside for the preservation of the Malleefowl (also known as Lowan).  In 1968 the Sanctuary was increased to 945 hectares and was declared as the Little Desert National Park.  It was at this time that the Government announced that around 80,000 hectares of nearby land would be sub-divided and cleared for agriculture.  Fortunately this plan was abandoned after it was argued that in the long term, the land would be more valuable in its natural form.  And even better, an additional portion of land was added to the park, which was increased to 35,300 hectares.  The park was again increased in size in 1986 to its present, 132.000 hectares.

DSC_0410

We had soon reached Horseshoe Bend itself, in the Wimmera River.  There is no doubt as to how it came by its name, as the Wimmera bends here dramatically.

DSC_0432

Just a little further on is a turn off to the Horseshoe Bend campground area.  There are campsites here, along with flush toilets, fireplaces and picnic tables.  I have operated from here before and it’s an ideal placed to set up a portable ‘shack’.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 14.56.46

Above:- Map showing our operating spot at the eastern end of the park.  Map courtesy of www.here.com

Although there are tables and benches here, we decided to set up right alongside of the Wimmera River and under the shade of some of the mighty gum trees on the banks of the river.  It was quite a warm morning, and it was idealic sitting alongside the river.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 15.43.09

There were a few campers and picnickers in the campground, so we chose a nice quiet spot away from the crowds.

I found that 7.144 was free and I started calling CQ.  My first taker was Ron VK3MRH, who has recently taken up hunting parks.  Ron had a beautiful 5/9 signal into Little Desert.  This was followed by Rob VK4AAC/5 who was equally as strong, and then Mick VK3PMG.  I had a chat to Mick about trying to chase him down earlier and we subsequently exchanged phone numbers.  Will definitely catch up next time Mick.

It was pleasing to hear the band in great shape and there was certainly no shortage of callers, despite the fact that this was a weekday.  I had a good steady flow of callers on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7.  There were a few good QRP contacts thrown in there as well.  They included Adrian VK5FANA running 5 watts from the Yorke Peninsula (5/8 sent and 5/9 received), and Amanda VK3FQSO running just 1 watt (5/6 sent and 5/8 received).  I also worked Gary VK5FGRY who was operating from home in the Adelaide CBD with a small antenna mounted on the railing of his apartment balcony (5/3 sent and 5/5 received).

I soon had 41 contacts in the log, and traffic had slowed down a bit on air, so I took the opportunity of heading off to 20m to see if I could pick up some more callers there.  I called CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by Cliff VK2NP with a weak but very readable signal (5/3 both ways), followed by Brett VK2CW (5/7 both ways).  Next up was Rick VK4RF/VK4HA who was a solid 5/9 from Queensland.  My last contact in Little Desert was with Lee who was a good 5/7, but was struggling with me (4/1 received).

Whilst operating I had a visitor just above me.  It was a kookaburra who I am sure had come in expecting a feed.  I suspect they get fed quite a bit by the campers here at Horeshore Bend.

After an hour in the park I had a total of 46 contacts in the park.  I had qualified the park in its on right, just in this activation.  It was time to pack up the gear for a final time and head for home.  It had been a fantastic trip and I thank everyone that called in whilst I was away for the 2 weeks.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3MRH
  2. VK4AAC/5
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK2BFC
  5. VK5FMID
  6. VK3UH
  7. VK7LTD
  8. VK5FANA
  9. VK2HHA
  10. VK3ZMD
  11. VK2PKT
  12. VK3DAC
  13. VK2NP
  14. VK2VW
  15. VK2VU
  16. VK1NS
  17. VK3PF
  18. VK3NBV
  19. VK5EE
  20. VK5FTVR
  21. VK5JK
  22. VK3FALE
  23. VK5KLV
  24. VK5WG
  25. VK7LG
  26. VK2IO
  27. VK3AY
  28. VK3FLCS
  29. VK7MK
  30. VK7CC
  31. VK3AMX
  32. VK5BK
  33. VK3FQSO
  34. VK7KR
  35. VK2LEE
  36. VK5IS
  37. VK2LKW
  38. VK7WN
  39. VK5FGRY
  40. VK3VBI
  41. VK3FEUG

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2NP
  2. VK2VW
  3. VK4RF
  4. VK4HA
  5. VK2LEE

After leaving Dimboola, we continued west on the Western Highway, stopping briefly at the South Australian/Victorian border, for a photo opportunity.  And also a visit to the little shop situated here, to buy some local produce.

DSC_0436

 

References.

Parks Victoria, 2015, <http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/little-desert-national-park&gt;, viewed 12th December 2015

Wikipedia, 2015, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimboola&gt;, viewed 12th December 2015

Ben Nevis, VK3/ VS-009

Our fourth and final activation of the day was Ben Nevis, VK3/ VS-009, which is located about 29 km east of Ararat, about about 8 km east of the little town of Warrak.

I have also activated this summit previously, back in September 2013.  For more information on that activation, please see my previous post at…..

https://vk5pas.org/2013/09/14/ben-nevis-vk3-vs-009/

Screenshot 2015-12-12 13.53.25

Above:- Map showing the location of Ben Nevis.  Map courtesy of google maps.

It was starting to really heat up, so this was going to be a quick activation.  We travelled through the Mount Cole State Forest and then onto Mount Cole Road, and then Ben Nevis Road (also referred to as McGuiness Road).
Screenshot 2015-12-12 13.53.06

It is a nice drive up to the summit with some very thick forest on either side of the road.  The imposing figure of Lang Ghiran can often be seen through the trees.  The road leading to the summit is dirt but is very well maintained and easily passable by 2WD.

Once at the top of Ben Nevis you are rewarded with some amazing views, particularly out to the west.

Sadly, this is a very noisy summit.  There is a large communications and fire spotting tower on the summit and powerlines.  I should have remembered from my previous summit, but it was incredibly hot, and I was very keen to set up and get off the summit.

The shack for the afternoon consisted of a moss rock for a chair and a larger moss rock as a desk.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 30 watts and the 20m/40m linked dipole, supported on the 7 metre telescopic squid pole.

I had a strength 7 noise floor on 40m at times and it made it very difficult to pull out any of the weak stations.  So I’m sorry to anyone that was calling who didn’t make it.  My first caller after calling CQ on 7.090 was Tony VK7LTD with a very strong 5/9 signal.  This was followed by Brett VK2VW who was a strong 5/8, then the ever reliable Adrian VK5FANA, followed by Col VK3LED.  I worked a total of 18 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7.

I then moved up to 20m where I worked a total of 7 stations in VK2, VK4, and VK6.  This included a contact with John VK6NU (5/3 sent and 4/1 received).

It was getting way too hot and I decided that it was time to pack up after just 30 minutes on Ben Nevis.  I had a total of 25 stations in the log, and the summit had been qualified.  As I was packing up, I heard a voice from above yelling out “have you worked enough DX?’.  I looked up and it was the gentleman in the fire spotting tower.  We had a quick chat, as much as you can, when you are talking to someone about 20 metres up in the air.  When asked if he knew anything about the hobby due to his DX comment, he replied that he had seen and heard amateurs on the summit previously.

We headed back in to Ararat where we enjoyed a quiet night in the motel room.

The following stations were worked:-

Screenshot 2015-12-12 13.50.01

Mount Lonarch, VK3/ VS-013

After leaving Point 756/Pyrenees, we headed off to our third SOTA summit for the day, Mount Lonarch, VK3/ VS-013, which is located about 40 km north of the town of Raglan, and about 185 km north west of Melbourne.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 13.04.41

Above:- Map showing the location of Mount Lonarch.  Image courtesy of google maps.

I have activated Mount Lonarch previously, back.  For more information on that activation, please have a look at my previous post at…..

https://vk5pas.org/2013/09/14/mount-lonarch-vk3-vs-013/

We programmed the summit into the GPS and commenced our journey to Mount Lonarch, along Main Brea through the Pyrenees Mountains.  But this was abruptly brought to a halt by a fallen tree across the road.  We were able to move some of the branches of the road, but the remainder of the tree was just too heavy to lift and move.  And a chainsaw was the last thing Marija and I had thought about bringing along on our trip.  So with some recalculations don, it was back along Main Break that we had to travel.  It was certainly the long way around to get to the summit, but we had no choice.

DSC_0352

We eventually got back on to the Pyrenees Highway and travelled east until we reached the Lexton-Ararat Road, we we turned right and travelled south until we reached Ampithreate Road.  As we travelled south along Ampitheatre Road, Mount Lonarch came into view across the farming land.

DSC_0353We then reached Mount Lonarch Road and turned right here until we reached Tower Road, which takes you directly up to the summit.

Mount Lonarch is 788 metres above sea level and is worth 4 SOTA points.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 13.04.19

Above:- Aerial shot showing Mount Lonarch amongst the scrub and the forest.  Image courtesy of google maps.

Sadly there is not much of a view from Mount Lonarch.  Well, not from the ground anyway.  The summit is very heavily wooded.  But there is a fire spotting tower hit which sits high above the tree line.  And it was manned on the day we were at Mount Lonarch due to it being a very hot day.  Unfortunately the fire spotter did not come out of the comfort of the air conditioning to say hi.

I set up just to the west of the fire tower.  There was a nice little tree stump which served nicely as a shack desk whilst I sat in a deck chair.  I secured the 7 metre telescopic squid pole to the stump with the assistance of two octopus straps.  For this activation I again ran the Yaesu FT-857d, about 30 watts and the 20m/40m linked dipole.

I found this to be quite a challenging activation.  Not from an access point of view, as Mount Lonarch is very easy to access.  But propagation conditions were very poor.  I started off calling CQ on 7.090 and my first contact was with regular SOTA chaser and park hunter, Adrian VK5FANA.  Adrian was only 5/5 but was perfectly readable as there was no man made noise on the summit.  I received a 5/4 signal from Adrian, well down on what I normally receive.  Adrian was kind enough to let me know that Tony VK3VTH was higher up the band and was portable in a park.  So off I went to find Tony before more of the SOTA chasers started calling me.

I located Tony on 7.144 calling CQ from Colquhoun Regional Park VKFF-0962 with a beautiful 5/9 signal.  This was a new park for me and I was very pleased to get Tony in the log.  I then headed back to 7.090 and started calling CQ again.  My CQ call was answered by Marc VK3OHM who was initially a 5/5 but completely faded away within a matter of seconds.  We were unable to complete the contact.  Col VK3LED then called in and although weak (5/3), we were able to make a contact 95/1 received).  This was followed by Peter with a refreshingly strong 5/8 signal (5/7 received).

I was then called by Cliff VK2NP who was a fair signal, but unfortunately Cliff did not come back to my response.  But I did manage to get Cliff in the log, just 2 QSOs’s later (5/3 sent and 5/1 received).  Cliff informed me that I was 5/7 a few minutes earlier when he had called, but that I had completely faded away with QSB.  This seemed to be the pattern of the afternoon.

I worked a total of ‘unlucky’ 13 stations on 40m before heading off to 20m.  I was hoping it may be a little better there.  But I was to be sadly disappointed.  My only contact on 20m was with John VK6NU in Western Australia (5/1 both ways).  So I headed back to 40m for one last quick listen before going QRT.  And it was to be just 2 further stations that I would put in the log: John VK2YW, and Ivan VK5HS.

After 45 minutes on the summit I had a total of 16 contacts in the log.  Disappointing conditions, but the summit qualified netherless.  It was off to our fourth and final summit of the day, Ben Nevis.

The following stations were worked:-

Screenshot 2015-12-12 12.50.50

Point 756/Pyrenees, VK3/ VS-013

Our second activation was to be Point 756/Pyrenees VK3/ VS-013, which is situated off Main Break in the Pyrenees Mountains, north west of Ararat.  The summit is just a short drive from Blue Mountain.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 10.39.23

Above:- Map showing the location of Point 756/Pyrenees VK3/ VS-013.  Image courtesy of google maps.

Point 756/Pyrenees summit is 756 metres above sea level and is worth 4 SOTA points.
Screenshot 2015-12-12 10.39.47

After travelling back along the Blue Mountain Track, we continued south east along Main Break, travelling passed the Glenlofty Track on our right, and then Hardy Track and then Sanderson Track on our left.

As we travelled along Main Break, we were rewarded with some nice views out across the Pyrenees through the trees.

Just before reaching Black Range Road, which runs off to the right as you are travelling down Main Break, you will see a track running off to the left.  This is how we accessed the summit.  This track is impossible if you have a conventional vehicle, but we engaged long range 4WD on the Toyota Hi Lux and crawled up the track which is rocky and quite steep.  Please note that if you have reached Cameron Track, you have travelled too far south along Main Break.

Screenshot 2015-12-12 10.39.05

Above:- Aerial image showing the location of the summit just on the eastern side of Main Break.  The track running off to the right of screen is Black Range Road.  Image courtesy of google maps.

We actually travelled a little too far along Main Break and turned around at Black Range Road.  The photo below shows us facing north on Main Break.  The arrow indicates the dirt track just around the corner which takes you up to the activation zone of this summit.
DSC_0335

We soon reached a clearing and what appeared to be a logging track.  We walked just a short distance with the gear and started setting up.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, about 30 watts, and the 20m/40m linked dipole.  I used a fallen log as a bench.

I was ahead of schedule and was ready to go by 2345 UTC (8.45 a.m. Victorian local time).  I commenced calling CQ on 7.090 and my CQ call was answered by Adrian VK5FANA at Arthurton on the Yorke Peninsula (5/8 both ways).  Next up was Lee VK2LEE in Scone who was a very strong 5/9 and reciprocated with a 5/9 for me.  This was followed by Gerard who was also 5/9, and then Ian VK5IS, again with a 5/9 signal from Beetaloo Valley in the Mid North of South Australia.  The 40m band appeared to be in good shape.

I worked 11 stations in VK1, VK2, VK3, and VK5, before the UTC rollover.  After the UTC rollover my first contact was with Tom VK2KF in Kandos in New South Wales.  This was followed by John VK2YW in Wagga Wagga and then Ron VK3MRH.  I worked a further 14 stations on 40m before heading off to 20m

I called CQ numerous times on 20m, but unfortunately there were no takers, so I headed back to 40m.  When I arrived back on 40m, John VK2YW called in again and kindly spotted me on SOTAWatch.  But I only managed a further 5 contacts into VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK7.

After about 50 minutes on the summit, I had a total of 33 contacts in the log.  Time to move on and head off to the next summit, Mount Lonarch.

The following stations were worked:-

Screenshot 2015-12-12 10.35.58