We now only had 2 days left of the holiday. It was now day 15, Friday 30th November 2018. We had 2 planned activations for the day, both SOTA summits, and also a lot of sightseeing.
Our first stop for the day were the Big Woolbales in Hamilton. They were originally built in 1989 for the disabilty group Yooralla, but were sold to private buyers. They were part of a cafe, museum and souvenir shop, but that appears to have closed down.
We then visited the Hamilton Bandicoot Enclosure and Parklands, which is part of the Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning. This is a 100 hectare woodland which was established to protected the elusive and critically endandgered bandicoot.
Unfortunately we did not spot a bandicoot, but this was a terrific bird watching location. Some of the birds we spotted feature below in some photographs taken in the reserve.
We also spotted a number of wallabies.
It was then off to the Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum in Hamilton. Don’t be turned off by the outside of this museum. At first glance it does not look like much, just a simple tin shed. In fact it is based on the Ansett company’s first aircraft hangar.
But inside there is a sensational collection of memorabillia associated with the former iconic Australian company Ansett, formed by Sir Reginald Ansett. The centrepiece of the museum is a Fokker universal aircraft, similar to the one used on the first Ansett flight n 1936. And a 1928 Studebaker, which was where Sir Reginald commenced his operations, driving passengers from Hamilton to Ballarat. We highly recommend a visit here.
And a bonus to the visit, was finding a photograph of my Papa (my Dad’s father) who worked for Ansett Roadways, driving Clipper buses.
Below is what a Clipper bus looks like.
We then left Hamilton and drove out to the town of Penshurst, which is located at the foot of an extinct volcano, Mount Rouse. The town was settled in the 1850’s.
We visited the Volcanoes Discovery Centre which is located in the old Shire of Mount Rouse offices. It contains an audio visual display of volcanoes. There is plenty of information on how volcanoes are formed, their geology, and their history in western Victoria. I had driven passed the museum a number of times previously, but had never popped in to pay a visit, until now.
We then headed to SOTA summit, Mount Rouse VK3/ VS-048, which is located just above the town of Penshurst.
Mount Rouse is an extinct volcano which is about 369 metres above sea level. The summit had been activated a total of 8 times before our visit. I last activated Mount Rouse in November 2014. It is worth just the solitary 1 SOTA point.
The summit was named in 1836 by the New South Wales Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell during the Australia Felix expedition. The aboriginal name for the mountain is Collorrer.
There is a short climb up a flight of stairs to get to the actual summit.
At the base of the stairs there is a monument for Napier Waller (1893-1972), a mural, water colour and sketch artist, who was born and raised near Mount Rouse.
On the top of the summit, you will find a fire spotting tower, an array of communications equipment, and a trig point.
And you will be rewarded with some terrific views of Penshurst and the surrounding countryside.
I kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.144. Ken VK3UH was first in the log, followed by Gerard VK2IO, Nev VK5WG, and then Les VK5KLV. I had qualified the summit. Just the 4 contacts are required for SOTA. I logged 1 further station, Adam VK2YK, before handing over the mic to Marija.
Marija’s first contact was with Ken VK3UH, followed by John VK2YW, Les VK5KLV, and then David VK5PL. Marija had now also qualified the summit. Marija logged a further 4 stations from VK4 and VK5, before handing the microphone back to me.
I then logged another 4 stations on 40m, before heading off to 3.610 on the 80m band. Surprisingly I made just one contact on 80m, that being with Peter VK3PF. Geoff VK3SQ called me, and although I could hear Geoff well, sadly he could not hear me, and we were unable to successfully exchange signal reports.
To complete the activation I called CQ on 14.310 on the 20m band and logged 5 stations, including JG8FWH in Japan.
Marija worked the following stations:-
I worked the following stations:-
We then headed down off the summit, stopping briefly to have a look at Crater Lake.
We then drove back into Penshurst to have a look at some of the many historic buildings which are located in the town.
It was then off to Mount Dundas, our second SOTA activation for the day.
Grampians Point, 2018, <https://www.grampianspoint.com.au/attractions/big-woolbales/>, viewed 22nd December 2018
Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum, 2018, <https://ansettmuseum.com.au/what-you-see/>, viewed 22nd December 2018