Table Cape State Reserve VKFF-1829

After packing up at Hellyer Gorge (17th November 2022), Marija and I continued north and into the town of Wynard on the north coast of Tasmania.

Wynyard is located about 17 km west of Burnie and has a population of about 6,300 people (2021 census). It is believed that Wynyard was named in honour of Major General Edward Buckley Wynyard (b. 1788. d. 1864) in the early 1850s. He was in command of the troops in New South Wales, Van Dieman’s Land, and New Zeraland.

Above:- Edward Buckley Wynyard. Image c/o State Library NSW.

In 2016 the Waratah Wynyard Council commissioned two artists to revitalise the Goldie Street Mural Wall in Wynyard. This was part of the Council’s plans to beautify Wynyard. There are 14 panels depicting various aspects of Wynyard and the surrounding district.

We enjoyed a nice lunch at one of Wynyard’s cafes and we then drove to Fossil Bluff which is a 23 million year old sandstone headland. It was such a beautiful day that we took a stroll along the beach. We had done enough climbing so we decided not to climb to the top of the lookout on the Bluff.

We then headed to the Table Cape State Reserve VKFF-1829.

Above:- Map of Tasmania showing the location of Table Cape. Map c/o Google maps.

Along the way we stopped off at the Table Cape lookout which offered spectacular views of Wynyard, the coastline, Black Bluff, Mount Roland, and Freestone Cove. The lookout is 170 metres above sea level.

In the opposite direction there was a nice view of the Table Cape lighthouse which is located within the Table Cape State Reserve.

The Table Cape lighthouse stands at 25 metres high and had a diameter at the base of 28 feet. It was first lit on the 1st day of August 1888. It was built following the wrecks of the Emma Prescott in 1867 and the Orson in 1884. The lighthouse was designed by Huckson and Hutchinson of Hobart, with the light being sourced from the Chance Brothers of England. The lighthouse was constructed by a local builder, John Luck.

Sadly, just 17 days after the official opening of the lighthouse, the head lighthouse keeper’s 14 month old son died from illness. The young boy was buried near the lighthouse and the gravesite remains today.

The Table Cape State Reserve is 120 hectares in size. Table Cape is 170 metres above sea level and is an extinct volcano with a flat top. The majority of the Table Cape area and surrounding countryside has been heavily cleared for agricultural purposes. The State Reserve contains dense scrubland which had remained largely untouched by human activity.

Above:- An aerial view of the Table Cape State Reserve. Image c/o Google maps.

Table Cape was named by navigator and explorer Matthew Flinders in 1798 as he circumnavigated Van Dieman’s Land with George Bass. The area around Table Cape was the traditional home of the Tommeginer aboriginal people. The first European settler at Table Cape was John King who in 1841 selected 200 acres of land on the northern banks of the Inglis River.

Above:- Captain Matthew Flinders. Image c/o Wikipedia.

We set up in the carpark adjacent to the lighthouse. There was plenty of room here to run out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

Above:- An aerial view of the Table Cape State Reserve and our operating spot. Image c/o Google Earth.

After about one hour and twenty minutes we had a total of 77 QSOs in our logs including a handful of DX on 20m longpath into Europe.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3VIN
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK2MET
  6. VK1AO
  7. VK2IO
  8. VK2EXA
  9. VK2VH
  10. VK4AAC
  11. VK7XX
  12. VK3ZSC/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3VIN
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK2MET
  6. VK1AO
  7. VK2IO
  8. VK2EXA
  9. VK2VH
  10. VK4AAC
  11. VK7XX
  12. VK7JFD
  13. VK5HS
  14. VK3ZSC/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  15. VK3BEL
  16. VK3UAO
  17. VK7EE
  18. VK2HBG
  19. VK4NH
  20. VK4DXA
  21. VK7)T
  22. VK7HBR
  23. VK3ANL
  24. VK3TX
  25. VK7ID
  26. VK3UH
  27. VK3RM
  28. VK5FANA
  29. VK7AC
  30. VK3MKE/p
  31. VK3CM
  32. VK3ZPF
  33. VK3AFW
  34. VK7BD
  35. VK3PWG
  36. VI2022PRIDE
  37. VK1TTY
  38. VK7AN
  39. VK5VK
  40. VK3CBP
  41. VK1FPRV
  42. VK5PL
  43. VK2UGB
  44. VK7DON
  45. VK3AHR
  46. VK3DCQ
  47. VK5NIG
  48. VK3IK/m
  49. VK3IC
  50. VK3NBL
  51. VK3GRX
  52. VK5ZLT

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK3BBB/5
  2. VK4NH
  3. VK4DXA
  4. VK2MET
  5. VK1AO
  6. VK4TJ
  7. VK4EMP
  8. VK4TI
  9. UT5PI
  10. VK2CCP/5
  11. IW2NXI
  12. ZL4NVW
  13. DL1ICB

With the park being qualified by both of us for VKFF, and for me for WWFF, we packed up, and headed further west towards our destination of Stanley. We stopped off at the Rocky Cape lookout. Rocky Cape is home to some of the oldest rocks in Tasmania, which was formed up to 1,450 million years ago.

We then drove down to beautiful Boat Harbour Beach which has magnificent white sand and beautiful blue water.

We continued west along the Bass Highway and stopped to have a look at the iron ore pelletising plant at Port Latta which opened in 1967. There is also a large port here used to export iron ore from the Savage River mine.

We then turned on to the Stanley Highway from the Bass Highway. We stopped briefly at the Stanley welcome sign where there are sign great views of The Nut, a sheer-sided bluff which sits above the town of Stanley.

We then booked into our accomodation at On The Terrace at Stanley. We had some nice views of the ocean and The Nut as literally at our back door.

It was a beautiful evening so Marija and I decided rather than sit in our accomodation, we would take advantage of the weather and have a look around the town of Stanley by doing the Stanley Heritage Walk.

We started at Marine Park directly opposite our accomodation. The park overlooks Little Wharf which was once the bustling heartbeat of Stanley. It was here on Wharf Road that famous writer and artist, Me Eldridge grew up during the 1920s.

There is also a memorial here for Patrick ‘Kermie’ Hersey who lost his life at sea in 1986. The following is on the memorial:

“On the morning of 11th May 1986, Patrick was requested to go to the aid of line tower Tony Dicker who had been sighted by air 18 miles east of Stanley in gale force winds and treacherous seas. While manoeuvering his boat the ‘Moya Ann’ into position to attempt the rescue, a huge breaking wave tore through the boat. After vain rescue efforts by fellow seaman Phil Critchlow, the deckhand was saved but Patrick’s life was lost’.

The Van Dieman’s Land Company Store was built in 1843 and was designed by Colonial architect and Stanley resident John Lee Archer. The bluestone building was used as a store, and later a place of detention, a customs house, a butter factory, a fish processing factory, and now a boutique hotel.

A little further along is a memorial. In 1842, 90 km south west of its location, the last recorded capture of a Tasmanian aboriginal family took place. The family was delivered to the Van Dieman’s Land Company for a 50 pound bounty. It also records that in 1826 the first Europeans, employers of the Van Dieman’s Land Company, disembarked and thus the colonisation of the northwest by the Europeans.

There are a number of historic shops located in Church Street, Stanley. Unfortunately many other historic Stanley buildings along Church Street have been destroyed by fire over the years. This includes the Produce Hall, the first mill, the timber kilns, and A.C. Smith & Sons General Store.

The Stanley Town Hall was opened in 1911. It was designed by architect Alexander North (b. 1858. d. 1945) and was built by W. McDonald of Launceston.

The historic Stanley Hotel was built in 1847. It has traded since that time under various names including the Emily, Freemason’s, The Union and now the Stanley Hotel.

In 1828 John Whitbread arrived in Van Dieman’s Land as a convict, having been transported for poaching rabbits in England, aged just 15 years. He received seven years transportation. As a free man, he later settled in Stanley and purchased a block of land from the Van Dieman’s Land Company for £20. He constructed a building on the land and it commenced operation as the Emily Hotel.

The Commercial Hotel in Stanley was one of the first hotels in the town. It was originally built as the officers mess for the Van Dieman’s Land Company. It was first licenced in 1847 and operated as a hotel until the 1960s.

The Plough Inn is one of Stanley’s oldest buildings, and operated as an Inn until 1876. It subsequently became a pharmacy for over 50 years, a printing press and now privately owned.

Another interesting thing to see in Stanley is one of two remaining functional heritage telephone boxes in Tasmania.

The Bond Store, constructed of bluestone, was built in 1835. Stores and supplies from docking ships were stored here. It was later used a bacon factory and a grain store.

The Bay View Hotel commenced its life as The Shamrock Inn in 1849. The first licence for the Inn waas issued to Michael Lyons, the grandfather of former Prime Minister Joseph Lyons.

Captain’s Cottage was built in the 1830s.

Joe Lyon’s cottage is the birthplace and childhood home of former Tasmanian Premier and Australian Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons. He served as the Tasmanian Premier from 1923-1928 and then as Prime Minister from 1932-1939.

In Alexander Terrace is a two storey cottage built in 1839 for one of King George IV’s many illegitimate sons, believed to be Samuel Blackwell.

The present St Paul’s Anglican Church constructed of timber was built in 1887. The original St Paul’s was built in 1842 and waas designed by Colonial Architect John Lee Archer.

You can also find a memorial cairn with a number of plaques. One of those is for Guiseppie Garibaldi, the uniter of modern Italy, who landed on Three Hummock Island near this location in 1852. Another plaque commemorates the naming of Circular Head by Matthew Flinders in 1798. While another is to commemorate the visit to Stanley of the replica sloop Norfolk in 1998, nearly 200 years after Flinders and Bass sailed passed the area naming Cicfular Head.

There are numerous other historic buildings to be viewed including the Harbourmaster’s cottage which waas built in 1880.

We then enjoyed a beautiful sunset before having a late evening meal.


  1. Our Tasmania, 2023, <>, viewed 7th January 2023.
  2. Stanley Hotel and Apartments, 2023, <>, viewed 7th January 2023.
  3. Stanley Town Hall, 2023, <>, viewed 7th January 2023.
  4. Stream Design, 2023, <>, viewed 7th January 2023.
  5. Waratah Wynyard Council, 2023, <>, viewed 7th January 2023.
  6. Waratah Wynyard Council, 2023, <>, viewed 7th January 2023.
  7. Wikipedia, 2023, <,_Tasmania>, viewed 7th January 2023.
  8. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 7th January 2023.
  9. Wikipedia, 2023, <,_Tasmania>, viewed 7th January 2023.

Day 23 and Hellyer Gorge State Reserve VKFF-1139

Day 23 (Thursday 17th November 2022) involved a drive from Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat to Stanley on the north west coast. We were taking a bit of a detour, as we wanted to visit Hellyer Gorge.

Above:- Map showing our route between Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat and Stanley. Map c/o Google maps.

After breakfast we travelled west along the Belvoir Road and then north on the Murchison Highway. We took a quick break at the memorial cairn for John Roy Fidler, the surveyor of the section of the Murchison Highway between Roseberry to Waratah between 1958-1960.

We then took a short detour down Waratah Road and into the little town of Waratah. It is believed the town was named by officials from the Van Dieman’s Land Company after the Waratah River, which in turn was named after the flowering Waratah.

In 1871, James ‘Philiosopher’ Smith discovered tin at Mount Bischoff by James “Philosopher” Smith in 1871. In the following year a number of mining leases on Mount Bischoff were taken out.

Above:- James Smith Tribute, You Tube (Winston Nickols).

By 1874 the Mount Bischoff Post office had opened. Five years later in 1879 a police station and court house were built. The post office was renamed Waratah in 1882. During the 1880s it is believed that the Mount Bischoff mine was the richest tin mine in the world, and in 1883 the mine became the first Australian industrial plant to be lit by hydro electricity. The town was the first town in Australia to be lit by electric street lights, in 1886. The mine powered 400 incandescent streetlights.

The mine closed in 1947. By that time it had produced 81,000 tonnes of tin and provided a dividend equal to £200 for every £1 initially invested.

In the heart of the town are the Waratah Falls. You can get down to the base of the falls or view the falls from a number of vantage points in the town. During Waratah’s mining boom, water races and tunnels fed water to the falls, where the water was diverted to a nearby power station to produce hydro electric power.

Adjacent to the falls is the Dudley Kenworthy waterwheel memorial. He was the final man to run a mining lease at Mount Bischoff. He operated a stamper mill. Its purpose was the first step in separating tin from waste rock. The stamper was located in the side of the hill adjacent to the falls, and due to it crushing the ore is created a continual thumping noise for the residents of Waratah.

We called in to the Bischoff Hotel for a coffee as there were no other shops that we could find. The coffee was great. The hotel was Waratah’s first brick hotel and the only remaining one. It was built in 1909 in Queen Anne style and replaced a previous wooden hotel which was built in 1878 and subsequently burnt down.

Whilst in the town we visited the museum located in the old Waratah Courthouse. The current courthouse was built in 1908 as the Council Chambers and Court House. In 1879 the original Waratah Police Station and Court House were built side by side.

The museum houses an extensive collection of photographs and historical artefacts. The gentleman running the museum at the time was extremely friendly.

Alongside of the museum is a replica of ‘Philosopher’ Smith’s hut.

The old Waratah Post Office was built in 1913. It replaced the original 1882 building.

We were pleased that we detoured into Waratah as sit has a rich history and there is quite a bit to see and do here.

We then drove back to the Murchison Highway and headed to the Hellyer Gorge State Reserve VKFF-1139 for a park activation for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

Above:- Map of Tasmania showing the location of the Hellyer Gorge State Reserve. Map c/o Google maps.

Hellyer Gorge State Reserve is about 3,000 hectares in size and was declared in 2002.

Above:- An aerial view of Hellyer Gorge State Reserve. Image c/o Google maps.

The park is named after Henry Hellyer (b. 1790. d. 1832), a surveyor and architect and one of the first explorers to visit the rugged country of the north west of Tasmania.

In 1825 the Van Dieman’s Land Company was formed. Hellyer was one of the first officers to sign on as a surveyor, and later as Chief Surveyor, and Chief Architect.  Hellyer explored the majority of north west Tasmania for the Company, and wrote extensive journals and reports.

Hellyer suicided on the 9th day of September 1832, leaving a suicide note which ended as follows:

Alas my mother, in agony I fly to my saviour.


Above:- Henry Hellyer. Image c/o

The Hellyer River passes through the park. The river flows for about 61 km and flows into the Arthur River.

Marija and I operated from the Hellyer Gorge Rest Area. There was a table and bench here in the picnic area alongside of the Hellyer River. We used the Yaesu FT857, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

Marija made the following QSOs on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HQ/p (VKFF-2698)
  2. VK3VIN
  3. VK7JFD
  4. VK3FTOM/p (Wilsons Promontory National Park VKFF-)
  5. VK3QH
  6. VK3HAK
  7. VK3PF
  8. VK3DW
  9. VK7ZGK
  10. VK5FANA
  11. VK2HHA

I made the following QSOs on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HQ/p (VKFF-2698)
  2. VK3VIN
  3. VK7JFD
  4. VK3FTOM/p (Wilsons Promontory National Park VKFF-)
  5. VK3QH
  6. VK3HAK
  7. VK3PF
  8. VK3DW
  9. VK7ZGK
  10. VK5FANA
  11. VK2HHA
  12. VK2IO
  13. VK3UH
  14. VK3CBP
  15. VK3UAO
  16. VK3ANL
  17. VK3CJN
  18. VK2MET
  19. VK1AO
  20. VK2JRO
  21. VK3AHR
  22. VK7AAE
  23. VK5FB
  24. VK3ZGA
  25. VK3CAP
  26. VK3APC
  27. VK3PDB
  28. VK2DWP
  29. VK2EXA
  30. VK1DI
  31. VK3ET
  32. VK3TET
  33. VK7OT
  34. VK2VH
  35. VK4AAC
  36. VK3EJ
  37. VK3KAI
  38. VK3GV

I made the following QSOs on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK2JU
  5. VK4EMP
  6. VK4EI


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  3. Monument Australia, 2023, <—state/display/70967-john-fidler>, viewed 6th January 2023.
  4. Monument Australia, 2023, <>, viewed 6th January 2023.
  5. Proclamation under the Nature Conservation Act 2002
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