Australia Dy offered the opportunity to use the special AX prefix, so after a bit of google earth and google maps/streetview searching I decided on VKFF-1377.
Driving up I was watching the outside temperature move to around 38.5 degrees C.
Driving up the M1 on the Saturday of the Australia day weekend, google maps decided that the M! was too congested near the top end so directed me through the Newcastle Link road and over Kooragang island and Nelson Bay Road.
The entrance was on the left of Richardson Rd about 20-30 metres shy of the roundabout with Medowie Road, so it also directed me the long way around up Nelson Bay Road on to Richardson Road, rather than up Medowie Road past the RAAF base.
Entered the park and drove down the trail too far. Seeing lots of power lines I turned back towards the entrance where I could get a nice NW-SE run for the antenna.
Remembered to get a shot of the park sign at the entrance. Chatting with Adam (VK2YK), it appears the bushfires here last month facilitated my entrance as they cut the wire fence across the entrance to get fire fighting vehicles in; allowing me to enter where I did.
The dot is not quite in the right place. I put this down to the fact tat I was using google earth from inside the car. I parked the car and set up at the top end of that little stretch on the right of the trail.
In the above you can see where the entrance is and why I had to take the long way around.
Putting the park in a little more local context.
Now I completely forgot to take pictures during the activation. These are taken while I was packing up.
It got up to 41 degrees C, so I set up in the back of the car and put a towel over the hatch to keep the sun off. When I was doing CW, I was holding the key on the rear bumper.
A better view of hoe I set up. For the most part it kept the sun off so I didn’t get sun burned. The blue bag is a cooler bag with my water in it. I filled my 500ml thermos bottle as well as a 2 litre coke bottle with water, and put a cooler brick in the bag. I got through most of that water.
Looking back NW towards the entrance. This is the direction I ran the active side of the dipole.
I made a point today of using the special event callsign AX2MG/P, but when I did park to park contacts gave an extra contact as VK2MG/P. I appreciate the hunters who also offered me their own callsign as well as one with the special event prefix, that definitely helped.
Propagation was not great, in fact it was incredibly variable. I recall hearing John VK4TJ talking with Liz (AX2XSE) on 20m with a great signal and ten minutes later when he spoke wit me, having to give him 41.
Managed to qualify the park in about two and a half hours.
I kept calling for a bit after getting to 44, as Adam (VK2YK) lives only about 3km from where I was activating and was coming down for a catch up.
We had a great chat over about an hour and he gave me a few tips on entry to some other parks around the area.
While it dropped back to around 38 degrees C while we were chatting, it was still very warm. When I finished packing up (it was too hoot to repack everything into their bags, so it just got thrown in the back of the car), I decided that the best idea was to drive down Medowie Road to Williamtown McDonalds.
I spent about 90 minute there recovering (and watching Australia rip through Sri Lanka in the first test). After about an hour in the air-con, a large drink of water, a large vanilla coke, medium vanilla coke and a bit to eat I began to start feeling human again. Let there after another half an hour (while thinking how wonderful it would be if they offered somewhere to lied down for 20minutes in the air-con), and headed home.
Modes CW: 5 SSB: 45 Parks VKFF-0626: 2 VKFF-0138: 2 VKFF-1671: 2 VKFF-2594: 4 10 park contacts - 4 unique Bands 40M: 29 20M: 10 30M: 6 80M: 5 50 unique contacts (0 duplicates)