Three summits VK4/SE-045, -039, -043, 3rd May 2022

This group of summits are all in the D’Aguilar National Park, which has several distinct sections. These are in the Mt Mee section.

As the first requires walking up from a locked gate, but the other two allow you to drive virtually all the way to where you’ll be activating them, I thought it best to sequence them so the last could be completed after sunset without requiring a long walk back to the car. In fact the walk up to 045 is a very pleasant walk in a peaceful forest and unless you were unnerved by the sounds of nature in the dark, so it would be no problem to walk back down after sunset.

To get to the first (045) I first drove to Dayboro then headed south east along Laceys Creek Rd  for almost 20 km to where it seems to end in a locked gate, just at its junction with Range Rd.  Laceys Creek rd is rough and was muddy in places, but does not require 4WD or above average clearance. 

The summit is reached after a walk of just over 2km beyond the gate, and don’t worry about the apparent height of the nearby summit at the gate, the real one is higher than that but further away.  None of the track is steep, it is a pleasant walk up a gentle slope, but you pass three false summits before reaching another road junction and your GPS will show that in that area you are in the AZ for this summit.  I saw some evidence that the grass on this track had been mowed recently.

always good to see signs confirming you’re in the right part of the globe
the locked gate at the foot of SE045
The station setup. Normally i avoid occupying vehicle tracks but with locked gates at either end, it was not going to have much traffic in the hour I would be there.
Probably not for human consumption, not by me anyway

After making 7 contacts on CW and 13 on SSB, mostly in Australia and two in New Zealand, then running out of callers, I packed up and headed back down the road to the gate and headed for Kluvers Lookout.

The distance to Kluvers lookout was only about 12 km and it is well signposted on the left side of the road when driving north. There is a road leading to a gate, a sign says “Prepare to stop”. I parked in a clearing just off Range Road and then walked a few hundred metres to the gate and into the area of the lookout.

At Kluvers Lookout
The station setup near the compound

I was concerned that all the electronics in the compound may be radiating interfering signals but unlike many other installations, this one was quiet. I was able to make contacts on 40 and 20m, even some dx callers from Europe which was a nice surprise. 14 SSB and 12 CW contacts made. 13 contacts around Australia, 4 with New Zealand and the rest Europe (Hungary, Finland, Belgium, Italy, France, Sweden).

By this time it was 3:45pm and I needed to reach the next summit to activate it, preferably while it was still daylight.

It was a longer drive this time, approx 30 km to The Gantry, then another 10 km or so through the forest to the western edge where the next summit was found. The forest is all fairly elevated so these summits don’t really seem like they are hilltops, but you know the terrain is elevated. I reached the third summit, 043 at about 4:45pm local time and put the antenna up quickly. using the guys and some bushes to anchor the ends of the wire antenna. There was no wind. The sun was setting and after 30 minutes it was fairly dark so I used a head torch to illuminate the radio and the surrounds.

The photos make it look as if it is broad daylight, thanks to digital cameras, but it was dusk when I took these photos.

the road up to 043 was muddy and slippery in places. My ute was in 4WD and had no problem.
Looking westward in falling light
Looking southward again it seems to be brightly lit, but in fact it was quite dim by now
(16:51 local time)

I didn’t take yet another photo of my radio gear on the tarp, just imagine it looking like all the others, because it did. At this summit I made 16 contacts, starting on 40m and then moving to 20m. 6 on SSB, 10 on CW. 4 on 40 and 12 on 20m. I was concerned about driving back through the forest and wanted to do that before it got too late, so packed up and was leaving shortly after 6pm. It was totally dark by then. I probably could have stayed another 30 mins and run a session on 80m to make a few more chasers happy, but I had an hour’s trip back to Caloundra to make after getting back to Dayboro, which took almost an hour.

After an interesting day driving into a forest I had not visited before, I had activated 3 sota summits, made lots of contacts for the parks award and added 3 summits to my activator unique score. Not momentous, but certainly satisfying.