Decided at short notice to take two days leave from work and head to Melbourne for a family gathering and to tick off another birthday. There are ample SOTA summits within 30 minutes to one hour of the Hume Freeway, particularly in Victoria. On this occasion I decided to look at the proximity of National Parks rather than a new SOTA activation. In addition to taking regular breaks from driving, I can afford to take an extra 1 hour break from the 7 hour drive to enjoy a little downtime in a quiet peaceful place.
One such National Park is Chiltern – Mt Pilot National Park 30 km south of Wodonga, separated by the Hume Freeway. To access the park take the Chiltern exit off the freeway for the Chiltern – Yackandandah Road, Lancashire Gap Road then follow the signs to Honeyeater Picnic Area. The park is split into three main areas, you may wish to head further south-east towards Beechworth or take the north-west side of the Hume Freeway.
Arrived at the park @ 12:20 local, set up the FT817ND, squid pole and HF antenna at a park table operating from 02:40 UTC to 03:35 UTC which complies with the minimum 30 minute operation for 10 hunters.
13 stations (VKFF hunters) worked from Chiltern – Mt Pilot National Park:
Peter VK3PAH/M Warnambool, Ian VK3VIN, Paul VK5PAS, Larry VK5LY, John VK5BJE, Col VK5HCF, Peter VK3PF, Damien VK5FDEC, Ron VK3VBI/M, Amanda VK3FQSO, Garry VK3VCR, Grant VK3HP and Owen VK5HOS.
Low power (QRP) operators were Col VK5HCF, Peter VK3PF, Amanda VK3FQSO and Damien VK5FDEC.
Thanks Paul VK5PAS for the spots and alerts via a network of SMS contacts in VK5.
Further reading and information can be found at the Parks Victoria and Beechworth Visitor Information
Beechworth Visitor Information: http://www.beechworth.com/visitor_information/brochures/chiltern_mt_pilot_range.pdf