Mid-Saturday afternoon once domestic duties had been taken care of, Andrews Hill VK3/VN-020 was a last minute activation. It was also my first excursion into VK3/VN territory. Driving towards Yarra Glen, navigation starts from the junction of the B300 and C731 near the tempting Chocolateria. At the large roundabout take the B300 Yea exit. After 14.4 km you cross the C724. Keep going north on the B300 for a further 3.6 km. At this point turn left into Gordons Bridge Rd. After 1.4 km turn right onto Mountain Creek Track.
About 100 meters in, the track comes to a clearing and an access gate. From here the instructions on the SOTA summit page are easy to follow. I walked past the locked access gate, over a small creek, and followed the dirt road around to the right. After about 250 meters take the dirt road signposted Andrews Hill Track.
Andrews Hill was burned in the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, as was 98% of Kinglake National Park. Some of the bushwalking blogs have earlier pictures of the hill, in recovery, including the old (burned) treated-pine signage. I did not realise this, such is the coverage of regeneration after only 6 years. It does, however, explain the new signage. The walk up the hill is about 40 to 50 mins, a reasonably steady climb, and the track takes you right to the summit. I arrived at sunset and strapped the squid pole to the summit sign (very convenient) and activated with some light at 5.23pm.
Without sufficient cellular coverage to self spot I CQ’d unannounced. This activation proved to be harder work than most others. The usual rapid sequence of chasers did not occur and I found it necessary to call CQ repeatedly for each QSO. Eventually I qualified the summit and took one more to be sure, then packed up and returned to the car by torchlight.
Date:30/May/2015 Summit:VK3/VN-020 (Andrew Hill) Call Used:VK3HN Points: 2 Bonus: 0
|07:23z||VK2NNN||7MHz||SSB||s59, r59, Darren, Bondi|
|07:28z||VK3OF||7MHz||SSB||s57, r31, Tnx fer spotting|
|07:28z||VK7NWT||7MHz||SSB||r59, s59, Darren, Sisters Beach|
|07:38z||VK5WG||7MHz||SSB||s59, r56, Nev|
|07:40z||VK2PH||7MHz||SSB||s59, r59, Mark|
A straightforward activation and another pleasant twilight walk in Kinglake National Park, worth the visit if only to appreciate its rapid regeneration.