Sunday, 10 November 2013

SOTA Activation VK2/ST-023 Oakey Creek Fire Trail

With a forecast of rain in the afternoon decided to do a SOTA activation where I could walk back to the car quickly if the weather turned bad. VK2/ST-023 Oakey Creek Firetrail looked appropriate as the highest point is right next to a road.

The peak is in Monga National Park. Drove to Braidwood, then took the Araluen Road for 8 Km, turning off onto Reidsdale Road on the left. Note the nasty looking weather in the distance!

Followed Reidsdale Road for 7 Km to the end, then turned left into Monga Lane

Road becomes unsealed but still not too rough. After a couple of Km enters Monga National Park

A few more Km up the road there is a road to the right, Granite Bluff Road. A warning about 4WD only. I didn't find this road too bad in my Nissan Xtrail, no need for 4WD, just need some clearance for the odd branch and dip in the road.

Followed this road for 2.7 Km, then onto Saddleback Road for 8 Km. This ends at Milo Road, which looked lush and green with lots of tree ferns.

After a few Km on Milo Road it heads down, and another road continues along the ridge. Think this other road is Macquarie Road

Stopped and parked at the bottom of the final rise to the summit, at a bit over 1000 m elevation. The summit is at 1050 m so was out of the 25 m activation zone. Had about a 500 m walk. Just before the summit Macquarie Road continues to the right, Boundary Road to the left. You could take either road as the summit is between them, the high point in the trees in the mist...

A bit part this junction is Oakey Creek Fire Trail junction, so this summit is really wrongly named, by me, I surveyed it!...Maps of these roads are poorly marked. Anyway there is another summit called Boundary Firetrail nearby so this name will do, it is near it!...There is no proper name on any maps. Wandered into the scrub and found a group of stumps suitable for squid poles, mounted on one of these and set up the dipoles.

Radio shack on a log

Got on 40m, worked 19 calls before UTC roll over, including S2S with Andrew VK1NAM and Al VK1RX on Mt Wee Jasper. Another 24 after UTC. The VK1s and VK2s were strong but signals from some VK3 and VK5 down. Got on 20m, worked Andrew VK1NAM again, very weak, then worked Paul VK5PAS with a massive S9+ signal, heaps better than 40 m! Also worked ZL2ALK Lamont for an overseas SOTA contact.

Around noon it started to rain so packed up and headed to Braidwood for lunch.
Another shot of Milo Road tree ferns.

Track log of drive/walk


  1. Hi Ian,
    Looks like a beautiful spot. You certainly had a very nice signal on 20m. Thanks for giving that band a go for the further afield VK's. It often works a lot better than 40m. And congratulations on working Lamont ZL2ALK.
    Best 73,

  2. Hi Paul,
    Yes Monga NP is a beautiful park, down in the gullies some nice rainforest with moss, tree ferns and vines. Been there before to take photographs. There are a couple of other peaks in the park that I must do as well. You were very strong on 20m, must try this band more often, especially with some recent solar activity.

    73 Ian VK1DI