Sunday, 29 June 2014

SOTA Activation Mt Dromedary

Mt Dromedary is a famous landmark on the NSW South Coast. Named by Captain Cook on his discovery voyage of the East Coast of Australia in 1770, it is now known by the Aboriginal name of Mt Gulaga in Gulaga National Park. It is the remnant of an old extinct volcano that used to be over 3 Km high. Now it is around 800 m so a little easier to climb...Although not too easy, as you start from around 50 m you have over a 750 m climb!

From Narooma headed South on the Princes Highway, turning off to the historic town of Central Tilba, then onto the road to Tilba Tilba, and Pam's Store.


Note the sign on the side, "Tilba Tilba Walking Track". The lane is the start of the walking track. Opposite the lane is an area for walkers to park.


Followed the lane towards the mountain. There is a sign indicating this is a private road, and other signs indicating unauthorized vehicles will be towed away, so you really must park at the store...


Continued along the road on foot towards the mountain.


After 500 m reached the end. You used to be able to park here years ago, not now...


Start of the proper walking track. Note the 5 hours return...Took me about 2 hours each way.


Reached a gate and entered Gulaga National Park. This is WWFF number VKFF-221


After this just a long, steady climb up. Track is narrow in places but well defined.


After about an hour reached a saddle, with a picnic table, pit toilet and also a 4WD track coming in. I think you can drive part of the way to here in a proper 4WD, but not all the way.


Followed the track on the other side of the saddle. Came to a junction where you can take a short cut up to the summit, or via the rain forest walk. Having done this walk years ago remembered the summit walk was very steep and narrow, not well defined, so took the longer but easier rain forest trail.


The rain forest trail actually takes you down for a bit, thankfully heads up again after getting to a junction


It was fairly dark in the rain forest, so no photos. Climbed up to where it joins the summit track.


From here just a short walk to the summit. Typical lollipop type with a welcoming sign...


The views were limited, too many trees to make out much...


Set up the squid pole on the summit sign.


One leg of the 20/40 m linked dipole ran out to a nearby bush, the other to a small shrub. Due to overhanging branches could only extend the squid pole up to about 5 m.


Like Saturday it was very windy, although the tree cover helped shelter me. Set up the shack on nearby rocks, out of the wind and in the sunshine.


Got on 40 m. Usual chasers from VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5, many with strong signals. No S2S contacts though. Tried 20 m and got my usual chaser, Mike VK6MB, low signal. 24 contacts all up. Packed up around noon.

I did try returning via the summit track, lost it as not well defined, so turned back up and down the rain forest trail again. Stopped at the picnic table at the saddle for lunch. Met and chatted to a few other walkers here.

After about another hour reached the road. Little Mt Dromedary on the left.


Got back to Pam's store around 2 pm. Drove back to Canberra, getting home by 6 pm. Weather once getting to Braidwood was awful, cold, windy and wet, glad I missed it for the weekend.

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