Following the recent addition of 7 new WWFF award parks to the Australian Capital Territory decided to activate one of these on Sunday. I picked Woodstock Nature Reserve as its only about a 10 minute drive from home :) This is to a prominent point in the reserve, Shepherds Lookout.
Headed to Stockdill Drive in Holt and followed it down until reaching the car park to Shepherds Lookout
On the stone wall a map of the walk and the reserve. 250 m to the lookout.
Walked along the track. There is a junction so you can do a loop walk, can go either way. I went the shortest route to the right.
Reached Shepherds lookout. Great view to the North of the Murrumbidgee River.
A sign explaining some of the history of the area
A more detailed look of the view. A big bend in the river below.
Went looking for a comfortable operating spot for a park activation. Picked a large log near the lookout as a seat and radio shack and squid pole support.
Looking down hill at the shack. Good view to the West and Brindabella mountains
Shack on the log. Was in the sun but had a hat on.
Got on 40m. Apart from some strong VK7s the band seemed dead... Saw a SOTA spot for Adam VK3AGD/P on VK3/VC-029. Managed to work him, but he was a very weak signal.
Called CQ parks on the WWFF calling frequency and got Tony VK1VIC/P and Andrew VK1NAM/P on nearby Mt Majura VK1/AC-034 with a strong signal. This summit is also in a Canberra Nature Park Mt Majura Nature Reserve VKFF-851
Then worked my way through the regular parks chasers. VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and VK7. The VK3s were very weak unless more than around 400-500 Km away such as Mick VK3PMG in Western Victoria. Nothing at all of close by VK2s in Sydney or VK3s in Melbourne, the skip zone seemed somewhere around the 400 Km range.
Got splashed by Adam VK2YK on 7.140 working Tony VK3VTH/P in a park near Wodonga. He was very, very weak...and he was running 100w. I tried a few calls with my puny 5w but unable to make it back.
Did manage to work Mark VK4MON in VKFF-187 Freshwater National Park with a weak but readable signal. Saw a SOTA spot for Peter VK3PF/P on VK3/VT-047, also in VKFF-942 Avon Wilderness Park. He was very weak, but at least we managed to work each other.
After a few hours with only 18 contacts gave it away struggling to hear weak signals and headed home for lunch. At least this is an easy park to return to and get the remaining contacts for the 44 required.
Track log of walk.