Sunday, 15 January 2017

WWFF Majors Creek State Conservation Area VKFF-1346

Majors Creek State Conservation Area VKFF-1346 was added to the list of VKFF parks last year, and as never activated keen to give it a try. Been years since been to this town anyway so wanted to see if it had changed much.

Majors Creek is a very small town about 18 Km South of Braidwood. Originally a farm 'Mt Elrington" granted land to Major William Sandy Elrington in 1831, the town population really took off following the discovery of gold in 1851, and the town named after his rank.

At one time during the gold rush the town reached a population over 2000, however today it is only a few hundred. It only has one shop of sorts, the Majors Creek pub/post office. There is a small park over the road where I had morning tea.

Majors Creek State Conservation Area is near the town and as I found out later is steep, heavily forested country with few roads. I first tried to enter the park in the North West corner via Araluen St then Wilson St. Got to where the road splits in two, stopped by gates and private houses...

So next tried the other place in the park close to a road, off the Majors Creek Araluen Mountain Road. This is at the end of Seymour St. Note the warnings about 4WD...

The first few Km not too bad. Stopped at Clarkes Lookout, good view of the Araluen Valley below. Read up on this lookout later, named after local bushrangers Tom and John Clarke. This is where in 1865 they would track stagecoaches laden with gold and bail them up... Tom was eventually tried and hung in 1867.

Some of the forest down the road from Clarkes Lookout.

The road got steeper and well rutted, so 4WD, or at least AWD advisable. Reached the first hairpin bend, this is the end of the park on the left side of the ridge. Note the conservation area sign, the only indication that there is a park here.

Just up from the hairpin bend a rough access track following a power line crossed the road. The track up looked impossibly steep, beyond my Nissan Xtrails abilities... so set up the radio just off the side of this track on the tarp. Used a tree stump for the squid pole support.

A side view of the station.

Shack on the tarp. Just off the road to the right of the stump the ground dropped away very rapidly to the valley below... forget about walking into the park here!

Got on 40m. To my annoyance the nearby power lines were generating about an S4 of noise, however could still hear strong stations.

Used my TS480 running 40w as band conditions were not good. Started with a park to park with Angela VK7FAMP/p in VKFF-0005 Narawntapu National Park. Had mobile coverage and able to spot myself, went on to work VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK7 park hunters.

After signals dried up on 40m switched to 20m, worked VK4RF/VK4HA Rick as usual, VK7CW Steve and ZL1BYZ John.

Returned to 40m to work VK5PAS/p Paul in VKFF-1707 Encounter Marine National Park. He also had a couple of other operators with him, VK5FR Chris and VK5KC David. Getting them about S5, above my noise.

Ended with a contact with Andrew VK1AD running low power.

A total of 26 contacts. Map of the park from Protected Planet website showing my operating position.

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