Mt. Oberon was recently re-opened for public access in December after the access road to Telegraph Saddle was rebuilt following a huge storm that washed the old road away in March 2011. As I was camping at Tidal River for the holidays in January, it was an easy one to activate.
Access to Telegraph Saddle is a via shuttle bus run by Parks Victoria during peak times. From Telegraph Saddle, there is a 3.4km steep walk to the summit. The walk is up a recently rebuilt and well graded road. I did get some strange looks boarding the shuttle bus with a squid pole and pack with radio gear. The last part of the walk is up to the rocky summit via stone steps. There are two towers about 20m below the summit for commercial and government radio systems. The view from the summit is fantastic, looking out over the park to sea. I have been to the summit many times over the years, including the millenium rollover.
Unfortunately, my activation was timed with a large group of tourists so I set up the squid pole about 10m or so down from the summit. The wind was strong so I had to strap the pole to a thick trunk of some scrub. An end fed half wave for 7MHz was erected on the squid pole and a 146MHz 5/8th vertical set up for 2m.
No contacts were made on 2m FM. I only had a low performance radio with me (due to weight) and was suspicious of receiver desense from the VHF trunking system on the towers nearby.
On 7MHz, I made 6 contacts after a slow start: VK3PF,VK3AFW, VK3VCE, VK5MCB, VK3NBL and VK3ABM. For a while I thought that I might not activate the summit, but after the Sotawatch post, I made the extra contacts.
A couple of nights later, we decided to do a sunset walk. I took up 146.5 FM only but was not able to make any contacts unfortunately. The sunset was not too spectacular either as the cloud base dropped suddenly about 5 minutes before sunset.