Mt Bride (VK3-VC-009), Britannia Range (VK3/VC-011) and Hyde Hill (VK3/VC-008) can all be activated in a day without much trouble. I had done the three summits last year, but not all together with Hyde Hill.
For this activation, I took the Old Warburton Rd from Wesburn and followed it until Mt Bride Rd.
At Burns Track (2wd with ground clearance), turn up the hill and park at the highest point which is close to opposite the walking track to Mt. Bride.
A short walk through a partially overgrown track takes you to the summit.
There are a few choices of operating locations, none all that large though. Arriving at 10am local, I setup and was on air by 10:10 and made 14 contacts in 21 minutes. On 12 metres, contact was made with VK6MB.
Back at the car I turned around and went back down Burns Track and turned left into Mt Bride Road (good gravel 2wd). From here, I followed Mt Bride Road until Britannia Range track on the right. I headed up Britannia Range track (4wd) which has some very deep spoon drains. I scraped something on a deep spoon drain and thought it best to stop and walk the rest of the way as I didn’t want to get stuck. At the highest point on the track, (S37° 49.038′ E145° 43.770′) there is a rough track towards the summit which peters out and reappears. I ended up bush bashing a little and stopped in a small clearing, not far from the summit. The 4.5 metre squid pole was erected with the end fed half wave, but it kept getting snagged on surrounding foliage. It was touching some ferns at the ends and this was probably reducing performance. 10 contacts were made in 10 minutes on 40m and then moving over to 12m, one contact was made. Things then went a bit quiet, so I packed up and headed off.
Back at Mt Bride Road, I continued in the same direction until meeting Black Sands Road where I turned left. Black Sands Road (good gravel 2wd) eventually intersects with Big Creek Road where the logged area is on the side of Hyde Hill.
I parked here and walked through the logged area in the direction of the highest part of the clearing. Going was a little rough with ash here and there that you sunk into. At the highest part of the clearing, it seemed to be just in the activation zone, but to be sure, I headed into the bush. There are only odd animal tracks here and there and the bush is quite thick with fallen branches everywhere covered with overgrowth. When about 50m from the summit, I found a cleared area to set up the antenna. Again, it was hard to get the end fed up without snagging it on ferns or saplings. At one point, I pulled on the wire and the squid pole came apart, a section pulling through the lower section.
Once on air, another 10 contacts were made in 20 minutes and then things went quiet. A summit to summit contact was made with Nick, VK3ANL on Flinders Peak. This was the only summit to summit activity, where was everybody? A bit of fog had rolled in and then light rain started, so time to pack up. Back at the car, the rain had increased a bit, so all well timed.
I kept going down Big Creek Road (good gravel 2wd) all the way to the the Yarra Junction Road and headed back to Yarra Junction. A better way might have been to head back to Black Sands Road and follow it back to the main road to Yarra Junction.
Thanks Marshall, VK3MRG for the road information between Britannia and Hyde Hill.