This was the last opportunity for SOTA before Christmas, and there are a cluster of summits that looked ok for a day trip around Lake Nilahcootie, in North East Victoria. These summits included, Unnamed VK3/VE-203, Mt. Strathbogie VK3/VE-132, Mt Samaria VK3/VE-157 and Unnamed VK3/VE-140. There were a few others but they looked out of reach for a day trip.
Kevin and I left from Narre Warren North at 7am. Just after Bonnie Doon, we took the Midland Highway to Johnstons Road before Barjarg then Barjarg Glen Creek Road to D8 Road where we stopped. To this point, the road was a little bumpy in spots but OK for 2WD in the dry with some ground clearance.
We went a little way up D8 road, but it became severely rutted and very steep, so we parked there and walked to the summit. The walk was quite steep and about 2km one way according to the log.
From the top, we both worked on 40m and easily qualified the summit. A summit to summit was made with VK2CDS on VK3/HU-013. I tried 10m but didn’t make a contact, although heard VK3MEG calling.
After returning to the car, we continued on for Ferraris Rd. and then took Harpers Rd. No3 to the summit of Mt. Strathbogie. After a quick walk out and back into the activation zone, we set up stations. Operating here was pretty comfortable. I set up the loaded end fed on a large rock and qualified on 40m. Then, operating from Kevin’s station, we had lunch and waited for a few summit to summits. These included, Andrew, VK1DA on VK2/ST-053, VK7PD on VK7/NW-008, Andrew VK3BQ on VK2/SM-001 and Peter VK3PF on VK3/V-074.
From Mt. Strathbogie, we drove out the way we came in with the exception of avoiding Johnstons Road to reach the highway. The Barjarg – Glen Creek Road was much better. Turning North on the Midland highway, we drove just past the top of the lake and turned right onto Williams Rd which eventually meets up with the Samaria Road. Williams Rd did become rather rough in sections and Samaria Road was not much better. 2WD in the dry with good ground clearance.
The walking track to Mt. Samaria is about 1.5km one way and reasonable steep. There is a false summit with a little cairn almost at the top, but you have to keep going to the Trig point. Once at the summit, the views were very nice and the weather perfect. Kevin set up a station on 40m and I tried 6 metres with no luck. We had a summit to summit with John, VK5BJE/3 on Mt. Moliagul. It was getting hot and we were running out of time, so we left for the next summit further down the Samaria Rd.
Driving south on Samaria Rd, we took Butchers Track on the left which wasn’t too bad in 2WD. Not too many ruts. This takes you to the closest point to VK3/VE-140 which is to the west. There is a walking track that will take you all the way to the summit, although we did not know that and bush bashed from the track to the summit. At the summit the land clears and there is a large flatish rock area to set up on. We worked Andrew, VK1NAM over on Arthurs Seat. By now it was about 5:30pm local so we didn’t hang around too long. The nice track was taken back to the car. This track does not go directly, and follows a contour line. Our return trip was 3km.
Heading south down Samaria Rd we headed for Mansfield for a cold drink or two. The Delatite Hotel looked inviting, so we had dinner there and left for home some time later. Another great day in the hills!