VK7/EC-030 – Mount Graham & VKFF 0188 – 3 October 2016

Just back from a fantastic three days hiking, camping, SOTAing and VKFFing trip!
Confused by those acronymns?
SOTA = Summits On The Air – making radio contacts from the top of summits!
VKFF = Australian (VK) Flora and Fauna – making radio contacts from within National Parks.
Sunday 1 October, 2016 Reuben VK7FREU and I drove to Freycinet National Park on the East Coast of Tasmania – about 2-3 hours from Hobart (170km). This National park is very popular with tourist and hikers and we chose Freycinet NP as the Spring weather can be quite unpredictable and this proved to be the case. We had planned to spend four days and three nights camping and activating and this was cut short to three days and two nights as the weather closed in.
Our walk in took us 4.5hours with full packs and radio gear – my pack was about 17kgs which is nearing my limit! The walk was across the Hazards saddle down in to Wineglass Bay, across the Isthmus Track, along Hazards Beach, over the Peninsula Track and along Cooks Beach to Cooks Hut camp ground. The distance was about 12km and was very picturesque.

Panorama of Hazards Beach. Mt Freycinet on left.


Cooks Beach due South – camp ground is at the other end of the beach. Track to Mt Graham is off the left.


Our Cooks Hut campsite


This Bennet’s Wallaby Mum and Joey visited each morning around breakfast time.

On day two we repacked our day-packs and setup off back along Cooks Beach to the turn-off to Mt Graham. This track risessteadily up onto the East Freycinet Saddle that takes you around the back Mt Freycinet then up into the saddle proper between  Mt Freycinet and Mt Graham. The track then steeply rises up Mt Graham to the summit. The track is cut into the vegetation down to the granite bedrock and this forms a water courses that can make the rocks slippery along with the weathering granite. It can be a challenge at times!!


Panorama L2R – Schouten Island – Mt Freycinet – Mt Graham (Foreground) – Hazards

We setup the antenna in gale force winds on top of Mt Graham (SOTA Designator – VK7/EC-030) and keeping the antenna in the air was a real challenge – we each made 6 contacts and decided to give it away as we just couldn’t keep the antenna in the air! Thanks to all who did contact us. We had lunch in a sheltered place and took in the view from Mt Graham.


The Hazards looking down into Wineglass Bay from Mt Graham

We decided not to do Mt Freycinet as the wind was strengthening and the round trip to Mt Graham and back was 13km. We headed back to the campsite and had tea.


Cooks Hut – used by the farmers who drove sheep on Freycinet peninsula before it became a National Park.

The Cooks Hut campsite has all the modern conveniences! – composting toilet, rain water tanks as well as sheltered campsites. Note – it is a fuel stove only area – not fires allowed. Surprisingly there was good Telstra mobile coverage at the campsite – which was good as we were regularly checking the weather reports!After tea we setup the radio and started calling on the VKFF 40m calling channel (7.144MHz) for contacts for the Australian Flora and Fauna award – Freycinet National Park is VKFF-0188 and we managed to get another 14 contacts to activate the National Park for VKFF. Thanks Paul VK5PAS for spotting us on Parks and Peaks.


We woke on Wednesday morning and the weather report was still for rain and storms in the afternoon. We had wanted to go through to Bryans Beach and then on to activate Point Geographe but decided to head back out in the morning as try and miss the storm.

We packed up and started our walk out and the sun came out! It doesn’t get much better than this 17degreesC and relatively clear skies. Although there were storm clouds forming in the distance!


Life’s a Beach! – Looking back along Hazards Beach toward Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet.

Our walk out took us along Cooks Beach, across the Peninsula Track, along Hazards Beach and then back around the Hazards Beach Track around to the car park. This is a slightly longer but flatter path back to our starting point. It is about a 13km walk out which took us 5 hours.


Looking across to the Freycinet Peninsula on the drive back to Hobart!

By the time we got back to the car the grey and black storm clouds were starting to blow across Great Oyster Bay and by the time we left Swansea the storm cell was over the Freycinet Peninsula as evidenced in the above photo. I think we made a good decision to leave early!
A great trip and there are certainly some activation left to do. Thanks to all who contacted us we had a great time and will certainly be back to this piece of Tasmanian paradise!
Catch you on a summit soon.
73, Justin, VK7TW and Reuben VK7FREU.
This entry was posted in Amateur Radio, Bushwalking, Camping, First Activation, SOTA, SOTA Activation, VK7 Association, VKFF Activation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to VK7/EC-030 – Mount Graham & VKFF 0188 – 3 October 2016

  1. vk5bje says:

    Hi Justin,
    What a great trip. It is a beautiful park and it looks like it provides some challenging walks. I have been there two times and have not walked much at all. Rushed trips on short holidays! I admire what you two were able to do and I am sorry I didn’t get you in the log!
    John D


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