South Gippsland and Mt Matlock

Hi all,

Continuing to catch up on this blog.


I was heading off on a three week trip to PNG, and wanted to sneak in a few SOTA activations beforehand. On the evening of the 5th of September I headed up the Woods Point Rd to the Thompson Jordan Divide Rd. This is a good 2wd road. I headed down to point 307297 and slept there the night.

Early the next morning, I passed through the seasonal closure gate on foot. It’s about 6km from the road junction to the activation zone. The track from here would be quite passable, perhaps even by a 2wd during summer or in dry conditions. The summit is quite unremarkable, perhaps Mt Easton, a few kilometres away, might give some views of the upper end of Thompson Dam.

Station at VK3/VT-029

Station at VK3/VT-029

There are not as many SOTA chasers during the week, especially early in the morning. It was never a problem getting the number of QSOs, but not the fast pileup today.

End fed at VK3/VT-029

End fed at VK3/VT-029

With that, it was back to the car and onto the next summit.

Mt Matlock VK3/VC-001

This mountain is in the central region. It perhaps does not belong, but because the associated local government area stretches out this far, central region it is. Last year, this summit was covered in snow, but it was a more civil affair this time.

Summit of Mt Matlock

Summit of Mt Matlock

It is quite possible to drive a 2wd all the way to the top. I left the car at the road junction about 300m south of the summit, then dropped a bit of height and walked up to the summit from there.

The activation was still a little slow with eight contacts. Not too many chasing today.

As I was able to drive further than expected, I was now getting ahead of my expected time schedule. Nice to keep a bit of time up my sleeve.

Mt Toorongo Range VK3/VT-026

Next up, Mt Toorongo Range. Many have been here since I was last, this summit seems be a quite popular place during bonus season.

I was able to get the 2wd all the way up to the seasonal closure gate. From here, it’s a fairly short walk. This time, I headed up to where the road levels off, and then head off track up to the summit. Easier going than last year.

Activity from here was a little busier than my previous two summits. This year, I was only doing 40m unlike last year where the colinear had a go. Finally, I had a look from here at the final summit of the day.

Mt Horsfall from Mt Toorongo Range

Mt Horsfall from Mt Toorongo Range

Mt Horsfall VK3/VT-028

The main road going to this summit is subject to a seasonal closure quite some distance from the summit. My plan was to approach it from the south and use a 4wd track that goes up the side of the mountain. I had heard that others could not find this track, so perhaps it does not exist – it would not be the first time a marked track does not exist.

I used the Toorongo Rd from the link rd, travelling west to about 2km south of the summit. There was a track heading up from here, so I drove the car up. It was a little rough for a 2wd, but I travelled up about 800m to another junction at point 168183. From here, I tried heading north-east, but that track died out. I then tried the other track, and the tracklog is shown below:

Access to Mt Horsfall

Access to Mt Horsfall

The track starts off quite good, and makes it’s way across a creek. From there it winds up towards a lookout for a waterfall. The track is quite overgrown going through the zig zags, but still worth following. From near this lookout, I made a direct line towards the summit, going straight up. The forest is mostly passable, there’s a few tricky bits to try to avoid. I also picked up a leech or two, so wearing gaiters is a good idea. The off track section can be as short as 700m, so it is not too bad.

There are some good views up top, overlooking the forbidden forest of the Upper Yarra.

Looking into the Yarra valley from Mt Horsfall

Looking into the Yarra valley from Mt Horsfall

Even though there were a few clouds around, the rain held off until I was back in the car and driving home. Nice one 🙂

Due to the large grassy area, I chose to use the trig point to mount the antenna.

End fed antenna on the trig point at Mt Horsfall

End fed antenna on the trig point at Mt Horsfall

The end-fed is the ol’reliable. It, again, was not as busy as a weekend SOTA activation, but lots of good strong signals.

With that, it was time to head for home. Back in the car, well before dark.

Regards, Wayne VK3WAM

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