2015 New Year Activations

VK3/VN-029  Federation Range

VK3/VN-030 Mt Strickland

VK3/VC-005 Mt Vinegar

KRMNPA Yarra Ranges National Park (WWFFID – VKFF-556)

ViewFrom FederationRange

View towards Melbourne on the way up to Federation Range.

28 S2S for the day,


VK3/VN-029  Federation Range

Access to Federation Range is from Lake Mountain resort. Situated in Yarra Ranges National Park.

Access October before you have to pay to take advantage of sesional bonus points.

Lake Mountain has excellent facilities. The tracks are ski runs and open.

Cafe was not open but the toilets are and there are even showers available.


8km return. Hardest part is staying on the correct tracks.  I took photos on the return trip to clarify the path as lost 15min on my trip from taking the wrong turn. No issues as this is a great area well maintained.Follow the red triangles. So here we go,

Take the “Royston Gap Track” which starts behind the Ski Patrol building.Take the lower track.

Basically you follow this track up to the summit. However it can get confusing. There are ski runs involved so need to stay sharp.


Head up the track. This image demonstrates the issue with walking in summer. The ski track is to the right and larger. The track we want is to the left and according to maps the main path. Follow the red triangles,


take the left track, 


again keep to the left following ‘Hut Track’. You are now off ski runs and on walking tracks.


The top is open and the activation zone clear and large.


The summit has March Flies.

Apparently only the female bites. Looking for blood for her off-spring. Serious little beasts. Don’t forget the Aeroguard.


I was able to qualify the summit both pre and post UTC with S2S contacts. Spent a hour on site before deciding to move on and get away from the March flies.

VK3/VN-030 Mt Strickland

From here Mt Strickland is the next target. Intended to come up from Acheron Way as per VK3YY Glenn directions however VK3CAT Tony gave me directions for access from Marysville-Woods Pt Rd whilst on Federation Range. Reluctant to  take roads that do not show as a suitable road on the Garmin device however this would save travelling all the way through Marysville and it was a great day so off I went.

Turn left approx 1km down Marysville-Woods Pt Rd at the Marysville State Forest sign. This is called “MMBW Boundary Rd’’ Follow this road up until it becomes “Road Eight”. This is a good road suitable for 2WD traffic. In fact better condition than the dirt road I live on. Follow the road and your at Mt Strickland before you know it.


Meet VK3CAT on site. Qualified with S2S contacts.

By this stage VK3ANL Nick was coming from Mt Vinegar towards us and VK3WAM Wayne was coming from behind. It appears we are going to have to book time on summits in the future. 

I had qualified two new summits for the day which was my intention. Tony is a 4WD enthusiast and described many methods of accessing summits in the area including a road to Mt Vinegar. Previous activations for Mt Vinegar involved parking at Acheron Way and waking up. I was interested to see how the roads connect. VK3ANL Nick had just used these track and cleared the fallen trees. Off I went with Tony to Mt Vinegar.

VK3/VC-005 Mt Vinegar

From Mt Strickland head down following Feigns road. Again the actual roads. Turn right once at Acheron Way. Left up Carters Gap road then across the ridge. These roads traverse logging coups.  We basically took the larger roads and always turned towards the summit.

We meet Nick on Carters Road. He was coming down and we were going up to Mt Vinegar.

Given the recent activity happy to gain the contacts to qualified the summit comfortably.


VK3CAT thanking the SOTA gods from Mt Vinegar for all our S2S contacts,

On the way back meet two hikers who were ‘geographically embarrassed’ as the roads they were looking for were not on their maps. They were not in any real trouble just confused. This part of the world has a lot of tracks and roads that are and maintained bulilt for the logging industry so are subject to change. Not a problem as long as you flexible. As we are interested in the summits the rule of keep going up works. Personally happy to walk a few KM’s but always happy to drive as far as I can to save a few K’s.

New Year’s Day UTC year change is a day of action for SOTA activators. This year it appeared everyone was out either on a summit or in a National park.

A great day and already looking forward to 2016.

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