VK2IAY/4 IOTA Activation OC-137/160/171 Nov/Dec 2003
(The diary of a DXPedition - by Steve G0UIH/VK2IAY webmaster www.rsgbiota.org )

2nd Page of Images and DXPedition information for the 2003 activation
QSL Cards should be ready to mail out early in February

 

#2nd page of Images and information on the 2003 IOTA Activation to Australia (Queensland) including - Hook Island (OC-160)
Dunk Island (OC-171) and Lamb Island (Ngudooroo) (OC-137)

Here's the continued information of the 2003 IOTA activation, with details on
Dunk Island (IOTA OC-171) and Lamb Island (IOTA OC-137)
F
ollowing the successful activation of "Hook Island" I made my way back to Shute Harbour and Airlie Beach aboard "VOYAGER", which is the fast "CAT" service serving the Whitsunday Island Group of Hook, Long and Whitsunday Islands. I had arranged to collect a hire car from Airlie at around 17.00 hrs local and then take a drive 550km North to "Mission Beach" where we would take an overnight break, ready for the CAT service to "Dunk Island" the following morning. I collected the car on time after getting a lift with Darren, who works as a photographer aboard VOYAGER and set off up the "Bruce Highway" towards Townsville. The route was fairly straightforward with very little traffic compared to the UK, but took 6 hours and I arrived to my overnight stay at Hibiscus Lodge fairly late in the evening. My hosts for the evening were Adrienne and Robert who made me feel very welcome at their tropical retreat http://babs.com.au/hibiscus/index.htm  The following morning a 25 minute journey on the fast CAT saw me to Dunk Island very quickly. Dunk Island Resort is owned by the P&O Group and is one of P&O's premier resorts in Australia - the attention to detail and service was immediately evident. But - I wasn't here for all the "Razz and Jazz" - this is IOTA!! and one thing in mind, get the radio gear and antenna set up - the world is waiting for your call.

The room on Dunk was very nice, with many special touches and within the hour I had the 706MK2g running and the antenna strung off between 2 coconut trees. The propagation on Dunk proved to be different than the conditions of southern QLD. I had experienced this before when operating from Fitzroy Island which is approx 100km north. We had very good short path openings, but the long path was very wishy washy, but all the same, I put 1500+ into the log over a 5 day mainly evening/night operation time (morning/afternoon for EU).

After the 5 nights on DUNK I took the hire car back to Mackay (Approx 800kms). As I'd taken the Pacific Highway route before and had 2 days to complete the journey; it was time for a change. So with a few litres of water and some food I headed North West from Mission Beach out onto the Palmerston Highway, just south of the Atherton Tablelands. This took me through some very scenic rainforest areas for approx 150km. From here I moved inland and after a stop at a quite remote BP service station I told the locals that I was heading for "Lynd Junction", which was approx 280km inland and in "Outback Territory" - at first they through I was crazy, but a check with the only other traveler at the station revealed that he had just come on the reverse route and that the road was ok. I re-assured the locals that I also had radio comms gear (with the 706MK2G) and I was a licensed ham operator, so that helped somewhat! I also had the emergency HF call freq list and Outback Comms info should things go wrong. The route that I was taking was a single track sealed road, although from time to time the sealed road disappeared and the Red sandy outback dirt was I all had. I was not keen in taking the hire car which was not a 4x4 onto unsealed roads, although the only unsealed sections were 4-5km now and again. I arrived at Lynd Junction and it was a cool 42 degrees! at around 3pm local. I filled up the car and added more water and food. From here I took the "Gregory Developmental Road" down towards "Charters Towers", an old gold mining town which was approx 400km South. From leaving Lynd Junction I saw only 3 vehicles in the 400km stretch!!, and there are no service areas!! (No fuel, no food, no water, no people!!) You also see many dead animals on the roadside - this is real outback stuff. You really get the feel of how large a country Australia is and that travelers should respect the Outback.

After arriving into Charters Towers I had a well earned overnight stay and then drove down to Mackay the following day. I then flew back to Brisbane and then moved down to Redland Bay to start the final leg of the journey. The fast CAT service of the Bay Islands took me quickly to Lamb Island which is located approx 50km south east of Brisbane within the Moreton Bay Islands of Stradbroke, Karragarra and Macleay . Lamb has a population of approx 400 and is about 1km in length. It has a small store for local provisions which opens a few hours a day, but apart from this the island is deserted. I rented a house called "WRYD" from Cynthia Dyke real estate for A$88 a night - the place was ideal with a good antenna location. I had neighbours, but it seemed everyone was away - so no RFI hi!

In all I had a superb time and my thanks go to all who helped me in during the DXPedition.

Check out this site soon on the planned 2004 DXPediton to Australia and Fiji - detail available March 2004

         

Dunk  Island - end of Sand Bar                                                                         Dunk Island - Facing East

             

Outback 200km from Charters Towers                             Dunk Island - Main Beach                                       Dunk Island - Southerly Beach

            

Atherton Tablelands                                 Croc (Photo at Australia Zoo-Beerwah)                              Croc eating Chicken Leg
All photos taken with CANON 300D Digital Rebel SLR and Sigma 28-300mm f3.5-6.3 Hyperzoom Lens

73 Steve G0UIH / VK2IAY
2003 IOTA OC-137/160/171 Queensland Australia