15-Apr-2001 -- Andrew VK2UAI contacted Steve VK2UD & Geoff VK2EO for the exact coordinates, these being 33 degrees south, 151 degrees east. The parties then headed for this point in the Yengo national park, west of Wollombi.
A gravel road brought the group within 1.7 kilometres of the actual location, at which point a discussion was held as to whether anyone would battle through the bush on foot to reach it. Andrew was keen to reach it & prepared to venture in. Overalls were donned for protection against the vegetation, as were a pair of stout walking shoes (actually steel capped safety boots). A backpack was loaded with water, a couple of handheld radios (for giving regular welfare reports), spare GPS cells, camera & personal EPIRB (just in case). Departure was at 3:30pm.
The walk was characterised by deep gullies, small rock faces & awkward vegetation. In the second gully just before the point, the shielding effect of trees caused the GPS unit to `freeze’ because it could not receive enough satellite signals, making heading in the right direction a task required from memory. Within 200 metres of the point, the (now un-frozen) GPS direction indicators became less reliable, as, just with all units, they need a period of smooth travel in one direction, in order to give a bearing. This was impossible in this terrain. Instead, the unit was now switched to show actual latitude & longitude figures, requiring mental calculations as to what direction should be taken, with the now lowering sun as a western reference point.
Between 4:30 & 5pm a general area with some ground clearings & rocks was evaluated as being the designated point. Photographs of the ground & surrounding views were taken, along with shots of the GPS unit, which, even when motionless on the ground, decimal increments of the seconds readout wavered up and down by anything up to about half a second. All that was left was a quick scramble back to the vehicles before the light from the setting sun totally disappeared. Travel was slightly easier as the return path could be made through areas that weren’t as arduous as the trek in. Upon return to the vehicles, some bemused campers were presented with solid evidence that Steve and Geoff weren’t telling them tall stories. Mission accomplished, the group headed back home.