Deadly Aussie Reptiles

Hi folks,

My activation report for Mt Ritchie VK3/VC-003 on Boxing Day.

73, Andrew VK1AD


I didn’t realise you had that ultimate in Christmas traditions down under, Boxing Day. That earns the whole country a +1 for keeping up an old tradition from the UK. I liked the pics of the Eucalyptus trees.

I’d rather stand next to a snake than be in the city of Melbourne on Boxing Day!

Yes Andy, we too have Boxing Day specials! Not the place for the faint-hearted, survival of the fittest and a wallet full of cash is the game plan, I think? :slight_smile:

In case you are thinking the HAM radio store is open, nope closed for two weeks.


Andrew VK1AD

Don’t encourage them. They will be asking for a snake bonus next - probably to be awarded on some sort of sliding scale.


Tiger snakes, brown snakes, black snakes, red bellied black snake, taipans (a chap in Queensland sadly died only a few days ago from a bite).

All venomous and hard to see.

Afraid summer time is knee high gaiters and constant vigilance when in the Australian bush.

The recent rains with plenty of frogs and other food sources has seen something of an upsurge in snake numbers as of late.

Lovely ferns up at Mt Richie.

The odd thing is that Boxing Day has become a retail bonanza in some states. Its status as a public holiday is rather obscure.

In another tradition of being independent thunkers, not all Australian states actually observe Boxing Day as a public holiday. Tourists in those states walk around in a state of bewilderment on the 26th, muttering to themselves about odd practices in heathen states. And until recently anyway, some states still had the requirement for any motor vehicle travelling at night at speeds over 8 mph to be preceded by a person walking and carrying a light on a pole. Wonder where that one came from (looking roughly north west from eastern VK, short path, almost all the way around the globe)?


Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

First, get your snake onto the scale… :slight_smile:

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If a date/time stamped photo is insufficient as evidence for the VK Snake Bonus, then a 2 point puncture mark in the hand used to operate the microphone or CW key should be sufficient… :wink:

Andrew VK1AD


haha, what about the steady hand award, given to the operator who continues to send morse despite seeing a snake crawl into view? I can’t even brush flies and ants off without it affecting my keying… probably would have doppler shift on my voice if using ssb…

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It’s not the snakes you see that you need to worry about, it’s the ones you don’t see and tread on that will cause the most grief.

I subscribe to the theory that it is usually the second person who gets hit by the snake. First person disturbes it, second person becomes the target. Always go first and take another person with you.

(Who hates snakes)

Never mind the snakes what about the Tunnel Webs and red-backs…

While supporting the Sydney 2000 Olympics a colleague opened up a transport container to get some network gear that had been shipped over from Perth (I think), to find hundeds of Tunnel Web spiders in it. No need to say he closed the door very quickly - marked it not to be opened and got the fumigation people in.


One activator I know related how he was happily sending cw until a large spider of the nasty sort climbed up onto his radio.

T’would disturb your train of thought somewhat I think.:sweat:

Is that Funnel web spider Ed ??

A Death Certificate may suffice.:grin:

Redbacks are almost blind so you can get very close to them and they don’t run. Summits are not likely locations for redbacks, they prefer cool and dark locations. Funnelwebs advertise their presence through their web shape, except for the males that go hunting during the evening when you do not want to be walking around without shoes. Matt told me he found a funnelweb nest about 10ft from my tent on Mt Ginini. I have seen one dead funnelweb on Ginini. But only one in 47 years of operating at Ginini. I never go barefoot up there. I have seen people arrive for a picnic, get out the picnic rug, place it under a tree, put the little kids on the rug and then busy themselves in the car opening things and finding food. I have gone over to such people several times and advised them they need to be careful about some of the wildlife. One such family took it so seriously they packed up and left. Others ignore such warnings. Some people don’t want to be warned, they know best.

OOPS sorry - should be Funnel Web of course - I’ve only ever seen them in a zoo, don’t want to see them in the wild (or worse in ones home)!.


Well you would not want to visit where I live. Because of the redbacks have to spray every so often during the warmer months.

To my surprise and horror two funnel webs came out twitching from the effects of the spray until they expired.

Now I do not walk about outside at night with bare feet unless I have a torch.:fearful:

I have to say that complaining about snakes in Australia is like complaining about rain in Scotland, earthquakes in San Francisco, beer in Germany and cold weather in Canada!

Happy activations in the New Year,


Don’t you mean slithering scale(s)?

Just got back from a 5 summit activation across into VK2 and most definitely wore the gaiters for additional protection against snakes - fortunately only one seen and that was a good snake (dead).