Solar eclipse VK6 in April 2023

I recently posted a message in another thread which, on reflection, I think deserves its’ own thread:

I’ll leave the message there, but would encourage VK activists to view that message and perhaps consider doing an activation of the one single SOTA summit VK6/PI-155 (not yet activated!) which lies along the path of totality of the eclipse. There’s an airport close by, and decent roads to the flat summit area.

What’s not to like in activating a virgin SOTA summit during a total eclipse?


PS - in addition to the regions mentioned in that thread, a (very!) partial eclipse will also be visible from the Indonesian SOTA regions YB/KR and YBE/BB in roughly the same time frames…


I suspect the problem might be finding space to activate among the ten million Australians crowded into the same space to see the eclipse.

I had to look up the islands in the South Atlantic where it will also be visible, the Kerguelen Islands, also known as the Desolation Islands. They don’t sound very inviting!


Hmm, I hadn’t thought about the other ten million or so … that could indeed be a problem. But there are always the other peaks in the VK6/PI, VK6/CW and VK6/KI regions to choose from, the majority of summits in which have not yet been activated. Wouldn’t find too many people on those, the odd wombat maybe…


I doubt if many will go to that area to view it.

First, there has been a lot of flooding in the area and many roads are apparently closed.

Second, it’s a bit of a long hike. Using the grid locator of OG77AV and my home locator of QF45LD, my app DBhamPLUS on the iphone tells me it is a challenging 3651 km at a bearing of 283 degrees from here.

But if you were already in VK6(western Australia) and at VK6/SW-001 then it would only be 1418 km on a bearing of 342 from SW001.

It will probably be unactivated for some time yet.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA


Fair enough, but surely the distances you quote are hardly representative of the furthest contacts possible from VK - I just looked at your activation of VK2/SW-028 (Snow Gum Mountain) from a few days ago, and note that you had 19(?) contacts into Europe and 4 into Japan on CW, so surely contacts over such distances are do-able?

OK on the floods, though - those are no joke. Fact is, I don’t honestly expect anybody to go and activate VK6/PI-155 Thomas Carter Lookout, I’m just putting info “out there” for anybody who might be interested, and who may not have realized that the possibility existed to activate there during a solar eclipse. It might just float somebody’s boat…


Plenty of opportunities for visitors to snare a first activation. Plan your trip, hire a tradies 4WD ute and don’t forget to drive on the LHS of the road when it’s wide enough.

It’s always a long way between towns and Roadhouse in VK6.

Don’t tease the crocodiles. They don’t have a sense of humour.



Yeah … I really should learn not to meddle in stuff I don’t properly understand. I’ll get my coat…

Hi Rob,

I was thinking of the travel distance for someone from either the eastern states where the majority of the population lives or even from the Perth area who would still have a big trip to reach that summit.

I think there are probably several entire regions of vk6 without any activations.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA


I know a few folk who head up to Exmouth for a holiday now and again. There are a few geocaches in the area, and some of them even get found more than once a year. :wink: I expect Exmouth may be quite a busy place come the eclipse.

Let’s hope they remember to bring their crocodile swatters and extra sandwiches.



As a measure of the accessibility of the Pilbara region for the activator group in VK6, only two of the summits in VK6/PI have been activated at all.

001 and 002 have been activated. Twice for 001 and once for 002.

The travel distance from population centres to reach these summits is the issue, not the distance for propagation.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA

From what I’ve heard over the years - as a very distant observer - there exists in Australia the odd adventurous type who thinks nothing of hopping onto a plane or a ute and going places where the average city dweller wouldn’t even contemplate going. Perhaps this is a modern myth? Is the Australian adventurer nothing more than an antipodean Bigfoot?

Here you go:

It all depends.

As with most countries some of the population is more adventurous. I’ve been to most parts of Australia pre SOTA. The one hole is the Kimberly’s. It’s a looong drive.

A significant number of new retirees buy a caravan and spend a year or three circumnavigating the country on Highway 1. Anticlockwise to minimise the head winds.

Outside of the capital cities footy enthusiasts will drive a couple of hundred km to play in or just watch a “local” footy match.

The approved croc swatter came with a hole 0.303 inches in diameter.

If you do fancy avoiding another European winter you will be welcome in VK.



Thanks, but the cold suits me just fine.

Looks like a few of the more intrepid folks in VK-land (and beyond!) are turning up for the eclipse party tomorrow April 20:

It would seem that radio hams will be conspicuous by their absence. Oh well, there’s always the next one to look forward to…

My sister’s comment in a conversation which started “We should have got you here for this” was “We’d have had to book last year”, which I figured was a tad optimistic. I expect the eclipse-chasing tour companies would have had this one in their brochures for a few years now…

My mother’s rejoinder was “Isn’t Exmouth having a hurricane?” :wink:

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This remark of mine will show how much out of touch I am: “Do such companies actually exist - is there such a thing?”. I suppose they do … what a strange world we do live in … :roll_eyes: :thinking: :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

Now, hurricanes - those I do understand.

Hi Rob,

It gained no coverage on the WIA weekly news last week.

I just had a look at the air fare from Canberra to Learmonth which is the closest airport to Exmouth.

One way fare is about $AUD 1300, 3 legs being 1 hour to Melbourne, 4 hours to Perth, 2 hours to Learmonth.

The return leg is priced at 1300-1400 depending on whether you are happy to fly overnight on the red-eye from Perth to Melbourne. A 4 hour trip but taking 6 clock hours due to the 2 hour time difference. Leave at just after midnight and arrive at sunrise in Melbourne.

Then add travel to Exmouth, accommodation for a few days. Would add up to a fair bit.

It’s a lot more than I could afford, I’m afraid. It’s for wealthier people than me.

And yes, a tropical low turned into a cyclone up there recently, might be quite an interesting landing and takeoff.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA