Following the activation at the Mount George CP on 10th May 2013, I drove just around the corner to the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, which is only about 8 kms to the north east of Mt George. I had never been to this park before, which consists of 4 separate sections: Wotton Scrub, Filsell Hill, White Scrub, and Burdett Scrub. The park is only about 4 kms south of the devastating fire at Cherryville which (at the time of writing this blog) has burnt over 600 hectares and destroyed one house. The huge plume of smoke was clearly visible from the park.
The Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park is situated about 16 kms east of Adelaide, near the town of Carey Gully, in the ‘Adelaide Hills’ Mount Lofty Ranges. It is named after Kenneth George STIRLING, who was an accountant and benefactor. I had never heard of this gentleman before, but his story is an interesting one.
He died suddenly in 1973, of heart disease, aged just 38. He earnt considerable wealth due to shareholding in mining interests, and apparently this paper value embarrassed him. According to his wife, ‘he believed he hadn’t earned the money the mining boom brought him’ and ‘his main concern was to use it for the good of the community’. He was a member of the Nature Conservation Society of South Australia and other organisations and over the years made several anonymous gifts including $200,000 to the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) to establish national parks in South Australia. The money he gave to the A.C.F. helped to establish national parks at Montacute and Mount Scott, both near Adelaide, and in the extension of existing reserves at Scott Creek, in the Mount Lofty Ranges, and Warrenben, on Yorke Peninsula. In 1990 the State government acquired land in the Adelaide Hills for the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park.
There are no visitor facilities or amenties at this park.
I was planning on staying in the park until sunset, but because it was such a beautiful mild night, I stayed for a few hours after the sun went down. Eventually I pulled stumps simply because the gully winds picked up and the smoke from the bushfire was drifting in my direction as was a lot of ash.
I used the Yaesu FT-817nd, 5 watts, and my BandHopper 40m/20m linked dipole supported on the 7m squid pole.
I managed 26 QSO’s, all on 40m. This included a contact with VK9NT on Norfolk Island and Brian ZL2ASH. I also had a few QRP contacts with Tom VK2KF on 5 watts and Lewis VK4LEW on 10 watts. Had a great QSO with Bob VK3FLAK, who was really interested in portable & QRP operation, so we tried a few things. I dropped the power on the 817nd down from 5 watts, to 2.5 watts, then 1 watt, and then .5 watt, and Bob was still able to hear me comfortably. Joined the 7.130 DX Net and received lots of calls.
I had QSO’s with the following:- Dave VK3VCE; Gary VK3VCR; Tom VK2ARK/p; Tom VK2KF/qrp; Ron VK5MRE; Lewis VK4LEW/qrp; Matt VK3FORD; Peter VK3RV; Peter VK2NEO; John VK2FJ; Graham VK9NT; Kas VK5ZKT; Trevor VK6ATB; Bob VK3FLAK; Paul VK7CC; Brian ZL2ASH; Roy VK7ROY; Charl VK2CKK/m; Colin VK4FAAS; Andy VK4TH; Phil VK2MCB; Lionel VK2FIZZ; John VK2FALL; Don VK7DON; Shane VK2TJF/p; & Tim VK5ML.
Had a lot of fun in this park and will certainly be going back some time soon.