Finniss Conservation Park

My second park of the day was the Finniss Conservation Park which is just a hop, skip and a jump from the Mt Magnificent Conservation Park.  It is only about 3 kms away, on the southern side of the Mt Magnificent Road.

Access to the park is via a wooden gate on the southern side of the Mt Magnificent Road.  There is a Heysen trail sign on the fence, which is alongside an old stone homestead.  I parked the car at the gate, and walked through the paddocks, where there were cattle grazing.  It was about a 3 km walk from there to get to the park.  Under foot it was very wet, particularly in the paddocks, but a trail starts at the 2nd gate, which is a bit more pleasing to walk on.

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The Finniss Conservation Park is a small park of 108 hectares situated on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 64 kms south of Adelaide.  The park was established in 1976 and offers views over the Finniss River and the surrounding landscape.  There is a high rocky plateau on the western side of the park which offers views over the Finniss Valley.  The scrub within the park is extremely thick.

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The Finniss River, which is about 50 kms in length, flows through the park.  The Finniss commences nearby at Yundi and flows into the Lower Lakes at Goolwa.

There are very panoramic views of the Fleurieu Peninsula, down to Victor Harbor, Goolwa, and Hindmarsh Island.

I set up my 7 m squid pole and the 40m dipole.  I used some large moss rocks to hold the squid pole up, and there was no shortage of options of trees to secure the ends of the dipole.

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I used a tree stump as a back rest and tuned the radio to 40m.  My first contact was with John VK5BJE who was portable in the Pikes River CP.  I was also lucky enough to speak with Hans VK5YX who was portable in Queensland with his wife Lesley VK5LOL, at Coopers Creek Crossing.  Hans was using the mobile whip on his car and had a great 5/5 signal.  And to my surprise with my 5 watts and little dipole I received 5/5 back from Hans.

I also spoke with Larry VK5LY who was operating portable in the Morgan Conservation Park (5/9 both ways).

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Within 45 minutes I had accrued 14 QSO’s and I was ready to pack up and head home.  I needed to go and have some lunch and then head up to Clare to stay with Ian VK5CZ, and activate 4 SOTA peaks over the weekend.

The following stations were worked:- John VK5BJE/p; Andy VK5LA; Ian VK5HS/m; Hans VK5YX/4; Brian VK5FMID; Larry VK5LY/p; Trevor Vk5ATW; Nev VK5WG; Nick VK3ANL; Tom VK5EE; Bernard VK3AMB; Mal VK3AZZ; Peter VK5NAQ; and Charles VK5FBAC.

Finniss Conservation Park is a beautiful park and is well worth a visit.  Unless you did some homework on the internet, most people wouldn’t even know the park was there.

Mount Magnificent Conservation Park

On Friday morning, 26th July 2013, I headed south from home with the intention to activate another 2 parks as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.

My first park was the Mount Magnificent Conservation Park, which is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 60 kms south of Adelaide.  The park is about 90 hectares in size and was established 1972.  It preserves an area of remnant bushland.  The major feature of the park is the 380 metre high Mount Magnificent summit.

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The Heysen Trail passes through this park which is situated on the eastern slopes of the Mount Lofty Ranges.  A spur trail through forest takes you to the Mount Magnificent trig point, where you will be graced with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.  The Heysen trail links this park with the Finniss Conservation Park to the east 9my next activation), and the Kyeema Conservation Park to the northwest (which I have previously activated).

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There is plenty of wildlife to be found in the park including a large number of Western Grey kangaroos, and echidnas.  There is also a large number of bird varieties.

I parked my car on Mt Magnificent Road, and then walked about 2 kms down the Heysen trail, where I found a large fallen tree, which looked just perfect to use as a chair & desk.

So I set up the 40m dipole on the 7m squid pole, using some gum trees to tie off the ends, and tuned the radio to 7.100 and heard Larry VK5LY who was portable in the Pooginook Conservation Park up in the Riverland.  I called Larry who had a great 5/8 signal and I received 5/9 back from him.  This was a good start to get a Park to Park contact.

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I then moved down the band a bit and heard John VK5BJE on 7.095, who was also operating portable from a park.  John was also an excellent 5/8 signal from the Pikes River Conservation Park.  My second Park to Park contact for the day, which I was really happy with.

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I enjoy working QRP to QRP, and again I ahd a few good low power contacts. Bernard VK3AMB who was using just 4 watts was a terrific 5/8 signal.  As was Nev VK5WG from Crystal Brook who was 5/9.  Rik VK3KAN who was mobile was also QRP 5 watts and was 5/7.

I ended up with a total of 17 QSO’s on 40m SSB, which I was really pleased with, considering it was a week day.

The following stations were worked:- Larry VK5LY/p; John VK5BJE/p; Tom VK5EE; Ivan VK5HS; Nick VK3ANL; Mal VK3AZZ; Bernard VK3AMB; Brian VK5FMID; Peter VK3PF; Gary VK2DAK; Brian VK3MCD/m; Nev VK5WG; Angus VK2IET; Tony VK3CAT/m; Rik VK3KAN/pedestrian mobile; Tony VK3CTM; and Trevor VK5ATW.