Port Elliot Show

On Sunday 13th October, 2013, David VK5KC and I set up an amateur radio display at the Port Elliot Show on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.  This was the 135th year of operation of show.  The first show was held at Middleton and shows were run at various venues along the south coast for the next twenty years.  In 1889 the Society purchased a plot of land near Port Elliot and annual shows have been held there ever since, with the exception of the Second World War and one other year.

We set up a small display in the Perry Hall, which included a Yaesu FT-817nd, a Yaesu FT-450, an Icom 706, and a Yaesu VX-6R.  We also had a few portable antennas on display, along with some digital modes, and a laptop showing a slideshow of amateur radio photographs.  We also had the WIA’s promotion brouchures ‘Calling CQ’ and some newly printed AHARS brochures.

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Once the weather cleared, we also improvised and set up the FT-817nd outside of the hall, alongside the dog obedience area.  A nearby collection of ‘junk’ produced a heavy metal chair and some heavy pavers and besser blocks which we used to secure the 7m squid pole and the legs of a 40m/20m linked dipole.

We were joined in the afternoon by young 15 year old Andrew VK5FACE.  Congratulations are in order for Andrew for volunteering some of his time.  Andrew enjoyed his time making a number of contacts, on 40m SSB with some interested onlookers.


Despite some very inclement weather and a not so favourable position in the show grounds, we still managed to attract some attention, with some very interested visitors to the display.

The following stations were worked by Andrew:-

Barry, VK3LBW; Den VK3FDAS; Graham VK3GRK; Frank VK3GFS; Larry VK5LY; Craig VK3CRG; Brian VK5FMID; Kevin VK3VEK; Alan VK5AR; Grant VK3GRR; and Gordon VK3EJ.

Yulti Conservation Park

My last activation of the day was the Yulti Conservation Park, which is located about 3 km south east of the town of Myponga.

After my activation at Nixon Skinner CP, I drove back into Myponga, and then along James Track and onto Springmount Road, and then onto Trigg Point Road.  But I was really struggling to find access to the park.  My maps showed Cooper Road leading to the southern side of the park.  But in reality, the spot where Cooper Road was showing on the GPS was a farmer’s paddock.  Fortunately when I doubled back to that location, a farmer came along in his tractor, and I had a chat with him.  He was a sharefarmer with not much local knowledge, so I obtained his boss’s phone number and I called him.  After some friendly help and directions, I travelled back towards Myponga along James Track, and I then turned right into Yulte Road.  Yulte Road will take you up to the park entrance which is part of the Heysen trail.


Yulti Conservation Park is 41 hectares in size and is a small preserve of habitat representative of the central Fleurieu Peninsula.  The park consists of steep, hilly terrain vegetated with open forest of Eucalyptus Baxteri and other vegetation in the valleys.  There is also scrub / heath on the ridges and the understorey is typically a dense heath dominated by various plants including the Casuarina species, with Banksia Ornata confined to the ridges.  Panoramic views of the surrounding valley and range country can be seen from the high sections of the walk following a section of the Heysen Trail.

Yulti Conservation Park is recorded in various sources with various spellings.  Even the Government authorities seem unsure of the spelling.  The DEWNR website records the spelling as Yulte, and yet the sign in the park shows the spelling to be Yulti.  The road leading to the park is spelt as Yulte.  Unfortunately I have not been able to find out the meaning of Yulte or Yulti.

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The track leading up to the park was quite rough with plenty of large rocks and numerous washaways, so I drove as far as I could, and then I walked the remainder of the way.  Fortunately only a short distance of about 100 metres.

Numerous bird species are found in the park including the Beautiful Firetail finch which has a rump of bright red.  My father used to breed these when I was a child.  Western Grey Kangaroos are also common in the park.

I strapped the 7 metre squid pole to a Heysen trail sign and ran out the legs of the 40m/20m linked dipole.  I made myself comfortable and tuned to 7.100 and there was my faithful ‘Hunter’, Col VK5HCF waiting for me.  This was followed by another staunch VK5 Parks supporter, Larry VK5LY.  My third contact was with Tim VK5AV, who has also become a recent active Parks Hunter.  Colin VK3UBY and his wife Sandra who are also big supporters of the VK5 Parks Award, also called in to say hello.


Conditions on 40m were very variable.  And sadly I wasn’t getting a lot of takers, so I tuned across the band and came across Grant VK3HP and a group of gents on 7.095.  This included Peter VK3YE who was operating QRP 2 watts, on a beach in Melbourne (5/3 both ways).

After 45 minutes of operating, I had managed 14 QSO’s on 40m SSB into VK2, VK3, & VK5.

The following stations were worked:-

Col VK5HCF; Larry VK5LY; Tim VK5AV; Allen VK3HRA; Peter VK3PF; Grant VK3HP; Ian VK3VIN; Peter VK3YE/p; Scott VK7NWT; Greg VK2FGJW/p; Colin VK3UBY; Sandra VK3LSC; Frank VK3GFS; and Ron VK5MRE.

Nixon Skinner Conservation Park

My next activation of the day was the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park, which is situated about 5 km south of Myponga, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and about 60 km south of Adelaide.

From Stipiturus CP, I travelled along Pages Flat Road, and into the beautiful little town of Myponga which is the hub of lush grazing and dairy country.  The name derived from the Aboriginal word maippunga meaning locality of high cliffs.  Myponga was the venue for the first Australian performance by leading British heavy rock group Black Sabbath during the Myponga Music festival in 1971.  Prior to this festival the town’s leading claim to fame was the 1953 discovery of a uranium ore deposit at Wild Dog Hill.  Myponga is also the home of the Smiling Samoyed Brewery which is a small unique brewery.  As I drove passed the brewery it was very tempting to drop in.  The day was warm, about 30 deg C, so a schooner of ale would have been nice.  But I travelled south out of Myponga along Main South Road for about 5 km until I reached Nixon Skinner CP, which is on the western side of the road.

The Nixon Skinner CP comprises of 8 hectares of native vegetation, and is situated towards the southern end of the Myponga Reservoir.  The park is set off the road, so the sign is only visible once you take a small access road off the western side of Main South Road.

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In 1956 Mrs. Lucy Eleanor Page, a long standing and active member of the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia, donated the land.  The park was named in honour of her grandfathers and was the first privately donated reserve to be established in South Australia for the preservation in perpetuity of native plants and animals and for the enjoyment of nature lovers.

I set up about 20 metres inside the park boundary, and used the western boundary fence to secure the squid pole.  I placed the Yaesu FT-817nd up on top of a nearby permapine post and tuned to 40m.  My first contact was with Col VK5HCF who is a staunch supporter of the VK5 Parks Award.

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During my time in the park I worked two more SOTA stations.  The first was Tony VK3CAT who was portable on Talbot Peak, VK3/ VT-010.  And my second QSO was with Glenn VK3YY who was portable on Mount Useful, VK3/ VT-016.

After the activation, I went for a walk through the park and enjoyed the picturesque views of the Myponga Reservoir, which is fed by the Myponga River and other rivers in the Myponga Catchment Area.  It provides about 5 % of Adelaide’s water supply and is the main source of filtered water for southern metropolitan Adelaide and the south coast area.  There is a nice bitumised track to walk along from Main South Road, down to the reservoir.

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After an hour in the park I had 16 contacts in the log from VK1, VK3 & VK5 on 40m SSB.

The following stations were worked:-

Col VK5HCF; Tony VK3CAT/p (SOTA); Glenn VK3YY/p (SOTA); Larry VK5LY; Tim VK5AV; ALlen VK3HRA; Peter VK3PF; David VK5NQP; Ian VK5IS; Bernard VK3AMB; Greg VK3HBM; Peter VK3TKK; Duncan VK3XBC/1; Ben VK3FTRC; Barry VK3BJM/m; and Barry VK5BW.