On Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th October, we celebrated the 6 month anniversary of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award. In its short history the award has proved to be very popular with both Activators and Hunters. To celebrate the special activity weekend, I headed over to the Yorke Peninsula, with my wife Marija. We stayed at the Corny Point Caravan Park on Friday and Saturday night, and activated 8 parks over the weekend
My first activation was on Saturday morning, and was the Leven Beach Conservation Park, which is located close to the little coastal town of Corny Point, on the Yorke Peninsula, about 265 km by road from Adelaide.
Yorke Peninsula comprises a total area of approximately 4,265 square kilometres, which is contained within about 560 kilometres of coastline extending 240 kilometres from north to south. The surface topography is gently undulating, with an average elevation about 90 metres above sea level. Yorke Peninsula was named by Captain Matthew Flinders after the Right Honourable Charles Philip Yorke, narrowly beating French navigator Captain Nicholas Baudin who preferred the name ‘Cambaceres Peninsula’.
It is interesting how Corny Point was named. It was named this by Matthew Flinders in March 1802 because it appeared to be a growth on the toe of Yorke Peninsula.
Leven Beach Conservation Park was proclaimed in 1988, and consists of 502 hectares of coastal dune system vegetation. Over 127 native species of plants have been recorded in park. There are various plants on the foredune aea including Coast Saltbush and Rolling Spinifex. Behind the foredune area is a diversity of species which form a low scrubland community with Coast Daisy-bush, Common Boobialla and Sea Box prominent. Further inland from the coast there are Drooping Sheoak, and Dryland Tea-tree woodlands with an understorey including Coast Daisy-bush and Coast Salt Bush. The Park has a 6 km beach frontage backed by low cliffs and a hinterland of undulating, vegetated dunes.
The Park provides habitat for a nationally endangered species of butterfly, the Yelow Sedge-skipper Butterfly, which feed on stands of Smooth Cutting-grass. This grass is required by the larva that feed only on this species of grass. There are a number of threats to the survivial of butterfly due to issues with the grass including overgrazing by Western Grey kangaroos, chemical drift spray from farming, and the removal of nectar plants.
I set up up at the end of Roe Road, near Couch Beach, on the western end of the Park. There was a convenient car park at the end of Roe Road, and an even more convenient park sign, which I used to secure my 7m squid pole to with some octopus straps. It was a warm morning (already 28 deg C) with a stiff breeze coming off the ocean, but I managed to get some shade out of the hot sun. I set up my deck chair and fold up table, and put a call out on 7.095 on 40m, to be greeted by John VK5BJE, my first contact in the park. This was followed by a good signal from Allen VK3HRA who was setting up for JOTA, Tim VK5AV with a very strong signal from the SE of S.A., and Colin VK3UBY and his wife Sandra VK3LSC from Mildura. They always have a booming signal coming in from the Sunraysia district.
My 6th contact of the morning was my first Park to Park QSO for the weekend, and this was with Larry VK5LY who was with his wiffe Di, portable in the Red Banks Conservation Park, near Burra in the mid north of S.A. Larry had a genuine 5/9 signal with 5/9 being returned to me by Larry. Hats off to you Di, for being another dedicated XYL like Marija.
I then tuned around the band and was really pleased to make contact with David VK5NQP who was portable in the Hale Conservation Park. This was David’s second attempt at this park, and it was a pleasure to get David in the log with a Park to Park contact. Although a bit low (5/3), David was perfectly readable, and was using a Yaesu FT-707 and a squid pole.
Conditions on 40m seemed to be very poor, particularly into the eastern states. Even the interstatge Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) stations were well down. But it is certainly all about antenna, even if conditions are down. Colin VK3UBY was his normal very strong 5/9 plus signal coming in from Mildura, with 5/9 being returned. After 45 minutes in the park I had worked a total of ‘unlucky 13’ on 40m SSB. It was time to move on to Carribie Conservation Park.
I worked the following stations:-
John VK5BJE; Allen VK3HRA; Tim VK5AV; Colin VK3UBY; Sandra VK3LSC; Larry VK5LY/p (Park to Park); VK3SAW (JOTA station in the Grampians NP); David VK5NQP/p (Park to Park); Graham VK5KGP; Peter VK3PF; Ian VK5CZ; Shaun VK5FAKV; and Brian VK5FMID.
Marija took some video of the activation. I have added a short video to You Tube which can be found at…..