Ramsay Way Conservation Park

From Barker Rocks CP, Marija and I headed back inland from the west cost of the Yorke Peninsula, to our third activation of the day, the Ramsay Way Conservation Park.

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We travelled back to Minlaton and then west along the Port Vincent Road towards the eastern coast of the Yorke Peninsula.  We then travelled west along the Old Coast Road, until we saw the park on our right hand side.  On this northern side, the park was set some distance off the road and to gain access, you needed to travel over private property.  So we continued east, and then turned right onto Power Line Road.

Just the name of the road should have set off alarm bells.  It was not until I travelled down the road for a few hundred metres that I saw large powerlines following the eastern boundary of the park.  Immediate though was….NOISE !

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There was an access gate into the eastern side of the park, but this was locked.  So we found what little shade there was and parked the car.  It was starting to get really hot and the wind was still quite strong.  I used the eastern boundary fence to secure the 7m squid pole, with some octopus straps, and ran the 40m/20m linked dipole, along the fence line.  I rested the Yaesu FT-817nd on a permapine post.

All of the maps I have seen refer to this park as the Ramsay CP.  However the park sign refers to it as the Ramsay Way Conservation Park.

Ramsay Way Conservation Park is 147.2 hectares in size and was proclaimed in 2008.  It is a small park in the Minlaton-Curramulka Threatened Habitat Area. Over 80 native plant species have been recorded in the park.  Its dominant vegetation is sheoak and mallee, with very low woodlands and a grassy understorey.  It occurs in a high priority bioregion and conserves some species of conservation significance, including the nationally and state endangered Jumping-jack Wattle, which has not been recorded thus far in any other National Parks and Wildlife Act reserves on Yorke Peninsula.

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A large proportion of Ramsay Way Conservation Park supports Mallee Box, Drooping Sheoak woodland with intact grassy understorey in generally good condition.  Temperate grassy woodland such as this is a rarity in South Australia because this vegetation has been largely cleared for agriculture.

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Upon turning the radio on my fears were realised.  The noise floor was really high…..a constant S7  Obviously due to the power lines.  I could have ventured further into the park away from the power lines, but I didn’t fancy doing this, as it was a hot day and I am sure there would have been plenty of snakes around.

My first contact in the park was with Greg VK5ZGY who was portable in the Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park (5/7 both ways).  I was then called, much to my surprise, by Andrew VK2UH who had a good 5/8 signal coming in from NSW.  This was my first VK2 contact during the weekend.  I then managed another Park to Park contact with John VK5BJE who was portable in the historic Fort Glanville Conservation Park.

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Before packing up I had three more Park to Park QSO’s.  One with Col VK5HCF who was with Greg, in the Tantanoola Caves CP; then Ian VK5CZ who was portable in the Spring Gully Conservation Park near Clare; and finally with Larry VK5LY who was portable in the Brookfield Conservation Park.

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I operated on 40m SSB for about 45 minutes in the park, and ended up with 11 QSO’s into VK2, VK3, & VK5.  It was time to head into Port Vincent for some refreshments.

The following stations were worked:-

Greg VK5ZGY/p (Park to Park); Andrew VK2UH; John VK5BJE/p (Park to Park); Tim VK5AV; Col VK5HCF (Park to Park); Colin VK3UBY; Sandra VK3LSC; Trevor VK5ATQ; Ian Vk5CZ (Park to Park); Tom VK5FTRC, and Larry VK5LY/p (Park to Park).

I have posted a video on You Tube of this activation…..

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