Off to my 2nd activation of Saturday 16th November. And this was to be Peebinga Conservation Park, which is located about 240 km east of Adelaide, and just 10 km west from the Victorian border. It is located about 37 km north of the town of Peebinga.
Peebinga Conservation Park which is about 3.400 hectares in size, was reserved to conserve the habitat of the rare Western Whipbird. Vegetation in the park varies as some of it has been cleared and remains grassland. The rest is characterised by low stabilised dunes with open scrub cover featuring Ridge-fruited and Slender-leaved Mallee with Warty Cypress over Broom Bush. The higher areas have Square-fruited, Red and White Mallees. A total of 150 native flora species have been recorded in the park, including 14 of conservation significance.
The ecological value of the park was formally recognised back in 1940, when Peebinga Flora and Fauna Reserve was dedicated. It was renamed following proclamation was a conservation park in 1977.
The park is recognised by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. This is due to the fact that it supports a relatively large population of Malleefowl. The park previously had a population of Eastern Mallee subspecies of the Western Whipbird, which sadly, is now locally extinct. The declining species of Black shouldered Kite, and Tawny crowned Honeyeater are also found within the park.
Numerous native animals also call the park home, including Western Grey Kangaroos and Echidnas. A total of 97 native fauna species have been recorded in the park.
A total of 23 reptile species have been recorded within Peebinga CP, including the regionally rare Rough-nosed Blind Snake and the State rare Bardick, which is a small venomous snake morphologically similar to a death adder that attains a maximum length of 70 cm.
Marija and I accessed the eastern side of the park via Conservation Road. The road is dirt and is in good condition. Everything was going well, until I came around a sharp corner which bordered the park, and the hard gravelk surface suddenly turned to very soft sand. After some cursing and some swearing, I managed to get the Ford Falcon out of a rather precarious situation. We decided to park the car and activate the park at this location.
Fortunately there was some shade offered by small gum trees. It was great to sit under these and escape the sun. The temperature was rapidly increasing and there was no breeze to speak of.
Conditions here on 40m SSB were really hard going. The band was certainly not in great shape, and my antenna was also playing up. The VSWR was showing as really high. However I did manage some interesting contacts including a handful of VK3 Park QSO’s. My first contact was with Larry who was portable in Hatte Kulkyne National Park. Larry kindly offered to meet me over the Victorian border, and provide me with a 40m dipole.
My last 2 contacts of the day were with Bernard VK3AMB who was portable in the Organ Pipes National Park, and Nick VK3ANL who was portable in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.
So after just 30 minutes in the park, it was time to pack up and head off across the border into Victoria to meet up with Larry and his wife Di. I had a total of 9 contacts in the log on 40m SSB.
I worked the following stations:-
Larry VK5LY/p; Kevin VK3EC; Peter VK3PF; John VK5BJE; Ivan VK5HS; Andrew VK2UH; Tim VK5AV; Bernard VK3AMB/p; and Nick VL3ANL/p.