On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th April, 2014, the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award celebrated its first birthday. That weekend saw a special anniversary activation weekend take place, which involved a number of keen operators, who operated portable from National & Conservation Parks all around South Australia.
In fact a total of 29 hams participated in a total of 98 park activations. Of those, 84 were unique parks. Over 2,300 QSO’s were made, and this included over 750 park to park contacts.
The following activators took part…..
- Tony VK3VTH/5
- David VK5AAH
- Steve VK5AIM
- Andy (VK5AKH) & Mark (VK5QI) – VK5ARG
- John VK5BJE
- Ian VK5CZ
- Gary VK5FGRY
- John VK5FMJC
- Tom VK5FTRG
- Gordon VK5GY
- Col VK5HCF
- David VK5KC
- Andrew VK5KET
- Les VK5KLV
- Peter VK5KPR
- Peter VK5KX
- Andy VK5LA
- Larry VK5LY
- Bill VK5MBD
- Andrew VK5MR
- Nigel VK5NIG
- David VK5NQP
- Paul VK5PAS
- Stuart VK5STU
- Paul VK5VCO
- Arno VK5ZAR
- Greg VK5ZGY
- Richard VK5ZRY
Below is a map showing where the activations took place, all around the State…..
I myself, headed down to the Fleurieu Peninsula and activated the following parks…..
- Bullock Hill Conservation Park
- Cox Scrub Conservation Park
- Deep Creek Conservation Park
- Talisker Conservation Park
- Eric Bonython Conservation Park
- Newland Head Conservation Park.
I would like to say thank you to all the operators who took the time to operate portable from a park. And also thank you to the numerous park hunters who called in to the many activators. Without hunters, there would be no VK5 Parks program. The 40m band was extremely busy on both days, and was in exceptional condition. I heard many of the park activators working ‘pile ups’.
Special thanks to Tony VK3VTH/5, who travelled from Victoria, and activated three parks in the south east of South Australia. This included Canunda National Park, where Tony made a total of 300 QSO’s, including 232 DX contacts. Tony was even involved in the rescue of a bogged 4WD enthusiast, who decided to venture a little too close to the ocean.
There were a number of first time park operators which was extremely pleasing to see. Congratulations to David VK5AAH, Gary VK5FGRY, John VK5FMJC, Bill VK5MBD, Gordon VK5GY, Andrew VK5KET, Les VK5KLV, Peter VK5KPR, Andrew VK5MR, and Arno VK5ZAR. From all accounts they have been bitten by the ‘portable bug’ and have said they will be heading out again.
The herculean effort of the Sunday was that of Andy VK5AKH and Mark VK5QI who using the club call of VK5ARG, activated 20 parks in the one day. The parks were in the Adelaide Hills and the southern suburbs of Adelaide. Great effort fellas !
Above:- VK5ARG (VK5QI) operating at Moana Sands Conservation Park
David VK5KC also activated his first every Summits on the Air (SOTA) peak on Mount Lofty VK5/ SE-005, which is located in the Cleland Conservation Park.
The guys from the South East Radio Group were out in force. This included Col VK5HCF who activated 8 parks, Greg VK5ZGY and trusty wife Gabby who activated 7 parks, Tom VK5FTRG who activated 5 parks, and Andrew VK5KET who activated 4 parks.
Above:- Greg VK5ZGY, operating at Wolseley Common Conservation Park
Whilst operating in the Angove CP Arno VK5ZAR reported that a lady from across the road thought he was set up to record the calls of endangered bird in the park. And whilst operating in the Horsnell Gully CP, he had a “tourist” bush waking couple approach him who were to ally lost. They had been walking for many hours trying to get back to their car. After explaining what he was there for and giving them instructions to the nearest road exit and checking they had plenty of water still they left Arno, heading back to their car..
Above:- Arno VK5ZAR operating at Angove Conservation Park
There were also a number of interesting locations activated. This included Steve VK5AIM who operated portable from Martindale Hall Conservation Park. The park incorporates the Martindale Hall mansion which was constructed in 1877.
Above:- Steve VK5AIM at Martindale Hall Conservation Park
Peter VK5KX and Paul VK5VCO, and their wives, travelled to the Clinton Conservation Park. From all accounts this was a very enjoyable 2 days, except for the field mice who invaded Peter’s camper van.
Below is a map showing the travel route of Larry VK5LY who activated 4 parks on Saturday, and another 4 parks on Sunday, with his wife Di.
This was a terrific weekend. The weather was magnificent, and the band conditions were extremely good. I myself am eagerly awaiting for next year’s 2nd birthday celebrations.