Deep Creek Conservation Park

Marija and I arrived at ‘Glenburn’ cottage, mid Friday afternoon, 4th April, 2014, for a 2 night stay.  This was after an enjoyable lunch at the Mount Compass Tavern.  The cottage is located within the Deep Creek Conservation Park, which is about 108 km south of Adelaide.  The drive there from Mount Compass was via Victor Harbour and then along Range Road, where there are spectacular views of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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The Deep Creek Conservation Park is the largest remaining block of wildlife habitat on the Fleurieu Peninsula and is about 4,452 hectares in size.  It is home to an array of native wildlife including western grey kangaroos, and short-beaked echidnas.  Over 100 bird species can be found in the park. There are a number of walking trails within the park which provide spectacular scenery of the Backstairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the rugged Deep Creek valley.

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The area around Deep Creek was settled from around the late 1850’s when various farms were established.  Prior to this the Ramindjeri and Kaurna aboriginal people inhabited the area.  During the mid 1880’s land grants were issued.  Apart from traditional farming, other activities included wattle bark stripping and collection of Yacca gum.  Some timber felling also occurred as stringy bark was used for building material and fence posts.  Further settlement of the area occurred from the 1920’s onwards, and this included a concentrated effort to clear the land for farming.  Fortunately in 1965, the environmental significance of the Deep Creek area was recognised, and the South Australian State Government commenced purchasing land to eventually form what is now known as the Deep Creek Conservation Park.

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The Glendale cottage is highly recommended by Marija and I for anyone who wants a peaceful and comfortable stay within the Deep Creek Conservation Park.  It has four bedrooms, a lounge with an enticing wood fire, a fully self-contained kitchen with stove, oven, microwave, & fridge, polished baltic pine floors, a b.b.q, and a sunroom leading to a return elevated decking area.  The cottage sleeps up to 10 people.

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The Glendale cottage and the surrounding land has an interesting history.  During the early 1930’s Mr. Tom Backhouse opened up the land and used it for stripping wattle bark from Golden Wattle for the Glenburn Wattle Company.  The wattle bark which was in high demand at the time, was used for leather tanning.  It was transported to Leonards Mill at Second Valley where it was processed.

During the mid 1940’s the titles of land that Glenburn stands on were purchased by Mr. T. Haines.  Shortly after, between 1945 to 1950, the first serious attempt to clear the land commenced.  It was during this time that Mr Haines constructed a two roomed shack for him to live in.  This was the framework of the current Glendale cottage.  Up until late 1950, the land was sparsely cleared and using for grazing.

In late 1950 Mr Jim Long purchased the land and named it ‘Angulong’.  This was a derivative of his surname and the Angus cattle that he grazed on the land.  It was during this time that the land was extensively cleared and used for pasture.  Two additional rooms were added to the cottage and a large shed was built adjacent to the cottage.  The shed was converted into living accommodation by an employee, Mr Tom Christie, who was employed by Mr. Long to clear the land and develop the property.

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In 1960, the main house was built on the property.  This is now the Deep Creek Conservation Park Ranger headquarters.  mr. Long moved into this house while Mr Christie moved from the shed into the cottage.

Mr. M Smith and Mr A. Shepherd subsequently purchased the property in 1972, and they renamed the land ‘Glenburn’.  The cottage was was rented out during this time to private tenants, whilst the land was still used for grazing.

In 1976 the National Parks and Wildlife Service purchased the Glenburn property and it was included as part of the Deep Creek Conservation Park.  However the land was leased back to Mr. Smith up until 1980, when the cottage was rented out to private tenants.  This remained the case until 1982, when the National Parks and Wildlife Service Social Club took over the running of the cottage as holiday accommodation for staff and other visitors.

Since 1994, Southern Ocean Retreats has managed Glenburn Cottage.  Extensive renovations also commenced which were completed in 1995.

After unpacking the car, making ourselves comfortable in the cottage, and making a nice cup of coffee, I headed outside, and started setting up my radio equipment.  I initially set up on the back verandah, however there were overhead power lines, and when I turned on the radio, the noise floor was about S4.  The static was intolerable, so I placed the fold up table and deck chair, about 20 feet from the back porch, and then erected the 20m/40m linked dipole, supported by a 7 metre squid pole.  I had both the Yaesu FT-817nd and the Yaesu FT-450 at my disposal, and improvised with the use of a piece of red gum to prop up the FT450 so I could see the screen.

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I started off on 7.098 on 40 metres, with the FT-450 set on 40 watts.  I had to go up a little higher from my planned operating frequency of 7.095, as the Kandos Group were operating on 7.093 as they do on a daily basis in the afternoons.  The noise floor was now S1 at worst.  Much quieter than under the power lines.

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I put out a CQ call, and Phil VK3BHR responded straight away.  Phil had a good solid 5/9 signal, and this was followed by Colin VK3NCC/5 who was mobile in the Barossa Valley at Nuriootpa.  Les VK5KLV then called in, and this was followed by Don VK7DON.  All four stations had very good signals, but things went very quiet after that.  I put out numerous CQ calls but sadly there were no takers.  I figured it was a Friday afternoon, and that most people would still be slaving away at work.  So I decided to head over to 20m to see what that band was like.  It was about that time of the day that long path to Europe was opening up so some European DX would be nice to get in the log.

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After switching to 20m, I called in to a regular net held on 20m daily on 14.156, and said hello to John EA7BA, Brian ZL2ASH, Allan G0CRJ, and Brian VK2JE.  I was being heard 5/9 in Almeria Spain by EA7BA and 5/7 into the UK by G0CRJ, with my 40 watts.  I then tuned across the band and worked into Italy and then had a chat with my good mate Peter VK4AAV in Caloundra who I found calling CQ a little higher up the band.  I then found Dave G4AKC calling CQ with Ian 2E0EDX.  Dave was pedestrian mobile at Blackpool, and Ian was mobile.  Dave was an excellent 5/9 signal, while Ian was 5/7.  I received 5/9 and 5/5 respectively from Dave and Ian.  Dave and Ian are regular pedestrian mobile and mobile operators on 20 metres and always have very good signals.

I then worked Alberto P29LL in Papua New Guinea and Marc F8DRA at Normandy in France.  I had a good chat to Marc, as I will be visiting Normandy during my holiday to Europe in July.  I then put a few CQ calls out on 14.258 and was called by Bernard VK7BD, and then John VK4GCQ.  Sadly some German operators came up on frequency, speaking German.  And that was the end of that.  Their signals were just too strong to compete with and continue on that frequency.

So I QSYd and I then spoke with Peter VK2BPB who was running QRP with just 3 watts.  Peter had a terrific 5/9 signal with very little QSB.  Lastly, I spoke with Barry G4TML who was on holidays in Australia, and was using the call VK6ANC at the Northern Corridor Radio club shack.  It was starting to approach dusk and the kangaroos were out in force, feeding in the open areas around the cottage.  I was starting to get hungry too, and headed off for tea.  If only those kangaroos knew that I had been feasting of kangaroo fillets at lunch time !

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After tea, I booked in to the 7.130 DX on 40m, and worked a large number of stations around Australia, and also a little bit of DX, including William FO5JV in French Polynesia, BrianZL2ASH, and Caleb ZL2ML.  Unfortunately there were no USA stations on the 7.130 DX Net this evening.

When the 7.130 DX Net concluded at about 9.30 p.m. I headed up to 20m and booked in to the Southern Cross DX Net on 14.2385, which is controlled by Jack W1FDY.  I worked a total of 9 stations in the USA in Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Texas.

It was starting to get a bit cool outside and it was approaching 11.00 p.m.  I had a planned early start in the morning, and I had my fill of DX, so it was time to head off to bed.  But not before a few glasses of Cab Sav in front of the roaring fire.

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On Saturday morning I got up at about 7.30 a.m.  It was quite a chilly morning outside with some fog rolling in across the hills, and a less than impressive sunrise.  I headed outside after breakfast and a nice hot coffee at about 8.30 a.m., and started off using my Yaesu FT-817nd running just 5 watts.  I commenced calling CQ on 7.090 and my first contact was with Larry VK5LY who was portable in the Peebinga Conservation Park in the Mallee region near the South Australian/Victorian border.  Larry was running just 5 watts and had a beautiful strong 5/8 signal.  After speaking with Larry, I remained on 7.090 and worked stations in VK2, VK3, and VK5.  This included Tony VK3VTH who was using just 10 watts from Canunda National Park in the south east of South Australia.

When things got a little quiet, I tuned across the band and worked some more VK’s in VK2, VK3, and VK5 including David VK5NQP in the Hale Conservation Park, Col VK5HCF in the Penambol Conservation Park, Tom VK5FTRG in the Beachport Conservation Park running just 5 watts, David VK5KC in Belair National Park, Bill VK5MBD and John VK5FMJC both in the Clements Gap Conservation park, and Greg VK5ZGY in the Mullinger Swamp Conservation Park.  It was really pleasing to hear so much park activity so early in the morning, with lots of park hunters eagerly calling the activators.

After operating for an hour at QRP power levels on the 817nd, I decided to fire up the bigger Yaesu, the FT-450 which I and on 40 watts.  My power source was a 44 amp hour power pack, which Marija kindly bought for me as a Christmas present.  I managed to find a clear frequency amongst all the park activity and put out a CQ call to be greeted by Andy VK5AKH.  I worked some more VK2, VK3, & VK5 stations, including David VK5AAH who was portable at The Knoll Conservation Park.

I then decided to go on a bit of a park hunt around the band and worked Larry VK5LY in Karte Conservation Park before the UTC rollover.  After the UTC rollover I spoke with Tom VK5FTRG in Beachport CP, Larry VK5LY in Karte CP, Bill VK5MBD in Clements Gap CP, Nigel VK5NIG in Sandy Creek CP, and Stuart VK5STU in Black Hill CP.

It was about this time that David VK5KC who due to be on his first ever SOTA activation at Mount Lofty summit, which is also within the Cleland Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Fortunately I found David on 7.085 and was really pleased to get David in the log.  After speaking with David I came across Col again, VK5HCF in Gower CP, Tony VK3VTH in Canunda NP, and Greg VK5ZGY in the Geegeela CP.

I then switched back to the little FT-817nd, and made contact with Matt VK1MA who was portable on Mount Coree, VK1/ AC-023, and then David VK5NQP in Warren CP running just 5 watts.  I also spoke with David VK3IL who was portable on SOTA peak, Blue Rag Range, VK3/ VE-015.  I finished off the morning and early afternoon with some further park contacts with Greg VK5ZGY in Bangham CP, Tom VK5FTRG in Lake St Clair CP, Col VK5HCF in Tantanoola Caves CP, Larry VK5LY in Ngarkat CP, and David VK5AAH in the Belair National Park.

I called it quits at about 1.30 p.m. with a total of 71 stations in the log and 26 Park to Park contacts.

I had the following park to park contacts…..

  • Larry VK5LY/p, Peebinga CP
  • Tony VK3VTH/5, Caunda NP (before & after the UTC rollover)
  • David VK5NQP, Hale CP
  • Col VK5HCF/p, Penambol CP
  • Tom VK5FTRG/p, Beachport CP (before & after the UTC rollover)
  • David VK5KC/p, Belair NP
  • Bill VK5MBD/p, Clements Cap CP (before & after the UTC rollover)
  • John VK5FMJC, Clements Gap CP
  • Greg VK5ZGY/p, Mullinger Swamp CP
  • David VK5AAH/p, The Knoll CP
  • Larry VK5LY/p, Karte CP (before and after the UTC rollover)
  • Nigel VK5NIG/p, Sandy Creek CP
  • Stuart VK5STU/p, Black Hill CP
  • David VK5KC/p, Cleland CP
  • Col VK5HCF/p, Gower CP
  • Greg VK5ZGY/p, Geegeela CP
  • David VK5NQP/p, Warren CP
  • Greg VK5ZGY/p, Bangham CP
  • Tom VK5FTRG/p, Lake St Clair CP
  • Col VK5HCF/p, Tantanoola Caves CP
  • David VK5AAH/p, Belair NP

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After lunch, Marija and I then went for a walk up to Ranger Headquarters and through the nearby beautiful Stringybark Forest.  We then headed over to nearby Talisker Conservation Park (see the next post for more information on that activation).

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After our evening meal on Saturday, I had a little bit of a play on the radio.  My first contact was with Michael VI2ATZ50/p.  Michael was using the special call to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Westlakes Amateur Radio Club.  I then spoke with Erwin VK3ERW who was portable in Wilsons Promontory National Park.  However, it was starting to get really cold, and I was feeling a bit weary, so I packed up the radio, and ventured inside to the comfort of the fire and a nice bottle of Cab Sav.

On Sunday morning I woke up again at about 7.30 a.m. and had a nice breakfast prepared by Marija, and headed outside again to ‘the shack’.  After all the activity from yesterday, it was quite exciting and I was looking forward to getting on air.  My first contact was with Gary VK5ZK after I had put out a CQ call on 7.085.  Paul VK5VCO & Peter VK5KX, then called in, who were portable in the Clinton Conservation Park, competing with the field mice.  After this I made contacts with VK stations in VK2, VK3, and VK5, before Larry VK5LY cllaed in from the Lowan Conservation Park.

Other park contacts were with Peter VK5KET in the Telford Scrub Conservation Park, David VK5NQP in the Hale Conservation Park, and John VK5BJE in the Scott Creek Conservation Park.

I also made contact with Al VK1RX on SOTA peak VK1/ AC

This was followed by some more park to park contacts with Tony VK3VTH/5 in the Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park, Tom VK5FTRG in the Furner Conservation Park, Les VK5KLV and Peter VK5KPR in the Winninowie Conservation Park

Peter VK3PF on SOTA peak VK3/

My last contact was with Larry VK5LY who was portable in the Ridley Conservation Park.

I had the following park to park contacts…..

  • Paul VK5VCO/p Clinton CP
  • Larry VK5LY/p, Lowan CP
  • Col VK5HCF/p, Telford Scrub CP
  • David VK5NQP/p, Hale CP
  • John VK5BJE/p, Scott Creek CP
  • Tony VK3VTH/5, Carpenter Rocks CP
  • Tom VK5FTRG/p, Furner CP
  • Les VK5KLV, WInninowie CP
  • Peter VK5KPR/p, WInninowie CP
  • Larry VK5LY/p, Ridley CP

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I stayed until 40 minutes after the UTC rollover, and then packed up the gear and headed off to Eric Bonython Conservation Park.  This was a really enjoyable 2 night stay at Glenburn cottage in the Deep Creek Conservation Park.  We will be coming back for sure.

During my stay I worked a total of 162 stations on 40m ssb and 20m ssb.

The following stations were worked:-

Phil VK3BHR; Colin VK3NCC/5; Les VK5KLV; Don VK7DON; John EA7BA; Brian ZL2ASH; Allan G0CRJ; Brian VK2JE; Mario IK2VFR; Peter VK4AAV; Dave G4AKC/pm; Ian 2E0EDX/m; P29LL; Marc F8DRA; Bernard VK7BD; John VK4GCQ; Peter VK2BPB; Barry VK6ANC; William FO5JV; Brian VK5FMID; Daniel VK6LCK; Dennis VK2HHA; Brian ZL2ASH; Caleb ZL2ML; Richard VK2XRC/5; Paul VK7CC; Don VK7DON; Andy VK5AKH; Andy VK4TH; Rod VK5VRB; Des VK5LEA/p; Jack W1FDY; Larry W4VES; Warren K5UTG; Richard KK4HBQ; Bob W2OSR; Will W4FZ; Bill W1OW; Nancy K9DIG; K5WDW; Larry VK5LY/p; Andrew VK2UH; Brian VK5FMID; John VK5BJE; Richard VK2XRC/5; Tim VK5AV; Tony VK3VTH/5; Amanda VK3FQSO; Peter VK3PF; John VK2AWJ; Shaun VK5FAKV; Arno VK5ZAR; Fred VK3JM; Warren VK3BYD; David VK5NQP/p; Col VK5HCF/p; Graham VK5KGP; Tom VK5FTRG/p; David VK5KC/p; Bill VK5MBD/p; John VK5FMJC/p; Chris VK4FR/5; Bernard VK3AMB; Larry VK5LY/m; Greeg VK5ZGY/p; Andy VK5AKH; Rod VK5VRB; Max VK3MCX; Ian VK3FIAN; John VK2FALL; Peter VK3TKK/m; Jim VK3KA; Greg VK5LG; John VK5NJ; David VK5AAAH/p; Larry VK5LY/p; Tom VK5FTRG/p; Larry VK5LY/p; Bill VK5MBD/; Roger VK5NWE; Rob VK5TS/m; John VK2AWJ; Peter VK3PF; John VK5BJE; Tom VK5FTRG/p; Tim VK5AV; Colin VK3UBY; Amanda VK3FQSO; Rob VK5TRM; Keith VK5ND; Tony VK3CAT; Ian VK3VIN; Nigel VK5NIG/p; Stuart VK5STU/p; David VK5KC/p; Col VK5HCF/p; John VK2FALL; Tony VK3VTH/5; John VK5DJ; Greg VK5ZGY/p; Ian VK5IS; Andy VK5LA; Rob VK5TRM; Matt VK1MA/p; David VK5NQP/p; David VK3IL/p; Greg VK5ZGY/p; Tom VK5FTRG/p; Col VK5HCF/p; Larry VK5LY/p; David VK5AAH/p; VI2ATZ50; Erwin VK3ERW; Paul VK3TGX/p; Bob VK5FBAA; Craig VK3NCR; Gary VK5ZK; Paul VK5VCO/p; Peter VK5KX/p; Frank VK3GFS; Peter VK5NAQ; John VK2AWJ; Adam VK2YK; Michael VK2CCW; Brian VK5FMID; Larry VK5LY/p; Peter VK3PF/m; Kas VK5ZKT; Colin VK3UBY; Peter VK5KET/p; David VK5NQP/p; John VK5BJE/p; Terry VK3UP/m; Matt VK1MA; Rod VK2TWR; Steve VK5ST; Shaun VK5FAKV; Kevin VK3SOL/p; Andrew VK2UH; Alex VK3AMX; Bernard VK3AMB; Ian VK3VIN; Max VK3MCX; Al VK1RX/p (SOTA); Allen VK3HRA/p; Tony VK3VTH/5; Tom VK5FTRG/p; Brian VK5FMID; Tim VK5AV; Les VK5KLV/p; John VK5NJ; Tony VK3CAT; Peter VK5KPR/p; Amanda VK3FQSO; Kaz VK5ZKT; John VK5BJE/p; John VK2AWJ; John VK5DJ; Marshall VK3MRG; Mark VK7FMPR; Rony VK5ZAI; Peter VK3PF/p (SOTA); and Larry VK5LY/p.

 

References.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Parks of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

National Parks South Australia, http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find_a_park/browse_by_region/fleurieu_peninsula/deep_creek_conservation_park

Southern Ocean Retreats, http://www.southernoceanretreats.com.au

 

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