Eric Bonython Conservation Park

After leaving the Deep Creek Conservation Park, Marija and I headed towards the Waitpina Conservation Park, which was our next intended activation, but could not get access due to road closures.  So we chose an alternate activation at the Eric Bonython Conservation Park, which is located at Tunkalilla, about 100 km south of Adelaide, on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  I had activated Eric Bonython CP last year in December, so this was going to be another new activation for the new calendar year and another point to add to my activator tally.


We travelled from Deep Creek, along Range Road, and then south along Tunkalilla Road towards the Southern Ocean.  We then turned left onto Rymill Road.  The park commences on your left, just 100 metres down the road.  It is a very thick but narrow strip of native vegetation which is only 6 hectares in size.  The Tunkalilla Creek flows on the northern edge of the park.  There are some excellent views of the nearby Pages Islands and Kangaroo Island from the park.

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I am not 100 % sure of the origins of the name of the park, as there is very little on the internet.  But I understand it was named after Eric Glenie Bonython (1910-1971) who was an author, explorer, and conservationist.

The morning had warmed up and the sun had a bit of bite, so I set up in amongst the scrub on the northern side of Rymill Road, which afforded some shade.   We stretched putt the legs of the dipole so they ran parallel to the roadway, and drove the squid pole holder into the ground to support the squid pole.  The fold up table and deck chair were placed in position, and for this activation I used the Yaesu FT-450 on 40 watts.

Again prior to calling CQ on a particular frequency, I decided to have a ‘hunt’ around the band to see if I could get some more park activators in the log.  The band was extremely busy again with park activators and hunters.  This was really exciting to hear.  My first contact was with Greg VK5ZGY who was in the Narracoorte Caves National Park, and this was followed by Andrew VK5KET who was portable in the Nene Valley Conservation Park.  I kept tuning around the band and my next contact was with Andrew VK5MR, activating the Pandappa Conservation Park.  This was Andrew’s first weekend of park activating.  This was followed by contacts with Col VK5HCF portable in the Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park, and Tom VK5FTRG portable in the Reedy Creek Conservation Park.


I then found a clear frequency on 7.120 and put out a CQ call, to be called immediately by John VK5BJE who was portable in the Scott Creek Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Andy (VK5AKH) VK5ARG then called in from the Mount George Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Andy and Mark VK5QI were using the club call of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group, and were on their way to activate a total of 20 parks.

I had some more Park to Park contacts, which included Arno VK5ZAR in the Black Hill Conservation Park, Stuart VK5STU in the Port Gawler Conservation Park, Les VK5KLV in the Winninowie Conservation Park near Port Augusta, and David VK5NQP in the Porter Scrub Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Peter VK3PF also called in from the top of SOTA summit, Mount Matlock, VK3/ VC-001.

Whilst I was operating I had the pleasure to watch a Wedge Tailed eagle soaring above the cliffs.  He/she slowly glided closer and closer towards me.  They are an amazing bird with a wingspan of up to 2.27 metres (7 feet 5 in).


Callers had started to slow down a bit on 7.120 and it was getting time to pack up and head off to Newland Head Conservation Park.  But I decided to have a last look around the band and I managed to sneak in a few more Park to park contacts.  This included Tony VK3VTH/5 in the Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, Andy VK5ARG portable in the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, Col VK5HCF in the Mary Seymour Conservation Park, Larry VK5LY in the Swan Reach Conservation Park, and Andrew VK5MR in the Caroona Creek Conservation Park.  I also had a QSO with Peter VK3ZPF who was portable on SOTA peak VK3/ VC-037.

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After about 90 minutes of activating, I had a total of 45 contacts on 40m in the log, including 17 Park to Park contacts.

The following stations were worked:-

Greg VK5ZGY/p; Andrew VK5KET/p; Andrew VK5MR/p; Col VK5HCF/p; Tom VK5FTRG/p; John VK5BJE/p; Andy VK5ARG/p; Tim VK5AV; Tony VK3CAT; Phil VK3BHR; Greg VK5GJ; Amanda VK3FQSO; Peter VK3PF/p; Bernard VK3AMB; Peter VK3SOL/p; Arno VK5ZAR/p; Les VK5KLD; Patrick VK5MPJ; Stuart VK5STU/p; Bob VK5FBAA/p; Rod VK5VRB; Colin VK3UBY; Terry VK3UP/m; Allen VK3HRA; Les VK5KLV/p; Chris VK4FR/5; Rick VK5FGSK; Peter VK3TKK/m; Wolf VK5WF; Keith VK5FEKH; Eric VK7EK; David VK5NQP/p; Paul VK5NE; Colin VK5DK; Charles VK5FBAC; Joe VK3YSP; Julie VK3FOWL; Tony VK3VTH/5; Andy VK5FTRG/p; Peter VK3ZPF/p (SOTA); Col VK5HCF/p; Brian VK5FMID; John VK2AWJ; Larry VK5LY/p; and Andrew VK5MR/p.

More photos of this activation can be found in the Photos section of the VK5 Parks Award Yahoo group at…..

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