After activating Charleston Conservation Park, we headed north to the Porter Scrub Conservation Park. I had also activated this park last year in July, but because this was a new calendar year, I could activate the park again for points for the VK5 Parks Award. From Charleston we travelled along Lewis Road and Springhead Road, through the lush countryside of Charleston and Mount Torrens. We then headed north along Onkaparinga Valley Road, and then Hirthe Road. before turning onto Maidment Road to travel west. This is beautiful countryside. Rolling hills, native scrub, and vineyards dominate the landscape.
Porter Scrub is located about 8 km north of the historic town of Lobethal, and about 8 km west of Mount Torrens.
Porter Scrub is one of my favourite parks. It is a very pretty park, with tall Stringybark woodland, Candlebark Gum forest, Mountain Gum, Pink Gum and River Red Gum. There is a thick under storey with many ferns to be found There is a very well maintained track which travels through the park, and I highly recommend a walk through the park.
As we were driving along Maidment Road, Marija and I came across Greg VK5LG, driving in the opposite direction. So after a quick chat, Greg turned his car around and followed us down to the intersection of Maidment Road, and Lihou Road. There is a small parking area here and a gate, with access to the park.
We set up the station in the same spot as last year, on the edge of the walking track, about 30 feet inside the gate on Maidment Road. There are not to many other options in the park, as there are no cleared areas and the vegetation is very thick.
Prior to putting out any CQ calls, Greg and I tuned across the 40m band and found Larry VK5LY who was portable in the Murray River National Park. There were no missing Larry, as his signal was very strong (20/9). I then propped on 7.105 and put out a CQ call and was called by Ivan VK5HS in the Riverland. This was followed by Dave VK3VCE and then David VK5NQP who was still operating portable in the Port Gawler Conservation Park, north of Adelaide. I then spoke with Frank VK2MI, Peter VK3PF mobile, and Peter VK3ZPF. It was time to hand the reigns over to Greg.
Greg took over control of the microphone and his first contact was with Peter VK3ZPF, followed by Ian VK3FIAN, and then Arno VK5ZAR. After 11 QSOs into VK3 and VK5, and a quick chat between the two of us, Greg decided to head home. I was really pleased that Greg called in to the park to say hi, and look forward to catching up with him for another coffee soon (Greg works just across the road from me).
It was getting towards that time to pull the antenna down, but the goat had bleated on my SOTA Goat application on the iPhone, so I tuned to 7.090 and spoke with Mark VK1MBE who was portable on SOTA peak Mount Ainslee, VK1/ AC-040. I then put out a few CQ calls on 7.105 and spoke with some of the dedicated park hunters including Brian VK5FMID, Tom VK5FTRG, John VK5DJ (40/9), Arno VK5ZAR (30/9), Greg VK5ZGY mobile, and Nigel VK5NIG (40/9). Wow, some of those guys had very strong signals !
My last contact was a park to park QSO with David VK5NQP in Port Gawler CP. After 45 minutes in the park, Greg and I had 30 QSO’s in the log into VK2, VK3, and VK5. This compared to 7 QSOs in this park last year in July.
As we were packing up, a local couple approached us and were interested in what we were doing.
I worked the following stations before the UTC rollover:-
Larry VK5LY/p; Ivan VK5HS; Dave VK3VCE; David VK5NQP/p; and Frank VK2MI.
I spoke to the following stations after the UTC rollover:-
Peter VK3PF/m; Peter VK3ZPF; Mark VK1MBE/p (SOTA); Brian VK5FMID; Tom VK5FTRG; John VK5DJ; Arno VK5ZAR; Nigel VK5NIG; Greg VK5ZGY/m; Roy VK5NRG; Rod VK2LAX; Rod VK5VRB; Allan VK5FADP; and David VK5NQP/p.
The following stations were contacted by Greg:-
Peter VK3ZPF; Ian VK3FIAN; Arno VK5ZAR; Dave VK3VCE; Larry VK5LY; VK3FLYY; Ivan VK5HS; VK5ET; Amanda VK3FQSO; Brian VK5FMID; Graham VK5KGP.