My fourth, and last South Australian park activation on Sunday 14th November, 2014, was the Desert Camp Conservation Park, which is located about 65 km north west of Naracoorte, on the northern side of the Kingston-Keith Road, and about 267 km south east of Adelaide.
Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
The park is about 49 hectares in size as was gazetted as Desert Camp National Park in 1967. About 14 months after the park was declared as a National Park, new works on the Keith-Kingston Road severed the park. On proclamation of the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1972, the park became the Desert Camp Conservation Park.
A word of warning before activating this park. Desert Camp is a Conservation Reserve and a Conservation Park. Make sure you are in the Conservation Park area and not the Reserve.
I started off on 40m on 7.095 and my first caller was the ever reliable Brian VK5FMID in nearby Mount Gambier. This was followed by another South East park stalwart, Tom VK5FTRG, and then Peter VK3RV who had a very strong 5/9 plus signal.
I worked a few mobile stations from this park which was really pleasing. The first contact was with Andrew VK1NAM who although a little weak, was perfectly readable from those noise free environment of the park. My next mobile contact was with Peter VK3TKK with a nice 5/7 signal, and then Joe VK3YSP and Julie VK3FOWL who were a good strong 5/8. And I also spoke with Allen VK3HRA who was mobile and had a nice strong 5/8 signal.
A few QRP callers also called in. They included Damien VK5FDEC running 5 watts from his Yaesu FT-817. Damien seems to have been bitten by the QRP bug. And then Ron VK5ALR who was portable in Victoria and was running just 5 watts also.
After working a total of 20 stations I headed off to 20m where I put out numerous CQ calls but I had absolutely no takers. I tuned around the 20m band but all I could hear were some weak signals coming in from Europe. It was a little too early for long path into Europe.
So I decided to pack up and head off to Portland in south western Victoria. I still had a few hours on the road before reaching my destination and I was starting to get a bit hungry and wanted to avoid the kangaroos on the road.
So after 30 minutes in the park, I had a total of 20 contacts in the log from VK3 and VK5.
The following stations were worked:-
- Brian VK5FMID
- Tom VK5FTRG
- Peter Vk3RV
- Tom VK5EE
- Andrew VK1NAM/m
- Charles VK5FBAC
- Peter VK3TKK/m
- Nev VK5WG
- Joe VK3YSP/m
- Jenny VK3WQ
- Arno VK5ZAR
- Allen VK3HRA/m
- Julie VK3FOWL/m
- Tony VK3CAT
- Mick VK3FAFK
- David VK5NQP
- Owen VK5HOS
- Damien VK5FDEC/qrp
- Hans VK5YX
- Ron VK5ALR/p/qrp
National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1992, ‘Small Parks of the Upper South East Management Plans’