Mount Eccles National Park, VKFF-345

After my activation of Mount Napier summit, I headed off to the Mount Eccles National Park (NP), which is located in western Victoria, about 270 km west of Melbourne, and about 15 km south west of the little town of MacArthur.

Screenshot 2014-12-01 14.55.20

Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

Mount Eccles NP is about 5,470 hectares in size, and was established in June, 1960.  Not surprising, located within the park is Mount Eccles, also named Budj Bim by the Gunditjmara aboriginal people.  It is the site of the most recent active volcano in Australia.  The most recent eruption of Mount Eccles was about 8,000 years ago.  I am very pleased to report that it remained quite during my activation of the park.  Mount Eccles is a relatively small hill surrounded by lush vegetation with a small hidden deep volcanic crater lake which is named Lake Surprise.

There is a good article and a short audio item with photographs on the ABC South West Victoria website at…..

http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2011/09/01/3307642.htm

Screenshot 2014-12-01 14.55.03 map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I entered the park via Mount Eccles Road.  There were quite a few people in the main campground, so I continued up to Lake Surprise lookout area, and set up in a cleared area near the carpark.  This was certainly not as green and shady as the campground, but it was a lot quieter.

Screenshot 2014-12-01 15.39.05

Image courtesy of parksweb.vic.gov.au

My first contact was with Col VK5HCF who was portable in the Canunda National Park in the South East of South Australia.  Col was out and about with Tom VK5EE, and was activating the park as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award and the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  They had a good strong 5/8 signal to Mount Eccles.

I then found a clear frequency on 7.110 and put out a few CQ calls and it wasn’t long before I was called by John VK5BJE, followed by Terry VK3UP, Frank VK2HFS, and then Nigel VK5NIG.  After working a further 3 stations, I went hunting around the band again, and found Peter VK3PF operating portable from the Lind National Park, VKFF-287.  More information on Peter’s activation can be found on his WordPress site at…..

http://vk3pf.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/krmnpa-weekend-2014/

After working Peter I called CQ on 7.095 and again it wasn’t long before I had a steady flow of callers calling in again, from VK3, VK5, & VK7.  They included Joe VK3YSP and his wife Julie VK3YSP, operating portable from the Wilsons Promontory National Park.  Nick VK3ANL also called in, whilst portable on SOTA peak, Mount Dandenong, VK3/ VC-025 which is located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-132.  And a few contacts later, I was called by Peter VK3ZPF who was portable in the Churchill National Park, VKFF-621.  Peter had a good 5/7 signal.

After working Peter I had a further 12 contacts, before lowering the squid pole and trying my luck on 20m.  I called CQ on a number of occasions on 14.310 but had absolutely no takers.  I tuned around the 20m band, but the only station I could hear was Brian ZL2ASH, who was testing on 14.156.  I called Brian, but unfortunately he could not hear me.

So I again lowered the squid pole, and reconnected the crocodile clips for 40m and again went band searching on 40m.  I found young Reuben VK7FREU calling CQ from SOTA peak, Mount Wellington, VK7/ SC-001.

Prior to leaving the park I also spoke with Rob VK2QR/3 who was portable on SOTA peak, Sam Hill VK3/ VG-049.  As normal, Rob had a good strong signal.  And then I worked Amanda VK3FQSO who was operating portable in the Terrick Terrick National Park, VKFF-630.

I was also called by Glenn VK3YY and Kevin VK3KAB who were on top of Mount Terrible, VK3/ VE-067.  You can read a bit about Glenn and Kevin’s activation on Glenn’s WordPress site at…..

http://vk3yy.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/mt-duffy-to-mt-terrible-five-summits/

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After 2 hours in the park, I had a total of 49 contacts in the log.  Again, I was very pleased, as I had reached the required 44 contacts for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) global award program.

The following stations were worked:-

  1. Col VK5HCF/p (Canunda NP)
  2. John VK5BJE
  3. Terry VK3UP
  4. Frank VK2HFS
  5. Nigel VK5NIG
  6. Lesley VK5LOL
  7. Nev VK5WG
  8. Matt VK1MA
  9. Peter VK3PF/p (Ling NP)
  10. Christopher VK5LTD
  11. Barry VK5BW
  12. Wolf VK5WF
  13. Jim VK5KOB
  14. Mark VK7MK
  15. Joe VK3YSP/p (Wilsons Promontory NP)
  16. Julie VK3FOWL/p (Wilsons Promontory NP)
  17. Tim VK5AV
  18. Daniel VK5DF
  19. Richard VK5ZRY
  20. Nick VK3ANL/p (SOTA & Dandenong Ranges NP)
  21. Ron VK3HAK
  22. Dale VK5DC
  23. Hans VK5YX
  24. Peter VK3ZPF/p (Churchill NP)
  25. Peter VK2NEO
  26. Jim VK5TR
  27. John VK1CJ/3
  28. Greg VK5ZGY/m
  29. John VK5FMJC
  30. Ross VK7ALH
  31. Brenton VK3CBV
  32. Trent VK7FTRS
  33. Joe VK3YSP/m
  34. Mike VK3XL/m
  35. Matt VK5ZX
  36. Hans VK5KHZ
  37. Reuben VK7FREU/p (SOTA)
  38. Andrew VK1NAM
  39. Colin VK3ZZS/p
  40. Brett VK3FLCS
  41. Rob VK2QR/p (SOTA)
  42. Amanda VK3FQSO/p (Terrick Terrick NP)
  43. Ewen VK3OW
  44. Glenn VK3YY/p (SOTA)
  45. Kevin VK3KAB/p (SOTA)
  46. Brian VK5FMID
  47. Bernard VK3AV
  48. David VK3UCD
  49. Peter VK3TKK

Below is a video of this activation…..

 

References.

Wikipedia.org, 2014, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Eccles_National_Park&gt;, viewed 1st December 2014

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