Grampians National Park, VKFF-213

My second to last activation for Monday 17th November, 2014 was the Grampians National Park, VKFF-213, which is located about 260 km north west of Melbourne.

Screenshot 2014-12-01 17.56.26

map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I have really fond memories of the Grampians, as many of my Dad’s relatives live/d in the Wimmera region, particularly Horsham, not far from the park.  As a young boy we would often visit my Uncles and Aunties, and my Nana & Papa who lived at Horsham.  My Nana would regularly take us for a drive out to the Grampians, where my little sister and I would feed the kangaroos at Zumsteins.

The Grampians is a vast park, and is 167,219 hectares in size, and was proclaimed as a National Park on the 1st July 1984.  The park was listed on the Australian National Heritage List in 2006, for its outstanding natural beauty and being one of the richest indeigeneous rock art sites in south-eastern Australia.  The Grampians is referred to as Gariwerd in the local aboriginal language.  In 1991, after a 2 year consultation process, the park was renamed Grampians Gariwerd National Park.  However, this controversial formality was reversed after a change of State Government in 1992.

I entered the park via a dirt track which ran off the eastern side of the Henty Highway, near Tea Tree Creek.  I drove down the track for about 500 metres and set up my gear just off the track.  I again used the Yaesu FT-450, 40 watts, and the 40m/20m linked dipole for this activation.

Screenshot 2014-12-01 17.56.18

map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I had reached the and park and set up 6 minutes ahead of my scheduled time.  So I was on track to get home at a respectable hour.  I started calling CQ on my nominated frequency of 7.095.  My first contact was with Mr. Reliable John VK5BJE at 1.04 p.m. Victorian time.  John’s signal was down a little from normal.  He was just a 5/5 and I received a 5/1 signal report from John.  However, we both had very low, if not non-existant noise floors at our respective locations, so we were able to receive each other without any problems.  This was followed by John VK2AWJ/3 who was portable in the Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park.  John had been very active over the 4 days, operating portable from a number of Victorian parks.  Congratulations John.  My third contact was with Peter VK3RV and soon after his partner Jenny VK3WQ.  Peter and Jenny had been chasing me over the 4 days during my activations.  Thanks Peter and Jenny.

During this activation, I had a steady flow of callers from VK2, VK3 & VK5, with some very good signals.  Many were regular park hunters, but there were some new callers in there as well, which is always pleasing.  Daniel VK5DF had become a regular caller.  Daniel is from the South Coast Radio Club, where I recently gave a talk on the VK5 Parks Award.  So perhaps my encouragement had rubbed off on Daniel.

Unfortunately, I was pushed off the frequency by a couple of VK2 stations speaking Italian.  This was despite the fact that I had been on the frequency for one hour.  I was in the middle of a QSO with Tony VK5ZAI, when these 2 fellas came up and just took over the frequency without asking if it was in use.  I often hear these same two gentlemen, on or around this frequency, so obviously they believe they ‘own it’.  Perhaps they could not hear me, but surely they could hear the other stations working me.  Probably, but I think they just didn’t care.

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So after an abrupt end, I had a total of 32 contacts in the log.  This was enough to combine with my previous activation of The Grampians, to surpass the 44 required QSOs for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

The following stations were worked:-

  1. John VK5BJE
  2. John VK2AWJ/3
  3. Peter VK3RV
  4. Fred VK3DAC
  5. David VK5LSB
  6. Tim VK3TJC
  7. Jenny VK3WQ
  8. Tom VK5EE
  9. Daniel VK5DF
  10. John VK5DJ
  11. Tim VK5AV
  12. Stan VK3BNJ
  13. Andrew VK3FABE
  14. Larry VK5LY
  15. Colin VK5DK
  16. Tom VK2KF
  17. Nev VK5WG
  18. Lesley VK5LOL
  19. Tony VK3CAB
  20. Barry VK3MBW
  21. Hans VK5YX
  22. Brian VK5FMID
  23. Greg VK2MTC
  24. Ray VK3NBL
  25. Brett VK3FLCS
  26. Greg VK5GJ
  27. Ron VK3JP
  28. John VK5FMJC
  29. Frank VK3FARO
  30. Mick VK3FAFK
  31. Kevin VK3VEK
  32. Tony VK5ZAI

Below is a video of the activation…..

 

References.

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

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