From Carribie Conservation Park (afternoon of Saturday 28th March) we travelled in to the little town of Corny Point, where stopped to have lunch at the Howling Dog Tavern. What a great name for a pub. Marija and I had eaten here before, back in 2013, during out visit to the Yorke Peninsula for the 6 month anniversary of the VK5 Parks award. The food is good. And the Bundy was nice and cold. We also did some running repairs on the Toyota Hi Lux. One of the spot lights on the bullbar had come loose. In fact I had lost the theft proof bolt holding it in place. It had obviously not been tight enough and had jarred loose on the corrugated roads.
After lunch we took a scenic drive down to the Corny Point lighthouse and then followed the West Coast Road, stopping off regularly to view the coastline. We highly recommend this detour. The West Coast Road will take you all the way down to Point Annie. From there we headed back inland along the Point Annie Road until we reached the Marion Bay Road and then travelled south. A number of kms south, we turned right onto Browns Beach Road and headed down to Gym Beach. The views here are truly amazing. We travelled into the Innes National Park from here and found a little car park all to ourselves. We set up the radio gear there, overlooking the ocean (the Spencer Gulf).
Above: the location of Gym Beach on the north western side of the park. Image courtesy of mapcarta.com
Before calling CQ I had a look around the 40m band and found Andrew VK5MR calling CQ on 7.105 from the Caroona Creek Conservation Park in the Mid North. Andrew was my first contact and my first park to park contact for this activation (5/9 both ways). I then found Hans VK5YX operating portable from the Hallett Cove Conservation Park south of Adelaide (5/9 both ways), and then Richard VK5ZRY operating portable from the Minlacowie Conservation Park on the Yorke Peninsula (5/9 both ways).
I then went up to 7.120 and started calling CQ and this was answered by David VK5KC and Roy VK5NRG who were activating the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills (again 5/9 both ways). This was followed by a contact with Mark VK5QI in the Coorong National Park. A few QSOs later I was called by Nigel VK5NIG activating the Sandy Creek Conservation Park north of Adelaide in the Barossa, followed by Arno VK5ZAR in the Port Gawler Conservation Park, and then Greg VK5GJ and Norm VK5GI in the Mount Magnificent Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
But that wasn’t the end of the park to park action. I then received a call from David VK5NQP in the Red Banks Conservation Park, followed by Tim VK3MTB/5 in the Naracoorte Caves National Park, and then Greg VK5ZGY in the Paranki Lagoon Conservation Park in the South East, Gary VK5FGRY in the Morialta Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills, and then Peter VK5KX in the Hogwash bend Conservation Park in the Riverland. All with 5/9 signals. Wow, the park to park activity was great.
But wait, there’s more, as that guy who sold steak knives used to say. I also worked Bill VK5MBD in the Clements Gap Conservation Park in the Mid North, Peter VK5FLEX in the Danggali Conservation Park in the Murray Mallee.
When the callers slowed down I took the opportunity of looking around the band and found Matt Vk1MA portable on SOTA peak VK2/ ST-006 (5/5 sent and 5/7 received).
I then lowered the squid pole and removed the links and headed off to 20m. I started calling CQ on 14.346 and this was answered by Andy VK5AKH in the Coorong National Park. And from there a steady flow of European park hunters called me from Italy, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Russia, Slovenia, France, Belgium, Slovak Republic, Austria, England, and the Czech Republic. Thankyou to everyone that spotted me. This clearly helped in the Europeans finding me. I also received a call from Andrew VK1NAM amongst the European pile up.
I then headed back to 40m and called CQ on 7.115 and my first taker there was another park to park contact, Andrew VK5MR this time in the Mokota Conservation Park. Soon after this was followed by another park to park, this time with Ian VK5CZ activating the Spring Gully Conservation Park up in the wine growing region of the Clare Valley. A handful of QSO’s later, Arno VK5ZAR gave me a shout from the Port Gawler Conservation Park.
But perhaps the highlight of the activation for me, was a contact with Peter VK3YE who was operating true QRP, 100 milliwatts. Peter’s signal was weak (5/3) as you would expect, but perfectly readable. Amazing what you can do with QRP!
This was another successful activation, with a 72 contacts in the log on 40m and 20m SSB in 2 & 1/2 hours.
The following stations were worked:-
- VK5MR/p (Caroona Creek Conservation park)
- VK5YX/p (Hallett Cove Conservation Park)
- VK5ZRY/p (Minlacowie Conservation Park)
- VK5KC/p (Mark Oliphant Conservation Park)
- VK5NRG/p (Mark Oliphant Conservation Park)
- VK5QI/p (Coorong National Park)
- VK5NIG/p (Sandy Creek Conservation Park)
- VK5ZAR/p (Port Gawler Conservation Park)
- VK5GJ/p (Mount Magnificent Conservation Park)
- VK5GI/p (Mount Magnificent Conservation Park)
- VK5NQP/p (Red Banks Conservation Park)
- VK3MTB/5 (Naracoorte Caves National Park)
- VK5ZGY/p (Paranki Lagoon Conservation Park)
- VK5FGRY/p (Morialta Conservation Park)
- VK5KX/p (Hogwash bend Conservation Park)
- VK5MBD/p (Clements Gap Conservation Park)
- VK5FLEX/p (Danggali Conservation Park)
- VK1MA/2 (SOTA VK2/ ST-006)
- VK5MR/p (Mokota Conservation Park)
- VK5CZ/p (Spring Gully Conservation Park)
- VK5ZAR/p (Port Gawler Conservation Park)
- VK5KX/p Hogwash Bend Conservation Park)
- VK3YE/p (qrp 100mw)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
- VK5AKH/p (Coorong National Park)