My third activation for Sunday 29th March 2015 was the Point Davenport Conservation Park, which is located south of Port Moorowie on the Yorke Peninsula, and about 250 km by road from Adelaide.
Above: Location of the Point Davenport Conservation Park. Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
This is not an easy park to access. Unless you know exactly what you are looking for, it can be extremely frustrating as Marija and I experienced on Saturday. But with the assistance of Richard VK5ZRY it was a piece of cake. Fortunately we had permission to access the park via private property, which shortens the trip to the park dramatically. Otherwise you will need to walk about 3 km along the beach following Sturt Bay. Even if you do get permission to access the private property, do not even think about trying this in a 2WD. You will not make it. You will definitely get bogged, as this is a 4WD track only.
After entering through the farmers gate we followed a sandy and bumpy track down to a second gate and the start of the park. We set up just over the fenceline and not far from the ocean (about 500 metres away). For this activation we used my Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts and the 40m/20m linked dipole supported on the 7m squid pole.
Above: Map showing our operating spot. Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
Point Davenport Conservation Park is 242 hectares in size and was gazetted in 1987. It is located on a promontory that separates Foul Bay from Sturt Bay, mid-way along the southern coastline of Yorke Peninsula. It is an area of high biodiversity with a range of habitats including beaches and foredunes, and an estuary that is listed as a nationally important wetland. The park borders a swamp fringed by Paperbark Tea-trees.
Prior to calling CQ, Richard and I had a tune around the band. I found Lesley VK5LOL on 7.095 activating the Hallett Cove Conservation Park. But boy, what a pile up. Trying to break through was very difficult. But finally we did it, and had our first contact in the log, a park to park.
I then headed down to 7.090 and started calling CQ and this was answered by a multitude of callers. So we asked for ‘park to park’ callers first and this resulted in me getting a park to park contact with Col VK5HCF and Tom VK5EE in the Glen Roy Conservation Park in the South East, followed by a park to park with Greg VK5GJ in the Stiptipurus Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Richard and I handed back the mic to each other, each time a park to park caller gave us a shout.
I then asked for QRP stations and this resulted in some great QRP contacts including Tom VK5FTRG on 5 watts from Millicent, Adrian VK5FANA on 2 watts, and Amanda VK3FQSO on 100 milliwatts.
I always try to call for park to park contacts first, followed by QRP, other mobiles and portables, before I work the hoards of callers. I know from experience that it can be quite a challenge breaking through the pileups when you are mobile or portable.
I then worked a few more park to park contacts. This time with Keith VK5OQ in the Sandy Creek Conservation Park, followed by Matt VK5MLB activating the Montacute Conservation Park.
After working a total of 21 stations, Richard and I swapped over, and Richard jumped into the ‘driver’s seat’ and made multiple contacts.
While Richard was operating, we continued to swap the mic over, each time a park to park opportunity presented itself. This resulted in me working a further 6 park activators. The first was with Arno VK5ZAR activating the unique Fort Glanville Conservation Park, followed by Steve VK5SFA on the Woodforde Track in the Morialta Conservation Park. Working Steve was a pleasant surprise, and he was not one of the activators on the activation spreadsheet. I then spoke with Tony VK5ZAI in Jip Jip Rocks Conservation Park, then Andrew VK5MR in the Hopkins Creek Conservation Park running his little X1M QRP transceiver, and then Greg VK5ZGY in the Furner Conservation Park in the South East.
Richard then took a break and I worked a further 7 stations on 40m, including another park to park contact with Andrew VK5MR who had moved to the Red Banks Conservation Park.
Richard and I then decided we would have a crack at 20m hoping to get some of the VK6 fellas in the log. My first contact there was with Con VK2KON, and then much to our surprise, I was called by DK4RM in Germany (5/9 sent and 5/7 received). Next taker was Mike VK6MB, followed by Wil DL8MX and finally Adam VK2YK.
But time was marching on, and we decided to pack up and go for a walk down to the beach and view the Gulf St Vincent and the beautiful coastline of the lower Yorke Peninsula. I had a total of 38 contacts in the log.
Many thanks to Richard for getting us in to Point Davenport. It was great to meet Richard in person and do a couple of activations together including the rare Point Davenport CP. This is only the second time this park has been activated. It is difficult to find if you don’t know what to look for, and of course you need permission first to cross the farmer’s property.
After leaving Point Davenport, Marija I drove back to Inneston via the South Coast Road, stopping off a number of times to enjoy the spectacular views.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK5LOL/p (Hallett Cove Conservation Park)
- VK5HCF/p (Glen Roy Conservation Park)
- VK5EE/p (Glen Roy Conservation Park)
- VK5GJ/p (Stiptipurus Conservation Park)
- VK5OQ/p (Sandy Creek Conservation Park)
- VK5MLB/p (Montacute Conservation Park)
- VK5ZAR/p (Fort Glanville Conservation Park)
- VK5SFA/p (Morialta Conservation Park)
- VK5ZAI/p (Jip Jip Rocks Conservation Park)
- VK5MR/p (Hopkins Creek Conservation Park)
- VK5ZGY/p (Furner Conservation Park)
- VK5MR/p (Red Banks Conservation Park)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
Department for Environment and Heritage, Management Plan Mainland Conservation Parks of Yorke Peninsula 2009