Our second park on Sunday was the Ramco Point Conservation Park, which is located near the town of Waikerie in the Riverland region of South Australia, about 180 km north east of Adelaide. This was another unique park for me.
Above:- Map showing the location of Ramco Point CP. Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
The park is located between the Murray River and Hart Lagoon and was proclaimed in 2006. I could not find a huge amount of information on the internet about this park. And it is one of those small South Australian Conservation parks which does not show up on Google maps.
Access to the park was quite difficult. If we did not have the Toyota Hi Lux we would not have made it in there. The Riverland had experienced a lot of rain over the past 48 hours and many of the off road tracks had become very wet and boggy.
We set up on the banks of the River Murray between the river and Hart Lagoon. It was a beautiful idealic spot, and fortunately the weather was holding off for us with no rain.
Above:- Our operating spot. Image courtesy of mapcarta.com
Prior to calling CQ I scouted around the 40m band and found Tony VK3VTH calling CQ from the Oolambeyan National Park in New South Wales (5/9 both ways). I then headed down to 7.095 and called CQ and this was answered by Nigel VK5NIG with a very strong 5/9 signal, followed by Arno VK5ZAR, David VK5NQP, and then Fred VK3DAC. And then much to my surprise I received a call from Mark VK6BSA in Western Australia. It was 12.15 p.m SA local time and I was very surprised to get a call from a VK6 on 40m at this time of the day. Mark was 5/6 and gave me a 5/1. Not bad considering I was running 40 watts and my simple linked dipole.
A few calls later I spoke with Stef VK5HSX who was portable in Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges National Park (5/5 sent and 5/7 received). I then asked for any other QRP, portable or mobile stations and this was answered by Peter VK3PF running QRP, Adrian VK5FANA running QRP, Mark VK3OHM running QRP, Allen Vk3HRA portable on SOTA peak Mount Cowley VK3/ VC-022 in the Great Otway National Park, and Geoff VK5HEL mobile.
After working a total of 33 stations on 40m I headed over to 20m where I spoke with Lee VK2LEE and Gerard VK2IO. Both Lee and Gerard had nice strong 5/9 signals. I then went QRT and headed off for the Hogwash Bend Conservation Park.
On the way to Hogwash Bend, we made a quick stop off at a lookout on the Cadell Valley Road, where we were able to view the Hart Lagoon and the Ramco Point Conservation Park.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK3VTH/2 (Oolambeyan National Park)
- VK5HSX/p (Flinders Ranges National Park)
- VK3HRA/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-022)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
The Ramco Point Conservation Park was also in a similar condition when we visited. I made a point of pointing out the bog holes where 4 x 4s had churned up a mess. I was a real mess. I noticed at Ngarkat that the fence around the parking area had been cut by …..and that vehicles had moved into the off-road area. Count the number of dots in the previous sentence. You will see that the language is quite polite!
They are ……
The track into Ramco Point was really bad. So we set up where we could.
Re the issue with Ngarkat, it wouldn’t hurt to let the local DEWNR office know about it. I probably wouldn’t hold my breath, but I think it would be worthwhile letting them know.