Aberdour Conservation Park was my first park activation for the week away in the South East. I left home early on Thursday morning (4th June 2015), and journeyed down the Dukes Highway to Keith, where I turned off onto the Riddoch Highway. About 10 km from the park I had a QSO on 40m with Gary VK5ZK, Rick VK5BGN, and a few other VK5 locals. It was good to try out the new Codan 9350 antenna on the Toyota Hi Lux.
Aberdour Conservation Park is about 35 km south of Keith on the eastern side of the Riddoch Highway (Naracoorte-Keith Road), and about 260 km by road from Adelaide. It is quite a large park, being 133 hectares in size. It was dedicated as a Conservation Park in February 1991, and was a gift from the Nankivell family. In fact Nankivells Road runs on the eastern side of the park. The park preserves an area of remnant vegetation which is very typical of undulating dune and limestone country of the South East.
There has been extensive clearing of the surrounding countryside and the park provides an important habitat for a large amount of native wildlife. The park contains the Nationally endangered Jumping Jack wattle Acacia enterocarpa.
I haven’t been able to find out an origin of the name of the park. Unfortunately there is not a lot of information on the internet about this park and DEWNR were unable to assist. There is a town called Aberdour on the south coast of Fife in Scotland. Perhaps it has some association.
Above:- The boundaries of the park. Courtesy of http://www.openstreetmap.org
I turned off the Riddoch Highway onto Cannawigara Road and travelled east. A few km down the road (which is a dirt road), I saw the park sign on my left on the northern side of the road. There was an access track at the south western corner of the park on Cannawigara Road, but it was extremely wet and sandy and I didn’t feel like getting out and lowering the tyre pressure in the Toyota Hi Lux. So I continued down Cannawigara Road and turned left into Nankivells Road and travelled north along the eastern boundary of the park. At the end of Nankivells Road, which becomes a dead end road, there is another sandy 4WD track which follows the northern boundary of the park. But I turned back around and found a clearing in the scrub, and parked the car on Nankivells Road.
Above:- Map showing my operating location. Image courtesy of mapcarta.com
The scrub in the park is very thick, but I had found a nice clearing and quickly set up my fold up table, deck chair, and antenna, trying to beat the rain. It was not the best of days for park activating, with quite a lot of shower activity and it was very cold.
My first contact after calling CQ on 7.095 was with Adrian VK5FAJH in Port Pirie with a nice 5/9 signal. This was followed by Tony VK5FTVR in Strathalbyn, and then Rick VK5BGN who I had spoken to from the mobile. Thanks for coming up to say g’day Rick. The showers were starting to set in, so I deployed the bothy bag to try to stay dry. It was pleasing to hear a steady flow of callers from lots of the regular park hunters, but also a number of new callers, from all around Australia.
In fact, during my 45 minutes in the park I had contacts on 40m into VK2, VK3, VK5, VK6, and VK7. The band seemed to be in quite good condition with 5/7-8 signals coming in from Western Australia.
After a total of 23 contacts, I lowered down the squid pole in the rain, and took out the links in the dipole and started calling CQ on 14.310. This was answered by Peter VK6RZ firstly with a beautiful 5/9 signal, followed by Max VK6FN who was also 5/9. But the rain had got the better of me. It was that heavy and steady that water was seaping through the bothy bag, so it was time to pack up and head for the warmth of the vehicle. I had a total of 25 contacts in the log and this was a unique park for me as an activator.
Thanks to Paul VK2HV and Peter VK6RZ for spotting me on the DX Cluster and to those that spotted me on parksnpeaks.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- Adrian VK5FAJH
- Tony VK5FTVR
- Rick VK5BGN
- Ivan VK5HS
- David VK5KC
- Ian VK5IS
- Adrian VK5FANA
- Allen VK5FD
- Paul VK2HV
- Jeff VK5JK
- Les VK5KLD
- Jim VK1AT/3
- Greg VK5ZGY
- John VK5FANG
- Peter VK3PF/m
- Andy VK2VOO/m
- Geoff VK5HEL
- Peter VK6RZ
- Tony VK7LTD
- Max VK6FN
- Mark VK7MK
- Ian VK5CZ
- Rich VK6HRC
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
- Peter VK6RZ
- Max VK6FN
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1997, Aberdour and Mount Monster Conservation Parks Management Plans
Wikipedia, 2015, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberdour> viewed 10th June 2015