My one and only park activation for Saturday 6th June, 2015, was the Penambol Conservation Park, which is situated about 22 km south east of Mount Gambier, and 450 km south east of Adelaide. This was another early start from the motel, and after a detour to the ‘Golden Arches’ McDonalds for a quick breakfast, I headed out of Mount Gambier along the Glenelg River Road, towards the Victorian border.
Above:- Map showing the location of the park. Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
I continued south east along the Glenelg River Road, through the areas of Square Mile and Caveton. I turned left into Carba Road, which is a narrow little dirt road. I passed a number of farmhouses and then pine forest on both my right and left. I located the park on the corner of Carba Road and Honeysuckle Road. The park sign was quite visible amongst the scrub.
Penambol Conservation Park adjoins the Warrenga Native Forest Reserve and is 179 hectares in size. The park was acquired for conservation purposes in 1984 and was constituted in December 1993. It conserves an important area of remnant vegetation, formerly known as Herpst’s Scrub. It contains several unique geological features, including Caroline SInkhole, which has archaeological significance.
The park has a Wombat Walk, which provides numerous opportunities to view wombats, with dozen of wombat burrows evident in the area. I didn’t even know that wombats were found in this area. I thought it was too cold.
The park also contains South Australia’s first butterfly monitoring sites, enabling visitors to the park to experience and learn about local butterflies, such as the Ochre Butterfly and Orange species Butterfly.
The park contains a large amount of native wildlife including the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Red-necked Wallaby, Ringtail Possum, Echidna, Wombat, Yellow Bellied gliders, and Bush Rat. The threatened Gang Gang Cockatoo and Red Tailed Black Cockatoo have also been sighted in the park.
Above:- Map showing my operating spot. Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
I was set up and ready to go by 2250 UTC (8.20 a.m.) and started calling CQ on 7.095. David VK5NQP was my first caller with a great 5/9 signal. This was followed by Mick VK3PMG in Stawell who was also 5/9, and then Barry VK5KBJ.
I worked a number of QRP stations including Adrian VK5FANA running 5 watts, Paul VK3DBP running 5 watts, Amanda running 500 milliwatts (5/8 sent and 5/9 received), Mark VK7MK running 2.5 watts (5/8 sent and 5/5 received), Ian VK5IS running 5 watts, Mike VK3XL also running 5 watts, and Trevor VK3FPY/5 running 5 watts with his home made vertical.
I also spoke with Mark VK5LO and and Paul VK1AT/3, both of whom were operating with home brew transceivers.
Tony VK3VTH also called in from the Cape Nelson State Park VKFF-754. It was great to get another new VKFF reference in the log.
My final contact on 40m was with Peter VK3YE who was portable on the beach at Chelsea, running an FT817 on 5 watts and a home brew antenna (5/9 both ways).
I did call CQ numerous times on 14.310, but unfortunately there were no takers. Sadly I couldn’t alert anyone that I was there via parksnpeaks, as there was no mobile coverage in the park.
After 90 minutes in the park, I had a total of 51 contacts in the log. I was very pleased. I needed 44 contacts to qualify the park for the WWFF program. This was another unique VKFF activation to add to my list.
The following stations were worked:-
- VK4AAC/5 (Kangaroo Island)
- VK5BJE (on either side of the UTC rollover)
- VK3VTH/p (Cape Nelson State Park VKFF-754)
- VK3YE/p (Chelsea Beach)
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1994, Small Inland Parks of the South East Management Plan.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2010, Penambol Conservation Park.