Winninowie Conservation Park VKFF-820

After leaving the Clinton Conservation Park, Marija and I continued north on the Augusta Highway up into the Mid North of South Australia.  Our next park activation was the Winninowie Conservation Park, VKFF-820.

But prior to activating the park, we took a short detour into the little town on RedHill.  I had arranged to call in and say ‘g’day’ to Bill VK5MBD and his partner Hayley.  When we arrived at Bill’s place, which is the old school house, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was an unexpected visitor there, John VK5FMJC from Crystal Brook.  Bill, John, and I enjoyed a beer, while going on a tour of Bill’s antenna farm.  He certainly has a collection.

After leaving Bill’s place we continued north on the Augusta Highway towards Winninowie Conservation Park, which is about 20 km south of Port Augusta, and about 300 km north of Adelaide.

Screenshot 2015-06-24 08.05.00

Above:- Map showing the location of the park.  Map courtesy of

We drove down Miranda Road into the Yatala Harbour section of the park and found a bit of a clearing in the scrub and set up the fold up table and deck chair.  Again for this activation, I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 40m/200m linked dipole, supported on the 7 metre squid pole.

Screenshot 2015-06-24 08.04.41

Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the park.  Map courtesy of

Much to my pleasant surprise, my first contact in the log was with Larry VK5LY at Renmark in the Riverland region of South Australia.  Larry was meant to have accompanied us on the trip with his wife Di, but due to illness, could not come along.  So it was great to get Larry in the log.  Next up was John VK5BJE, another one of our travelling colleagues, who was already at Argadells near Quorn (our accomodation for the next 3 nights).

A few QSOs later I was called by Amanda VK3FQSO running her 500 milliwatts again.  Amanda had  a nice 5/7 signal coming in to the Winninowie.  It is truly amazing what you can do on real QRP when the conditions are favourable.

And then a few contacts later I spoke with Johnno VK3FMPB who was operating portable from the Kinglake National Park, VKFF-264.  Soon after I had a few more park contacts in the log.  This time it was Col VK5HCF and Alan VK5FAJS who were portable in the Telford Scrub Conservation Park, VKFF-805 near Mount Gambier in the South East.  For more information on their activation, please have a look at Col’s WordPress site at…..

After speaking with Col and Alan, Tony VK3CAT gave me a shout from his backyard, running a small magnetic loop and just 4 watts.

And my park contacts continued about 12 contacts later, with Ian VK1DI calling in from the Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve, VKFF-835 with a good 5/7 signal.  For more information on Ian’s activation, have a look at Ian’s WordPress site at…..

I moved through the constant stream of callers from all around Australia….VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  I was then called by Rob VK4AAC/5 in the Flinders Chase National Park VKFF-173 on Kangaroo Island OC-139.  Another park contact…I was very pleased.

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And then a few QSO’s later I was called by Ken ZL4KD in Christchurch with a good 5/7 signal.  Ken reciprocated with a 5/6 signal report for me.  Steve VK5SFA then called in from the Morialta Conservation Park, VKFF-783, in the Adelaide Hills.  Steve was running just 5 watts and had a very strong 5/9 signal.

After working a total of 51 stations on 40m I headed over to 20m, hoping to get some Europeans in the log.  And I wasn’t to be disappointed.  Band conditions on 20m, long path into Europe were excellent.  My first contact after calling CQ on 20m was with Fred VK4FE.  Next up was Danny ON4VT in Belgium who is a regular park activator and hunter, Luc ON4BB in Belgium, Xaver DK4RM in Germany, and then Swa ON5SWA in Belgium.

During the pile up I heard ‘portable’ in amongst the callers.  It was Ian VK1DI in Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-835, calling in.  Ian was a nice strong 5/9.

I went on to work a total of 79 stations on 20m in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary, France, Austria, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Romania, Sweden, Slovak Republic, Poland, England, Wales, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Netherlands, Croatia, and Japan.

Thankyou to I5FLN, IZ1JLG, OO2T and ON3EA for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

This was a very successful activation with a total of 128 contacts in the log.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5LY
  2. VK5BJE/p (Argadells)
  3. VK5FD
  4. VK2FALL
  5. VK3FQSO
  6. VK4FFAB
  7. VK5FTRG
  8. VK3FMPB/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-264)
  9. VK5IS
  10. VK5HCF/p (Telford Scrub CP VKFF-805)
  11. VK5FAJS/p (Telford Scrub CP VKFF-805)
  12. VK3CAT/p
  13. VK7LTD/p
  14. VK3TKK/p
  15. VK4QC/2
  16. VK5QI/m
  17. VK5HS/m
  18. VK3OF
  19. VK5HYZ
  20. VK5GJ
  21. VK3PF
  22. VK3BHR
  23. VK1DI/p
  24. VK5BW
  25. VK3NBV
  26. VK3DBP
  27. VK3NBL
  28. VK5JW
  29. VK5FMID
  30. VK3ANL
  31. VK7EK
  32. VK2NP
  33. VK5FMJC
  34. VK3ZZS/4
  35. VK4HNS
  36. VK3YAR
  37. VK2SR/m
  38. VK3VIN
  39. VK4AAC/5 (Flinders Chase National Park VKFF-173)
  40. VK5MBD
  41. VK5RR
  42. VK3KYF
  43. VK3FLAK
  44. ZL4KD
  45. VK2SL/p
  46. VK5FANA
  47. VK5SFA/p (Morialta CP VKFF)
  48. VK3HRA
  49. VK5FAJH
  50. VK5KFB
  51. VK2HPN/m

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4FE
  2. ON4VT
  3. ON4BB
  4. DK4RM
  5. ON5SWA
  6. DL1EBR
  7. VK2IO
  8. I5FLN
  9. VK4FR
  10. VK2GKA/m
  11. VK2NP
  12. EA4DTV
  13. HA5LV
  14. VK1DI
  15. HA6NF
  16. F4HJO
  17. IK1GPG
  18. HA6OB
  19. OH6IU
  20. RA3PCI
  21. S58AL
  22. HB9ELE
  23. DM5EE
  24. F1BLL
  25. YO3JW
  26. DL5WW
  27. IZ0PAD
  28. S52KM
  29. SA5ACR
  30. OM7OM
  31. DL2ND
  32. SP5INQ
  33. HA0LG
  34. IK8FIQ
  35. DL3APO
  36. OK7WA
  37. Dl2NOM
  38. IK8NSR
  39. DL1MDU
  40. IZ1CJZ
  41. DL1EKO
  42. ON1JU
  43. IZ1JLG
  44. IN3RTB
  45. EA3MP
  46. M6KVT/p
  47. ON7AB
  48. HB9LCZ
  49. MW0RLJ
  50. OE3QGA
  51. I3QDK
  52. IZ0OTV
  53. DF1YQ
  54. OK2BUT
  55. HA5HY
  56. HB9/DK2WC
  57. DL1ASA
  58. SP1MVG
  59. SP6KEP
  60. IW2NXI
  61. UX1AA
  62. PB1TT
  63. VK7VDL
  64. 9A2AA
  65. SP8GEY
  66. IZ1GRH
  67. S51ZZ
  68. ON4ATK
  69. IK2LQT
  70. OP7M
  71. JA8RJE
  72. F2YT
  73. IZ1JMN
  74. ON3EA
  75. YO6KNE
  76. VK6MAC
  77. VK6NU

After packing up at Winninowie, we continued north on the Augusta Highway and then took the turn off to Quorn.  We then travelled out along Arden Vale Road to ‘Argadells’.  What an amazing place.  Marija and I highly recommend Argadells to anyone who would like a beautiful stay in the north.  Argadells is a historic working sheep property set amongst 32 square kilometres of spectacular scenery, just 28 kilometres north of Quorn.  It is nestled between Warren Gorge and Buckaringa Gorge.  For more information on Argadells, please have a look at their website at…..

After dinner, which was prepared in the amazing camp kitchen, and a few bottles of red, John, David and I fired up the Yaesu FT-857d and made a few contacts on 40m, before retiring for the night.  We even managed a contact into Panama on 40m (5/9 sent and 4/8 received).

2 thoughts on “Winninowie Conservation Park VKFF-820

  1. Howdy Col,

    This was a very enjoyable activation. The bands were in great shape. But that wasn’t to last as you know, with all the solar activity.

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a message.



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