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.
Above:- Map showing the location of the park. Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
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.
Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the park. Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
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.
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:-
- VK5BJE/p (Argadells)
- VK3FMPB/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-264)
- VK5HCF/p (Telford Scrub CP VKFF-805)
- VK5FAJS/p (Telford Scrub CP VKFF-805)
- VK4AAC/5 (Flinders Chase National Park VKFF-173)
- VK5SFA/p (Morialta CP VKFF)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
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).