After packing up at the Giles Conservation Park, I headed to the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park, VKFF-894, for my second park activation of the day. Mark VK5QI had recommended to activate from the picnic ground at the bottom of the park, but this meant a longer drive for me down into the foothills and the suburb of Skye. So I headed south along Woods Hill Road, and onto the Ashton -Mt Lofty summit Road. I then turned right into Coach Road, and travelled to the end of the road where there is a small carpark.
Above:- Map showing the location of Horsnelly Gully CP. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.
Horsnell Gully Conservation Park is an adjacent park to the Giles Conservation Park. Both the Heysen Trail and the Yurrebilla Trail wind their way through both parks. Horsnell Gully Conservation is located about 10 km east of Adelaide and was set aside in 1964 as a Conservation Park to conserve native vegetation in the Adelaide Hills Face Zone. The park contains a number of rare and endangered plant species. The park was named after the State Governor’s coachman, John Horsnell. Coach Road was once the principal road into Adelaide from the east during the 1870s and 1880s. There was a coach gate located on the highest point of ‘Coach Hill’, which is known today as the suburb of Skye. The driver blew a trumpet to let the settlers know that he had been through the gate and that they had to climb up to close the gate.
Above:- The location of Giles and Horsnell Gully Conservation Parks. Image courtesy of Google Earth.
I set up at the end of Coach Road. There is no through road from here down to Skye. But there is a nice parking spot and a clearing amongst the scrub making it an ideal location to activate from the park. Don’t be put off by the nearby power lines. I have operated from here previously and did not experience any issues. Nor did I on this occasion.
Above:- Image showing my operating spot in the south eastern corner of the park off Coach Road.
Image courtesy of Google Earth.
I headed for my nominating operating frequency of 7.144, but 7.145 was occupied by some European DX. In fact the 40m band was very active with lots of good signals coming in from Europe. I found 7.135 clear and asked if the frequency was in use. Steve VK3HK mobile came back to my call, advising that he had been calling CQ there but did not have any takers. Steve kindly allowed me to use the frequency and I called CQ and this was responded to by John VK5BJE, followed by Col VK5HCF in the South East, and then Roy VK5NRG.
The band was in very good shape, with strong signals from all around Australia and New Zealand. I worked a total of 57 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand. Regular park hunter, Ken ZL4KD called in to say hi, along with his wife Margaret ZL3YF.
Unfortunately I did not get time to try 20m. I was kept very busy on 40m, and by the time callers slowed down, it was getting dark and very cold. So it was time to pack up and head home.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2010, ‘Horsnell Gully Conservation park and Giles Conservation Park’.