Nixon Skinner Conservation Park, VKFF-0923

My second park activation for Sunday 30th November 2015, and my final activation for the inaugural 2015 VKFF Activation Weekend, was the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park, VKFF-0923.  The park is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 5 km south of Myponga, and about 60 km south of Adelaide

Screenshot 2015-12-13 17.19.13

Above:- Map showing the location of the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I had activated Nixon Skinner Conservation Park previously, back in October, 2013, but as per all of my activations for the VKFF weekend, this activation was prior to the park being added to the VKFF list for the World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) program.

For more information on my previous activation, please see…..

After leaving Stipiturus Conservation Park, I travelled west along Pages Flat Road, until I reached the little town of Myponga which is the hub of lush grazing and dairy country.  The name derived from the Aboriginal word ‘maippunga’ meaning locality of high cliffs.  Myponga was the venue for the first Australian performance by leading British heavy rock group Black Sabbath during the Myponga Music festival in 1971.  Prior to this festival the town’s leading claim to fame was the 1953 discovery of a uranium ore deposit at Wild Dog Hill.  Myponga is also the home of the Smiling Samoyed Brewery which is a small unique brewery and the Myponga market which is located in the old cheese factory.

I then travelled south west along Main South Road for around 5 kms.  I knew where I was heading as I had activated the park before.  But if you haven’t been to Nixon Skinner previously, then don’t blink.  You will probably miss it.   Just as you pass Causeway Road and travel over a part of the Myponga Reservoir, you will see a small track off to your right.  This is where you access the park.

There is a locked gate at this location.  Sadly, this is another locked Conservation Park.  But there is a gap in between the fence and the gate, allowing pedestrians into the park.  There is a bitumen road here and some old fire ban signs, so clearly at one stage, you could drive a vehicle down to the waterfront of the Myponga Reservoir.  If you have time I would highly recommend the walk down to the water.  It is a scenic walk and you will be rewarded with some great views of the reservoir.  And depending upon what time of the day you are here, the area is alive with kangaroos.

Nixon Skinner is only a small park.  It comprises 8 hectares of native vegetation, and backs on to the south western side of the Myponga Reservoir which provides about 5% of the drinking water for Adelaide.  It is the main source of filtered water for southern metropolitan Adelaide and the southern coast area.

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In 1956 Mrs. Lucy Eleanor Page, a long standing and active member of the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia, donated the land.  The park was named in honour of her grandfathers and was the first privately donated reserve to be established in South Australia for the preservation in perpetuity of native plants and animals and for the enjoyment of nature lovers.  There is a memorial plaque for Mrs. Page, but keep your eye out for it.  I doubt that a DEWNR official has been in the park for a long time, as the plaque is underneath a tree and severely overgrown.

I set up in the same spot I had set up previously, just along the road inside the gate.  For this activation I used the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts and the 40m/20m linked dipole, supported on the 7 metre squid pole.  I supported the squid pole with the squid pole holder and an octopus strap.  It was hard going driving the holder into the ground, as it was very very dry.  Next time I think I will walk a lot further down the track, as Main South Road which passed by the park was extremely noisy and busy with tourist traffic travelling to and from the seaside tourist towns on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and Adelaide.

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Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the south western corner of the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The start of this activation was a park to park fest.  I decided to have a tune around the 40m band before calling CQ.  And as a result I worked 7 park activators to start off the activation.

  • VK3TST/2 (Livingstone National Park VKFF-0292)
  • VK5EE/p (Ewens Ponds Conservation Park VKFF-0796)
  • VK3TKK/p (Lerderberg State Park VKFF-0763)
  • VK4AAC/5 (Beachport Conservation Park VKFF-0791)
  • VK1DI/p (Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve VKFF-0901)
  • VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park VKFF-0813)
  • VK5HSX/2 (Murrumbidgee Valley National Park VKFF-0554)

I then headed for 7.155 and started calling CQ.  It wasn’t long before I had a mini pile up going, with the first caller being Allen VK3HRA, followed by Fred VK3DAC and then Tony VK5FTVR.  Soon after I had a call from Peter VK3PF who was portable in the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park VKFF-0954.  This was a brand new park for me as a Hunter.  Next up was Andrew VK1DA/2 who was activating SOTA peak, Mount Bowning, VK2/ ST-042., north west of Yass.  And soon after Gary VK5FGRY called in again from the Morialta Conservation Park, along with Gerard VK2IO who was activating the Cattai National Park VKFF-0092.

When things slowed down a little, I had a glance around the 40m band again with the hope of picking up some more park activators, and that I did:

  • VK1VIC/p (Colleman Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-0837)
  • VK5ZGY/p (Penola Conservation Park VKFF-0803)
  • VK5FFCC/p (Deep Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0780)
  • VK3YY/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-031 and VKFF-0750)
  • VK3VTH/p (Bendigo Regional Park VKFF-0960)

I then started calling CQ on 7.144 and worked a number of the regular park hunters, from VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7, all of whom had good signals.  The band was working well.  The kookaburra sounded on my i-phone to alert me of Col VK5HCF and Tom VK5EE on 7.130 from the Douglas Point Conservation Park, VKFF-0795, so that’s where I headed for another park to park contact.

I then tried 20m briefly, but there were not a lot of takers there, with just 4 stations logged from VK2 and VK4.  So it was off to 15m where I enjoyed a little more success.  I worked a total of 10 stations on 15m from VK3, VK4, and Japan.

I then returned to 40m and worked Peter VK3PF who was now activating the Point Nepean National Park, VKFF-0628, before I propped on 7.120 and called CQ.  I worked a number of the regular park hunters and also picked up another park to park contact.  This time with David VK5PL who was activating the Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park, VKFF-0897 in the Barrossa Valley.

I again tuned around the band and picked up some more park to park contacts:

  • VK5LOL/p (Onkaparinga River National Park VKFF-0402)
  • VK5PET/p (Coorong National Park VKFF-0115)
  • VK5AKH/p (Onkaparinga River National Park VKFF-0402)

I then commenced calling CQ on 7.115 and worked into VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK6.  This included a park to park contact with Lewis VK6FLEW who was operating portable from the Yanchep National Park, VKFF-0553.  The static crashes had really picked up and it was a very difficult contact.  But due to the perseverance of us both, we eventually made it, exchanging signal reports and park numbers (3/3 sent and 3/1 received).  Well done Lewis, it was great to get you in the log.

I tried 20m and 15m one last time each.  On 20m I worked into Italy, VK5 and VK6.  But it was so noisy on 20m with extremely loud static crashes, that I decided it just wasn’t worth continuing, and trying to get Europe on the long path.  On 15m I worked just 3 stations in Japan and VK3.

This was a great afternoon in the park with a total of 102 contacts on 40m, 20m, and 15m.  This included a total of 24 park to park QSOs.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3TST/2 (Livingstone National Park VKFF-0292)
  2. VK5EE/p (Ewens Ponds Conservation Park VKFF-0796)
  3. VK3TKK/p (Lerderberg State Park VKFF-0763)
  4. VK4AAC/5 (Beachport Conservation Park VKFF-0791)
  5. VK1DI/p (Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve VKFF-0901)
  6. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park VKFF-0813)
  7. VK5HSX/2 (Murrumbidgee Valley National Park VKFF-0554)
  8. VK3HRA
  9. VK3DAC
  10. VK5FTVR
  11. VK3OHM
  12. VK5FMID
  13. VK3PF/p (Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park VKFF-0954)
  14. VK1DA/p (SOTA VK2/ ST-042)
  15. VK3PMG
  16. VK3YAR
  17. VK5JK
  18. VK5FGRY/p (Morialta Conservation Park VKFF-0783)
  19. VK1MA
  20. VK5HS
  21. VK5FLEX
  22. VK2IO/p (Cattai National Park VKFF-0092)
  23. VK1VIC/p (Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-0837)
  24. VK5ZGY/p (Penola Conservation Park VKFF-0803)
  25. VK5FFCC/p (Deep Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0780)
  26. VK5TR
  27. VK3YY/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-031 and VKFF-0750)
  28. VK3VTH/p (Bendigo Regional Park VKFF-0960)
  29. VK5DJ
  30. VK5PL
  31. VK2AWJ
  32. VK2VW
  33. VK7CW
  34. VK2NEO
  35. VK2QR
  36. VK2HEW
  37. VK5GJ
  38. VK3FLCS
  39. VK3TKK/m
  40. VK5WG
  41. VK5KLV
  42. VK5AV
  43. VK5EE/p (Douglas Point Conservation Park VKFF-0795)
  44. VK5HCF/p (Douglas Point Conservation Park VKFF-0795)
  45. VK3PF/p (Point Nepean National Park VKFF-0628)
  46. VK5NFT
  47. VK5FD
  48. VK5MBD
  49. VK3FPAR
  50. VK5HYZ
  51. VK3BSG
  52. VK5NRG
  53. VK3DBP
  54. VK5PL/p (Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park VKFF-0897)
  55. VK3ANL
  56. VK3ZD
  57. VK7FRKL
  58. VK3OF
  59. VK5LOL/p (Onkaparinga River National Park VKFF-0402)
  60. VK5PET/p (Coorong National Park VKFF-0115)
  61. VK5AKH/p (Onkaparinga River National Park VKFF-0402)
  62. VK5NIG
  63. VK3FIRM
  64. VK3UH
  65. VK3FPBI
  66. VK5AW/m
  67. VK5VBR
  68. VK5FANA
  69. VK2PKT
  70. VK3UT
  71. VK6FLEW/p (Yanchep National Park VKFF-0553)
  72. VK3BQ
  73. VK5FDEC
  74. VK3ETC
  75. VK3VEF
  76. VK5HEL
  77. VK5NJ
  78. VK5MCB

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2YW
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. VK2HOT
  5. VK6NU/p (Wandoo National Park VKFF-0656)
  6. VK5KBJ
  7. VK6DW
  8. VK4QQ
  9. IK1GPG
  10. VK6XL
  11. VK6HAO

The following stations were worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. JA8RJE
  4. VK4FFAB
  5. VK3FAPH
  6. JK1THF
  7. VK3PMM
  8. VK3MEG
  9. JE1GWO
  10. JA1SMM
  11. JA4SCQ
  12. VK3FIRM
  13. VK3FONZ


2 thoughts on “Nixon Skinner Conservation Park, VKFF-0923

  1. Hi Chris,

    Conditions on 15m were not as good as I’d hoped, but still managed to bag a few there. The static crashes on 20m were horrendous and made the band virtually unusable for me. This is a nice little park on the Fleurieu.



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