Myponga Conservation Park 5CP-157 and VKFF-0921

It was Monday morning (4th April 2016) and unfortunately it was time to head home.  Marija and I had enjoyed three fantastic nights on the Fleurieu Peninsula, staying at Goondooloo Cottage which we highly recommend.

http://www.southernoceanretreats.com.au/

It was also the end of another successful anniversary weekend for the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.  I don’t think there was as much activity as previous years, but netherless it was still a very enjoyable and busy weekend on the airwaves.  Our one and only planned park activation for the day was the Myponga Conservation Park 5CP-157 and VKFF-0921.  The park is situated about 67 km south of Adelaide, and about 8 km south of Myponga.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Myponga Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Prior to heading to the park, Marija and I drove south along Blowhole Creek Road, down to Blowhole Beach.  This is definitely 4WD only.  Don’t even try to attempt this in a conventional vehicle.  The drive was a lot of fun, and the views out to Kangaroo Island were quite spectacular.

We then headed back to Delamere and along the Main South Road, to Normanville and Yankalilla.  We continued north towards the town of Myponga, and turned onto Wild Dog Creek Road and then to Kemmis Hill Road.  We were about 300 metres above sea level here and there were some very nice views of the surrounding countryside and out to the ocean.

Myponga Conservation Park is 168 hectares in size and is very hilly terrain.  The name Myponga is taken from the Aboriginal word ‘maippunga’ meaning ‘high cliffs’.  The famous Heysen Trail passes through the park.

Marija and I had expected to walk into this park along the Heysen Trail, so we had prepared the Yaesu FT-817nd and the backpack.  But after talking to one of the locals as we drove along James Track, we were given directions to a 4WD track leading to the park.  The track runs off James Track and is near the property called ‘Martinga Park’.  This was to be a unique park for me.  In fact this was the first time that Myponga Conservation Park had been put on air.

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As we drove along the track we passed a number of bee hives.  The bees were busy at work and you could clearly smell the honey.

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It wasn’t long before we reached the south eastern corner of the park.

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This is where we set up.  Out came the deck chair and the fold up table.  It was quite a warm morning, so the shade provided by the gum trees was very welcome.

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Above:- Aerial view of the Myponga Conservation Park, showing the boundaries, and our operating spot in the south eastern corner.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

After setting up I commenced calling CQ on 7.144.  My first taker was Col VK5HCF in Mount Gambier who was a strong 5/8, followed by Mick VK3PMG in western Victoria, Charlie VK5KDK, and then Peter VK3PF.  The 40m band was in good condition again with callers from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  I worked a total of 39 stations on 40m including Phil VK2JDL on SOTA peak Mount Marulan VK2/ ST-039, and Gerard VK2IO in the Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049.

I then moved up to 20m and commenced calling CQ on 14.310.  I called and called and called and eventually Cliff VK2NP came back to my call after I had self spotted on parksnpeaks.  I was competing with the Over the Horizon Radar (OTHR) on 20m, and managed 5 contacts into VK2, VK3, and VK6, including another Park to Park contact with Gerard VK2IO.  As it was fairly quiet, it offered Gerard and I the opportunity of having a good chat.  Ray VK4NH/6 had also informed me that he had just worked a Hawaiin park activator on 14.307.  I listened there, and could hear a voice faintly in the distance, but was unable to make a successful contact.

I went back to 40m very briefly to pick up any of the stragglers, before trying my luck on 15m on 21.244.  My first taker on 15m was Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, followed by Ray VK4NH/6 who kindly spotted me on the DX Cluster.  I was then called by my good mate Phil ZL2TZE at Blenheim on the North Island of New Zealand.  A number of Japanese stations followed, along with Geoff VK6FNLW.  The signals coming out of Japan were very strong.

After around 2 hours in the park, Marija and I decided to pack up and head home.  I had a total of 57 contacts in the log and had successfully activated the park.

Prior to leaving the park, Marija and I continued along the 4WD track to the western boundary of the park.  There are some great views along the track.

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Out to the north is the thick scrub of the park, set amongst very hilly terrain, and to the south are the cleared hills and out to the sea.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5HCF
  2. VK3PMG
  3. VK5KDK
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK4RF
  6. VK4HA
  7. VK3FQSO
  8. VK3FALE
  9. VK5KLV
  10. VK4FW
  11. VK2PKT
  12. VK3VTH/m
  13. VK3PAT
  14. VK3EJS
  15. VK6MB
  16. VK3ZMD
  17. VK2NP
  18. VK2HHA
  19. VK4HNS/p
  20. VK3OHM
  21. VK2JDL/p (SOTA VK2/ ST-039)
  22. VK3FAPH/p
  23. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  24. VK1AT/3
  25. VK2JDS/m
  26. VK5ZGY/m
  27. VK5FTVR
  28. VK2LEE
  29. VK5BB
  30. VK2XXM
  31. VK5FMID
  32. VK7BC
  33. VK3FADM
  34. VK5FUZZ
  35. VK3MEG
  36. VK5HSX/m
  37. VK6FN
  38. VK3MRH
  39. VK5NP
  40. VK3MCK
  41. VK7VDL
  42. VK2EXA/p

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2NP
  2. VK3PMG
  3. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park)
  4. VK4NH/6
  5. VK2XXM

The following stations were worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK4NH/6
  4. ZL2TZE
  5. VK6FNLW
  6. JG4ITR
  7. JR1BEI
  8. JM2MHQ
  9. JH7OHS
  10. JH1RFZ

Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 and VKFF-0877

Our second park activation for Sunday 3rd April 2016 was the Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 and VKFF-0877, which is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, around 100 km south of Adelaide.  It is just a short drive from our previous park, Waitpinga Conservation Park.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Eric Bonython Conservation Park, south of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

After leaving the Waitpinga Conservation Park we continued south on the Tunkalilla Road and then turned left onto Rymill Road.  This is quite hilly country, with some great views out to sea, including views of The Pages, and Kangaroo Island.

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Above:- View out towards The Pages.

The park is about 250 metres ASL.

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Above:- Contour map showing the terrain surrounding the Eric Bonython Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Eric Bonython Conservation Park takes its name from Eric Glenie Bonython (1910-1971) who was an author, explorer, and conservationist.  The park is quite small and is situated on the northern side of Rymill Road.  It is situated on a ridgeline, with great views out across farming land and the ocean to the south, and farming land to the north.  The Tunkalilla Creek flows on the northern edge of the park.

The park soon comes into view only a few hundred metres after turning onto Rymill Road.  The park sign is quite visible amongst the narrow length of scrub.

We set up in a clearing amongst the scrub in the south western section of the park.  For this activation I ran my normal park equipment, consisting of the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20m/40m linked dipole and the 15m 1/2 wave dipole.

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Above:- Aerial view of the Eric Bonython Conservation Park, showing our operating spot in the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Prior to propping on a frequency and calling CQ, I tuned across the band and worked the following park activators:-

  • Andrew VK5MR/p, Mokota Conservation Park
  • Tony VK5FTVR/p, Cox Scrub Conservation Park
  • Richard VK5ZRY/p, Bird Island Conservation Park
  • Col VK5HCF/p, Reedy Creek Conservation Park
  • Joe VK3YSP/p, Churchill National Park
  • VK3FOWL/p, Churchill National Park
  • Tony VK3VTH/5, Glen Roy Conservation Park.
  • Dennis VK2HHA/3, Baranduda Regional Park
  • Ron VK3MRH/p, Baranduda Regional Park
  • Norm VK5GI/p, Bakara Conservation Park
  • Greg VK5GJ/p, Bakara Conservation Park
  • Rob VK4AAC/3, Yarrawonga Regional Park

I then headed to 7.150 and commenced calling CQ and this was answered by Peter VK3PF operating portable in the Snowy River National Park.  This was followed by Steve VK5SFA operating portable in the Morialta Conservation Park.  Steve was using a 1.2 metre diameter magnetic loop antenna and had a beautiful 5/9 signal.  There was a steady flow of callers from across Australia: VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  More Park to Park contacts followed, including:-

  • David VK5PL, Swan Reach Conservation Park
  • Andrew VK5MR, Mimbara Conservation Park
  • Gordon VK5GY/p, Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park
  • Adrian VK5FANA, Innes National Park
  • South Coast Amateur Radio Club VK5ARC/p, Onkapringa River National Park
  • South Coast Amateur Radio Club VK5TTY/p, Onkaparinga River National Park
  • Adam VK2YK/p, Brisbane Water National Park
  • Greg VK5ZGY/p, Monarto Conservation Park
  • Andrew VK5MR/p, Hopkins Creek Conservation Park

I also spoke with Peter VK3PF who was activating SOTA peak Mount McLeod, VK3/ VE-034.

I then moved up to 20m and called CQ on 14.310.  The ever reliable Rick VK4RF/VK4HA was there waiting for me and kindly spotted me.  I was then quite surprised when I was called by VK5ARC/p (op Barry VK5KBJ) in the Onkaparinga River National Park.  I worked a further 8 stations in VK2, VK4, and VK6.

I then lowered the squid pole and put up the 15m 1/2 wave dipole and started calling CQ on 21.244.  I was extremely pleasantly surprised to be called immediately by Joe KG6JDX in Guam.  This was a new country for me whilst operating portable.  Joe was a very strong 5/9 and gave me a 5/9 from Guam.  Rick VK4RF/VK4HA then called in, and this was followed by Alberto P29LL in Papua New Guinea.  This was another great contact.  A number of Japanese stations then followed, all of whom had strong signals.  I ended up working a total of 11 stations on 15m from VK4, Guam, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand.

I then moved back to 20m and 14.310 and called CQ for around 10 minutes but there were no takers.  Mobile phone reception in the park was very marginal, and it took numerous attempts to eventually self spot on parksnpeaks.  But despite being spotted, I had no callers.  So I headed back to 40m briefly before going QRT, working a further 19 stations, including the following park to park contacts:-

  • VK5PL/p, Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park
  • Garry VK1ZZ/4, Forty Mile Scrub National Park
  • Andrew VK5MR/p, Redbanks Conservation Park.

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It was getting mightily cold, and dark, so Marija and I pack up and headed back to Goondooloo cottage.  I had a total of 100 contacts in the log.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5MR/p (Mokota Conservation Park)
  2. VK5FTVR/p (Cox Scrub Conservation Park)
  3. VK5ZRY/p (Bird Island Conservation Park)
  4. VK5HCF/p (Reedy Creek Conservation Park)
  5. VK3YSP/p (Churchill National Park)
  6. VK3FOWL/p (Churchill National Park)
  7. VK3VTH/5 (Glen Roy Conservation Park)
  8. VK2HHA/3 (Baranduda Regional Park)
  9. VK3MRH/p (Baranduda Regional Park)
  10. VK5GI/p (Bakara Conservation Park)
  11. VK5GJ/p (Bakara Conservation Park)
  12. VK4AAC/3 (Yarrawonga Regional Park)
  13. VK3PF/p (Snowy River National Park)
  14. VK5SFA/p (Morialta Conservation Park)
  15. VK5TR
  16. VK3AWG
  17. VK4RF
  18. VK4HA
  19. VK6MB
  20. VK5BB
  21. VK2LEE
  22. VK2NP
  23. VK3SIM
  24. VK3YB
  25. VK5PL/p (Swan Reach Conservation Park)
  26. VK2IO/m
  27. VK1AT/3
  28. VK5KLV
  29. VK7CW
  30. VK5BMC
  31. VK5FMID
  32. VK3PAT
  33. VK3PMC
  34. VK3ARH
  35. VK1DI
  36. VK3FAPH/p
  37. VK5MR/p (Mimbara Conservation Park)
  38. VK5GY/p (Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park)
  39. VK3NCC
  40. VK3TKK
  41. VK5HP
  42. VK4VXX/p
  43. VK4ATM
  44. VK3EJS
  45. VK4HNS/p
  46. VK3ZMD
  47. VK5KDK
  48. VK5FANA/p (Innes National Park)
  49. VK5ARC/p (Onkapringa River National Park)
  50. VK5TTY/p (Onkaparinga River National Park)
  51. VK3PF (SOTA Mt McLeod VK3/ VE-034)
  52. VK2YK/p (Brisbane Water National Park)
  53. VK5ZGY/p (Monarto Conservation Park)
  54. VK4QQ
  55. VK3VEF
  56. VK5LG
  57. VK5MR/p (Hopkins Creek Conservation Park)
  58. VK2NNN
  59. VK3FORD
  60. VK3KRH
  61. VK3NBL
  62. VK4FW
  63. VK5PL/p (Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park)
  64. VK5KAF/p
  65. VK3ZD
  66. VK4MON
  67. VK1ZZ/4 (Forty Mile Scrub National Park)
  68. VK3ANL
  69. VK5MR/p (Redbanks Conservation Park)
  70. Vk2SR
  71. VK2BDR/m
  72. VK2MOR
  73. VK4KET
  74. VK4FLYT
  75. VK4FBMW
  76. VK3CM

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK5ARC/p (Onkaparinga River National Park)
  4. VK6YV
  5. VK4HNS/p
  6. VK4QQ
  7. VK2LEE
  8. VK2NP
  9. VK1ZZ/4 (Forty Mile Creek National Park)
  10. VK6WE
  11. VK2XXM

The following stations were worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. KG6JDX (Guam)
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. P29LL
  5. JH1RFZ
  6. JN2OWE
  7. JH3JEZ
  8. ZL2GLG
  9. VK4KUS
  10. VK4QQ
  11. 7N2TNI

Marija and I spent a very quiet night in the cottage, following a nice meal and a few more beers from the Smiling Samoyd Brewery.

 

Waitpinga Conservation Park 5CP-243 and VKFF-0940

Our first of two planned park activations for Sunday 3rd April 2016, was the Waitpinga Conservation Park 5CP-243 and VKFF-0940.  The park is situated about 120 km (by road) south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and just south of Parawa.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Waitpinga Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The park is accessed via Illawong Road, which runs off Tunkalilla Road.  Upon arriving at the western end of Illawong Road there was a ‘Road Closed’ sign half lying on the ground.  Should we proceed?  Shouldn’t we?  Marija and I had activated the park some time ago (back in December 2013) and we were armed with the knowledge that there was quite a steep drop in the dirt track just before reaching the park, leading down to a creekline.  We suspected the sign may have been placed there some time ago when there had been rain and the creekline was impassable.  As the road was bone dry, we decided to travel through.

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When we got to a few hundred metres of the commencement of the park, the road drops away quite steeply down to the creek.  I was confident that the Toyota Hi Lux would easily get down there, but I thought with the road closed sign, I might be pushing my luck if something went wrong.  So we parked the Hi Lux and lugged the gear a short distance down the hill to our operating spot.

The Waitpinga Conservation Park is only a small park, and is about 3 hectares in size.  But it is quite spectacular.  The park is dedicated to the conservation of the rare Coral Fern.  The park consists of low open forest of stringy bark and Pink Gum, over an under storey of bracken, tea-tree, sedges and grasses.  The park backs on to the quite large Second Valley Forest Reserve.

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The area to the south of the park has been totally cleared for farming purposes.  It is a stark contrast to the Waitpinga Conservation Park, which is certainly one of my favourite parks.

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The park was alive with native flowers during our visit, including grevillias and correas.

There are not too many options when it comes to where to operate in the park.  The scrub is pretty thick, and there are no real clearings, so we operated from the south western corner near the creekline.  The only disadvantage here is that it is down in a bit of a gully.  Netherless, it was a beautiful spot to operate from.

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

Prior to calling CQ I had a tune around the 40m band in the hope of picking up some park activators.  My first contact was with Peter VK3PF who was activating the Coopracamba National Park, VKFF-0113.  Peter’s signal was not super strong, but there was absolutely no noise so he was very readable (5/5 both ways).  This was followed by a QSO with Rob VK4AAC/3 in the Cobram Regional Park, VKFF-0961 (5/9 both ways).

I then headed for 7.090 and started calling CQ.  I couldn’t get up to my normal operating frequency of 7.144 as it was Sunday morning, and most of the broadcasts for the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) occupy that part of the 40m band each Sunday morning.  My first contact after calling CQ was with my good mate Max VK3MCX in Melbourne, followed by Joe VK3YSP and his wife Julie VK3FOWL who were mobile on their way to the Churchill National Park.  The flurry of park activity had encouraged Joe and Julie to head out themselves.  A steady flow of callers followed from all across Australia: VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK6.  It was very pleasing to be able to work Mike VK6MB in Western Australia (both before and after the UTC rollover).  But there was one State that was noticeably missing…..South Australia (VK5).  It was apparent that the close in propagation was non existent.

It was approaching 10.30 a.m. local time and I was starting to experience QRM on 7.090 from 7.088 and the commencement of the Western Australia (VK6) WIA broadcast.  So I decided to QSY, but not before having a Park to Park contact with Gerard VK2IO in the Belford National Park VKFF-0023.

I tuned across the 40m band and found Norm VK5GI and Greg VK5GJ on 7.115 operating from the Mantung Conservation Park, 5CP-269 and VKFF-1055 in the Murray Mallee region of South Australia.  But they were very very low down in signal strength and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to make it, yet alone break through their little pile up of callers.  But I did get through and we exchanged signal reports and park reference numbers, despite it being quite tough (a distance of around 250 km).

I then worked Tony VK3VTH in Big Heath Conservation Park VKFF-0792 in the South East of South Australia.  It was even harder going with Tony, at a distance of around 350 km.  I tuned across the 40m band and heard a number of stations from the eastern States on 7.110 working John VK5BJE in the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  But sadly, there was absolutely no sign of John.  Not a peep!

I then moved to 7.095 and called CQ and this was answered by Tony VK3AN, followed by Chris VK3AWG, and then Mike VK3GYH.  There was no problem at all in hearing the signals coming in from Victoria.  All signals from VK3 were very strong.  But it was incredibly frustrating not to be able to hear the VK5 park activators.  I really had my fingers crossed that conditions would improve.  I continued to work a number of VK3’s on 7.095 including Peter VKYE/p and Josh VK3VWS/p both pedestrian mobile at Chelsea Beach, until all of a sudden…BANG……Les VK5KLV from Port Augusta called in with  5/9 signal, and this was soon followed by Rob VK5TRM from the Riverland who was 5/8.  Perhaps the propagation gods had turned on the switch for VK5.  Following on from Rob, I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from John VK5BJE in the Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park, with a good 5/1 signal.  Although John was quite light in signal strength, he was very readable as there was no noise in the park.  John was hearing me much better and gave me a 5/7 signal report.

I decided to take a break from the radio and went for a walk through the park.  When I returned about 15 minutes later I headed for 20m where I called CQ on 14.310.  Mike VK6MB came back to my CQ call with a good 5/5 signal, followed by Tom VK2KF and Cliff VK2NP.  There was very severe QSB noted on the signals from Tom and Cliff.  Sadly, despite about two dozen CQ calls I had no further takers on 20m.

So I returned back to 40m and was very happy to hear the VK5’s now coming through very strong to Waitpinga.  I had a number of Park to Park contacts including Peter VK5FLEX in the Pike River Conservation Park, Tony VK3VTH/5 in the Big Heath Conservation Park, Greg VK5ZGY in the Billiatt Conservation Park, Adrian VK5FANA in the Carribie Conservation Park, and Tom VK5NFT in the Lake St Clair Conservation Park.

I then moved to 7.144 where I worked a total of 26 stations, including a number of Park to Park contacts: David VK5PL in the Marne Valley Conservation Park, Col VK5HCF in the Furner Conservation Park, David VK5AAH in the Fort Glanville Conservation Park, Stef VK5HSX in the Beachport Conservation Park, Peter VK3PF in the Mount Raymond Regional Park, Chris VK5FCHM in the Clements Gap Conservation Park (this was Chris’ very first park activation…CONGRATULATIONS), Joe VK3YSP and Julie VK3FOWL in the Churchill Conservation Park, Greg VK5GJ and Norm VK5GI in the Mantung Conservation Park.  I was also called by Stuart VK5STU and Nigel VK5NIG activating Mount Gawler summit VK5/ SE-013 and Gerard VK2IO activating SOTA peak VK2/ HU-079.

I then moved back to 20m where I worked 6 stations in VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and New Zealand.  This included Lawrence ZL1HZ/p operating with just 10 watts from Auckland (5/5 both ways).

I then tried 21.244 on 15m before packing up and was quite successful there, working a total of 13 stations in VK2, VK4, Japan, Indonesia, and New Zealand.  It was really pleasing to be able to work a number of VK4 Foundation stations.  Band conditions on 15m were excellent.

This was a very successful and enjoyable activation with a total of 113 QSOs in the log, including 21 Park to Park contacts.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF/p (Coopracamba National Park VKFF-0113)
  2. VK4AAC/3 (Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961)
  3. VK3MCX
  4. VK3YSP/m
  5. VK3FOWL/m
  6. VK3AV
  7. VK3FQSO
  8. VK3NCR/m
  9. VK1MA
  10. VK4FW
  11. VK3OHM
  12. VK6MB
  13. VK4RF
  14. VK4HA
  15. VK3HSB
  16. VK3ZPF
  17. VK2NP
  18. VK3BBB
  19. VK3AFW
  20. VK2XXM
  21. VK2IO/p (Belford National Park)
  22. VK3NW
  23. VK3FMAA
  24. VK3TKK
  25. VK3PMG
  26. VK6MB
  27. VK5GI/p (Mantung Conservation Park)
  28. VK5GJ/p (Mantung Conservation Park)
  29. VK3ACT
  30. VK3MCD/p
  31. VK3MCK
  32. VK3VTH/5 (Big Heath Conservation Park)
  33. VK3AN
  34. VK3AWG
  35. VK3GYH
  36. VK3NBL
  37. VK3ZMD
  38. VK3PMG
  39. VK3DBP
  40. VK1AT/3
  41. VK3VWS/p (pedestrian mobile)
  42. VK3YE/p (pedestrian mobile)
  43. VK5KLV
  44. VK4HNS/p
  45. VK5ZAI/3
  46. VK3SIM
  47. VK5TRM
  48. VK5BJE/p (Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park)
  49. VK2YW
  50. VK3FAPH/p
  51. VK5FLEX/p (Pike River Conservation Park)
  52. VK3VTH/5 (Big Heath Conservation Park)
  53. VK5ZGY/p (Billiatt Conservation Park)
  54. VK5FANA/p (Carribie Conservation Park)
  55. VK5NFT/p (Lake St Clair Conservation Park)
  56. VK5PL/p (Marne Valley Conservation Park)
  57. VK7CW
  58. VK5AV
  59. VK5HCF/p (Furner Conservation Park)
  60. VK5AAH/p (Fort Glanville Conservation Park)
  61. VK5HSX/p (Beachport Conservation Park)
  62. VK3PF/p (Mount Raymond Regional Park)
  63. VK3ANL
  64. VK5LSB
  65. VK5FTVR
  66. VK3FIRM
  67. VK3FSPG
  68. VK5DF
  69. VK5FCHM/p (Clements Gap Conservation Park)
  70. VK2PKT
  71. VK3YSP/p (Churchill National Park)
  72. VK3FOWL/p (Churchill National Park)
  73. VK5GJ/p (Mantung Conservation Park)
  74. VK5GI/p (Mantung Conservation Park)
  75. VK3NBL
  76. VK5STU/p (SOTA VK5/ SE-013)
  77. VK5NIG/p (SOTA VK5/ SE-013)
  78. VK3ARH
  79. VK7LTD
  80. VK5FSPJ/m
  81. VK5FBBJ/m
  82. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ HU-079)

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB
  2. VK2KF
  3. VK2NP
  4. VK4FW
  5. VK2LEE
  6. ZL1HZ/p
  7. VK2XXM
  8. VK1DI
  9. VK3SQ

The following stations were worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2LEE
  2. VK2FSAV
  3. VK4FFAO
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK1ZZ/4 (Forty Mile Scrub Conservation Park)
  7. VK4DD
  8. VK4FSCC
  9. VK4FTNA
  10. JH6RON
  11. YB7SKM
  12. JA8XOK
  13. ZL4CZ

 

Deep Creek Conservation Park 5CP-054 and VKFF-0780

After returning to Goondooloo Cottage in the Deep Creek Conservation Park, with the help of Marija, I set up the station in the sun room at the rear of the cottage.  Sadly, when I turned the FT-857d on, the noise floor was about a strength 5.  But I did manage to work a total of 18 stations before relocating outside.  They included a number of park to park contacts as follows:-

  • Andrew VK5MR/p, Caroona Creek Conservation Park
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p, Innes National Park
  • Greg VK5GJ/p, Lowan Conservation Park
  • Norm VK5GI/p, Lowan Conservation Park
  • Stev VK5HSX/p, Beachport Conservation Park
  • Peter VK5FKLR/p, Whyalla Conservation Park

I then moved the gear outside and made a further 27 contacts on 40m including some more Park to Park contacts as follows:-

  • Greg VK5ZGY/p, Karte Conservation Park
  • Garry VK1ZZ/4, Forty Mile Scub National Park

It was then time to head in for some dinner.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5MR/p (Caroona Creek Conservation Park)
  2. VK5FANA/p (Innes National Park)
  3. VK5GJ/p (Lowan Conservation Park)
  4. VK5GI/p (Lowan Conservation Park)
  5. VK2YK
  6. VK5FTVR
  7. VK2RM
  8. VK5FMID
  9. VK3VEF
  10. VK5HSX/p (Beachport Conservation Park)
  11. VK5FKLR/p (Whyalla Conservation Park)
  12. VK5TRM
  13. VK3MRH
  14. VK5NFT
  15. VK3PMG
  16. VK2XXM
  17. VK5IS
  18. VK5FD
  19. VK7CW
  20. VK5TR
  21. VK5ZGY/p (Karte Conservation Park)
  22. VK3FENV
  23. VK6MB
  24. VK5HOS
  25. VK5FPAC
  26. VK5DF
  27. VK3AV
  28. VK5NJ
  29. VK2HHA
  30. VK6OX/5
  31. VK5HEL
  32. VK2FSPG
  33. VK4QQ
  34. VK5ZA
  35. VK6JON/m
  36. VK5FGRY
  37. VK3OHM
  38. VK4FW
  39. VK4HNS/p
  40. VK3ZD
  41. VK2NP
  42. VK3MCD/p
  43. VK5FKLF/p (Whyalla Conservation Park)
  44. VK4FBMW
  45. VK1ZZ/p (Forty Mile Scrub National Park).

 

Talisker Conservation Park 5CP-223 and VKFF-0790

Marija and I made quite an early start on Saturday (2nd April 2016) morning, after enjoying a nice breakfast and coffee.  Our plans for the day were to activate the Talisker Conservation Park, 5CP-223 and VKFF-0790, and then head back to the cottage in Deep Creek.  The Talisker Conservation is about 104 km south of Adelaide, and is just a short 6 km drive (by road) from the cottage.

Screenshot 2016-04-08 16.08.57

Above:- Map showing the location of the Talisker Conservation Park, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

We travelled along Blowhole Creek Road and then on to Three Bridges Road.  It wasn’t long before we reached the little area of Silverton.  We turned left on to Rarkang Road and it wasn’t long before we had reached the park.  On the way I had a chat on 40m with Dennis VK2HHA, Tony VK5ZAI mobile in St Arnaud in Victoria, Cliff VK2NP, and Mick VK3PMG.

DSC_0079

Talisker Conservation Park was established in 1976 and consists of 211 hectares of native scrub set in very hilly terrain.  The park incorporates the old Talisker silver-lead mine, which was discovered by John McLeod in 1862.  It was named after a locality on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.  Talisker employed Cornish miners and supported a nearby township called Silverton.  The population of Silverton grew to 3000 at its peak in 1870.  The Talisker Mining Company worked the mine until falling ore grades and a lack of finance, forced the mine’s closure in 1872.  Between 1917 to 1920, the mine was worked again, mainly for arsenic.

Prior to activating the park, we continued south through the park along Talisker Road, enjoying the spectacular views across Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island.  The road does not take you down to the beach, but I recommend travelling as far south west as you can along Talisker Road, as the views are terrific.  4WD is recommended.

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Marija and I then returned back to the trig point in the highest point of the park.  This is called Tree Hill and is around 350 metres ASL.  There is a nice clearing here where you can park your vehicle and set up a dipole.

Screenshot 2016-04-08 16.10.08

Above:- Map showing our operating spot in the north western section of the park, right alongside of the trig point.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

In fact, if you walk a short distance along the trail, you will reach an old camping area, some toilets and a wooden table and benches.  I suspect that in years gone by you could drive your car into the camping area, but there is now a locked gate preventing access.

Prior to calling CQ I had a look around the 40m band and found Peter VK3PF on 7.090 calling CQ from Point Hicks Marine National Park VKFF-0953, which was a unique park for me.  Peter had a nice 5/7 signal, and it was a nice start to the activation to get a “Park to Park” contact with a brand new park.

I then headed to 7.144 and started calling CQ.  This was answered by Mick VK3PMG, followed by Tony VK3VTH mobile (on his way to the Narracoorte Caves National Park), and then Steve VK7CW.  A short time into the activation, I had another two Park to Park contacts in the log.  This time it was with Greg VK5GJ and Norm VK5GI who were activating the Mowantjie Willauwar Conservation Park 5CP-152 and VKFF -0919 in the Murray Mallee.  Greg and Norm were a very strong 5/9.  Soon after, Adrian VK5FANA/p called in from the Warrenben Conservation Park 5CP-248 and VKFF-0818 on the Yorke Peninsula.  Adrian was a very strong 5/9 plus.

It was very pleasing to see the 40m band in great condition and even more pleasing to see a lot of park hunters.  Many of the normal suspects called in, but a few new calls also appeared in the log.  I worked a total of 41 stations in VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6 and VK7, before things started to slow down a little.  This included a QSO “Park to Park’ with Rob VK4AAC/3 who was portable in the Barmah National Park VKFF-0739.  A number of QRP callers gave me a shout, including Amanda VK3FQSO running just 1 watt (5/7 received), Brian VK5FMID running 5 watts from Mount Gambier (5/9 sent), Ron VK3HAK running 5 watts (5/7 sent), and Nev VK5WG running 5 watts from the Mid North (5/7 sent).

When the callers slowed down I took the opportunity of having a look around the band and worked Russ VK2BJP/3 activating SOTA peak The Horn, VK3/ VE-014 which was within the Mount Buffalo National Park VKFF-0339.  I then briefly booked in to the Riverland Radion Group Net on 7.115 to say hi to the Net Control Ron VK5MRE, before heading back to 7.144 where a small pile up commenced shortly thereafter.  My first contact after returning to 7.144 was with Peter VK3YE who was pedestrian mobile, with his normal beautiful signal.  Soon after I worked Greg VK5LG who was portable in the Cudlee Creek Conservation Park 5CP-050 and VKFF-1023.  Gerard VK2IO also gave me a shout from SOTA peak VK2/ HU-056 located in the Yengo National Park VKFF-0559.  Soon after I also spoke with Greg VK5GJ and Norm VK5GI who had now moved to the Poonthie Ruwe Conservation Park 5CP-187 and VKFF-1082.

Again when callers slowed down, I tuned across the band and worked Keith VK5OQ operating portable from the Sandy Creek Conservation Park 5CP-204 and VKFF-0933.  I then headed up to 20m and commenced calling CQ on 14.310.  Band conditions on 20m were average with a lot of QSB (fading) on signals.  I only managed 3 contacts and they were with Ciff VK2NP, Mike VK6MB and Marc VK3OHM.

During the activation, we experienced some light drizzle coming in off the ocean, so the bothy bag was deployed for around 10 minutes, to shelter me and the equipment from the rain.

Upon returning to 40m I again spoke with Russ VK2BJP/3 on SOTA peak VK3/ VE-019, as it was a new UTC day and I could get some extra SOTA points.  The band was quite busy with a lot of park activators, but I eventually found 7.130 and started calling CQ again.  David VK5PL was the first to call in, followed by David VK5LSB, and then Gary VK5PCM.  I worked a further 15 stations here from VK2, VK3, VK5 and VK7, including two more Park to Park contacts.  They were with Peter VK5PET in the Kyeema Conservation Park 5CP-107 and VKFF-0826 and Tony VK5FTVR who was activating the Bullock Hill Conservation Park 5CP-173 and VKFF-0792.  This was Tony’s first ever park activation, so it was an absolute pleasure to get Tony in the log.

I then hunted around the band to find some more park activators and it didn’t take long for me to find Stef VK5HSX on 7.135, activating the Beachport Conservation Park 5CP-014 and VKFF-0791.  And then Greg VK5ZGY on 7.150 activating the Peebinga Conservation Park 5CP-173 and VKFF-0830.   I headed back to 7144 and started calling CQ again and this was answered by Peter VK5FLEX.  I worked a further 13 stations including a Park to Park contact with Peter VK3TKK in the Organ Pipes Conservation Park VKFF-0627.

I again went on my mission of seeking out some more park activators and worked Steve VK5SFA in the Morialta Conservation Park 5CP-142 and VKFF-0783, then Keith VK5OQ in the Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park 5CP-097 and VKFF-0897, Greg VK5GJ and Norm VK5GI both in the Ettrick Conservation Park 5CP-267 and VKFF-1029, and Andrew VK5MR operating portable in the Pualco Range Conservation Park 5CP-190 and VKFF-1083.

I decided to try 20m again, but conditions were no better there than earlier, with just three stations logged: Cliff VK2NP, John VK1JP, and Robert VK2XXM.  I then lowered the squid pole and replaced the linked dipole with my 15m 1/2 wave dipole, and started calling CQ on 21.244.  This was answered by Cliff VK2NP who had followed me up from 20m.  John VK1JP also called, but sadly he was struggling with my signal and we were unable to make a successful contact.  I decided to have a listen to the 15m ANZA DX Net on 21.205 and I am very glad I did, as I worked a total of 5 stations on the net: Tony VK2RI, Jim E51JD in the South Cook Islands, Colin VK4FAAS, Maurice ZL1ANF, and John VK7XX.

Time was marching on, but I decided to have one last listen on the 40m band before going QRT.  I bagged a few more Park to Park contacts: Tony VK3VTH in the Narracoorte Caves National Park 5NP-017 and VKFF-0380, Grant VK3VIM in the Great Otway National Park VKFF-0405, Peter VK3PF in the Croajingolong National Park VKFF-0119, Greg VK5ZGY in the Karte Conservation Park 5CP-099 and VKFF-0898, and finally Neil VK4HNS portable in the Bendidee National Park VKFF-0030.  This was Neil’s first ever park activation, so it was great to get a Park to Park contact with Neil.

It was time to pack up and head back to the Goondooloo cottage in the Deep Creek Conservation Park.  This had been a great activation, with a total of 121 contacts in the log.  This included 27 Park to Park contacts.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF/p (Point Hicks Marine National Park)
  2. VK3PMG
  3. VK3VTH/m
  4. VK7CW
  5. VK4HNS/p
  6. VK5GJ/p (Mowantijie Willauwar Conservation Park)
  7. VK5GI/p (Mowantijie Willauwar Conservation Park)
  8. VK3MRH
  9. VK3FOWL
  10. VK5FANA/p (Warrenben Conservation Park)
  11. VK3MCD
  12. VK5BJE
  13. VK5IS
  14. VK3FQSO
  15. VK6MB
  16. VK5HEL/p
  17. VK3TKK/p
  18. VK5KLV
  19. VK2PKT
  20. VK3HJ/m
  21. VK5FMID
  22. VK2LEE
  23. VK2HHA
  24. VK3ANL
  25. VK2NP
  26. VK5KC
  27. VK4AAC/3 (Barmah National Park)
  28. VK5HCF
  29. VK1DI
  30. VK3SIM
  31. VK3HAK
  32. VK2GJC
  33. VK5FTVR
  34. VK3YSP
  35. VK3JR
  36. VK5WG
  37. VK1AT/3
  38. VK3BBB
  39. VK5JK
  40. VK5NFT
  41. VK3VBI
  42. VK2BJP/3 (SOTA VK3/ VE-014 and Mount Buffalo National Park)
  43. VK5BRL
  44. VK3YE/p
  45. VK3VIN
  46. VK5LG/p (Cudlee Creek Conservation Park)
  47. VK3MIJ
  48. VK3MCK
  49. VK7EK
  50. VK5ND
  51. VK5HW/m
  52. VK5RM
  53. VK5MJ
  54. VK2IO/p
  55. VK3FSTA
  56. VK5GJ/p (Poonthie Ruwe Conservation Park)
  57. VK5GI/p (Poonthie Ruwwe Conservation Park)
  58. VK5FUZZ
  59. VK5FD
  60. VK2KF
  61. VK3ZMD
  62. VK2LKW
  63. VK5MAS
  64. VK5OQ/p (Sandy Creek Conservation Park)
  65. VK2BJP/3 (SOTA VK3/ VE-019)
  66. VK5PL
  67. VK5LSB
  68. VK5PCM
  69. VK5FCJM
  70. VK5DC
  71. VK5AV
  72. VK3FSPG
  73. VK5PET/p (Kyeema Conservation Park)
  74. VK3CM
  75. VK3AFW
  76. VK2PDW/m
  77. VK5FTVR/p (Bullock Hill Conservation Park)
  78. VK3MRH
  79. VK7FMPR
  80. VK3YYR
  81. VK3FIRM
  82. VK3LIP
  83. VK5NIG
  84. VK5HSX/p (Beachport Conservation Park)
  85. VK5ZGY/p (Peebinga Conservation Park)
  86. VK5FLEX
  87. VK5TRM
  88. VK4RF
  89. VK4HA
  90. VK3TKK/p (Organ Pipes National Park)
  91. VK3ARH
  92. VK3ANL
  93. VK5FAKV
  94. VK3AWG
  95. VK3NBL
  96. VK3SQ
  97. VK3FALE
  98. VK3FJBA
  99. VK5FRCP
  100. VK5SFA/p (Morialta Conservation Park)
  101. VK5OQ/p (Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park)
  102.  VK5GJ/p (Ettrick Conservation Park)
  103. VK5GI/p (Ettrick Conservation Park)
  104. VK5MR/p (Pualco Range Conservation Park)
  105. VK3VTH/p (Narracoorte Caves National Park)
  106. VK3VIM/p (Great Otway National Park)
  107. VK3PF/p (Croajingolong National Park)
  108. VK5ZGY/p (Karte Conservation Park)
  109. VK4HNS/p (Bendidee National Park).

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2NP
  2. VK6MB
  3. VK3OHM
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK1JP
  6. VK2XXM

The following stations were worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2NP
  2. VK2RI
  3. E51JD
  4. VK4FAAS
  5. ZL1ANF
  6. VK7XX

After packing up Marija and I headed down to the old mine area for a walk.  Although we have been down here before, the interpretative walk through the old mining area and ruins is extremely interesting.

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On the way back to the cottage from Talisker I spoke in the mobile with Stef VK5HSX in the Beachport Conservation Park, then Greg VK5ZGY activating the Karte Conservation Park, and then Adrian VK5FANA operating from the Innes National Park.