Cooltong Conservation Park 5CP-046 and VKFF-0823

On Sunday (17th April 2016) Marija and I had two planned park activations on our way back home.  Our first was the Cooltong Conservation Park 5CP-046 and VKFF-0823, which is located about 250 km north east of Adelaide and just to the west of Renmark in the Riverland region of South Australia.

Screenshot 2016-04-19 16.38.35

Above:- Map showing the location of Cooltong Conservation Park in the Riverland region of South Australia.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Prior to heading out to the park, we stopped in to Ivan VK5HS’ home for some quick earthing on my mobile in the 4WD, and the obligatory coffee and chat of course.  We then drove out of Renmark west along the Sturt Highway, and then turned right onto Santos Road.  There is no sign for the park.  Santos Road is a dirt road but is perfectly fine for conventional vehicles.


About two km along Santos Road we came across the sign for Cooltong Conservation Park.  We also saw the signs for covert cameras, as there has been a problem with the illegal dumping of rubbish in the park.

Cooltong Conservation Park is a large park and comprises 3,681 hectares.  The park was dedicated in 1993 to preserve quality mallee vegetation and habitat for various mallee bird species that frequent the area.  This includes the endangered Malleefowl.  The park is dominated by mallee vegetation, with undulating dunes and shales.

The name Cooltong is derived from a local aboriginal name meaning ‘lizard place’.

We drove towards the middle of the park along the main track, and then took another track leading off to the east.  We found a nice clearing amongst the mallee and set up the 40m/20m linked dipole, and the Yaesu FT-857d.  It was already a warm morning, so we ensured that the fold up table and deck chair were in the shade.

Screenshot 2016-04-19 16.37.11

Above:- Map showing our operating spot in the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

As it was a Sunday and the WIA Broadcasts take up much of the 40m band from 7.130 and above, I decided to call CQ on 7.095.  My CQ call was answered by Matt VK1MA in Canberra with a very strong 5/9 signal.  This was followed by Les VK2CPC who was also 5/9.  Next up was John VK2AWJ/3, followed by Chris VK3PAT, both of whom were portable in the Brisbane Ranges National Park as part of a parks portable Show ‘n Tell display by Amateur Radio Victoria.  During the morning I also worked John VK5BJE/3, Julie VK3FOWL/p, Joe VK3YSP/p and Bob VK3FLAK, all of whom were in the Brisbane Ranges National Park.

I also spoke with Andrew VK1DA/2 who was activating Summits on the Air (SOTA) peak Mount Mundoonen VK2/ ST-053 near Yass.  Andrew had a strong 5/8 signal.  Other SOTA contacts were made with Andrew VK1AD on SOTA peak Mount McDonald VK1/ AC-048 and Tony VK7LTD/p on SOTA peak Collins Bonnet VK7/ SC-002.

Other than the Park to Park contacts with the troops in the Brisbane Ranges National Park, I also had Park to Park contacts with Gerard VK2IO in the Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595, Rob VK4AAC/3 in the Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park VKFF-0069, and Will VK5AHV in the Sandy Creek Conservation Park 5CP-203 and VKFF-0933.

I also managed to drag Marija out of the 4WD and her movies on the ipad.  Marija made a total of 15 contacts, thus qualifying the park for the VKFF program.  Her contacts included two park to park contacts: Rob VK4AAC/3 in the Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park, and John VK2AWJ/3 in the Brisbane Ranges National Park.  Also two SOTA contacts with Andrew VK1DA/p on VK2/ ST-053 and Andrew on VK1/ AC-048.

We were a bit short of time, so I only got up to 20m for around 5 minutes, where I worked Steve VK4QQ, Mike VK6MB and Neil VK4HNS.  Unfortunately there was no time for 15m during this activation.  Local propagation for this activation was non existent at the commencement of the activation, but opened up nicely around VK5 around 30 minutes from going QRT.

So after a little over 2 hours in Cooltong, I had a total of 59 contacts in the log.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1MA
  2. VK2CPC
  3. VK2AWJ/3 (Brisbane Ranges National Park)
  4. VK3PAT/p (Brisbane Ranges National Park)
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK5HS
  7. VK3ZZS/2
  8. VK5BJE/3 (Brisbane Ranges National Park)
  9. VK3FOWL/p (Brisbane Ranges National Park)
  10. VK3YSP/p (Brisbane Ranges National Park)
  11. VK3TKK/p
  12. VK1DI
  13. VK2SK
  14. VK2FGOE
  15. VK2NP
  16. VK3FAPH
  17. VK1DA/p (SOTA VK2/ ST-053)
  18. VK2IO/p (Hunter Wetlands National Park)
  19. VK1AD/p (SOTA VK1/ AC-048)
  20. VK2LEE
  21. VK7LTD/p (SOTA VK7/ SC-002)
  22. VK3GSP
  23. VK3MCK
  24. VK3MCD
  25. VK3BNJ
  26. VK3FJBA
  27. VK3SQ
  28. VK2YK
  29. VK3FSPG
  30. VK6MB
  31. VK3FLAK/p (Brisbane Ranges National Park)
  32. VK3ZMD
  33. VK3ZGC
  34. VK3MVP
  35. VK3AFW
  36. VK3DAC
  37. VK3ZZ
  38. VK5KLV
  39. VK2XXM
  40. VK4AAC/3 (Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park)
  41. VK2JAZ
  42. VK3FIRM
  43. VK4FR mobile
  44. VK3MEG
  45. VK3NML
  46. VK3BHR
  47. VK2PKT
  48. VK5FANA
  49. VK3NXT
  50. VK3MHY
  51. VK5FVSV
  52. VK5ZEA mobile
  53. VK3YB
  54. VK5STU/p
  55. VK5PL
  56. VK5AHV/p (Sandy Creek Conservation Park)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4QQ
  2. VK6MB
  3. VK4HNS

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3BHR
  2. VK5HS
  3. VK7CW
  4. VK2PBC
  5. VK1MA
  6. VK3MRH
  7. VK2KTT
  8. VK3HN
  9. VK3BNJ
  10. VK5MRE mobile
  11. VK4AAC/3 (Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park)
  12. VK1DA/p (SOTA VK2/ ST-053)
  13. VK2IO/p (Hunter Wetlands National Park)
  14. VK2AWJ/3 (Brisbane Ranges National Park)
  15. VK1AD/p (SOTA VK1/ AC-048)



Department of Environment and Natural Resources, June 2011, Parks of the Riverland.

5 thoughts on “Cooltong Conservation Park 5CP-046 and VKFF-0823

  1. Hi Paul,
    I reckon Cooltong Conservation Park is magnificent, especially the mallee gums which look really good, or at least they did when we were there. Your photo above does them justice. I also think my single contact from the Brisbane Ranges NP was excellent.

    John D

    • G’day John,

      Next time we go back there I want to try to explore the park about more in the 4WD. I’d like to get up to the northern section and the Cooltong Boundary Track.

      We could not have got a better day weather wise. The gums against the bright blue sky were quite amazing.



  2. I can understand the issues they must have with dumping given the proximity to the population areas. Must be very difficult to keep parks looking good so close to town.
    I might add a heavy duty garbage bag to my go kit and bring rubbish out with me if I find it around my operating spots in the future.


  3. Pingback: Cooltong Conservation Park 5CP-046 and VKFF-0823 | vk5pas

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