Grass Tree Conservation Park VKFF-0885 and 5CP-080

My final activation for the trip away to the South East was the Grass Tree Conservation Park VKFF-0885 and 5CP-080.  This was to be my ninth park activation on the trip.  And again this was to be a unique park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  I had activated this park previously as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award back in June 2014.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.06.49

Above:- Map showing the location of the Grass Tree Conservation Park in the South East of South Australia.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Grass Tree Conservation Park is situated about 17 km north of Naracoorte, off the Naracoorte to Keith Road (Riddoch Highway).  The park is accessed via Boddingtons West Road.  The park which is 15.88 hectares in size, was gazetted in 1972 to protect the grass tree Xanthorrhoea Australis.  Since last coming to this park it appears that an access point has been added for people to enter the park.

Other than the grass tree, the park also features brown stringybark, pink gum, South Australian blue gum, and austral bracken.  The park also has a substantial number of banksias, many of which were in flower.

I set up just inside the northern perimeter fence, and actually used the fence to secure the squid pole and then strung out the 40m/20m linked dipole and tied off the ends to the fence.  I made myself comfortable on the deck chair with the fold up table and commenced calling CQ on 7.090.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.06.24

Above:- Aerial image of the Grass Tree Conservation Park showing my location in the northern section of the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

My first caller was Gerard VK2IO who was portable in Kumbatine National Park VKFF-0271.  This was followed by a number of the park regulars including Mick VK3GGG, Geoff VK3SQ, Rick VK4RF, and Les VK5KLV.  The 40m band was still behaving itself, with signals very strong from all parts of Australia.  About 30 contacts into the activation I was called by Luigi IK1QFN with a good 5/5 signal amongst all the VK’s.  Luigi gave me a 5/5 in Italy which I was very surprised with.  I then took a break from the Australian callers and called for any stations from outside of VK, but sadly there was no reply.  I have since received an email from a friend in Europe, advising that he was calling but couldn’t break the VK pile up.  It is a timely reminder to occasionally listen for outside of VK.

A few contacts later I was called by Adam VK2YK who was operating portable from SOTA peak VK2/ HU-080, west of Newcastle.  Adam was a nice 5/7 signal to Grass Tree.

After logging a total of 57 stations on 40m I headed over to 20m and commenced calling CQ on 20m, and this was answered by Lee VK2LEE, followed by Peter VE7CV in Canada, Mark VK2UMA, and finally Mike VK6MB.  But despite conditions being quite good on the band, a number of CQ calls went unanswered.  So I headed down the band to 14.183 and booked in to the ANZA DX Net where I worked 6 stations including VK2, VK4, VK6, VK7, and the USA.

It was getting on time wise and I still had a 3 hour drive to get home, so it was time to pack up with a total of 57 contacts in the log and another park underneath my belt for the WWFF program.  It was also the end of a very enjoyable trip to the South East of South Australia.

Thanks to Mike VK6MB and Rick VK4RF for posting me on Facebook, and thanks to Rob VK4AAC, Paul VK2HV, Rick VK4RF, Mark VK4SMA, and Luigi IK1QFN for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Kumbatine National Park VKFF-0271)
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK4RF
  6. VK4HA
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK5FANA
  10. VK5FTVR
  11. VK4HNS/p
  12. VK6JON mobile 7
  13. VK4AAC/3
  14. VK3MRH
  15. VK2KYO
  16. VK3MKM
  17. VK2HHA
  18. VK3AWG
  19. VK3AW
  20. VK2GAZ
  21. VK4SMA
  22. VK3FSPG
  23. VK6MB
  24. VK3MNZ
  25. VK3SIM
  26. VK2NEO
  27. VK5KIK
  28. VK3VBI
  29. IK1QFN
  30. VK5FMID
  31. VK7ALB
  32. VK5BJE
  33. VK3ZMD
  34. VK2YK/p (SOTA VK2/ HU-080)
  35. VK3FJBA
  36. VK7DX
  37. VK5FTCT
  38. VK7CW
  39. VK3FOTO mobile
  40. VK2XUP
  41. VK3ARH
  42. VK7DW
  43. VK3AJO
  44. VK5FSPJ mobile
  45. VK4FBMW
  46. VK4AAC/3
  47. VK2LEE

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2LEE
  2. VE7CV
  3. VK2UMA
  4. VK6MB
  5. VK7XX
  6. VK2RI
  7. KI6KFB
  8. VK4NH/5
  9. VK6NTE
  10. VK4SWE (Sweers Island OC-227)

 

Talapar Conservation Park VKFF-1103 and 5CP-222

My second activation for Monday 13th June 2016 was the Talapar Conservation Park VKFF-1103 and 5CP-222.  This was also to be a very first time activation of this park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  It was also to be the very first time that I had been to this park.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.05.27

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

Talapar Conservation Park is situated about 40 km north west of Naracoorte, and is about 494 hectares in size.  The park was gazetted in 1977 and contains mallee honey-myrtle, brown stringybark, pink gum, South Australian blue gum, and South Australian swamp paperbark.  The park contains several small interconnected wetlands in the eastern section.  The area surrounding Talapar has been cleared for farming and the park preserves a remnant of open forest and heath vegetation which once covered most of the South East region.  There are boundary access tracks, but these were locked.

This is truly a very beautiful little park and I suspect does not get a lot of visitors.  There are no facilities here and there did not appear to be any dedicated walking tracks in the park itself, other than the boundary vehicular tracks, which as I mentioned you can only access on foot.

I set up near the southern side of the park off Lochaber North Road.  I used the fenceline to secure my 7 metre squid pole with the assistance of an octopus strap, and strung out the 40m/20m linked dipole.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.07.41

Above:- Aerial view of the Talapar Conservation Park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I immediately went to 7.144 and started calling CQ and this was answered by Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula with a 5/9 signal, followed by Geoff VK3SQ also 5/9, and then Mick VK3GGG in western Victoria who was also 5/9. The 40m band was still in great shape, as it had been for my 4 days away.  As this was a brand new park for WWFF, it wasn’t surprising that a mini pile up soon ensued with callers from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  Many of the regular park hunters appeared in the log, but there were a few new calls spread amongst those.

During the activation I made two Park to Park contacts.  They were with Nick VK3ANL who was portable on SOTA peak West of England Fire Tower VK3/ VW-016 which is located within the Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629.  And also with Gerard Vk2IO who was operating portable in Kumbatine National Park VKFF-0271.

I also had some great QRP contacts.  They included Steve VK3HK running just 1 watt (5/8 sent and 5/9 received).  Peter VK3PF also running just 1 watt (5/8 sent and 5/9 received).  Damien VK5FDEC running his normal 5 watts (5/8 sent and 5/5 received), and Lloyd VK3FSTA also running 5 watts (5/9 both ways).  But the best QRP contact of this activation was with Peter VK3YE who was running just 500 milliwatts with a home brew transceiver (5/7 sent and 5/8 received).

DSC_1250

A total of 49 contacts were made on 40m in around 45 minutes.  I then moved to 20m and made just 2 contacts into Western Australia with Mike VK6MB and then Greg VK8KMD in Alice Springs.  Albert S58AL in Slovenia tried calling me.  Albert was quite readable, although very weak, but just couldn’t quite get my signal report, so it was an unsucessful contact.  And to finish off the activation I spoke with Rick VK4RF/VK4HA and Mark VK4SMA on 21.244 on 15m.

So after around one hour and 20 minutes in the park, I had a total of 54 contacts in the log, and had well and truly qualified the park for WWFF.  It was off to Grass Tree Conservation Park for me.  And I am very pleased to say that the Toyota Hi Lux started first time, which I was very very pleased with.

Thanks to Rick VK4RF and Mike VK6MB for posting me on Facebook.  And thanks to Adrian VK5FANA and Robert VK2XXM for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK3GGG
  4. VK3PMG
  5. VK2HHA
  6. VK4AAC/3
  7. VK3FOTO mobile
  8. VK6MB
  9. VK5KLV
  10. VK3BBB mobile
  11. VK3XV
  12. VK3VZX mobile
  13. VK4RF
  14. VK4HA
  15. VK5FDEC
  16. Vk1DI
  17. VK3KYF
  18. VK3AWG
  19. VK3NMK
  20. VK3MRH
  21. VK3BKT
  22. VK3ARH
  23. VK3VEF
  24. VK4HNS/p
  25. VK3ANL/p (SOTA VK3/ VW-016 and VKFF-0629)
  26. VK5JK
  27. VK2YK
  28. VK6JON mobile 7
  29. VK3YE
  30. VK3HK
  31. VK3PF
  32. VK2FADV
  33. VK3GYH
  34. VK2KYO
  35. VK5FVSV
  36. VK5BJE
  37. VK5FTVR
  38. VK2XXM
  39. VK5FMLO
  40. VK2FBBA
  41. VK7CW
  42. VK3FSPG
  43. VK3FONZ
  44. VK3FSTA
  45. VK2IO/p (VKFF-0271)
  46. VK5FD/p
  47. VK2KJJ
  48. VK2KPP mobile
  49. VK2SK

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB
  2. VK8KMD

The following stations were worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK4SMA

 

References.

National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1992, Small Parks of the Upper South East Management Plans.

Fairview Conservation Park VKFF-0879 and 5CP-065

I had three planned park activations for Monday 13th June 2016.  The first being the Fairview Conservation Park VKFF-0879 and 5CP-065.  This was again another park that had been previously activated for the VK5 Parks Award but not the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

I last activated this park back in June 2015, when I was last in the South East for the SERG Convention.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.05.27

Above:- Map showing the location of the Fairview Conservation Park in south eastern South Australia.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I had a bright and early start from Mount Gambier.  And it was a freezing cold morning with overnight temperatures below zero.  I checked out of the motel and headed for the ‘Golden Arches’ (McDonalds) for some breakfast.  I then headed out of Mount Gambier along the Riddoch Highway, enjoying an amazing sunrise.

DSC_1237

I travelled out through Narracoorte until I reached Lochaber Lane.  There is a large sign indicating the park at this location.  I drove out along Lochaber Lane until I reached Woolumbool Road, and it wasn’t long before I reached the park.

DSC_1238

A few km along Woolumbool Road there is an open gate which allows access to the park.  A large rainwater tank can be located here.  This is the start of the 4WD tracks that traverse through the park.  This is where I set up my station.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.05.57

Above:- Aerial shot showing my operating spot within the Fairview Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Fairview CP is situated about 17 km north of Lucindale and about 345 km south east of Adelaide.  The park was constituted in 1960 and covers an area of around 1,398 hectares (3,440 acres) so it is quite a large park.  The park contains two semi permanent lagoons which I did not visit.   According to the park Management Plan there is a picnic area situated between the lagoons which can be reached by a track leading from the north west corner of the park.  But due to the date of this publication, I’m not sure if that still exists.

The park also has extensive areas of seasonally inundated flats, sandy flats and ridges, and limestone ridges.  The park contains large gums, Stringy Barks, various native grasses, and Banksias.  Other than the native wildlife, deer can also be found in the park.  The rare Red Tailed Black Cockatoo can be found in the park.

Although the sun had come out and the sky was a beautiful blue, it was still absolutely freezing.  At the time of setting up in Fairview it was 2 degrees C.  Prior to calling CQ I had a look around the 40m band and worked Gerard VK2IO who was activating the Crowdy Bay National Park VKFF-0120 (5/9 both ways).  I then spoke with Al VK1RX/2 who was activating SOTA peak Mount Gillamatong VK2/ ST-034 (5/9 both ways).  And then Nick VK3ANL who was activating Paddys Range State Park VKFF-0772 (5/9 both ways).  The 40m band was in excellent shape.

I then moved to 7.144 and commenced calling CQ and this was answered by Dennis VK2HHA in Albury, followed by Mike VK6MB who was 5/9, and then Steve VK7CW.  I worked a total of 56 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7.

I then moved to 20m where I worked just 5 stations from VK2, VK4, and VK6.  All had excellent signals and despite being placed on parksnpeaks by Rick VK4RF, I had no further takers.  To finish off the activation I made a single 15m contact with Mike VK6MB (5/7 sent and 5/9 received).  Unfortunately I could not self spot from the park as I had very limited mobile phone coverage.

So off to the next park it was for me.  Well, not quite.  I got in the Toyota Hi Lux and it wouldn’t start.  The battery appeared flat.  Fortunately for me I was able to get a jump start from one of the local farmers, for which I am extremely grateful.

Thanks to Les VK5KLV and Rick VK4RF for posting me on Facebook.  And thanks to Rick VK4RF, Adrian VK5FANA, and Rob VK4AAC/3 for spotting me on the DX cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (VKFF-0120)
  2. VK1RX/2 (SOTA VK2/ ST-034)
  3. VK3ANL/p (VKFF-0772)
  4. VK2HHA
  5. VK6MB
  6. VK7CW
  7. VK3TJK
  8. VK2YK
  9. VK3SIM
  10. VK3MRH
  11. VK3SQ
  12. VK3MCK
  13. VK5FANA
  14. VK2GAZ
  15. VK5KLV
  16. VK2MT/p
  17. VK4RF
  18. VK4HA
  19. VK2LEE
  20. VK6JON mobile 7
  21. VK2LAX
  22. VK3FLES
  23. VK3PAT
  24. VK3PF
  25. VK2HV
  26. VK4HNS/p
  27. VK1AT
  28. VK4VXX/2
  29. VK3DAC
  30. VK3ZMD
  31. VK2KYO
  32. VK4RF
  33. VK4HA
  34. VK1DI
  35. VK2WOW
  36. VK3FGMO
  37. VK3FADM
  38. VK5HS mobile
  39. VK2IO/p (VKFF-0120)
  40. VK4AAC/3
  41. VK3IL/p
  42. VK5FLEX mobile
  43. VK3GGG
  44. VK3PMG
  45. VK5BJE
  46. VK2LEE
  47. VK5JK
  48. VK3NXT
  49. VK3FSPG
  50. VK3ERW
  51. VK3ARH
  52. VK3FLCS
  53. VK2YW
  54. VK3XV
  55. VK5FTVR
  56. VK2LAX

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2LEE
  2. VK4HNS/p
  3. VK4RF
  4. VK4HA
  5. VK6MB

The following station was worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB

Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park VKFF-1018 and 5CP-038

My one and only planned activation for Sunday 12th June 2016 was the Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park VKFF-1018 and 5CP-038.  This was another park that had been activated previously (including by myself) for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, but it had not been activated for World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF).  So this was to be a new park for me and all the hunters who worked me.  I was also going to see how many contacts I could make for the VK Shires Contest.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.04.40

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

I left Mount Gambier quite early in the morning, so it was slow going on the roads.  There were lots of kangaroos and wallabies on the edge of the road, and crossing the road at times.

And then there were the wombats!

DSC_1217

Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park protects 30.5 hectares of coastal habitat, which was purchased with the assistance of the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust.   A number of threatened species and plant communities are conserved within the park.  The park protects part of the only known population of Carpenter Rocks Manna Gum and provides significant roosting habitat for the Orange-bellied Parrot, which is critically endangered at a national level.

The land comprising the reserve is significant for the local Aboriginal Boandik people, with one site of significance located in Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park and another two sites within close proximity.

Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park was proclaimed on 6 September 2001 under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 with a section 43 proclamation providing for existing and future rights for exploration and mining under thePetroleum Act 2000.  The South Australian Government purchased the land with the assistance of the Australian Government through the National Reserve System Program of the Natural Heritage Trust and a contribution from the Nature Foundation SA Inc.

To access the park you need to travel along Carpenter Rocks Road, into the little seaside township of Carpenter Rocks.  Then turn left onto Pelican Point Road and travel south east.  You will find a small clearance in the scrub a short distance down on the left, and this is where you enter the park.  You will drive into a small clearing and this is where the park sign is located.  There is a track which then follows a dog leg around to the left and follows the power lines through the park.

DSC_1202

The last time I activated this park back in September 2013, I activated from a clearing in the scrub about 100 metres along the 4WD track.  This time I set up near the park sign.  The 4WD track looked way too overgrown to drive down and I was concerned that I might not be able to turn around.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.04.19

Sadly this park appears to be a bit neglected.  There are no real walking tracks through the park as the vegetation is just too thick.  The park is not sign posted from the road, which seems to be a common theme with many South Australian parks.

So with the 4WD track being overgrown I wasn’t left with a lot of options as to where to set up.  I was also cognisant of nearby overhead power lines and was concerned that they would be throwing off a bit of noise.

DSC_1205

Fortunately after setting up, I was pleasantly surprised that the band was very quiet.  The power lines appeared to be having no adverse effect on the noise level.  I did not go to 7.144 for this activation, as it was a Sunday, and the upper portion of the 40m band was occupied by the numerous WIA weekly broadcasts.  So I called CQ Contest and CQ Parks on 7.110 and this was answered by David VK3IL, followed by Marcus VK3TST, and then Andy VK3VKT.  It was not long before I was in a bit of a rythm with a steady flow of callers from all across Australia.  The 40m band was in excellent shape.

I went on to work a total of 75 stations on 7.110 before things started to slow down a little.  These contacts included Park to Park contacts with Marcus VK3TST who was portable in the Clinton Conservation Park VKFF-0813, and Rob VK4AAC/3 in the Shepparton Regional Park VKFF-0976.  I also worked VK3SOL (with Peter VK3FPSR at the mic) at the Echuca Steam Rally.

When things slowed down I tuned across the band and found Michael VK3FCMC operating portable from the Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627.  This was my third Park to Park contact for the activation.  I then moved back to 7.110 where I worked a further 8 stations in VK3 and VK5.  But things had really slowed down, and many CQ calls went unanswered.  So it was off to 20m for me where I worked 13 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.

I then went back to 40m for one lat quick listen and worked 5 further stations.  This included another Park to Park contact.  This time with Peter VK3PF who was portable in The Lakes National Park VKFF-0484.

I had spent a little longer in the park than expected (a total of 3 hours) and it was time to pack up and head off to the SERG Convention.  I had a total of 102 contacts in the log.

Thanks to Rick VK4RF for posting me on Facebook.  And thanks to Chris VK3AWG, David VK3IL, & Adrian VK5FANA, and for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3IL/p
  2. VK3TST/p
  3. VK3VKT
  4. VK1MA
  5. VK3GGG
  6. VK3PMG
  7. VK3DAC
  8. VK2HHA
  9. VK5KLV
  10. VK3KLB
  11. VK2YK
  12. VK4HNS
  13. VK6JON mobile 7
  14. VK4RF
  15. VK4HA
  16. VK1DI
  17. VK1AT
  18. VK5FANA
  19. VK5NFT mobile
  20. VK5PO
  21. VK6QM
  22. VK5FVSV
  23. VK4FW/p
  24. VK7CW
  25. VK3SQ
  26. VK3NCR/p
  27. VK3VH
  28. VK3PI
  29. VK3MCK
  30. VK4ATH
  31. VK5PL
  32. VK3FSPG
  33. VK2YW
  34. VK3AVV
  35. VK6TDF
  36. VK3NMK
  37. VK5BJE
  38. VK3ZPF
  39. VK3TST/p (VKFF-0813)
  40. VK2IO mobile
  41. VK3AMZ mobile
  42. VK4AAC/3 (VKFF-0976)
  43. VK2GAZ
  44. VK3FMRC
  45. VK7GN
  46. VK2MT/p
  47. VK2MTC
  48. VK3JLS
  49. VK7BC
  50. VK5NFT
  51. VK5BW
  52. VK5NRG
  53. VK3SOL
  54. VK2VVV
  55. VK5NAQ
  56. VK5NM
  57. VK3OHM
  58. VK3ELH
  59. VK7JGD
  60. VK3SMC
  61. VK7ZGK
  62. VK5APR
  63. VK3AWG
  64. VK3FJBA
  65. VK2TUT
  66. VK3FADM
  67. VK5AFZ
  68. VK3MDB
  69. VK3ZLD
  70. VK5WG
  71. VK2BO
  72. VK3FHDJ
  73. VK2FAIB
  74. VK7QP
  75. VK3AXH
  76. VK3FCMC/p (VKFF-0627)
  77. VK3PAT
  78. VK5AW mobile
  79. VK3PNF mobile
  80. VK3DBP
  81. VK3ZE mobile
  82. VK3DQ
  83. VK3NXT
  84. VK3XV
  85. VK3PF/p (VKFF-0484)
  86. VK3FMOL
  87. VK3MRH
  88. VK3SFG
  89. VK6JON mobile 7

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. ZL2AYZ
  4. VK2MOR
  5. VK4FW/p
  6. VK4ATH
  7. VK2HV
  8. VK3UH
  9. VK2JNG/5
  10. VK3VH
  11. VK7QP
  12. VK4ME
  13. VK6QM

Following my activation at Carpenter Rocks I headed back to the motel to freshen up and change and then headed in to the SERG Convention/Hamfest.  I spent an hour or so there chatting to amateurs.

It was still mid afternoon and I had a few hours before all the fox hunters were going to be in, and for the formal presentations (including mine) would start.  So I headed off up to the Blue Lake and surrounds and made a number of contacts from my mobile.

I then headed back to the Scout Hall and gave a presentation on the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), and this was followed by the traditional SERG dinner.  A great night.

xx

 

 

Telford Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0805 and 5CP-226

After leaving the SERG clubrooms, I decided to head out to the nearby Telford Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0805 and 5CP-226.  I had activated this park previously for both the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program and the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award, but the VK Shires Contest was on.  So although it wasn’t going to be a new park for me, I had hoped for an hour or so of fun in the VK Shires.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 8.01.07 PM

Above:- Map showing the location of the Telford Scrub Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Telford Scrub is located just 14 km north of Mount Gambier, just off the Riddoch Highway.  The park is 175 hectares in size and contains 11 species of plants that are considered to be of conservation value.  Over 20 species of native orchids can be found in the park including pink fingers, common donkey orchid, tiger orchid, and purple cockatoo.  The park contains a 100 metre long and 4.2 metre high boardwalk which provides a birds eye view of the forest.

I set up in a little clearing in the scrub adjacent to the carpark on Grundys Lane.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, set at 30 watts, and the 40m/20m linked dipole supported by the 7m telescopic squid pole.

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Above:- Aerial view of the Telford Scub Conservation Park, showing my operating spot on the southern boundary.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Prior to calling CQ I had a listen around the 40m band which was quite busy with VK Shires Contest stations.  My first contact was with Norman VK6NJW.  I then found Gerard VK2IO who was activating the Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606.  I then propped on 7.095 and called CQ Contest and CQ Parks.  First taker there was Paul VK2HV, followed by Shaun VK3VH.  Sadly after working just 10 stations I was pushed off the frequency by a station who decided to come up on 7.093.  I just could not compete with his high power signal, so I moved to 7.105 and called CQ again.  This was answered by Hauke VK1HW, followed by Nev VK5WG and then Rhett VK3WE.  I worked a further 25 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4 VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.  The ZL callers were Roly ZL4AU in Ivercargill, Bill ZL2AYZ in Blenheim, and Mike ZL4OL in Waitati.  I also managed to work Stef VK5HSX/4 who was portable in Blackdown Tableland National Park VKFF-0037.

When things slowed down a little I had a further look around the band and logged a few more contest stations and then put out some final CQ calls on 7.130.  To finish off the evening I headed to 80m where I logged 5 stations from VK3, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.

I finished up with a total of 54 contacts for the activation in around 90 minutes.  It was absolutely freezing and it was time to head back to the warmth of the hotel, a hot shower and a relaxing night watching the footy on TV.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK6NJW
  2. VK2IO/p (VKFF-0606)
  3. VK2HV
  4. VK3VH
  5. VK4FAAS
  6. VK3SFG
  7. VK2YW
  8. VK2NEO
  9. VK2JAZ
  10. VK2VVV
  11. VK4CL
  12. VK5KPR
  13. VK1HW
  14. VK5WG
  15. VK3WE
  16. VK6WE
  17. VK3FD/6
  18. VK4ME
  19. ZL4AU
  20. VK2NSS
  21. VK5HSX/4 (VKFF-0037)
  22. VK2PAW
  23. VK2FOUZ
  24. VK2ICW
  25. ZL2AYZ
  26. VK2LEE
  27. VK6WE
  28. VK2PHP
  29. VK7ROY
  30. VK2TTL
  31. VK2DEK
  32. ZL4OL
  33. VK6QM
  34. VK3PF
  35. VK4AAC/3
  36. VK6DW
  37. VK6MSC/p
  38. VK6PAW
  39. VK4TJ
  40. VK6WE
  41. VK7NWT
  42. VK4GH/p
  43. VK6FVIA
  44. VK6POP
  45. VK7FGGT
  46. VK3FSPG
  47. VK6QM
  48. VK4FBOB
  49. VK3KRH

The following stations were worked on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK7NWT
  2. VK3ZPF/p
  3. VK6POP
  4. VK6QM
  5. ZL2AYZ

 

References.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Telford Scrub Conservation Park brochure, 2010

Dingley Dell Conservation Park VKFF-1025 and 5CP-056

My one and only planned activation for Saturday 11th June 2016 was the Dingley Dell Conservation Park VKFF-1025 and 5CP-056.  Although this park has been activated previously (including by myself), it has not been activated for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  So this was to be another unique park for me and the WWFF park hunters.

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Above:- Map showing the location of Dingley Dell Conservation Park in the south eastern corner of South Australia.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I left Mount Gambier quite early after some breakfast, and travelled south along the Riddoch Highway, out passed the extinct volcano Mount Schank and then on to Allendale East.  The park is well signposted along the way.  I parked in the carpark opposite Adam Lindsay Gordon’s cottage and set up in the picnic area.

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Dingley Dell Conservation Park was proclaimed in 1972 and comprises around 6 hectares of scrub including South Australian blue gum, blackwood, golden wattle, coastal bearded-heath and native box.  The park is surrounded by cleared grazing land.

Dingley Dell Conservation Park is most famous for its historical connections.  The famed poet and horseman, Adam Lindsay Gordon owned the small cottage that is located in the park.  He resided there from around 1864 and it was given to the local council by his wife Maggie in around 1873.  The cottage had been built in 1862 and was purchased by Gordon in 1864 for 150 pounds.  The cottage has been restored and you can undertake guided tours through the cottage (which I did during this visit to the park).  The cottage was the first house on South Australia’s Heritage Register, having been registered in 1922.

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So how did Dingley Dell get its name?  It is certainly an interesting name.  The following account comes from an old resident of the Port MacDonnell district who had an intimate acquaintance with Adam Lindsay Gordon.  He said:

“The country surrounding the cottage was then, even more so than now, a sylvan paradise, in which gums and wattles ran riot and it was from the music of the birds in the trees, mingled with the tinkling of the bells of the hobbled stock, that the name ‘Dingley Dell’ was derived”.

Adam Lindsay Gordon was born in the Azores, and arrived in Australia in November 1853, aged just 20 years.  He immediately obtained a position in the South Australian mounted police and was stationed at Mount Gambier and Penola.  He left the police in 1855 and took up horse breaking in the south east of South Australia.  He earnt a reputation of being a ‘good steady lad and a splendid horseman’.  Gordon also became interested in poetry and he went on to become well known for his poetry.  Sadly it was after his death that his name and his works began to grow.  He also served as a politician, having been elected to the South Australian House of Assembly in 1865 for the District of Victoria.

Adam_Lindsay_Gordon_1865

Above:- Adam Lindsay Gordon.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

You can take a very interesting walk around the cottage and through the park.  It is well signposted and has some interesting interpretive signs along the way.

More information on Dingley Dell can be found at…..

http://www.dingleydell.net/

The weather was very inclement, but fine upon my arrival at the park, so I set up on a wooden bench and table in the picnic area.  After calling CQ, the first station in my log from Dingley Dell was Geoff VK3SQ in Beechworth, followed by Bill VK5MBD at Red Hill in the Mid North of South Australia,  Adrian Vk5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula, and then Mike VK3ZMD in Melbourne.  All had excellent 5/9 signals.  Despite the band being in very good shape and it being a Saturday morning, it was very very quiet on the 40m band.  I worked a further 7 stations from VK3, VK4, & VK5, before the rain started to come down.  It was also about this time that the caretaker of the park came along, and kindly opened up the adjacent shelter shed area for me.

After having a chat to the caretaker and relocating in the shelter shed, I called CQ again on 7.144 and this was answered by Mick VK3GGG mobile, followed by Al VK7AN and then John VK5BJE.  But that was it.  Callers dried up very quickly, unlike the weather.

So I took the opportunity of tuning across the 40m band and found Gerard VK2IO on 7.090 activating SOTA peak, North Brother VK2/ MN-081 which is located within the Dooragan National Park VKFF-0143.  Gerard was a good 5/7 signal to Dingley Dell and reciprocated with a 5/7 for me.

I then returned to 7.144 and called CQ again and this was answered by Don VK3MCK, followed by Craig VK3WAR, Tony VK5FTVR, and then Jim VK1AT.  This time around, a steady flow of callers followed.  I went on to work a further 33 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  I was very pleased to be able to work Daniel VK6WE all the way over in Western Australia.  And also Damien VK5FDEC and Michael VK5FVSV, both running just 5 watts QRP.

I was cognisant of the time, as I had to get to the South East Radio Group’s convention/hamfest, so I headed to 20m and called CQ on 14.310.  I put out numerous CQ calls which all went unanswered so I self spotted on parksnpeaks.  This was immediately followed by a call from Albert S58AL in Slovenia.  I was more than surprised to receive a call from Albert as it was only 11.00 a.m. SA local time.  Albert was a good 5/5 and gave me a 4/4 signal report.  Sadly, my only other taker on 20m was Adam VK2YK who was 5/9.

I then decided to give 15m a quick try, and I am very pleased that I did, as I had a good QSO with Steven ZL4CZ on 21.244.  Steven advised that he had heard me on 20m and was going to give me a call, but he had received a phone call preventing him from doing so.

I had a total of 56 contacts in the log and it was time to pack up and head off to Mount Gambier.

Thanks to Robert VK2XXM and Adrian VK5FANA for spotting me on the DX Cluster.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK5MBD
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK3ZMD
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK3MRH
  7. VK3PF
  8. VK4AAC/3
  9. VK3AZN
  10. VK2LAX
  11. VK4HNS
  12. VK3GGG mobile
  13. VK3PMG mobile
  14. VK7AN
  15. VK5BJE
  16. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ MN-081  & VKFF-0143)
  17. VK3MCK
  18. VK3WAR
  19. VK5FTVR
  20. VK1AT
  21. VK2XXM
  22. VK6WE
  23. VK3BYD
  24. VK5ZGY mobile
  25. VK3QA
  26. VK3FIRM
  27. VK2YK
  28. VK3DAC
  29. VK3MCX
  30. VK5FDEC
  31. VK3ZPF
  32. VK5MAP
  33. VK2HV
  34. VK5PL
  35. VK5PET
  36. VK5ZEA/p
  37. VK7NWT
  38. VK2HHA
  39. VK3CFA
  40. VK3YSP mobile
  41. VK3FOWL mobile
  42. VK5ZK
  43. VK2WG
  44. VK2YW
  45. VK5FVSV
  46. VK3UH
  47. VK3IL/p
  48. VK3GYH
  49. VK3ARH
  50. VK5RM
  51. VK3VEF
  52. VK3SIM
  53. VK5IU

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. S58AL
  2. VK2YK

The following station was worked on 15m SSB:-

  1. ZL4CZ

After leaving Dingley Dell I went to the SERG Convention and spent the afternoon there until around 5.00 p.m.  For anyone who has never attended this event previously, I can highly recommend it.

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References.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2010, Dingley Dell Conservation Park brochure.

Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Lindsay_Gordon&gt;, viewed 14th June 2016

Aberdour Conservation Park VKFF-0994 and 5CP-001

My third and final park activation for Friday 10th June 2016 was the Aberdour Conservation Park VKFF-0994 and 5CP-001.  The park is situated about 260 km south east of Adelaide and about 35 km south of Keith.

This was again to be another unique park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  The park has been activated previously for the VK5 Parks Award, but not for WWFF.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.02.23

Above:- Map showing the location of the Aberdour Conservation Park in the South East of South Australia.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

After leaving Christmas Rocks CP I continued south on Riddoch Highway until I reached Cannawigara Road on the eastern side of the Highway.

DSC_1142

The weather was moving in fast with predicted heavy rainfall for the afternoon.  I soon reached the south western corner of the park where there is a sandy 4WD track.  I toyed with the idea whether I should venture down there, but as I was on my own and there was predicted heavy rain, I decided against it.

DSC_1143

I continued on through the park until I reached Nankivell Road and travelled north, following the eastern boundary of the park, until I found a clearing in the scrub.

Screenshot 2016-06-09 15.02.05

Aberdour Conservation Park is around 133 hectares in size and was dedicated as a Conservation Park in February 1991.  It was a gift from the Nankivell family (named after the road I was on).  The park preserves an area of remnant vegetation which is very typical of undulating dune and limestone country of the South East of South Australia.  The endangered Jumping Jack Wattle can be found in the park.

As the weather was rapidly setting in, I quickly set up the fold up table and deck chair, and the Yaesu FT-857d and the 40m/20m linked dipole.  I started calling CQ on 7.144 and my first hunter for the park was Dennis VK2HHA with a beautiful 5/9 signal, followed by Chris VK3PAT (also 5/9) and then David VK5PL from the Barossa Valley who was also 5/9.  During the activation the wind really picked up and I lost the squid pole at one stage in the middle of a QSO.  After making 24 contacts on 40m, the drizzle set in and I was forced to hide underneath the bothy bag.

I cut 40m a bit short and headed up to 20m where I made a total of 4 contacts, until the drizzle turned to rain, and I had rain droplets seeping through the bothy bag.  I quickly packed up the gear and made a hasty retreat for the Toyota HiLux.  I apologise to those stations that were still calling, but the rain had become very heavy and steady.  I will need to go back to this park to pick up the remaining QSOs to reach the 44 QSO threshold for WWFF.

DSC_1147

Thanks to everyone who spotted me during this activation, as I had no mobile telephone coverage, and was unable to self spot on parksnpeaks.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HHA
  2. VK3PAT
  3. VK5PL
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK3TKK mobile
  6. VK7LCW
  7. VK1AT
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK3GGG
  10. VK3PMG
  11. VK3DAC
  12. VK4AAC/3
  13. VK3ARH
  14. VK5KLV
  15. VK2YZS mobile
  16. VK2CPC/p
  17. VK2IPK
  18. VK2VOM
  19. VK3SFG
  20. VK3UH
  21. VK3QA
  22. VK4RF
  23. VK4HA
  24. VK3ZMD

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK5KLV
  4. VK2DEK

I then headed off to Mount Gambier, with the sub completely gone and the rain really teeming down.  After booking in to my motel, I headed around to have a coffee with Col VK5HCF.

DSC_1153