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.
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.
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.
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.
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:-
- VK2IO/p (VKFF-0120)
- VK1RX/2 (SOTA VK2/ ST-034)
- VK3ANL/p (VKFF-0772)
- VK6JON mobile 7
- VK5HS mobile
- VK2IO/p (VKFF-0120)
- VK5FLEX mobile
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
The following station was worked on 15m SSB:-