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.
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.
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:-
- VK2IO/p (Kumbatine National Park VKFF-0271)
- VK6JON mobile 7
- VK2YK/p (SOTA VK2/ HU-080)
- VK3FOTO mobile
- VK5FSPJ mobile
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
- VK4SWE (Sweers Island OC-227)