My final park for Monday 22nd August 2016 on Kangaroo Island was the Parndana Conservation Park 5CP-171 and VKFF-0925. The park is around 73 km (1 hour drive) from the Dudley Conservation Park, and about 30 km from my accomodation for the night at Stokes Bay.
Above:- Map showing the location of the Parndana Conservation Park on Kangaroo Island. Image courtesy of Protected Planet.
After leaving Dudley I headed into the little settlement of Baudin Beach. It was named to honour the French navigator, Nicolas Baudin and his exploration of Kangaroo Island way back in 1802. I stopped to have a look at the Baudin monument and also admire the view of Nepean Bay.
I then headed west along Hog Bay Road, stopping briefly to admire Pelican Lagoon and the adjacent Prospect Hill. I had plans to activate Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park on Wednesday. The explorer Matthew Flinders named Prospect Hill on 4th April 1802 and also named Pelican Lagoon, on account of the large number of pelicans sighted.
I continued along Hog Bay Road and then onto the Playford Highway. There were numerous canola crops in flower, with their yellow flower making a great contrast to the now rather grey and bleak skies.
After a number of km along the Playford Highway, I turned off onto Yacca Jacks Road. Only in Australia could you have a road named like that! The park was named after a local, Jack Charles ‘Yacca Jack’ Austin. I soon found the south western corner of the park. There was a track here (Stringybark Track) following the southern boundary of the park, but the gate to the track was well and truly locked.
I continued along Yacca Jacks Road, dodging the fallen trees and the rather boggy patches on the road. There had been a lot of rain and strong winds so there was quite a bit of water and debris on the road.
I soon came to the northern boundary of the park and Boundary Track which was accessible. I set up in amongst the scrub on the northern side of the park.
Above:- Aerial shot showing the location of the park and my operating spot, and the nearby town of Parndana. Image courtesy of Protected Planet.
Parndana Conservation Park is 625 hectares (1,540 acres) n size and was established on the 1st January 1968 for the protection of remnant native vegetation. The park is located in the locality of Cassini about 7 kilometres north-east of the town of Parndana in the central part of the island, about 30 kilometres west of Kingscote.
The name Parndana means ‘The place of the little gums’. The nearby town of Parndana was established after World War Two to support the Soldier Settlement Scheme on Kangaroo Island.
Most of the park carries low open forest and shrubland featuring Eucalyptus baxteri and E. cosmophylla over Allocasuarina muelleriana, Banksia marginata, B. ornata, Xanthorrhoea tateana, Leptospermum myrsinoides and Hakea sp. The park provides feeding and nesting habitat for Glossy Black Cockatoos.
As is normal for me for my park activations I started off on 40m first on 7.144. First taker for Parndana was the ever reliable Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, followed by Ken VK2KYO and then Geoff VK3SQ. My fourth contact was a Park to Park (P2P) contact with Rob VK4AAC/3 who was in the Port Phillip Heads Marine Park VKFF-0954. I was cognisant of the time. It was marching on to being after 4.30 p.m. SA local time (0700 UTC), and I wanted t0 try 20m from this park, so after working a total of 15 stations I headed for 14.310 on 20m.
My first caller there was Mike VK6MB, followed by David VK4ABH. And then a little run of DX commenced, with Enzo IU8ACV from Italy being the first caller. I went on to work a total of 23 stations on 20m from VK4, VK6, Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, France, Spain, and Japan.
When things slowed down I moved back to 7.144 where I worked another 13 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6, and VK7. This included a Park to Park contact with Neil VK4HNS who was portable in the Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011. This was my second P2P contact for Parndana. I started to get hammered by a K1 station from the USA on 7.142 so I decided it was time to try 80m before packing up and heading off to my accomodation at Stokes Bay.
The sun was setting and it was quite enjoyable sitting back in the deck chair admiring the view. On 80m I was very pleased to log a total of 9 stations from VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7. The VK5’s included Adrian VK5FANA, John VK5BJE, Nev VK5WG, and Phil VK5RM. Propagation locally was not working on 40m, and 80m proved very reliable with 5/9 plus signals around the State. I was also pleased to speak with Alvin VK7FLI on Flinders Island, OC-195 for the Islands on the Air (IOTA) program.
After logging a total of 60 stations on 20, 40, and 80m, it was time to pack up and make the 30km journey down the road to Stokes Bay. It was now almost dark, being nearly 6.00 p.m. SA local time, and I was cognisant it would be a slow trip due to the large number of kangaroos and wallabies. Night time driving on Kangaroo Island can be a real challenge, as two thirds of the island are in their native state, so there is a lot of wildlife.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK4AAC/3 (Port Phillip Heads Marine Park VKFF-0954)
- VK4HNS/p (Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
The following stations were worked on 80m SSB:-
- VK7FLI (Flinders Island OC-195)
Thanks to everyone who took the time to spot me, including Mike VK6MB.
I pulled in to my accomodation for the next 2 nights, the Waves an Wildlife cottages at Stokes Bay. The land surrounding the cabins was absolutely alive with Tamar wallabies.
I can highly recommend Waves & Wildlife. There is a choice of 1 and 3 bedroom cottages. Each contains a kitchen, dining room, TV, DVD, CD, and all of your kitchen utensils.
Whilst cooking tea, which consisted of a typical bachelors evening meal of sausages, patties and salad, I booked in to the 7.130 DX Net. I had set up the Yaesu FT-450 and the linked dipole. I worked a total of 14 stations on the net from VK2, VK4, VK7, French Polynesia, USA, and New Zealand. It was then off to bed, with a planned four park activations for Tuesday.
Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parndana_Conservation_Park>, viewed 17th August 2016
Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parndana,_South_Australia>, viewed 4th September 2016