My third park activation for Wednesday 24th August 2016, and my final activation whilst on Kangaroo Island was the Baudin Conservation Park 5CP-012 and VKFF-1002. This was to be another unique park me to add my to my activator tally.
Above:- Map showing the location of the Baudin Conservation Park on the Dudley Peninsula on Kangaroo Island. Map courtesy of Protected Planet.
Prior to heading to Baudin, I drove down to the beach at Antechamber Bay after my activation at Lashmar. This is part of the Lashmar Conservation Park and is a spectacular part of KangarooIsland.
When you reach the end of Shorty Road (which becomes Lashmar Road) you will notice two gravesites underneath a pepper tree They are for Jane Lashmar (1847-1865) and Thomas Clark (-1894). Jane Hannah Lashmar died aged just 18 years. Her father was Thomas Young Lashmar (b. c. 1813. d. Dec 1860). The Clark family married into the Lashmar family.
I then headed for the Baudin Conservation Park, travelling west on Cape Willoughby Road for a few km and then turning on to Binneys Track (pposite Willson River Road). The first few km of this road are okay for a conventional vehicle, but you will then reach a sign which states ‘4WD’s only’. If you have a car, you will need to park here and walk the rest of the way to the park. The road is easily passable however if you have 4WD, which fortunately I did.
Baudin Conservation Park is located on the north coast of the Dudley Peninsula, about 2 km south east of Penneshaw. The park is 310 ha (770 acres) in size and was established on the 28th March 2002. Prior to this time the park was originally a family farm, between 1861-2001. It comprised os she-oak woodland and rolling hills, with some fantastic views out across Backstairs Passage to the Fleurieu Peninsula on the mainland of South Australia.
Within the park you can undertake the Ironstone Hill hike which follows part of the original bullock track to Cape Willoughby. The area was previously farmed by the Bates family, and remnants of the Bates cottage can still be seen.
The park is home to a large amount of wildlife including tammar wallabies, wedge tailed eagles and the rare glossy black cockatoo.
The park is named after Nicolas Baudin (1754-1803, a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer.
Above:- Nicolas Baudin. Courtesy of wikipedia.
Baudin was responsible for the Freycinet map of 1811, which was the first full map of Australia to be published which howed the full outline of Australia. It preceded the publication of British explorer Matthew Flinders’ map of Australia, Terra Australis or Australia, by three years.
Above:- The Freycinet map of 1811. Courtesy of wikipedia.
There were no places for me to pull off the side of the road, so after driving a short distance down Binneys Track, I pulled the HiLux as far to the left of the track as possible. This was on a downward part of the track. I set up my fold up table and deck chair in a small clearing of the scrub and then ran out the 20/40/80m linked dipole. There wasn’t much room, so the antenna actually straddled across the track.
Above:- Aerial shot showing my operating spot in the Baudin Conservation Park. Image courtesy of Protected Planet.
My first contact from Baudin was with Peter VK3PF on 7.144 on the 40m band. This was followed by Les VK5KLV and then Dennis VK2HHA. Already a pile up had ensued. But Peter had informed me that Charlie VK5KDK was in a park a little higher up the band. So after working Dennis I slid up to 7.153 and spoke with Charlie who was in the Venus Bay Conservation Park VKFF-1111 on the Eyre Peninsula. I then moved back to 7.144 where the masses were waiting. I worked a total of 38 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7.
Whilst operating on 40m, one of the local farmers drove down the track and I took a bit of time out to explain to him what I was doing. He seemed very interested. Band conditions on 40m were exceptionally good, with great signals from all across Australia. I experienced a little bit of QRM from a VK2 net on 7.146 which started up about 10 minutes into my activation, and also a little bit of QRM from below as well. Marcos CT1EHI was attracting a bit of attention on 7.142.
I then lowered the squid pole and removed the links in the dipole and headed for 14.310 on the 20m band. First taker was the ever reliable Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, followed by Mike VK6MB and then Mark VK4MON. It wasn’t long and the DX long path from Europe started to call in. Gerard F1BLL was the first, followed by Max IK4GRO. But it was at this time that a 4WD with 3 ladies came down the track and they were…..number one……curious what I was doing…….and number two……concerned about the track. So I took the time out to explain to them the hobby of amateur radio and handed out a few promotional brochures on amateur radio and the parks programs.
Once they were on their way, I decided that time was marching on, so rather than call CQ on 20m again, I headed off to 80m where I logged a total of 16 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5. I’m sure that I could have kept going and got a lot more contacts but it had just passed 5.00 p.m. local time and I really needed to pack up.
I was more than happy with a total of 61 contacts in the log.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK5KDK/p (Venus Bay VKFF-1111)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
The following stations were worked on 80m SSB:-
Following the activation I headed into Penneshaw. It was around 5.15 p.m. and I had a little over 2 hours before my ferry departed Kangaroo Island. As I drove down Binneys Track into the eastern section of Penneshaw I could see the 5.00 p.m. ferry departing Penneshaw on its way to Cape Jervis.
I stopped to have a look at ‘Frenchman’s Rock’. It was here, that in 1803, French explorer Nicolas Baudin anchored in Hog Bay. One of his crew noted their arrival of the expedition by carving on a rock. The rock was subsequently removed and is now located in the Gateway Information Centre. A replica now stands in its place.
The rock reads……
“Expedition de decourverte par le commandant Baudin sur le Geographe 1803”
Meaning in English……”Expedition of discovery by Captain Baudin in the Geographe 1803″.
Just above Frenchmans Rock is the Contemplation Seat. Here, you can sit, whilst admiring the view, and recall the aboriginal women who were brought o Kangaroo Island to assist the whalers and sealers prior to official settlement of the island.
Prior to heading to the hotel for a meal, I admired a magnificent sunset at Penneshaw.
I was then off to the Penneshaw pub for a meal. I had Kangaroo washed down by a few cans of Bundy and coke.
By 7.15 p.m. the ferry had commenced loading vehicles. As it was the late ferry there wasn’t a huge amount of traffic, so I did not have to take the whip off the Codan antenna.
I sat back and relaxed and enjoyed the 45 minute trip back to the mainland. It had been a fantastic 6 days on beautiful Kangaroo Island.
National Parks South Australia, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/kangaroo-island/baudin-conservation-park>, viewed 6th September 2016
Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baudin_Conservation_Park>, viewed 6th September 2016.
Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Baudin>, viewed 6th September 2016