Our final activation for Saturday 22nd October 2016 was the John Forrest National Park VKFF-0250, which is located about 24 km east of Perth.
Above:- Map showing the location of the John Forrest National Park east of Perth. Map courtesy of Protected Planet.
Again, no problems with us locating the park, as it is very well signposted.
We set up in the southern section of the park, in a little clearing just off the side of the road which passes through the park.
Above:- Our operating spot in the John Forrest National Park. Map courtesy of Protected Planet.
John Forrest National Park is 26.78 km2 in size and is located in the Darling Scarp, also referred to as the Darling Ranges. Sadly this park has been impacted by the actions of mankind. Many of the smaller marsupials located in the park have been decimated by introduced European animals such as foxes and feral cats. Drought and dieback have affected the jarrah forest within the park, and introduced species of weed are problematic.
All this is rather sad, as John Forrest was the first National Park to be established in Western Australia and is one of the oldest in Australia. The park was originally declared as a conservation reserve in 1898, and it became John Forrest National Park in 1947, in honour of the famour explorer and statesman, Sir John Forrest, who was Premier of Western Australia between 1890-1901.
Above:- Sir John Forrest. Image courtesy of wikipedia.
There are several trails through the park, including the Railway Heritage Trail, which follows the alignment of the old railway line to York. Visitors to the park can also walk through the Swan View Tunnel, the only historical railway tunnel in Western Australia.
The park was alive with flower during my visit.
As conditions had been quite good on 20m at Greenmount, Andrew and I decided to start off this activation on the 20m band. We commenced calling CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by Greg VK5GJ who was operating QRP. Greg was quite low down (5/1) but we were able to hear Greg very well. Next up was Phil VK6ADF, followed by Bill VK4FW who was portable in the Cherbourg Conservation Park VKFF-1510 (5/9 both ways). Merv VK6LDX then called in, but despite a number of further CQ calls, we had no more takers.
So it was off to 40m where we called CQ on 7.144. This was answered by Mike VK6MB with a strong 5/9 signal. At this time Phil VK6ADF arrived at the park and we had a bit of a chat. Andrew and I were sitting on 5 QSOs and still needed a further 5 to qualify the park for the Australian (VKFF) chapter of World Wide Flora Fauna. So Phil jumped in his car and drove a few km away and gave us a call. Number 6 for us, but we were still 4 away from qualifying the park, and our CQ calls on 40m were going unanswered.
So it was back to 20m for us for a last 10 minute dash before we had to pack up and head off to our planned talk. We tuned to 14.310 and found Rob VK4FFAB operating as VK4SQ in the Deception Bay Conservation Park VKFF-1528.
After working Rob we headed up the band to 14.315 and started calling CQ. Our first caller was a Croatian station much to our surprise. It was Sasa 9A3NM with a good 5/7 signal. Rick VK4RF/VK4HA then followed, as did Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG. Now we were really pushing for time. It was just after 2.00 p.m. Western Australia local time, and we had to get to our talk by 2.30 p.m. And we now had a little pile up going.
Sadly we only had the time to log a further 3 stations. They being Les VK5KLV, Ozren 9A7W, and finally Chris VK6KRS. Both Andrew and I apologise sincerely to the other stations that were calling, but we were forced to go QRT as we did not want to be late for our presentation.
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-
- VK4FW/p (Cherbourg Conservation Park VKFF-1510)
- VK4SQ/p (Deception Bay Conservation Park VKFF-1528)
Department of Parks and Wildlife, 2014, John Forrest National Park guide.
Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Forrest_National_Park>, viewed 25th October 2016