Kinchina Conservation Park VKFF-1764

This afternoon (Thursday 3rd November 2016) I headed out to the Kinchina Conservation Park, VKFF-1764 which is located abut 70 km east of Adelaide, near the town of Murray Bridge.  The park is about 25 km east of my home.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Kinchina Conservation Park east of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer

I decided that sitting in a park playing radio was far more enjoyable than sitting in front of the computer clearing emails.  Particularly as it was a sunny 26 degree C day.  But first I checked the Hourly Area Prediction (HAP) Charts to see what propagation was doing.  It suggested that any close in propagation (to around 150 km) was not going to occur on the 40m band.  In any event, I decided to head out.

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Above:- HAP Chart for Adelaide.  Courtesy of

I travelled east along the South Eastern Freeway and turned off at the Monarto exit.  I then travelled through the small ‘town’ of Monarto South and then on to the Old Princes Highway for a few km.  I then turned left onto Maurice Road.  It was slow going along the road, as there were a number of Shingleback or ‘Sleepy’ lizards crossing the road.


Above:- One of my obstacles on the road, a Shingleback or Sleepy lizard.

It wasn’t long and I had reached the park.  How refreshing it was to see signs for a park and pedestrian entry gates.  It is a real shame that the same cannot be said for many other South Australian parks.


I did a quick reccy of this location, looking for an operating spot, and I decided to go a little further along Maurice Road.  A short distance down the road (passed the quarry), I found another parking area.  There was a freshly posted sign re the opening of the park on the 6th November 2016, in 3 days time.  Unfortunately I cannot get to the open day as it clashes with the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society (AHARS) Buy and Sell.

Kinchina Conservation Park is a brand new park.  It was only gazetted in September 2016.  Kinchina is quite large, being 414 hectares in size.  The park protects grassy woodland communities considered of high conservation significance.

The park was named for the rail siding where local Monarto Granite was loaded to be sent to Adelaide by Jessie and Charles Duncan from 1879.  This granite was used in many buildings including Colonel Light’s statue, St Peters Cathedral stepgs, Electra House on King William Street and for kerbing in Adelaide’s central business district.

I decided to go for a bit of walk through the park as I still had around 1 hour before my posted activation time of 0500 UTC.  There are a number of trails in the park.  I took the Getaway Car Loop.  The Lavender Federation Trail also passes through the park.

I was hoping to get some good bird shots from the park as it is currently the week when the National TwitchathonNational Twitchathon is held.  The park provides habitat for a number of birds that are in decline in the Mount Lofty Ranges, including the Diamond Firetail, Restless Fly Catcher, Australasian Darter, and Hooded Robin.

As it was quite a warm day and the scrub here is quite thick, I was cognisant of snakes, so I made a bit of a noise as I travelled down the trail.  Unfortunately the by-product of this, was that most birds were scared off, as you can see from the photo below.


But I did manage to capture a few of the birds that frequent the park, including Australian Ringneck parrots, Magpies, Willy Wagtails, and White Winged Coughs.  Sadly my bird photography was very lacking on this occasion.

After a good walk through the park, and a bee sting to the ear, I headed back to the original gate on Maurice Road.  Yes, I did say a bee sting to the ear.  I came across a bee hive and some very angry bees.

Upon returning to this location I found one of the park rangers doing some work ina tractor, levelling the carpark.  No doubt in preparation for the open day, coming up on Sunday.  We had a chat for around 10 minutes and I explained what I was up to.  He appeared to know a bit about the parks program and warned me that snakes were not the problem in the park.  But….mosquitoes were.  And it didn’t take me long to find that out.  Make sure you have your Aeroguard if you visit Kinchina.


Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the park.  Map courtesy of

I ran my normal station for this activation comprising the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 2040/80m linked dipole.

After setting up I headed to 7.144 and found ZL3ADT calling CQ on 7.145.  I gave him a shout, but sadly he could not hear me.  So I took a spin across the band and found Rob VK4AAC/3 who was portable in the Mount Buangor State Park VKFF-0766.  Once Rob had finished his QSO I gave him a shout and we exchanged 5/9 signal reports.  Despite Rob’s signal being strong, very profound QSB was noted.  It was a nice way to start the activation, with a Park to Park contact.

I then headed back up the band and found that 7.144 was clear and I started calling CQ.  This was answered by Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG at Stawell in western Victoria.  Mick had a strong 5/9 signal, but again deep QSB was present.  Next up was Ken VK2KYO, followed by Les VK5KLV and then Peter VK3PF.  I worked a further 24 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  This included Tom VK5EE, Greg VK5ZGY, and Col VK5HCF who were all out portable in Mount Gambier, setting up for the Legend of the Lakes Hill Climb event.

Generally signal strengths of some of the regular park hunters was down.  There was a very brief opening into Adelaide, with Darryl VK5JDS, Trevor VK5TW, and Phil VK5RM making the log.  Phil and I only just made the contact.  He reported that I was originally 20/9 when he heard me, and I was almost gone by the end of our quick chat.  Adrian VK5FANA located on the Yorke Peninsula, and I tried to make a QSO, but we just couldnt quite exchange signal reports to make it a valid contact.

I then headed off to 20m where I worked Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, followed by Rob VK2QR/VK2SWL, and then Gerard VK2IO.  But despite numerous CQ calls, the only other station logged was Kazu JL1ELQ in Japan.

I decided to try 80m and I am very pleased I did.  I worked a total of 6 stations, including Adrian VK5FANA and Rob VK4AAC/3 in VKFF-0766.

I then moved back to 20m and worked 8 stations including Max IK1GPG in Italy, and Grant VK2GEL who was portable in the Cape Byron Marine Park VKFF-1407.  It was then back to 40m where I logged  further 11 stations, including three further Park to Park contacts.  The first being with Jarrad VK6FFAR who was portable in the Tuart Forrest National Park VKFF-0498, Andrew VK1DA who was portable in the Issacs Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-0845, and then Grant VK2GEL who was activating the Cape Byron Marine Park VKFF-1407.

To finish off the activation I tried 15m.  But despite 10 minutes of calling CQ I had no takers.  I was also experiencing QRM from a Japanese station calling CQ on 21.244.  I tried calling him before I went QRT, but sadly he did not hear me.

It was a successful activation, with a total of 61 contacts in the log, and a unique park for me as an activator for both the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, and the VK5 National and Conservation Parks AwardVK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4AAC/3 (Mount Buangor State Park VKFF-0766)
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK2KYO
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK3FLCS
  8. VK7GG
  9. VK3SQ
  10. VK5EE
  11. VK5ZGY
  12. VK3VBI
  13. VK3SIM
  14. VK3MCK
  15. VK3ANL
  16. VK4RF
  17. VK4HA
  18. VK5HCF
  19. VK5JDS
  20. VK5TW
  21. VK2GKA
  22. VK5RM
  23. VK3FQSO
  24. VK3UH
  25. VK3SFG
  26. VK2FVIN
  27. VK2EJW
  28. VK2JLS
  29. VK2QR
  30. VK7AC
  31. VK2QK
  32. VK4FW
  33. VK6FFAR/p (Tuart Forrest National Park VKFF-0498)
  34. VK2SWL
  35. VK1DA/p (Issacs Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-0845)
  36. VK7DW
  37. VK2GEL/p (Cape Byron Marine Park VKFF-1407)
  38. VK7JB
  39. VK2IO
  40. VK2PKT
  41. VK7FGGT

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK2QR
  4. VK2SWL
  5. VK2IO
  6. JL1ELQ
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4FW/m
  9. VK2GEL/p (Cape Byron Marine Park VKFF-1407)
  10. VK4KUS
  11. IK1GPG
  12. VK4NFZ
  13. ZS5AYC/VK4
  14. ZS5APT/VK4

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5GJ (QRP)
  3. VK4AAC/3 (Mount Buangor State Park VKFF-0766)
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK5VRB
  6. VK5BJE

As it is National Twitchathon week, I have my special bird QSL card on offer.

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Government of South Australia, 2016, <;, viewed 3rd November 2016