Waitpinga Conservation Park 5CP-243 and VKFF-0940

Our first planned park activation for Sunday morning (2nd April 2017) was the Waitpinga Conservation Park 5CP-243 and VKFF-0940.  The park is located about 113 km south of Adelaide, and about 40 km west of the seaside tourist town of Victor Harbor, on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Waitpinga Conservation Park, south of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Our morning commenced with some breakfast and a nice cup of coffee. at the Deep Creek homestead.  The Western Grey kangaroos were also out and about, all around the homestead, also enjoying their breakfast.  It was quite a bleak morning, with a lot of cloud cover, and some very heavy rain overnight.  We both had our fingers crossed that the cloud cover may burn off and the weather fine up.

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Prior to activating the park, we detoured down to Boat Harbor Beach where we enjoyed some fantastic views out across the ocean to Kangaroo Island.  As we looked out to the south east there was some heavy shower activity which signalled some alarm bells.

The track down to the carpark is definitely for 4WD only.  You can then take a walk down to the beach where you can often see dolphins playing in the surf.  There are some great views of the park along the way.

We then headed back to Range Road and then took Illawong Road, approaching the park from the eastern side.  The weather we had seen out to the south east had now hit with vengeance.  The showers were quite heavy and our prospects of activating were not looking good.  We travelled south along Illawong Road and soon reached a ‘Road Closed’ sign.  As the track was very wet, we decided not to try out luck and we headed back to Range Road and then took Tunkalilla Road and approached the park from the west.

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The eastern side of Illawong Road

If you approach the park on Illawong Road from the west, you need to travel down through the creekline and passed the old farmhouse ruin on your right, before reaching the park boundary on your left.

 

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The western side of the creekline on Illawong Road leading down to the park

Waitpinga is a small park, and although it is just 3 hectares in size, it is very important in that it conserves the rare Coral Fern.  Waitpinga consists of low open forest of stringy bark and Pink Gum, over an under storey of bracken, tea-tree, sedges and grasses.  The park is within the extent of ‘Illawong Swamp’ which is listed as a wetland of national importance.  The park also backs on to the quite large Second Valley Forest Reserve.

Waitpinga is a corruption of the aboriginal word ‘Waitpi-unga’ which means ‘the windy place’.

The park is located about 5 km to the north west of the surf fishing beach, Waitpinga Beach, which is in turn located within the Newland Head Conservation Park.

We sat in the vehicle for around 20 minutes, waiting for the showers to clear.  Sadly they didn’t.  We then set up the awning of the Toyota Hi Lux, getting wet in the process.  For this activation we used the Yaesu FT-857d, set at 10 watts PEP for Marija, and the 90/40/20m linked dipole on the 7 metre telescopic squid pole.

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We were all set up and ready to go by just after 0040 UTC (11.10 a.m. South Australian local time).  A little later than expected.  Marija started off the activation, as I had previously activated and qualified the park.  Prior to calling CQ, we tuned across the band and found Tony VK3XV/5 on 7.100 calling CQ from the Ewens Ponds Conservation Park 5CP-064 & VKFF-0796.  Tony’s signal was fluctuating severely with QSB, but was spiking up to 5/5.  We both managed to make contact with Tony who gave us a 5/1 signal report.  It was a nice way to start the activation with a Park to Park contact.

We then moved down to 7.095 and Marija started calling CQ.  But it was very slow going, with just a handful of callers.  Sadly, we had no phone coverage, so we were unable to self spot on parksnpeaks.  With just 5 contacts in the log, Marija decided to go for a walk along Illawong Road to see if she could get some phone coverage, and spot us on parksnpeaks.  Whilst Marija was doing this I jumped onto the mic and called CQ.  This was answered by Sergio VK3SFG, followed by Jonathan VK7JON, and then Gerard VK2IO who was portable in Werakata State Conservation Area VKFF-1391.  I also logged Greg VK5GJ who was portable in the Stipiturus Conservation Park 5CP-220 & VKFF-0936, and David VK3IL who was activating SOTA peak King Billy No. 1 VK3/ VE-016 located within the Alpine National Park VKFF-0619.

Marija then returned from her journey up the road and took control of the mic again, soon obtaining her 10th QSO, qualifying the park for VKFF.  I then jumped back into the chair and called CQ.  Marija and I swapped the mic to log the various Park and SOTA activators who called in.  This included:

  • Andrew VK1AD/p, SOTA Mount Stromlo VK1/ AC-043
  • Les VK5KLV/p, Munyaroo Conservation Park 5CP-154 & VKFF-0920
  • Peter VK5KPR/p, Munyaroo Conservation Park 5CP-154 & VKFF-0920

When callers slowed down, we tuned across the 40m band where Marija worked Gerard VK2IO/p in Werakata State Conservation Area VKFF-1391.  Marija had missed Gerard earlier when he called in.  And Marija also logged Greg VK5GJ in the Stipiturus Conservation Park 5CP-220 & VKFF-0936.

We then went back to 7.095, but in that short time, it had been taken up by some other stations, so we found 7.105 clear and I started calling CQ.  This was answered by Adrian VK5FANA who was activating the Minlacowie Conservation Park 5CP-135 & VKFF-0909.  Marija was also keen to log Adrian, Park to Park.  I worked another 2 stations, Craig VK3CRG and Geoff VK3SQ, before my attention was drawn to a Scarlet Breasted Robin who was quite active a few metres away from us.  Marija jumped back onto the mic whilst I took the opportunity of taking some photographs.

Marija logged a further 16 stations from VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7, including Peter VK2PX/3 who was in the Greater Bendigo National Park VKFF-0623, Steve VK3SN who was portable in the Alpine National Park VKFF-0619, and Greg VK5ZGY who was activating the Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park 5CP-038 & VKFF-1018.

We continued our game of ‘musical microphone’ and I again jumped into the ‘driver’s seat’ working a steady flow of callers.  Marija had only intended to get 10 contacts from this park, qualifying Waitpinga for VKFF, but she was rapidly approaching 44, so we exchanged the mic so she could add some QSOs to her tally.  We also logged some more Park and SOTA activators.  They being:

  • Chris VK5FR/p, Morgan Conservation Park VKFF-0911
  • Brett VK3FLCS/p, Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763
  • Col VK5HCF/p, Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park 5CP-225 & VKFF-0804
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p, Eastern Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1706
  • Andrew VK1DA/2, SOTA Bobbara Mountain VK2/ ST-044
  • Tony VK5MRT/p, Bullock Hill Conservation Park 5CP-265 & VKFF-0873

Other interesting contacts were with Peter VK2STO and Kevin VK2FOUZ who were operating the club call of VK2STO.  They were portable at the First Shaft lookout at the Lightning Ridge Opal Field in outback New South Wales.

Time was marching on, and we needed to get to our second park of the day, Eric Bonython.  But before going QRT I headed down to 3.610 on the 80m band and called CQ.  As we had no internet coverage I was unable to spot on parksnpeaks or Facebook.  Sadly, 5 minutes of CQ calls went unanswered.  I then moved up to 14.310 on the 20m band and called CQ.  Again, as there was no internet coverage, we were relying on luck that some park hunters would find us.  My first caller on 20m was Igor VK6ZFG, with a good strong 5.8 signal, followed by Bruce VK2HOT, Rob VK2ZH, and finally Neil VK4HNS/p in Goondiwindi.

What started off as a less than promising activation, with very poor weather, turned into a successfully qualified park.  Marija had a total of 51 contacts in the log, including 14 Park to Park contacts.  I also had a total of 51 contacts in the log, including 17 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3XV/5 (Ewens Ponds Conservation Park 5CP-064 & VKFF-0796)
  2. VK2LX
  3. VK7AV
  4. VK3FSPG
  5. VK3MPR
  6. VK3SFG
  7. VK3MRH
  8. VK3MRG/p
  9. VK3PAT
  10. VK7FPRN
  11. VK1AD/p (SOTA Mount Stromlo VK1/ AC-043)
  12. VK5KLV/p (Munyaroo Conservation Park 5CP-154 & VKFF-0920)
  13. VK5KPR/p (Munyaroo Conservation Park 5CP-154 & VKFF-0920)
  14. VK2IO/p (Werakata State Conservation Area VKFF-1391)
  15. VK5GJ/p (Stipiturus Conservation Park 5CP-220 & VKFF-0936)
  16. VK5FANA/p (Minlacowie Conservation Park 5CP-135 & VKFF-0909)
  17. VK3GGG
  18. VK3PMG
  19. VK3CRG
  20. VK5WG
  21. VK2PX/3 (Greater Bendigo National Park VKFF-0623)
  22. VK3FLES
  23. VK3NBL
  24. VK7JON
  25. VK2RP/m
  26. VK3NCC/m
  27. VK3SN/p (Alpine National Park VKFF-0619)
  28. VK5ZGY/p (Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park 5CP-038 & VKFF-1018)
  29. VK2YW
  30. VK3CM
  31. VK3FSTA
  32. VK2SMS/p
  33. VK3FQSO
  34. VK5FR/p (Morgan Conservation Park VKFF-0911)
  35.  VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  36. VK5HCF/p (Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park 5CP-225 & VKFF-0804)
  37. VK3FOGY
  38. VK3HN
  39. VK2STO/p
  40. VK2FOUZ/p
  41. VK3XL
  42. VK3VIN
  43. VK5FANA/p (Eastern Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1706)
  44. VK7QP
  45. VK1DA/2 (SOTA Bobbara Mountain VK2/ ST-044)
  46. VK5MRT/p (Bullock Hill Conservation Park 5CP-265 & VKFF-0873)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3XV/5 (Ewens Ponds Conservation Park 5CP-064 & VKFF-0796)
  2. VK3SFG
  3. VK7JON
  4. VK2IO/p (Werakata State Conservation Area VKFF-1391)
  5. VK3MRG/p
  6. VK5GJ/p (Stipiturus Conservation Park 5CP-220 & VKFF-0936)
  7. VK3IL/p (SOTA King Billy No. 1 VK3/ VE-016 and Alpine National Park VKFF-0619)
  8. VK3MRH
  9. VK1AD/p (SOTA Mount Stromlo VK1/ AC-043)
  10. VK3WE
  11. VK3ARH
  12. VK7PRN
  13. VK5KLV/p (Munyaroo Conservation Park 5CP-154 & VKFF-0920)
  14. VK5KPR/p (Munyaroo Conservation Park 5CP-154 & VKFF-0920)
  15. VK3FSPG
  16. VK3MPR
  17. VK2RP/m
  18. VK3VIN
  19. VK5FANA/p (Minlacowie Conservation Park 5CP-135 & VKFF-0909)
  20. VK3CRG
  21. VK3SQ
  22. VK5ZGY/p (Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park 5CP-038 & VKFF-1018)
  23. VK5FR/p (Morgan Conservation Park VKFF-0911)
  24. VK3FQSO
  25. VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  26. VK2PX/3 (Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0623)
  27. VK3XL
  28. VK3MAB
  29. VK5NAQ
  30. VK5ZRY/m
  31. VK7EK
  32. VK5HCF/p (Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park 5CP-225 & VKFF-0804)
  33. VK3FOGY
  34. VK3HN
  35. VK2SMS/p
  36. VK2STO
  37. VK2FOUZ
  38. VK3GGG
  39. VK3PMG
  40. VK5FANA/p (Eastern Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1706)
  41. VK7QP
  42. VK6ZFG
  43. VK1DA/2 (SOTA Bobbara Mountain VK2/ ST-044)
  44. VK3FVIC
  45. VK5MRT/p (Bullock Hill Conservation Park 5CP-265 & VKFF-0873)
  46. VK5AYD
  47. VK3SN/p (Alpine National Park VKFF-0619)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6ZFG
  2. VK2HOT
  3. VK2ZH
  4. VK4HNS/p

 

References.

Cockburn, R, “2002, South Australia.  What’s in a Name?”

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2011, “Parks of the Fleurieu Peninsula”.

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waitpinga_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 11th April 2017

4 thoughts on “Waitpinga Conservation Park 5CP-243 and VKFF-0940

    • Hi John,

      Jenny would have loved it here. We had Superb Fairy Wrens, Grey Fantails, and Red Breasted Robins all around us, putting on a real show.

      I would love to explore this park a little more, but there are no walking trails. The scrub is very very thick.

      73,

      Paul VK5PAS.

    • Hi Chris,

      Participation was down a bit this year. Not really sure why. But it turned out to be a good fun weekend. We generally head down to the Fleurieu each year. Its spectacular country down there.

      Happy Easter,

      Paul VK5PAS

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