Enfield State Park VKFF-0757

After booking in to my accomodation I headed out to the Enfield State Park VKFF-0757, which is located about 28 km south of Ballarat.  It was now completely dark and a very chilly night in Ballarat.  I was also a bit hungry, but I had posted that I was going to activate Enfield, so I decided on a quick activation.

The drive from the motel took me out through Mount Helen, Scotchmans Lead and then on to Napoleans and Enfield.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Enfield State Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Enfield State Park was established in August 1995.  It is 4,400 hectares in size.  The open forest of Enfield State Park supports a number of different types of eucalyptus including Messmate, Broad-leaved Peppermint, Narrow-leaved Pepperminth, Swamp Gum, Manna Gum, and the rare Yarra Gum.  Over 60 species of native orchids can be found in the park, and also the endemic Enfield Grevillia.

Over 100 species of birds have been recorded in the park including Kookaburras, Grey Currawongs, Boobook Owls, Crimson Rosellas and the Superb Fairy Wren.  About 22 species of native mammals have been recorded in the park including the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Swamp Wallaby, Echidna, and Koala.  Several species of possums, bats, and antechinus also occur in the park.  Frogs are also common in the park including the Common Froglet, Victorian Smooth Forglet and the Southern Brown Tree Frog.

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The Enfield State Park, with Ballarat in the background.  Image courtesy of google maps

The park was dominated by tents and diggers from all around the world during the Victorian Gold Rush period.  A reminder of these times is reflected in local place names such as Misery Creek and Surface Point, which was the site of a Chinese settlement in the 1860s, complete with temples, tearooms, gaming tents, herbalists and market gardens. Some remains of this community can still be found in the area.

The forest has been cut for timber, fence posts and local housing materials and has also been used for the production of eucalyptus oil. A historical marker at Enfield township indicates the site of a eucalyptus distillery from days gone by.

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I soon reached the north eastern corner of the park and I found a 4WD track off Incolls Road.  It was now 7.00 p.m. local time.  I set up along the track and ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

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I called CQ on 7.140 and this was answered by Peter VK7PRN whose signal was well down to what I am normally accustomed to with Peter.  He was just a 5/7 and gave me a 5/2.  This was not a good start.  I was then called by Adrian VK5FANA who was 5/9 and reciprocated with a 5/9 for me.  I worked just 11 stations on 40m from VK2, VK4, VK5, VK7 and New Zealand.  I was pleased to log regular park hunter Oliver ZL1XS who was a good 5/9 signal.

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Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the Enfield State Park.  Image courtesy of Parks Victoria.

I decided to try my luck on 80m.  I lowered the squid pole and inserted the 80m section links and headed to 3.610.  I worked Ronny VK3VBI and then disaster.  The squid pole came crashing down, with a huge split detected in the first section of the pole.  So I was forced to use the vehicle equipment, the Icom IC-7000 and the Codan 9350.  As a result, signal reports were way down.  I boxed on and worked a total of 11 stations on 80m.

I was cold, hungry, and frustrated, and decided to call it quits for the night, with just 22 contacts in the log.  This is a park which I will have to return to, to get my remaining 22 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7PRN
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK2ZH
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/AC8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT
  7. VK6NU
  8. ZL1XS
  9. VK4ZL
  10. VK2FOUZ
  11. VK4GSF

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3VBI
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK5FANA
  6. VK4HNS/p
  7. VK4GSF
  8. VK3SFG
  9. VK5HYZ
  10. VK7GG
  11. VK3AXF

 

References.

Parks Victoria, 2010, ‘Enfield State Park’.

Parks Victoria, 2017, <http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/enfield-state-park&gt;, viewed 13th April 2017

 

Langi Ghiran State Park VKFF-0760

After leaving Ararat I decided to head into the Langi Ghiran State Park VKFF-0760 for an activation.  I have activated Mount Langi Ghiran as part of the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program, but this was to be a unique park for me for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

Langi Ghiran is situated about 191 km west of Melbourne, and about 20 km east of Ararat.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Langi Ghiran State Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The park is well signposted on the Western Highway.  I entered the park via Kartuk Road, which took me to the Langi Ghiran Picnic and Camping Area.

Langi Ghiran ‘Lar-Ne-Jeering’ is Djab Wurrung aboriginal language for ‘home of the black cockatoo’, referring to the Yellow Tail Black Cockatoo.  The park which is 26.95 km2 (2,965 hectares) in size, is dominated by rugged granite peaks and gentle sloping woodlands.  The park was established in December 1984.  If you are keen you can take the 2km walk to Mount Langi Ghiran where you can enjoy a view of ancient Red Gums on the surrounding plains skirted by Mount Buangor in the east and the Grampians Mountains in the distant west.

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Langi Ghiran State Park, with Ararat in the background.  Courtesy of google maps

River Red Gums, Yellow Box and Candlebark trees are scattered through the woodland, with Messmate, Manna Gums and Red Stringybark in the mountains and Yarra Gums along the waterways.  Some plants unique to this area are the Langi Ghiran Grevillea and the Grampians Bitter-pea.

A number of native animals call the park home including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, wallabies, and echidnas.  Numerous birds can be seen in the park including Powerful Owls and Wedge Tailed Eagles.

The Ngutuwul balug or “mountain people” of the Dwab wurrung tribe occupied this area. Four rock art sites, numerous shelters, scar trees and other artefacts have been found.

Sir Thomas Mitchell climbed Mt Langi Ghiran on his 1836 expedition through ‘Australian Felix’.  He named the summit Mount Mistake.  The two reservoirs which are located in the park were built from locally hewn granite blocks in 1880.  The main reservoir still forms part of the Ararat water supply.

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Lt Col Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell

At the foot of the southern side of Mount Langi Ghiran was a small settlement, which no longer exists, called Colvinsby.  It was a staging point for miners making their way to either Ararat or into the forested area surround Langi Ghiran to explore quartz leads.  There was even a hotel here called the Mount Mistake Hotel, later known as Fay’s Hotel.

I headed to the picnic and camping area.  There were a number of wooden tables and benches, and as the camp ground was relatively empty, I had a choice of a few.

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Unfortunately there was very spotty phone coverage in the park, but I had made a phone call to John VK5BJE prior to entering the park, and John had kindly alerted that I was going to activate Langi Ghiran.  So it was quite fitting that, as was the case at One Tree Hill, John was my first contact in the log with a good strong 5/9 signal.  Next up was park regular Geoff VK3SQ at Beechworth, followed by another park tragic Adrian VK5FANA.  It was a weekday, but netherless I had a steady flow of callers from VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7.  About 9 contacts into the activation, Mike OE6MBG in Austria came onto the frequency and started calling CQ DX.  Sadly he could not hear me.  As Mike’s signal was quite strong, I decided to QSY up to 7.148.

Fortunately some of the callers had followed me up and I worked a total of 30 stations on 7.148 from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  This included a Park to Park contact with Rob VK4AAC who was portable in the Tewantin National Park VKFF-1218 in Queensland.

Time was marching on, and I really needed to pack up and head off to Ballarat, as I still had one more planned park activation.  But I only had 42 contacts in the log and I needed another 2 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  I headed to 3.610 on the 80m band and called CQ.  This was answered by Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG at nearby Stawell.  This was followed by Jason VK3FNQS, Hans VK5YX, and Peter VK3NAD.

I then lowered the squid pole and removed the links and headed to 14.310 on the 20m band.  I managed to get enough phone coverage as standing on the roof of the Hi Lux, and self spotted on parksnpeaks.  My first taker on 20m was Rolf HB9RDE in Switzerland, followed by Maurizio IU5HIV in Italy.  But despite a dozen or so CQ calls, they were my only takers on 20m.

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An interested onlooker

So it was time to pack up and head off to Ararat.  I had successfully qualified the park with a total of 49 contacts in the log.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5HYZ
  5. VK2HHA
  6. VK5VBR
  7. VK3PF
  8. VK5FSPJ/m
  9. VK7JON
  10. VK5WG
  11. VK2NP
  12. VK5FCLK
  13. VK2IO
  14. VK7XDM
  15. VK5FMJC
  16. VK2VKB
  17. VK5KLD
  18. VK1AT
  19. VK2KF
  20. VK2QK
  21. VK2GKA
  22. VK2JAZ
  23. VK5WA
  24. VK2FADV
  25. VK5PL
  26. VK4FEEL
  27. VK2FJPR
  28. VK2LL
  29. VK2MOR/m
  30. VK5FLKJ
  31. VK4AAC/p (Tewantin National Park VKFF-1218)
  32. VK5MBD
  33. VK2HPN
  34. VK3NGD/m
  35. VK7VDL
  36. VK7JGD.p
  37. VK2VOL
  38. VK5FMLO
  39. VK4KUS
  40. VK7DIK
  41. VK2EJW
  42. VK2OQ/m

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3GGG
  2. VK3PMG
  3. VK3FNQS
  4. VK5YX
  5. VK3NAD

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. HB9RDE
  2. IU5HIV

 

References.

Parks Victoria, 2017, <http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/langi-ghiran-state-park&gt;, viewed 13th April 2017

Heritage Council Victoria, 2017, ‘Former Fay’s Hotel’ Victorian Heritage Database Report.