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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:-
- VK4AAC/p (Tewantin National Park VKFF-1218)
I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-
Parks Victoria, 2017, <http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/langi-ghiran-state-park>, viewed 13th April 2017
Heritage Council Victoria, 2017, ‘Former Fay’s Hotel’ Victorian Heritage Database Report.