Scott Creek Conservation Park 5CP-207 and VKFF-0788

On Easter Sunday (16th April 2017), Marija VK5FMAZ and I activated the Scott Creek Conservation Park 5CP-207 & VKFF-0788.   This was to be a unique park for Marija for both the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, and the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  I have been to Scott Creek a number of times previously and I have qualified the park for WWFF.  But for this occasion I had been given permission to use the special call of VK5WOW.  The call has been issued to help celebrate the upcoming Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) AGM & Convention in Hahndorf South Australia.  A special award is on offer for working VK5WOW and/or VI5WOW.

The Scott Creek Conservation Park is located about 20 km south east of Adelaide, and around 24 km west of my home in the Adelaide Hills.

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Map showing the location of the Scott Creek Conservation Park, south east of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Prior to activating the park Marija and I visited the Alamanda mine ruins on Dorset Vale Road.  During the early 1840’s the Scott Creek area was settled by the Hill and Mackareth families.  They cut timber to be used in buildings in Adelaide, and cleared the land for the cultivation of onions and potatoes.  They used bullock drays to haul the produce to Adelaide via Coromandel Valley.  In 1850, the wheels of a dray broke off pieces of rock which were recognised to contain copper.  Soon after a shaft was sunk to 9 metres, and was named Wheal Maria.  The shaft was soon abandoned after a small quantity of ore was removed.

During 1862, new leases were acquired and a new shaft, named Wheal Mary Anne, was sunk to a depth of 27 metres.  A few dray loads of ore were produced but again the mine was abandoned by 1865.

In 1868, a German assayer, William Ey, noticed abandoned copper ore from Wheal Mary Anne at Port Adelaide.  He recognised that the ore contained silver.  As a result he and James Gawen acquired leases at Scott Creek in June 1868, with the Alamanda Silver Mining Association being formed in July 1868.  A trial crushing of ore produced two ingots of silver weighing 131 ounces (4 kg).  A rush for claims at Scott Creek followed the announcement of rich silver ore at the Alamanda mine.

A treatment mill comprising a battery and mill were erected.  However, operations proved uneconomic and by early 1870, work was suspended.  The mine was reworked in 1877, 1881, and 1887.  Total production was 10,000 ounces (310kg) from 2,000 tones of ore.

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The Alamanda mine, c. 1868.  A drawing by W.A. Cawthorne.  Courtesy of Department of Mines and Energy.

Today, little remains, although there are a number of intepretive signs.  Sadly, many of the buildings have come under attack by vandals.

Despite the site being severely vandalised, it was pleasing to see a number of people visiting the old Alamanda mine during our visit.

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Stone chimney, erected 1869.  Was connected by an underground stone-lined flue to the boilerhouse.

We then crossed over Dorset Vale Road to have a look at Ey’s Workings and Tunnel.  The tunnel was previously open for people to visit with a torch, but it is now fenced off.

We then visited Mackareth cottage on Matthew Road.  I had been here years previous and was very saddened to see the state it was in, considering its historical significance.  The cottage is located on SA Water land, who I contacted a number of years ago about the state of disrepair the cottage was in.  They seemed totally disinterested.

The cottage dates back to 1839/1840, just 3-4 years after the proclamation of South Australia.  So it is a very historical buidling.  It was built by George Mackareth who had emigrated to South Australia in 1838 from England.  The cottage was continually lived in between 1840-1976, when the National Trust took control of the property.

For many years it housed a museum and on occasions provided Devonshire teas on weekend openings to visitors.  In 1984 the National Trust relinquished its interests and the cottage was closed.  It has since fallen into the disgraceful condition it is in today, covered in grafitti.

cottage

Mackareth cottage in better days.

The Scott Creek Conservation Park itself is 706 hectares in size and was established in November 1985.  The land at Scott Creek was purchased by the South Australian State Government in the early 1970’s by the State Planning Authority and in 1985 the area was recognised as an important part of the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, and adopted as a Conservation Park.

The park contains one of the most diverse areas of native vegetation near Adelaide.  It contains steep sloped valleys, lush creeklines and rounded ridgetops.The main upper canopy species is Messmate Stringy bark, South Australian Blue Gum, Pink Gum, Cup Gum, River Red Gum, and Manna Gum.  Other native plants include Silky Tea-tree, Swamp wattle, Golden wattle, and Silver Banksia.  A considerable number of the 108 plant species in the park are classified as rare, vulnerable or endangered.

About 15 species of native mammals call the park home, including the Western Grey kangaroo, Yellow footed antechinus, echidna, Brush-tailed possum, Ringtail possum, and Koala.  The endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot has been recorded in the park.

Over 125 species of birds have been recorded in the park including New Holland Honeyeater, White-naped honeyeater, Crimson Rosella, Purple-crowned lorikeet, Kookaburra, and Rainbow lorikeet.  The park is also home to the endangered Beautiful Firetail and the vulnerable Bassian Thrush.

Marija and I parked at gate number 8 and operated from a clearing about 20 metres in from the gate.  I have operated from her previously, including with John VK5BJE who lives closeby.  His wife Jenny is involved in the active ‘Friends of Scott Creek Conservation Park’ group.  They have an excellent website.

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There is plenty of room here to string out a dipole.  We used the Yaesu FT-857d for this activation, along with the 80/40/20m linked dipole, @ 6 metres, inverted vee.  We initially ran 10 watts PEP for Marija with her Foundation licence, and when I operated as VK5WOW I ran 40 watts output.

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Prior to calling CQ we tuned across the 40m band and worked Marc VK3OHM who was on 7.140, activating the Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741.

Marija then headed up to 7.145 and called CQ.  It didn’t take long, and Marija had a mini pile up going, which she handled exceedingly well.  I assisted her with logging and prompting her with the names of the callers.  Within 8 minutes Marija had the required 10 contacts in the log to qualify the park for the VKFF program, and within 45 minutes, she had the required 44 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  Contact number 10 was with Bill VK4FW.  Contact number 44 was with Keith VK5OQ who was portable at Mount Bryan.

Marija made a total of 53 contacts which included 7 Park to Park contacts.

  • Marc VK3OHM/p (Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741)
  • Mike VK3XL/p (Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park VKFF-0747)
  • VK1DI/p (Woodstock Nature Reserve VKFF-0988)
  • John VK5BJE/3 (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  • Phil VK6ADF/p (Hilliger National Park VKFF-0646)
  • Margaret ZL3YF/p (Lake Pearson Conservation Area ZLFF-0029)
  • Ken ZL4KD/p (Lake Pearson Conservation Area ZLFF-0029)

Another interesting contact Marija made was with Craig VK3CRG who was streaming Marija’s QSOs through VK3RTV, amateur TV repeater.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3OHM (Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741)
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK3FRAB
  5. VK5HCF
  6. VK2HHA
  7. VK3SFG
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK4FW
  11. VK3FQSO
  12. VK5HS
  13. VK2KYO
  14. VK2NP
  15. VK7EV
  16. VK3FOTO/m
  17. VK5KC/p
  18. VK3FJAE
  19. VK3TKK/m
  20. VK5NFT/m
  21. VK2GAZ
  22. VK3FSPG
  23. VK3MPR
  24. VK3XL/p (Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park VKFF-0747)
  25. VK4ARW
  26. VK1DI/p (Woodstock Nature Reserve VKFF-0988)
  27. VK5IS/3
  28. VK3NCR
  29. VK3CRG
  30. VK5KLV
  31. VK3FCMC
  32. VK2EXA
  33. VK7QP
  34. VK4RF
  35. VK4HA
  36. VK3ARH
  37. VK6MAC
  38. VK3SL/p
  39. VK3MNZ
  40. VK2FGJW/3
  41. VK3ELH
  42. VK3RU
  43. VK3HN
  44. VK5OQ/p
  45. VK5PE
  46. VK3BFR
  47. VK5YX
  48. VK5GY/m
  49. VK3FHCT
  50. VK5BJE/3 (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  51. VK6ADF/p (Hilliger National Park VKFF-0646)
  52. ZL3YF/p (Lake Pearson Conservation Area ZLFF-0029)
  53. ZL4KD/p (Lake Pearson Conservation Area ZLFF-0029)

I occasionally picked up the mic to log a few of the park activators.  I worked the following stations on 40m SSB under VK5PAS:-

  1. VK3OHM/p (Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741)
  2. VK1DI/p (Woodstock Nature Reserve VKFF-0988)
  3. VK5BJE/3 (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  4. VK6ADF/p (Hilliger National Park VKFF-0646)
  5. ZL4KD (Lake Pearson Conservation Area ZLFF-0029)
  6. ZL3YF/p (Lake Pearson Conservation Area ZLFF-0029)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6ADF/p (Hilliger National Park VKFF-0646)

Just after 0535 UTC (2.05 p.m. South Australian local time) I took over as VK5WOW.   Contact number one in the log was with John VK5BJE who was portable in the Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264.  Rather appropriate, as John lives very close to the Scott Creek Conservation Park.

I ended up with a total of 157 contacts as VK5WOW, on the 20, 40 and 80m bands, including 11 Park to Park contacts.  A small amount of DX was logged from New Zealand, Croatia, Finland, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, and Belgium

I worked the following stations as VK5WOW on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE/3 (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  2. VK6ADF/p (Hilliger National Park VKFF-0646)
  3. VK3KRH
  4. VK3CRG
  5. VK3RU
  6. VK3TKK/m
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK7QP
  9. VK5HS
  10. VK2EXA
  11. VK3SFG
  12. VK5HCF
  13. VK3NCR
  14. VK4HNS/p (Kwiambi National Park VKFF-0274)
  15. VK3OHM/p (Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741)
  16. VK3FRAB
  17. VK3ANL
  18. VK1AD
  19. VK3FHCT
  20. VK5MLB/p
  21. VK4FW
  22. VK4RF
  23. VK4HA
  24. VK1DI/p (Woodstock Nature Reserve VKFF-0988)
  25. VK4FFAB
  26. VK3SQ
  27. VK3HN
  28. VK3BQ/m
  29. VK3FCEK/m
  30. VK3PF
  31. VK3FNQS
  32. VK5YX
  33. VK2EJW
  34. VK2NP
  35. VK5IS
  36. VK3GGG
  37. VK3PMG
  38. VK5GJ
  39. VK3KMH
  40. VK3FOTO
  41. VK4FADW
  42. VK2VW
  43. VK3BFR
  44. VK4ARW
  45. VK4SMA
  46. VK4PDX
  47. VK4FEMO
  48. VK3FORD
  49. VK7CW
  50. VK7JON
  51. VK5NFT/m
  52. VK2HHA
  53. VK2NEO
  54. VK3FQSO
  55. VK3VEK
  56. VK3FCMC
  57. VK3FSPG
  58. VK3MPR
  59. VK3TEZ
  60. VK5PL
  61. VK7KW
  62. VK7FOLK
  63. VK5ALR/p (Morgan Conservation Park VKFF-0911)
  64. VK7MHZ/p
  65. VK7VEK
  66. VK3DQ
  67. VK2LAD
  68. VK3HAK
  69. VK3FVKI
  70. VK3YW
  71. VK2HJW
  72. VK3PI
  73. VK3HSB
  74. VK3TJS
  75. VK2QK
  76. VK4QQ
  77. VK3MRG
  78. VK4FAAJ
  79. ZL4KD (Lake Pearson Conservation Area ZLFF-0029)
  80. ZL3YF/p (Lake Pearson Conservation Area ZLFF-0029)
  81. VK3FMJP
  82. VK3MNZ
  83. VK4BX
  84. VK2WOW
  85. VK2ARA
  86. VK4ZD
  87. VK4DI
  88. VK4FARR
  89. VK5NJ
  90. VK2RL
  91. VK2MT/p
  92. VK2FOUZ
  93. VK2VVV
  94. VK3UH
  95. VK2HPN
  96. VK2CCR
  97. ZL1XS
  98. VK2IO/m
  99. VK5HH
  100. VK2SK
  101. VK4MWB
  102. VK5FTCT
  103. VK7PRN
  104. VK6BEC
  105. VK7FPRN
  106. VK2UMA
  107. VK6FFAR
  108. VK4TJ

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB under VK5WOW:-

  1. VK6ADF/p (Hilliger National Park VKFF-0646)
  2. VK4FW
  3. VK4QQ
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK6MAC/m
  7. VK4HNS/p (Kwiambi National Park VKFF-0274)
  8. 9A3NM
  9. OH2BAD
  10. 9A7W
  11. IW3IBK
  12. I5FLN
  13. F2YT
  14. VK4NSA
  15. VK4SMA
  16. VK7JON
  17. VK6SN
  18. IZ4RCQ
  19. DL2ND
  20. IU5HIV
  21. JH7WER
  22. ON4VT
  23. VK6NU
  24. JA1VRY
  25. VK6XL
  26. JG4AKL
  27. JH7CVM

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB under VK5WOW:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK3XL/p
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK2GGA
  5. VK2YW
  6. VK5NJ
  7. VK3GGG
  8. VK3PMG
  9. VK5BW
  10. VK5FANA
  11. VK1AT
  12. VK3XBC/p (Murray Sunset National Park VKFF-0373)
  13. VK3SQ
  14. VK3PI
  15. VK5DC
  16. VK5NFT/m
  17. VK2QM
  18. VK3ZE
  19. VK3RW
  20. VK5HYZ
  21. VK2MT/p

Whilst I was operating Marija went for a walk along Cup Gum Track.  There are some great views to be had along this track out across the Mount Lofty Ranges.

We packed up just after 6.30 p.m. local time.  It had been a very succesful and enjoyable afternoon in the park.  Marija had qualified a new park, and VK5WOW had been put on air promoting the upcoming AGM/Convention and the VK5 Parks Award.

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Below is a short video of me operating as VK5WOW……

References.

Department of Mines and Energy, 1991, ‘Alamanda Silver Mine.  A guide to the walking trail’

National Parks South Australia, 2017, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/scott-creek-conservation-park&gt;, viewed 18th April 2017

National Parks and Wildlife SA, 1999, ‘Scott Creek Conservation Park Management Plan’.

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Creek_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 18th April 2017