Hogwash Bend Conservation Park 5CP-092 and VKFF-0892

Marija and I had two planned park activations for Monday 24th April 2017, the final day of our Riverland trip.  The first being the Hogwash Bend Conservation Park 5CP-092 & VKFF-0892 which is located about 183 km north east of Adelaide and just a few km north west of the little town of Cadell.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 7.09.47 pm

Map showing the location of the Hogwash Bend Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

We had a 110 km drive from Renmark to the park, which took us along the Sturt Highway to Waikerie, and then out along the Ramco Road through Qualco and on to the park via the Cadell Valley Road.  Along the way Marija and I stopped briefly to have a look at the memorial cairn which commemorates police officers, Corporal William Murray Wickham and Mounted Constable John Dunning Carter, who drowned on the 7th day of May 1847.  They were enroute from Mourundee, near Blanchetown, to Overland Corner for police duty in response to disturbances in the area.  They were the first police to die in the line of duty in South Australia.

Sadly, the memorial had been desecrated.  I have photo shopped the photo below and removed the grafitti.


We continued on to Waikerie and stopped briefly at the Pooginook lookout at Waikerie.  There are some great views of the mighty Murray River from here.  It was along these cliff tops that the village settlers walked between the settlements of Holder and Waikerie.

We soon reached Hogwash Road which runs off the northern side of the Cadell Valley Road.  The park sign, which had been at this intersection on our previous visit, was no longer there, so we initially missed the turnoff.  Not sure what has happened to the sign?

I have activated the park once before, back on April 2015, but this was prior to the park being allocated a VKFF reference number for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  The previous activation only qualified for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.  This was to be a unique park for Marija as an activator.



Hogwash Bend Conservation Park was proclaimed on the 6th day of September, 2012.  The park contains some majestic River Red Gums.

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The park is 286 hectares in size and comprises three sections.  We operated from the section which is adjacent to the eastern side of the Murray River.

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Aerial shot showing showing the park (indicated by the arrows.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The park was acquired by the South Australian State Government and the Australian Federal Government under the National Reserve System program to protect the largest breeding colony of Regent Parrots in South Australia.  There are thought to be only 300 breeding pairs of Regent parrots along the Murray.  And in Hogwash Bend, around 50 pairs use the ideal breeding habitat of mature river red gums, nesting sites and large areas of mature mallee scrubland.  Hogwash Bend plays an important role in the bird’s future which is listed as vulnerable at both State and National level.


Regent Parrot.  Image courtesy of Birdlife.

There is an excellent website dedicated to Regent parrots which can be found at…..


In fact, the group is very keen to hear from people who sight a Regent Parrot.  You can telephone 1800PARROT.

Our operating spot was on the southern side of Hogwash Road, adjacent to the main camping area.  We ran the Yaesu FT-857d, initially set at 10 watts PEP, and later 40 watts for me, and the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

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Aerial view of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Marija started off on air first, with her first contact being Cliff VK2NP, followed by Russell VK4ARW, and then Geoff VK3SQ.  Wade VK1FWBD/p then called in from SOTA peak Black Mountain VK1/ AC-042 in the Black Mountain Nature Reserve VKFF-0834.  Marija and I swapped the mic so I could log Wade.  Marija continued on and soon reached 10 contacts, with contact number 10 being John VK4/AC8WN.

Contact number 12 was another Park to Park, this time with Gerard VK2IO/m who was activating the Watagans National Park VKFF-0522.  Five QSOs later Andrew VK1AD/2 called in from SOTA peak Mount Marulan VK2/ ST-039 east of Goulburn.

Marija logged a total of 17 contacts, qualifying the park for VKFF and threw the mic over to me.  Marija headed off to take some photographs and explore the park.

My first contact after calling CQ was regular park hunter Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, followed by Peter VK3TKK/m, then Geoff VK3SQ, and then Allen VK3ARH.  It was a warm day, about 30 deg C, and an idealic location, not far from the banks of the Murray River.  During contact number 12 with Helen VK7FOLK, the magnificent paddlesteamer, PS Murray Princess came into view, cruising along the Murray.


The PS Murray Princess is the largest inland paddlesteamer in the southern hemisphere and can cater for around 120 passengers.

It was quite slow going on the band, with signals from Victoria being well down compared to normal.  Having said this I was pleased to log Nick VK3ANL who was activating SOTA peak Mount Nelse VK3/ VE-004 which is located in the Alpine National Park VKFF-0619 with a good 5/7 signal.  Sadly Marija was still off on her walk so she missed working Nick.

Soon after I was called by Bob VK2AOR/p and Rod VK2LAX/p who were activating Popran National Park VKFF-0417.  Bob and Rod were running a magnetic loop and although quite weak, 5/3, they were very readable as there was no man made noise on the band from the park.  Marija must have heard Park to Park, because she picked up her stride and made it back in time to log Bob and Rod.  A few QSOs later Nick called back in to log Marija.

About 8 QSOs later, Gerard VK2IO/p called in from SOTA peak Barraba Trig VK2/ HU-065 with a very nice 5/7 signal.

With 36 contacts in the log for me, and 21 contacts in the log for Marija, we decided to try the 80m band and hopefully log some VK5 stations, as it was clear that close in propagation on the 40m band was not working.  I called CQ on 3.610 and this was answered by Ivan VK5HS who was 5/7.  Ivan had tried to make contact with us earlier on 40m but we couldn’t successfully exchange signal reports.  So it was a pleasure to get Ivan in the log on 80.  Marija and I swapped the mic for our 80m contacts, and logged a total of 7 stations from VK2 and VK5.

I was now sitting on 43 contacts, just 1 short of qualifying the park for the global WWFF program, so with no further callers on 80m, we headed to 14.310 on the 20m band.  I put out 10 minutes of CQ calls and did not log a single station.  So it was back to 7.144 on 40m.  I called CQ and this was answered by Bill VK3CWF.  Bill earnt the packet of smarties, being my 44th contact.  I was then called by Peter VK3TKK/p who was activating the Bay of Islands Coastal Park VKFF-0743.  As I now had my 44 contacts I handed the mic back to Marija who logged Peter and then called CQ.

It was another 20 minutes, and Marija had picked up the remaining 15 contacts, to get over the line with 44 contacts, thus qualifying the park for the global WWFF awards.  Contact number 44 was with Mark VK3FOTO/m.

It was coming up to 12.30 p.m. local time.  We packed up and headed off to Morgan for some lunch, with our next activation being the Morgan Conservation Park.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. Vk2NP
  2. VK4ARW
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK1FWBD/p (SOTA Black Mountain VK1/ AC-042 & VKFF-0834)
  5. VK3FRAB
  6. VK3HBG
  7. VK4RF
  8. VK4HA
  9. VK4TJ
  10. VK4/AC8WN
  11. VK4/VE6XT
  12. VK2IO/m (Watagans National Park VKFF-0522)
  13. VK7JON
  14. VK3TKK/m
  15. VK3QB
  16. VK3ARH
  17. VK1AD/2 (Mount Marulan SOTA VK2/ ST-039)
  18. VK2AOR/p (Popran National Park VKFF-0417)
  19. VK2LAX/p (Popran National Park VKFF-0417)
  20. VK3ANL/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-004 & Alpine National Park VKFF-0619)
  21. VK2IO/p (SOTA Barraba Trig VK2/ HU-065)
  22. VK3TKK/p (Bay of Islands Coastal Park VKFF-0743)
  23. VK7CW
  24. VK3GGG
  25. VK3PMG
  26. VK3CWF
  27. VK3SFG
  28. VK1AT/3
  29. VK2QR
  30. VK2SWL
  31. VK4QQ
  32. VK5FD/p
  33. VK2GGA
  34. VK3ELH
  35. VK3TJC/m
  36. VK7DW
  37. VK3FOTO/m

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK5FDEC
  3. VK2AWJ
  4. VK5YX
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK5PET

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1FWBD/p (SOTA Black Mountain VK1/ AC-042 & VKFF-0834)
  2. VK2IO/m (Watagans National Park VKFF-0522)
  3. VK1AD/2 (SOTA VK2/ ST-039)
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK3TKK/m
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK3ARH
  9. VK4ARW
  10. VK2NWB
  11. VK2FADV
  12. VK7FOLK/m
  13. VK3FMPB
  14. VK4HNS
  15. VK7BC
  16. VK3ANL/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-004 & Alpine National Park VKFF-0619)
  17. VK2RH/p
  18. VK2LAX/p (Popran National Park VKFF-0417)
  19. VK2AOR/p (Popran National Park VKFF-0417)
  20. VK3QB
  21. VK5HS
  22. VK4TJ
  23. VK4/AC8WN
  24. VK4/VE6XT
  25. VK4WID
  26. VK2RI
  27. VK2IO/p (SOTA Barraba Trig VK2/ HU-065)
  28. VK2QR
  29. VK7VZ/p
  30. VK3KMH
  31. VK2KT
  32. VK3KMB/p
  33. VK2GKA
  34. VK1AT/3
  35. VK7DW
  36. VK3CWF
  37. VK3TKK/p (Bay of Islands Coastal Park VKFF-0743)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK5FDEC
  3. VK2AWJ
  4. VK5YX
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK5PET

On our way to Morgan, from the mobile, Marija and I both logged Peter VK3TKK/p who was activating the Bay of Islands Coastal Park VKFF-0743.  Peter had a strong 5/9 signal into the mobile.



Monument Australia, 2017, <http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/government—state/display/98413-corporal-william-murray-wickham-and-mounted-constable-john-dunning&gt;, viewed 27th April 2017

Government of South Australia, 2014, River Murray-South East Nature Link

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