Padthaway Conservation Park 5CP-169 and VKFF-0924

Our final trip for our trip away, on Monday 12th June 2017 was the Padthaway Conservation Park 5CP-169 & VKFF-0924.  The park is located about 287 km south east of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 10.13.32 am.png

Map showing the location of the Padthaway Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

We travelled through the little town of Padthaway which is at the centre of the Padthaway wine growing region which is 62 km long and 8 km wide, with the Riddoch Highway running through the middle.  The park is well signposted from the Highway.

DSC_7308

The park is situated just 2 km north east of the town of Padthaway.  We accessed the park via Vogelsang Road.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 9.57.51 am.png

Aerial view of the park.  Image courtesy of Google maps

The park which preserves a remnant block of native vegetation, was first proclaimed as the Padthaway National Park on 18th Match 1971.  It became the Padthaway Conservation Park on 27th April 1972.  The park consists of South Australian Blue Gum and Rough barked Manna Gum woodland, and Brown Stringybark low open forest.

More than 95 species of bird have been recorded in the park including Rainbow Lorikeet, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, Brown Thornbill, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Mallee Ringneck, Blue-winged Parrot, Fuscous Honeyeater, Black-capped Sittella, Restless Flycatcher, & Eastern Yellow Robin.

Padthaway was the name of the original pastoral station which was established near the town in 1847 by a successful Scottish businessman, Robert Lawson.  In 1882 the Padthaway Estate Homestead was built by Eliza and Robert Lawson.  In 1952 Padthaway became the centre of a soldier settlement scheme.   The first vineyards were planted in the region in 1968 and today Padthaway is a top wine-producing region.

pad1355

This was to be another unique park for both Marija and I, for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  I had activated the park back in 2014 as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.

We set up in a clearing just off a track which ran from Vogelsang Road.  We ran our normal operating equipment for this activation: the Yaesu Ft-857d (on 10w for Marija and 40w for me), and the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 10.13.18 am.png

As is normally the case when Marija and I activate parks together, Marija started off on the mic first.  Marija called CQ on 7.135 and this was answered by Jonathan VK7JON, followed by Dennis VK2HHA, Geoff VK3SQ, and Rick VK4RF/VK4HA.  It took Marija just 9 minutes to reach contact number 10, qualifying the park for VKFF.  Contact number 10 was with Bill VK2KT.  When Marija had 15 contacts in the log, we swapped the mic.

First taker for me was Gerard VK2NP, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, Lee VK2LEE, and then Mark VK3FOTO mobile.  The 40m band was in excellent condition and had certainly improved since our activation at Glen Roy.  A mini pile up soon ensued.  I had contact number 10 in the log after 9 minutes, with contact number 44 after being on air for 45 minutes.  I worked a total of 69 stations on 40m, until things started to slow down.  This included Park to Park contacts with Rob VK4AAC/2 in Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606, Stef VK5HSX/2 in the Paroo Darling National Park VKFF-0410, David VK2JDR/p in the Royal National Park VKFF-0435, and Gerard VK2IO/p in the Limeburners Creek National Park VKFF-0597.

I then headed over to 14.310 on the 20m band where I worked a total of 5 stations from VK2 and VK4.  Sadly, no DX.  To complete the activation, I called CQ on 3.610 on the 80m band.  This was answered by John Vk5BJE, then Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG, and then Geoff VK3SQ.  I logged a total of 10 stations on 80m.

Whilst activating, this little fella, a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike, showed continual interest in our activation.  He continually flew from tree to tree above our operating spot.  The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike has a very distinctive flight pattern.  It gives a few flaps of its wings, then glides with them by its side for a second or two.  During this glide, the bird loses elevation until it flaps again, giving the flight is characteristic undulating pattern.

DSC_7332

The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike who showed great interest in us.

This was another successful activation.  Marija had 19 contacts in the log, while I had 84.  This included 10 Park to Park contacts between the two of us.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7JON
  2. VK2HHA
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK2LEE
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK2GAZ
  10. VK2KT
  11. VK3ZPF
  12. VK3PNG
  13. VK2VW
  14. VK3CWF
  15. VK2NP
  16. VK4AAC/2 (Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606)
  17. VK5HSX/2 (Paroo Darling National Park VKFF-0410)
  18. VK2JDR/p (Royal National Park VKFF-0435)
  19. VK2IO/p (Limeburners Creek National Park VKFF-0597)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2NP
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK2LEE
  4. VK3FOTO
  5. VK2YK
  6. VK4AAC/2 (Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606)
  7. VK2CTB/p
  8. VK7FOLK/m
  9. VK7NWT
  10. VK2HHA
  11. VK2KT
  12. VK4RF
  13. VK4HA
  14. VK2KYO
  15. VK5KLV
  16. VK3CM
  17. VK2KDP
  18. VK1AD
  19. VK3PF
  20. VK3MVP
  21. VK4HNS
  22. VK5HSX/2 (Paroo Darling National Park VKFF-0410)
  23. VK3MCK
  24. VK3ZPF
  25. VK3NCR
  26. VK3EF
  27. VK2YX
  28. VKa1AT
  29. VK2LAX
  30. VK3ELH
  31. VK5ZEA
  32. VK3FPSR
  33. VK3TQ
  34. VK7QP
  35. VK3ANL
  36. VK5ATN
  37. VK5APV/p
  38. VK2FBJM
  39. VK4ZL
  40. VK2ALF/m
  41. VK2NEO
  42. VK4PDX
  43. VK3SFG
  44. VK3NGD/m
  45. VK3FSPG
  46. VK3MPR
  47. VK3PAT
  48. VK7FRJG
  49. VK2LX
  50. VK7ZGK
  51. VK3ZMD
  52. VK2JDR/p (Royal National Park VKFF-0435)
  53. VK2SVN
  54. VK4FADW
  55. VK4FE
  56. VK2GPT
  57. VK7ALB
  58. VK3KMH
  59. VK2MMM
  60. VK3GTS
  61. VK7VZ
  62. VK2QK
  63. VK4TJ
  64. VK3MRH
  65. VK3HN
  66. ZL1TM
  67. VK2IO/p (Limeburners Creek National Park VKFF-0597)
  68. VK3FORD
  69. VK5MA/m

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4BX
  2. VK2LEE
  3. VK4AAC/2 (Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606)
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK2IO/p (Limeburners Creek National Park VKFF-0597)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK5FANA
  6. VK3DMD
  7. VK2NP
  8. VK2LEE
  9. VK5QI
  10. VK5KDK

After packing up, we continued on our journey home, stopping off at the Riverside Hotel at Tailem Bend for tea.  Marija enjoyed a nice curry, while I had a beautiful steak and a bundy & coke or two.  It was the end of a great few days away.

IMG_0273

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/padthaway-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed 15th June 2017

Birdlife, 2017, <http://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/black-faced-cuckoo-shrike&gt;, viewed 15th June 2017

Padthaway Wine Region, 2017, <http://www.padthawaywineregion.com/&gt;, viewed 15th June 2017

Glen Roy Conservation Park 5CP-077 and VKFF-0797

Our first planned park activation for Monday 12th June 2017 was the Glen Roy Conservation Park 5CP-077 & VKFF-0797, which is located about 75 km north of Mount Gambier, and about 363 km south east of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 9.59.41 am.png

Map showing the location of the Glen Roy Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Marija and I were up early again and on the road by 7.30 a.m.  Again we headed to Subway for some breakfast and to pick up some lunch.   We then had a quick look at the Umpherston Sinkhole, a typical limestone cave that was formed by the corrosion of limestone rocks by seawater waves.  The sinkhole was naturally created when the chamber’s roof collapsed.  The Umpherston Sinkhole was made into a garden by James Umpherston in 1886.   As it was winter, many of the plants were not in flower and we were a little disapointed with the amount of rubbish that was strewn around.

We then headed out for a quick look at the Blue Lake, an extinct volcanic crater which boasts a vibrant cobalt blue colour during the months of December to March each year.  As we were in the South East in winter, the lake did not have the distinct blue colour.

We then started heading north out of Mount Gambier along the Riddoch Highway towards Glen Roy.  Just north of the Mount Gambier airport we saw a large flock of Yellow-tailed Black cockatoos.  I stopped for a bit of a photo opportunity.  The Yellow tailed Black cockatoo is a large cockatoo which is easily identifiable by its mostly black plumage, with most body feathers edged with yellow.  It has a yellow cheek patch and yellow panels on the tail.  They are listed as vulnerable in South Australia, so it was great to see so many of these amazing birds.

We then detoured into the Telford Scrub Conservation Park and took a walk along the 100 metre long boardwalk which is 4 metres above the ground in the forest.  This is definitely worth having a look at.

We then continued north on the Riddoch Highway and stopped briefly at Penola.  Penola is a beautiful little town located in the Coonawarra wine growing region.  It is known as the central location in the life of Mary MacKillop, St Mary of the Cross, the first Australian to gain Roman Catholic sainthood.  Together with the Reverend Julian Tenison Woods, she founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites), a congregation of religious sisters, that established a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia with an emphasis on education for the rural poor.

We had a look at Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, a purpose built school building which was constructed when Mary MacKillop and Rev Woods classeses outgrew a small cottage.  Work commenced in October 1866 and was completed in May 1867.

We continued along the Riddoch Highway and then turned right onto the Edenhope Road.  Soon after we took a forestry road on our left and this took us to the southern boundary of the Glen Roy Conservation Park.

The park was first proclaimed on 12 November 1970 as the Glen Roy National Park.  It was re-proclaimed as Glen Roy Conservation Park on 27 April 1972.  The park is 544 hectares in size and comprised open forests of Brown Stringybark and Pink Gum.  In the west of the park there are low lying River Red Gum woodlands.

More than 90 species of birds have been recorded in the park including Crimson Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairywren, Yellow-faced honeyeater, Eastern Yellow Robin, and Grey Fantail.  The park was certainly alive with Superb Fairywrens.  They were everywhere.

The park is home to a large amount of native wildlife including Western Grey Kangaroos, Common wombat, and the Yellow footed antichinus.

The park is named after the former Glen Roy station which was established by Scottish settlers in the area in the 1800’s.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 9.53.26 am.png

Aerial shot of the park, looking east back towards Penola.  Image courtesy of Goodle maps

Although it was overcast, the showers had held off, so we did not initially worry about rolling out the awning/annexe for the Toyota Hi Lux.  We stretched out the 80/40/20m linked dipole, and put up the fold up table and deck chair.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 9.59.26 am.png

Aerial shot of the Glen Roy Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

This was to be another unique park for both Marija and I, for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  I had activated the park back in 2014 as part of the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.  Marija kicked off the activation, tracking down Stef VK5HSX/2 on 7.140 who was activating the Paroo Darling National Park VKFF-0410.  I also logged Stef.  We then found Tony VK3XV/p on 7.135 who was activating the Broken-Boosey State Park VKFF-0752.  It was a nice way to start the activation with two Park to Park contacts.

Marija then headed down to 7.135 where she called CQ.  Rod VK7FRJG was the first taker, followed by Sergio VK3SFG and then Les VK5KLV.  It wasn’t long and Marija had her 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.

After logging 13 stations, including a further Park to Park with Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Goolawah National Park VKFF-1170, Marija and I swapped the mic.  Within 5 minutes I had my 10 contacts, qualifying the park for VKFF.  But from there on, it was very slow going on 40m.

I QSYd to 3.610 on the 80m band where I worked John VK5BJE, followed by Hans VK5YX and then Adrian VK5FANA.  There was good propagation back to Adelaide and across the Yorke Penminsula, with strong signals from John, Hans and Adrian.  I then spoke with two South East locals, Ron VK5AKJ and Col VK5HCF.

I then headed off to 20m where I called CQ on 14.310 for around 5 minutes, with absolutely no takers.  So I ventured back to 40m where I called CQ again on 7.135.  It was around this time that the rain came down, so it was a mad dash to roll out the awning on the Hi Lux.  The rain was so heavy that a number of callers mentioned they could hear the rain in the background.

I logged a further 36 stations on 40m, reaching contact number 44, two hours into the activation.  Peter VK2NEO at Leeton was my 44th contact.  Two further Park to Park contacts were logged: Ian VK1DI/2 in the Eurobodalla National Park VKFF-0164, and Mark VK5QI in the Hogwash Bend Conservation Park 5CP-092 & VKFF-0892.  Another notable contact was with Colin VK2CTB/p who was portable at Oberon, running QRP 1 watt.  Colin was an excellent 55 signal into Glen Roy.

Marija and I had both qualified the park and it was time to pack up and head off to our next activation for the day, the Padthaway Conservation Park.  Marija had15 contacts in the log, while I had 53 contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5HSX/2 (Paroo Darling National Park VKFF-0410)
  2. VK3XV/p (Broken-Boosey State Park VKFF-0752)
  3. VK7FRJG
  4. VK3SFG
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK2VW
  7. VK5NJ
  8. VK7JON
  9. VK7FOLK
  10. VK2IO/p (Goolawah National Park VKFF-1170)
  11. VK5ZEA
  12. VK4RF
  13. VK4HA
  14. VK1DI/2 (Eurobodalla National Park VKFF-0164)
  15. VK5QI/p (Hogwash Bend Conservation Park 5CP-092 & VKFF-0892)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5HSX/2 (Paroo Darling National Park VKFF-0410)
  2. VK3XV/p (Broken-Boosey State Park VKFF-0752)
  3. VK2IO/p (Goolawah National Park VKFF-1170)
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK4RF
  6. VK4HA
  7. VK2KYO
  8. VK5KLV
  9. VK4TJ
  10. VK3PF
  11. VK2NP
  12. VK3NXT
  13. VK2YK
  14. VK2HHA
  15. VK1DI/2 (Eurobodalla National Park VKFF-0164)
  16. VK5FBJC
  17. VK3ZPF
  18. VK5QI/p (Hogwash Bend Conservation Park 5CP-092 & VKFF-0892)
  19. VK3FOTO/m
  20. VK7BC
  21. VK2LX
  22. VK3DBP
  23. VK3SFG
  24. VK3MCK
  25. VK3VKT/m
  26. VK5FANA
  27. VK3NCR
  28. VK3GGG
  29. VK3PMG
  30. VK3KRH
  31. VK7FRJG
  32. VK7JON/m
  33. VK7FOLK/m
  34. VK2HPN
  35. VK1AT
  36. VK2CTB/p
  37. VK3MAB
  38. VK5MRE
  39. VK2NEO
  40. VK5ATN
  41. VK3KMH
  42. VK3CWF
  43. VK7QP
  44. VK5NJ
  45. VK7EE
  46. VK7PRN
  47. VK7JON
  48. VK5FGFK

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5YX
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5AKJ
  5. VK5HCF

After leaving the park we continued along the Riddoch Highway and stopped in briefly to Father Woods Park.  The park was established on land donated to the Archdiocese of Adelaide by Mr Jack Gartner as a memorial in recognition of the work done by Father Julian Edmund Tenison Woods.  Chainsaw sculptor Kevin Gilders transformed pine tree trunks into a series of sculptures depicting Woods as a bush priest, good citizen, scientist and explorer, founder and educator. On 23 May Archbishop Philip Wilson blessed the sculptures and re-dedicated the park as a place of pilgrimage, prayer and contemplation.

 

References

Birdlife Australia, 2017, <http://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/Yellow-tailed-Black-Cockatoo&gt;, viewed 15th June 2017

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/glen-roy-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed 15th June 2017

Mary MacKillop Penola Centre, 2017, <http://www.mackilloppenola.org.au/memorialpark/dsp-default.cfm?loadref=147&gt;, viewed 15th June 2017

Mount Gambier Point, 2017, <http://www.mountgambierpoint.com.au/attractions/caves/umpherston-sinkhole/&gt;, viewed 15th June 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_MacKillop&gt;, viewed 15th June 2017