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.



Birdlife Australia, 2017, <;, viewed 15th June 2017

Birds SA, 2017, <;, viewed 15th June 2017

Mary MacKillop Penola Centre, 2017, <;, viewed 15th June 2017

Mount Gambier Point, 2017, <;, viewed 15th June 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <;, viewed 15th June 2017

4 thoughts on “Glen Roy Conservation Park 5CP-077 and VKFF-0797

  1. Hi Paul, the sculptures are impressive! I wonder what the locals have done to preserve the timber?
    Thanks for the contact on 80m.
    John D

  2. G’day John,

    Fortunately they have not come under attack from vandals, or not that I am aware of anyway and are a real tourist attraction. The whole history of Father Woods and Mary MacKillop is certainly very interesting.


    Paul VK5PAS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s