Lower Glenelg National Park VKFF-0296

After packing up at the Lower Glenelg Conservation Park, Marija and I drove around 600 metres back down Moores Track and across the State border into Victoria.  Our next activation was to be the Lower Glenelg National Park VKFF-0296.  We had not initially planned to activate this park, but rather the Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation park.  But we decided to activate Lower Glenelg National Park instead, as it was a new Shire for the Hunters for the VK Shires Contest.

The park is located about 420 km from Melbourne and about 490 km from Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.35.39 pm.png

Map showing the location of the Lower Glenelg National Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Lower Glenelg National Park is a large park.  It is 27,300 hectares (67,000 acres) in size.  The central feature of the park is the Glenelg River.  A spectacular gorge has been carved by the river along the last part of its winding 400 km path to the Southern Ocean.  Stretching 15km along the lower reaches of the river, the Glenelg River limestone Gorge has cliffs up to 50m in places.  The Princess Margaret Rose Cave is also located within the park.  It is often referred to as the ‘jewell in the crown’ of the park.

The park protects over 700 species of native plants.  The heath and fringing forest areas have over 50 species of orchids, while the tributaries of Moleside Creek support the most westerly tree-fern gullies in Australia.

Lower Glenelg National Park abuts the Cobboboonee National Park in the east and the South Australian border in the west.  To the south lies the Discovery Bay Coastal Park which is adjacent to the Southern Ocean.

Numerous native animals can be found in the park including Eastern Grey kangaroos, Red-necked wallabies, Brush-tail possums, koalas and echidnas.  In the more remote and undisturbed areas, rare animals such as Heath Rats, Swamp Antechinus and Potoroos can be found. Small colonies of Wombats inhabit the park, the only remnants of a once widespread population in the south west region of Victoria.

We set up in a clearing just off Moores Track.  As the weather had cleared a little, we initially didn’t roll out the awning.  But we had allowed for sufficient room to the side of the Toyota Hi Lux should the need arise.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.35.19 pm.png

Map of the park, showing our operating spot at the western end of the park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Once again Marija kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.095.  This was to be a unique park as an activator for Marija for both the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program and the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award.  First in the log was Matt VK1MA, followed by Al VK7AN, and then VK3WMM/p.  Callers were a combinations of participants for the VK Shires Contest and the WWFF program and KRMNPA.  In just over 10 minutes Marija had 10 contacts in the log, thus qualifying the park for both VKFF & KRMNPA.  We then swapped the mic.

I logged a total of 25 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  This included a Park to Park contact with Tony VK3XV/p who was activating the Barmah National Park VKFF-0739.  Marija also logged Tony.

Marija then jumped back on air again, logging a further 34 stations from VK2, VK3, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  This included 3 Park to Park contacts: Gordon VK5GY/p who was in the Pandappa Conservation Park 5CP-170 & VKFF-1131, Gerard VK2JNG/3 in Gunbower National Park VKFF-0740, and Stef VK5HSX/2 in the Paroo Darling National Park VKFF-0410.  I also logged these stations Park to Park.

Just before 2.00 p.m. Victorian local time I picked up the mic again and logged a total of 30 stations.  This included Park to Park contacts with John VK3CU/p and VK3LT who were portable in the Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556, and Peter VK3ZPF/p who was activated the Werribee Gorge State Park VKFF-0774.

DSC_7212

Sadly the sun didn’t stay out for long and we were forced to put out the annexe on the Hi Lux, as the showers became quite persistent and heavy.

To complete the activation we had a quick scan around the 40m band, picking up a few more contacts for the VK Shires Contest, and a few more Park to Park contacts including Ian VK1DI/p who was activating the Batemans Marine Park VKFF-1406, and Adam VK2YK/p who was portable in the Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606.

It was now approaching 3.30 p.m. local time and we decided we had played radio for long enough during the day.  It was time to head back to Mount Gambier and freshen up before the evening dinner as part of the South East Radio Group (SERG) Convention.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1MA
  2. VK7AN
  3. VK3WMM/p
  4. VK2HHA
  5. VK5FANA
  6. VK3GC
  7. VK3BBB
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK3HAK
  10. VK3TNL
  11. VK3XV/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  12. VK3NLK
  13. VK7TW
  14. VK5HSX/m
  15. VK3MRG/p
  16. VK7PRN
  17. VK2SOL
  18. VK5GY/p (Pandappa Conservation Park 5CP-170 & VKFF-1131)
  19. VK2JNG/3 (Gunbower National Park VKFF-0740)
  20. VK3MRH
  21. VK2MT/p
  22. VK5PL
  23. VK3ZO
  24. VK3SIM
  25. VK2TCL
  26. VK2NSW
  27. VK5UE
  28. VK5HSX/2 (Darling National Park VKFF-0410)
  29. VK5FBJC
  30. VK3FRAB
  31. VK3FRAD
  32. VK3VH
  33. VK5AFZ
  34. VK3OHM
  35. VK5BJE
  36. VK2VVV
  37. VK3LED
  38. VK2UH
  39. VK3PTE
  40. VK5MBD
  41. VK5KLV
  42. VK2MTM
  43. VK6MN
  44. VK5DP
  45. VK4TJ
  46. VK3CU/p (Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  47. VK3LT/p (Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  48. VK3ZPF/p (Werribee Gorge State Park VKFF-0774)
  49. VK4RF
  50. VK4HA
  51. VK1DI/p (Batemans Marine Park VKFF-1406)
  52. VK2YK/p (Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3FDAP/p
  2. VK2VVV
  3. VK7PRN
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK1MA
  7. VK2PAW
  8. VK2BFC
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK2SK
  11. VK7EK
  12. VK2NEO
  13. VK2VU
  14. VK5FMWW
  15. VK7JGD
  16. VK3GC
  17. VK3HAK
  18. VK3VIN
  19. VK3SQ
  20. VK3XV/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  21. VK3MRG/p
  22. VK3CWF
  23. VK2HHA
  24. VK3NLK
  25. VK2MMM
  26. VK5GY/p (Pandappa Conservation Park 5CP-170 & VKFF-1131)
  27. VK2JNG/3 (Gunbower National Park VKFF-0740)
  28. VK5HSX/2 (Paroo Darling National Park VKFF-0410)
  29. VK5MBD
  30. VK2HRX
  31. VK7FRJG
  32. VK1AT
  33. VK7JON
  34. VK5KLV
  35. VK7MPR
  36. ZL2AYZ
  37. VK4TJ
  38. VK4AAC/2
  39. VK3ZO
  40. VK7DW
  41. VK3GGG/p
  42. VK3PMG/p
  43. VK2VAE
  44. VK3CU/p (Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  45. VK3LT/p (Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  46. VK3ZPF/p (Werribee Gorge State Park VKFF-0774)
  47. VK3NXT
  48. VK2LEE
  49. VK2KYO
  50. VK5ATN
  51. VK2NP
  52. VK5FAKV
  53. VK7FOLK
  54. VK2WFT
  55. VK3ZZS/p
  56. VK2IB
  57. VK5KKT
  58. VK1AL
  59. VK2KDP
  60. VK1DI/p (Batemans Marine Park VKFF-1406)
  61. VK2YK/p (Sea Acres National Park VKFF-0606)
  62. VK2TTL

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK4AS

After packing up we headed back into Mount Gambier where we picked up a bottle of red and then headed back to the motel to freshen up.

SERG_LOGO_sml_shad

We enjoyed a fantastic night at the SERG Convention dinner.  We shared a table with my good mate John VK5NJ and his wife Tanina, and Tony VK5ZAI and his wife Jill.  Marija and I even drew the first winning raffle ticket, winning a little BaoFeng hand helf tx.  I can highly recommend the SERG Convention to anyone who has not been before.

 

References

Parks Victoria, 2017, <http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/lower-glenelg-national-park&gt;, viewed 14th June 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Glenelg_National_Park&gt;, viewed 14th June 2017

Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park 5CP-122 and VKFF-0905

Our first planned activation for Sunday 11th June 2017 was the Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park 5CP-122 & VKFF-0905.  The park is located about 31 km south east of Mount Gambier, and about 465 km south east of Adelaide, in the south east corner of South Australia.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.27.45 pm.png

Map showing the location of the Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The park is located right on the South Australian/Victorian State border.  Access to the park from the South Australian side can only be made via boat.  Or you can access the park via a a 4WD track from the Victorian side which is what Marija and I did.

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 4.58.41 pm.png

Aerial shot showing the Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park on the SA/VIC border, and the adjacent Lower Glenelg National Park in Victoria.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The map below shows our route.  We travelled south east out of Mount Gambier down towards the South Australian/Victorian border.  It was a cold morning with quite a bit of drizzle.  It wasn’t looking good for the activation.

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 5.29.06 pm.png

Our route to the park.  Map courtesy of plotaroute.com

Marija and I made a quick detour off the Glenelg River Road, down Donovans Road, into the little town of Donovans which is situated on the banks of the beautiful Glenelg River.  The area was originally known as Donovans Landing, and was owned by, and named after Thomas John Donovan.   He was famous due to him shooting the Tantanoola Tiger, a ‘phantom cat’, which is now preserved in the Tantanoola Hotel.

In 1884 a Bengal Tiger is purported to have escaped from a travelling circus in the South East.  A search was mounted, however the tiger was never located.  There were however, over the next few years, numerous reports of missing sheep in the area, with many suggesting that the tiger was responsible.  Eleven years later, Donovan saw what he thought was the tiger in a paddock, with a sheep in its jaws.  Donovan subsequently shot and killed the animal which turned out to be a Eurasian Wolf.  It is believed that the wolf was a stowaway on board a boat shipwrecked off the coast and somehow made it to shore.  A very interesting tale indeed.

There are some nice views here to be had of the Glenelg River.  The river rises in the Grampian Ranges in western Victoria and flows generally north, then west, then south, for over 350 km.  This makes it the longest river in south west Victoria and the third longest river overall.  A short stretch of the lower end of the river winds through South Eastern South Australia before returning to Victoria to enter Discovery Bay at Nelson.

The river was named after Colonial Secretary Baron Glenelg, Charles Grant (1778-1866), by Major Thomas Mitchell in August 1836.  Grant was a Scottish politician and colonial administrator.

Lord-glenelg

Charles Grant, 1st Baron Glenelg

From Donovans we made the short trip to the South Australian/Victorian State border.  There is an information board here marking the survey of the border.  The boundary between South Australia and Victoria, formerly the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, was marked from the shores of the Southern Ocean to the south bank of the River Murray between 1847 and 1850.

There was also a sign here indicating that we were entering into the Glenelg Shire.  A new shire for us to activate for the VK Shires Contest.

DSC_7229.jpg

We then drove into the little town of Nelson.  This is a small fishing village with a population of around 250 people.  It is located at the mouth of the Glenelg River.  In January 1852 the name of Nelson was adopted for the settlement, after the ship Lady Nelson, which was used by Lieutenant James Grant in explorations of the area in the early 1800’s.

We drove north out of Nelson on the North Nelson Road.  We soon reached the junction with Forest Road and the start of the Lower Glenelg National Park.  We then turned left onto Moores Track and travelled west through the Lower Glenelg National Park in Victoria.

Just after we turned into Moores Track we could see a tree down across the track ahead of us.  Fortunately someone had cut most of it up with a chainsaw, and there was sufficient room for us to pass.

DSC_7220

Morres Track was generally in good condition except for one spot which is shown in the photo below.  It didn’t look much, but the puddle was about 1.5 feet deep and very boggy, but we made it through in the Toyoa Hi Lux without any issues.

DSC_7189

For the remainder of the trip along Moores Track it was clear driving, but slow.  The park was absolutely alive with kangaroos who often darted out in front of us.

DSC_7190

When we reached the right hand turn dog leg on Moores Track, we had reached the State border.

DSC_7208

Marija at the dog leg and the State border

We travelled a little further up Moores Track until we reached the junction with McHughs Track.  There was a Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park sign here.

We decided to travel west down McHughs Track to see if it would take us down to the river.  It was slow going as it was quite overgrown.  Take note, there are no turn around areas, or places to pull off, until you get to the very end of the track.

DSC_7194

Unfortunately there were no places to set up once we got to the end of the track, as the scrub is just too thick.  However, it was worth the drive down, as we were rewarded with some nice views of the Glenelg River, despite the fog.

We returned to the junction of Moores Track and McHughs Track and set up.  As it was still drizzling with rain, Marija and I set up underneath the annexe of the Toyota Hi Lux.  We ran the Yaesu FT-857d for this activation, along with the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 7.30.03 pm.png

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

 

The Lower Glenelg Conservation Park is 127 hectares in size, and was dedicated in 1993 for the conservation of important vegetation associations and species.  It is an extension of Victoria’s Lower Glenelg National Park, which adjoins it on the eastern boundary.  The Glenelg River forms the western boundary of the park.  The Park contains an endangered vegetation association (Swamp Gum woodland) and several endangered plant species.  Two of the endangered species include the Slender Greenhood and Shining Buttercup.

The Great South West Walk (250 kilometres of walking trail) passes through the Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park.

The Park provides habitat for a variety of threatened fauna species including the Rufous Bristlebird, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Peregrine Falcon, Azure Kingfisher, Heath Mouse, and Red-necked Wallaby.

This was to be a unique park for both Marija and I, for both the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program and the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.  Marija kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.144.  It was a slow start, with around 3 minutes of calls going unanswered.  I had spotty phone coverage but was eventually able to spot Marija, with her first caller following very soon after.  Peter VK3PTE was first in the log, followed by Glen VK2VVV, and then Rick VK4RF/VK4HA.

The WIA broadcast kicked off soon after on 7.146, so we QSY’d down the band to 7.095.  Marija soon had 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for her for VKFF.  After logging 12 contacts, Marija was happy to hand the mic to me.  Included in her 12 contacts was a Park to Park QSO with Tony VK3XV/p who was activating the Barmah National Park VKFF-0739.

I then jumped on the mic and called CQ on 7.095.  My CQ call was answered by Peter VK3PF, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, Greg VK2EXA, and then Adrian VK5FANA.  Within 10 minutes I had contact number 10, with VK4AAC/2, in the log, and the park qualified for VKFF.  I logged 21 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5, before heading over to 3.610 on the 80m band.

I there logged John VK5BJE from the Adelaide Hills with a good 5/5 signal.  Sadly, John was my only contact on 80m.  I then QSYd back to 7.095 hoping to pick up a few more contacts on my quest to 44 contacts to qualify the park for WWFF.  Within another 40 minutes, I had contact number 44 in the log.  It was Graham VK7ZGK with a thumping 5/9 plus signal from Tasmania.

All up I made a total of 51 contacts on 40m and 80m, with a number of contacts made for the VK Shires Contest.  I had one Park to Park contact, that being with Tony VK3XV/p in the Barmah National Park VKFF-0739.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PTE
  2. VK2VVV
  3. VK4RF
  4. VK4HA
  5. VK2AB
  6. VK4AAC/2
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK4RF (after the UTC rollover)
  9. VK4HA (after the UTC rollover)
  10. VK1AT
  11. VK2VW
  12. VK3SQ
  13. VK3WMM/p
  14. VK3XV/p (Barmah National ParkVKFF-0739)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK2EXA
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK2AB
  6. VK4RF
  7. VK4HA
  8. VK3HBG
  9. VK4TAA
  10. VK4AAC/2
  11. VK2EMI
  12. VK1MA
  13. VK1AT
  14. VK5KLV
  15. VK2KYO
  16. VK2OA
  17. VK5LOL
  18. VK1HW
  19. VK2NP
  20. VK3MCK
  21. VK5HSX/2
  22. VK2ESG
  23. VK3LM
  24. VK5MBD
  25. VK3KAI
  26. VK3GV
  27. VK4TJ
  28. VK4/AC8WN
  29. VK4/VE6XT
  30. VK2HHA
  31. VK7JGD
  32. VK5NJ
  33. VK3CM
  34. VK3MRG/p
  35. VK2TCL
  36. VK3XV/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  37. VK5MA/p
  38. VK2XXM
  39. VK7EE
  40. VK2UH
  41. VK5PL
  42. VK5BJE
  43. VK7ZGK
  44. VK6MN
  45. VK5DT
  46. VK3CBP
  47. VK7PAL
  48. VK3ZLD
  49. VK3BBB
  50. VK3MAB

I worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE

 

References.

Government of South Australia, 2000, Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park Management Plan.

State Library South Australia, 2017, <http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=276&gt;, viewed 14th June 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenelg_River_(Victoria)&gt;, viewed 14th June 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Grant,_1st_Baron_Glenelg&gt;, viewed 14th June 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson,_Victoria&gt;, viewed 14th June 2017

Telford Scrub Conservation Park 5CP-226 and VKFF-0805 and the VK Shires Contest

After leaving the SERG Convention, Marija and I decided to head out to the Telford Scrub Conservation Park 5CP-226 & VKFF-0805 for a few hours for the VK Shires Contest which had commenced at 0600 UTC that day (3.30 p.m. South Australian local time).  Telford Scrub is just 15 km north of Mount Gambier, just off the Riddoch Highway.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 7.30.33 pm.png

Map showing the location of the Telford Scrub Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Telford Scrub is 175 hectares in size and was first proclaimed on 12th March 1987.  The park features a 100 metre long boardwalk which takes you along the forest canopy about 4 metres off the ground.  There are various interpretive signs along the way.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 7.26.03 pm.png

Aerial shot, showing the park, with Mount Gambier in the background.  Image courtesy of Google maps

The park supports four major vegetation types:  Brown Stringybark open woodland, Brown Stringybark/Rough-barked Manna Gum open woodland, Swamp Gum open woodland; and low open shrubland.  More than 20 species of native orchid can be found in the park.

DSC_7175 (1).jpg

About 117 species of bird have been recorded in the park including the Crimson Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, White-browned Scrubwomen, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Satin Flycatcher, and Southern Boobook.  During our visit, a vehicle arrived in the carpark.  It was a gentleman about to head off on a night walk through the park to photograph owls and Tawny Fromouths.  It is truly amazing who you meet when you visit these parks.

A large amount of native wildlife can be found in the park including Western Grey kangaroos and koalas.The vulnerable Southern Brown Bandicoot and the endangered Sugar Glider can also be found.

Below is a great video of a Sugar Glider in flight.

Marija and I set up in the carpark off Grundys Lane.  We were all set up and ready to go by around 0710 UTC (4.40 p.m. South Australian local time).

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 7.30.08 pm.png

Aerial shot of the park showing our operating spot in the southern section of the park.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

There was plenty of room here to string out the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

DSC_7170

Telford Scrub is located in the District Council of Grant (GD5 for the VK Shires Contest).  It is quite strange how it works down in the South East.  The town of Mount Gambier comes under the City of Mount Gambier Council, whilst the land around it is the District Council of Grant.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 8.28.00 pm.png

Map showing the Grant Council area surrounding the town of Mount Gambier, and our operating spot at Telford Scrub.

I started off on 7.115 on the 40m band.  The band was quite busy with stations calling ‘CQ Contest’.  My first station worked was Andrew VK2UH, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, and then Hans VK6XN who was operating portable in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park VKFF-1454.  I logged a total of 52 stations including another Park to Park contact, this time with Phil VK6ADF/p who was in Lesueur National Park VKFF-0285.

DSC_7172

The 40m band had slowed a little, so I headed to the 80m band.  We found Tony VK3XV/p calling CQ on 3.610 from the Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630.  We both logged Tony, and I then moved down to 3.605 and started calling ‘CQ Contest’.  I logged 12 stations before swapping the mic with Marija.

Marija wasn’t real keen on the contesting, but wanted to qualify the park with 10 QSOs for the VKFF program.  She soon reached that total in around 10 minutes, with contact number 10 being Michael VK3LM.

DSC_7178

I then took charge of the mic again and logged an additional 15 stations on 80m including Bill ZL2AYZ in Blenhiem in New Zealand.  Marija and I swapped the mic so she could log our good friend Ivan VK5HS when he called in, and also Bill in New Zealand.  To finish off the activation, Marija logged a handful of stations after tuning across the 80m band.

Marija had a total of 15 stations in the log from VK2, VK3, VK5, and New Zealand, all on the 80m band.  I had a total of 80 stations in the log on the 40m and 80m bands.  It was time to head back into Mount Gambier for some dinner, with the local time being just after 7.00 p.m. local time.

I had logged 61 different shires for the contest:

  1. AC2
  2. AC5
  3. BB3
  4. BC3
  5. BL2
  6. BN4
  7. BU7
  8. CB2
  9. CK2
  10. CN2
  11. CO6
  12. CS3
  13. CW6
  14. DG4
  15. DN6
  16. FC3
  17. FC4
  18. GB3
  19. GD5
  20. GG3
  21. GS7
  22. HC7
  23. HI2
  24. IP4
  25. IS3
  26. KH7
  27. KY2
  28. LC3
  29. LE2
  30. LS3
  31. LV4
  32. MD5
  33. MG3
  34. MM3
  35. MO3
  36. MP3
  37. MZ3
  38. NA2
  39. NC2
  40. NS3
  41. OC5
  42. QP2
  43. RP5
  44. RM6
  45. RX5
  46. SB4
  47. SG3
  48. UA2
  49. UH2
  50. UL2
  51. WD2
  52. WH3
  53. WO2
  54. WR3
  55. WV2
  56. WW2
  57. WW7
  58. WY3
  59. YP5
  60. YV2
  61. YV3

We headed to Fasta Pasta, and while Marija was inside ordering, I made a total of 6 contacts on 40m and 80m from the vehicle.  This time in the Mount Gambier Council area (MG5 for the VK Shires Contest).

We then headed back to the motel room for dinner.

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3XV/p (Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630)
  2. VK3GH
  3. VK3FSLG
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK3FAAJ
  6. VK3SQ
  7. VK3ER
  8. VK3WMM/p
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK3LM
  11. VK5HS
  12. ZL2AYZ
  13. VK3C
  14. VK5KBJ
  15. VK2YW/p

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2UH
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK6XN/p (Shoalwater Islands Marine Park VKFF-1454)
  4. VK2NEO
  5. VK2KDP
  6. VK4QQ
  7. VK2BBQ/p
  8. VK2KJJ
  9. VK2KT
  10. VK5FANA
  11. ZL2AYZ
  12. VK2TCL
  13. VK4NH
  14. VK3OHM
  15. VK2LEE
  16. VK2YW/p
  17. VK7JGD
  18. VK4FMAX
  19. VK3PI
  20. VK2SR
  21. VK5KPR
  22. VK5NJ
  23. VK2MTM
  24. VK2VVV
  25. VK2NSS
  26. VK3GYH/p
  27. VK7ZGK
  28. VK3NLK
  29. VK3ARH
  30. VK3MRG
  31. VK3TNL
  32. VK2PHL
  33. VK2PAW
  34. VK3GC
  35. VK4FE
  36. VK7JON
  37. VK3FPSR
  38. VK2ND
  39. VK3JP
  40. VK2NSW
  41. VK2MT/p
  42. VK6ADF/p (Lesueur National Park VKFF-0285)
  43. VK7DW
  44. VK3GTS
  45. VK2QH
  46. VK3WMM/p
  47. VK2QK
  48. VK6FBOS
  49. VK2VOL
  50. VK4SMA
  51. VK5MR
  52. VK2GGA

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3XV/p (Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630)
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK5KBJ
  4. VK2YW/p
  5. VK2BFC
  6. VK3LDB
  7. VK3VKT
  8. VK5FANA
  9. VK3WMM/p
  10. VK3LM/p
  11. VK2ARL
  12. VK7GG
  13. VK2GGA
  14. VK3PF
  15. VK3GH
  16. VK5PO
  17. VK5HS
  18. VK3OHM
  19. VK3LM/p
  20. VK3CWF
  21. VK3FSPG
  22. VK3NXT
  23. VK3GC
  24. VK6VCK/p
  25. VK3CWM
  26. ZL2AYZ
  27. VK3ER
  28. VK4QH

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/telford-scrub-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed 13th June 2017

National Parks South Australia, 2017, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Limestone_Coast/telford-scrub-conservation-park&gt;, viewed 13th June 2017

Douglas Point Conservation Park 5CP-057 and VKFF-0795

Our second activation for Saturday 10th June 2017 was the Douglas Point Conservation Park 5CP-057 and VKFF-0795.  The park is situated and about 42 km south (by road) of Mount Gambier and about 470 km south east of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 1.44.56 pm.png

Map showing the location of the Douglas Point Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Douglas Point Conservation Park is 31 hectares in size and was proclaimed on 8th May 1997 to protect the state endangered and nationally vulnerable plant species, Sand Ixodia.  Douglas Point is the only reserve in Australia containing this plant.  In addition to this, the Park is a significant refuge for two plant species of conservation significance.

The habitats of the Douglas Point Conservation Park vary from exposed cliff top to coastal heath, principally Coastal Wattle / Coastal Beard-heath scrubland.

The Park is located within the traditional lands of the Boandik people.  The remains of scattered middens are evidence of Aboriginal habitation in the past.

The exact origins of the name, Cape Douglas, are unknown.  Lieutenant James Grant sailed through the area on the Lady Nelson in December 1800 and named several features including Cape Northumberland.  On the 5th of April 1802, the French navigator Nicholas Baudin passed Cape Northumberland in his ship the ‘Geographe’ whilst travelling west along the coast.  Baudin subsequently met Matthew Flinders, who was travelling from the west to east, in Encounter Bay.  Later in 1802 Matthew Flinders charted the area on the Investigator, with crew including boatswain Charles Douglas. Captain William Bloomfield Douglas helped Captain Benjamin Germain chart the waters around Cape Northumberland and Port MacDonnell in 1860.  It is possible that Cape Douglas was named during one of these exercises.

William_Bloomfield_Douglas.jpg

William Bloomfield Douglas.  Image courtesy of wikipedia

The park is home to over 60 species of bird.  A total of those are of conservation significance including the Rufous Bristlebird and the Beautiful Firetail, and also the nationally endangered Orange-bellied Parrot.

During our visit to the park we spotted a Crested Tern and a Nakeen kestrel (I think).

Recreational activities undertaken in the Park include bush-walking, surfing, diving, fishing and 4WDriving.

Just outside of the park on the Cape Douglas Road, you can view an interpretive sign regarding the Admella, a passenger steamship which was shipwrecked on a submerged reef off the coast of nearby Carpenter Rocks.

DSC_7164

It was during the early hours of Saturday 6 August 1859 that the ship struck the reef, resulting in survivors clinging to the wreck for over a week.  Many took days to die as they glimpsed the land from the sea and watched as one rescue attempt after another failed.  With the loss of 89 lives, mostly due to cold and exposure, it is one of the worst maritime disasters in Australian history.   It remains the greatest loss of life in the history of European settlement in South Australia.  Of the 113 on board 24 survived, including only one woman, Bridget Ledwith.  Of the 89 dead, 14 were children.

Admella_painting.jpg

SS Admella.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The GPS showed that we had a short 20 minute drive to get to the park.  WRONG!.  It took us to a carpark at the end of Pelican Point Road at Blackfellows Caves.  There was no access to the park via the coastal road as the GPS indicated.  So we headed inland and eventually reached the park via Cape Douglas Road.

DSC_7135

There weren’t too many operating options here.  It is very exposed to the ocean as you are above some clifftops overlooking the ocean.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 1.44.28 pm.png

Aerial view of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

There is a 4WD track leading further into the park.  And it is definitely 4WD.  It is extremely rocky and then sandy.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 1.46.35 pm

Aerial shot of Douglas Point Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Google maps 

For this activation we ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 80/40/20 m linked dipole, supported on the 7m heavy duty squid pole.  It took some belts of the hammer to drive the squid pole holder into the ground, as the ground was very rocky.

DSC_7160

The rugged coastline of Douglas Point provided some great views along the coast and out across the Southern Ocean.  Fortunately there was only a gentle breeze blowing and the rain was holding off.

There were also some nice views back out to Umpherstone Bay and back to Mount Gambier.  Centennary Tower in Mount Gambier and Mount Schank were clearly visible in the distance.

This was to be another unique park for both Marija and I, for both the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program and the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.  Marija started off the activation calling CQ on 7.144.  It didn’t take long and Marija had her first caller in the log, Geoff VK3SQ in norther eastern Victoria.  This was followed by Greg VK2EXA, Andy VK3AJA, and then Paul VK3AFB.  Marija had qualified the park for VKFF, with 10 contacts in the log within 10 minutes.  After logging 11 stations, Marija was happy to hand over the mic.

I then called CQ on 7.144 which was answered by Peter VK3PF, followed by Don VK3MCK, and then Craig VK3NCR.  Mike VK5FMWW then called in and although being quite low was readable in the park.  Sadly Mike was struggling with noise at his end and we couldn’t quite complete the contact with a valid signal report exchange.  Contact number 10 for me, qualifying the park for VKFF, was with Greg VK2MTC in Cooma.

I had reached contact number 40 on 40m within one hour.  I still needed another 4 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  As things had slowed a little on 40m I headed off to 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged 4 stations from VK2, VK4 and VK4.  Contact number 44 was with Allen VK3ARH whose signal was very low.  But as there was no noise in the park, and Allen was suffering from a low noise floor at his end, we were able to comfortably log the QSO.

To finish the activation I headed off to 3.610 on the 80m band.  Allen VK3ARH (signing as VK3HRA) had followed me down and was first in the log.  I logged only one further contact, that being with Ken VK2KYO.  Cliff VK2NP also tried, but although readable in the park, Cliff was unable to hear me above his noise floor.

With 11 contacts in the log for Marija, and 46 for me, it was time to pack up and head back into Mount Gambier.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK2EXA
  3. VK3AJA
  4. VK3AFG
  5. VK7DW
  6. VK3ELH
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. VK5FMWW
  11. VK7FOLK

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3MCK
  3. VK3NCR
  4. VK2EXA
  5. VK3SFG
  6. VK3OHM
  7. VK3AFB
  8. VK3AWG
  9. VK2YS/4
  10. VK2MTC
  11. VK3SQ
  12. VK2NP
  13. VK2HHA
  14. VK7DW
  15. VK3BBB
  16. VK4TJ
  17. VK4/AC8WN
  18. VK4/VE6XT
  19. VK3FRC
  20. VK5IS
  21. VK7GG
  22. VK7AN
  23. VK3ELH
  24. VK2KYO
  25. VK2TCL
  26. VK3PTE
  27. VK2VW
  28. VK3FDAP/p
  29. VK5HSX/2
  30. VK7JON
  31. VK5MBD
  32. VK7FOLK
  33. VK4RF
  34. VK4HA
  35. VK7EE
  36. VK3ZZS/p
  37. VK2UH
  38. VK2FRJH/m
  39. VK6VRO

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4FI
  2. VK2NP
  3. VK2IO/m
  4. VK4AAC/2
  5. VK3ARH

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3HRA
  2. VK2KYO

At the end of the activation Marija and I headed in to Mount Gambier and the Scout Hall for the SERG Convention.  It was great to catch up with a lot of familiar faces.  I also had a browse through the buy and sell.  My only purchase for the day, much to Marija’s pleasure, was a cup of coffee.

 

References.

Department for Environment and Heritage, May 2003, Douglas Point Conservation Park Management Plan.

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Admella&gt;, viewed 13th June 2017

Bucks Lake Game Reserve VKFF-1690

Marija and I both finished work early on Friday 9th June 2017 and then packed the Hi Lux and headed south east for Mount Gambier.  We had planned to stay at Mount Gambier for 3 nights, and attend the annual convention/buy and sell/fox hunting championships hosted by the South East Radio Group (SERG).

This was a 400 km journey for us from our home in the Adelaide Hills.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 12.28.08 pm.png

Map showing our route down to Mount Gambier from the Adelaide Hills.

Along the way we stopped briefly for a bite to eat and a drink at Coonalpyn.  The silos there have recently been the subject of some great artwork by Guido van Helten.  I had viewed this during a recent interstate trip, but this was the first time Marija had viewed this very impressive artwork.

We also had a quick look at Coonalyn Tunnel Vision, which was originally developed in 1995 to brighten up the railway pedestrian underpass with local art.

We then continued on to Mount Gambier, arriving just after 6.00 p.m. local time.  After booking in to our motel, the Tower Motor Inn, we headed out for tea at Jens Hotel at Mount Gambier, where we enjoyed a very nice meal.  It was then back to the motel room to watch a very nice win by the Adelaide Crows football team.

Our first activation for the trip away was on Saturday 10th June 2017 and was at the Bucks Lake Game Reserve VKFF-1690 which is located about 40 km south west of Mount Gambier, and about 440 km south east of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 10.18.10 am.png

Map showing the location of the Bucks Lake Game Reserve in the South East region of South Australia.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Bucks Lake Game Reserve is 138 hectares in size and consists of near pristine seasonally-inundated coastal wetland.  It is located at the southern end of Lake Bonney which was the primary source of water to  Bucks Lake.  Due to influences by man, the water level of Lake Bonney has descreased, resulting in Bucks Lake and other wetlands near Lake Bonney, becoming degraded from the lack of water supply.

The reserve was originally created as a National Park in 1968 under the National Parks Act 1966 and was re-proclaimed as a game reserve under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 for the purpose of the conservation of wildlife and management of game.

Hunting is allowed in the Reserve during a proclaimed open season with hunters requiring to have an ‘endorsed hunting permit’ and only to harvest maximum numbers of specific species.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 10.37.39 am.png

Aerial shot showing the Bucks Lake Game Reserve with Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park in the foreground.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The reserve protects habitat for important fauna species such as the state endangered Swamp Antechinus and the Southern Bush Rat.  The Swamp Antechinus is a small carnivorous marsupial which has a very scattered distribution on the Australian mainland, limited to small pockets in South Eastern South Australia and south western Victoria.  It is also found in Tasmania.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 11.31.20 am.png

Swamp Antechinus.  Image courtesy of Nature Glenelg Trust

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 11.31.25 am.png

Map showing the habitat of Swamp Antechinus.  Image courtesy of Nature Glenelg Trust

Marija and I were on the road by 7.30 a.m.  We made a quick detour to the local Subway where we purchased some lunch and also a bacon & egg roll for breakfast.  We then headed south west out of Mount Gambier on the Carpenter Rocks Road.  This is kangaroo and wombat country as was evident by the signs.

Prior to activating the reserve, we had a quick look around the little town of Carpenter Rocks which is renmowned for its rugged coastline which provides exceptional fishing and diving locations.

DSC_7110

The coastline at Carpenter Rocks.

We then travelled out along the Cape Banks Lighthouse Road until we reached the northern section of the reserve.  We found a 4WD drive which followed the northern boundary of the park, but could not find anywhere really suitable to set up.  We followed this track all the way around the boundary of the park until we reached the Carpenter Rocks Road again.

We then saw a sign on the northern side of the road which said ‘Fire Water’, so we decided to take this track, heading north, following the western boundary of the reserve.  We then came to a track on the right which took us into the park, and we soon found a sign marking the reserve.

DSC_7111

There was an open gate here and a 4WD heading further east into the park.  We set up just off this track.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 10.17.49 am.png

Aerial shot of the Bucks Lake Game Reserve, showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

For this activation we ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 80/40/20m linked dipole, inverted vee, supported on the 7m heavy duty telescopic squid pole.  Power output was 10 watts PEP for Marija and 40 watts for myself.

During the week, Al VK2OK, who had been part of the my team out into the field on the Sunday at the 2017 WIA AGM/Convention, sent me a wooden stand for the transceiver which had a Benelec speaker mounted at the front.  It was a great set up, and one which I will continue to use.  Many thanks Al.

DSC_7124

The shack, showing the stand & speaker for the Yaesu FT-857d.

This was to be a unique park for both Marija and I for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  And hopefully a new park for the hunters.

Marija started off first, working Gerard VK2IO who was on SOTA peak Middle Brother VK2/ MN-066.  Marija and I swapped the mic, so we both could log Gerard.  We then tuned across the 40m band and found Mick VK3PMG/p calling CQ from the Crawford River Regional Park VKFF-0963.  Although Mick’s signal was quite low, we both logged Mick comfortably as there was no noise in Bucks Lake.

Marija then propped on 7.132 and called CQ.  Her first taker was Peter VK3PF, who had activated Bucks Lake a few weeks earlier during his visit to VK5.  This was followed by Les VK5KLV, Jonathan VK7JON, and then Rob VK4AAC/2.

Marija soon had her 10 contacts in the log, qualifying Bucks Lagoon for VKFF.  Contact number 10 was with Rod VK7FRJG in Tasmania with a strong signal.

Marija was happy to qualify the park for VKFF.  I then jumped on the mic and called CQ on 7.132.  This was answered by Rod VK7FRJG, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, Les VK7OT, and then Helen VK7FOLK.  Signals out of Tasmania were exceptionally strong.

Contact number 10, qualifying the park for me for VKFF, was with Bruce VK3SOL/p, operating the club call of the Shepparton & District ARC, who was portable at the Echuca Steam Rally.

Whilst I was operating Marija went off for a walk to try to locate the actual lake in the park.  Sadly, all tracks leading to the lake were completely overgrown.

There was a steady flow of callers and despite a rather slow start, it looked like I was probably going to reach the 44 to qualify the park for WWFF.  I run a paper log out in the field, which contains 35 contacts on each page.  It is always a nice feeling when I reach page number 2, as that always means I only need another 10 contacts to qualify.

I worked a total of 44 stations on 40m within an hour, with contact number 44 being a SOTA contact with Ian VK5CZ/p who was activating Lagoon Hill VK5/ SE-008.  Marija also logged Ian.  Whilst Marija still had the mic she was called by Hans VK6XN who had a strong 58 signal from some 3,000 km to the west.  Not bad at all considering the time of the day.

I then headed off to 20m where I called CQ on 14.310.  This was answered by Hans VK6XN who had followed me up from 40m, and then Phil VK6ADF.  Sadly, they were my only 2 contacts on 20m, despite 5 minutes of CQ calls.

To finish off the activation I headed to 3.610 on the 80m band where I worked 4 stations from VK3, VK5, and VK7.  This included a contact with Mike VK3ZMD who advised that I was his 200th Australian park worked.  Congratulations Mike.

It was now just after 10.30 a.m. and it was time for Marija and I to pack up and head off to our next park, the Douglas Point Conservation Park.  Marija had qualified the park for VKFF, with a total of 12 contacts in the log, whilst I had qualified the park for VKFF & WWFF, with a total of 50 contacts in the log.  Thanks t everyone who called, and many thanks to those who took the time to spot Marija and I, either on parksnpeaks and/or Facebook.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (SOTA Middle Brother VK2/ MN-066)
  2. VK3PMG/p (Crawford River Regional Park VKFF-0963)
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK5KLV
  5. VK7JON
  6. VK4AAC/2
  7. VK7FOLK
  8. VK2KYO
  9. VK2NP
  10. VK7FRJG
  11. VK5CZ/p (SOTA Lagoon Hill VK5/ SE-008)
  12. VK6XN

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (SOTA Middle Brother VK2/ MN-066)
  2. VK3PMG/p (Crawford River Regional Park VKFF-0963)
  3. VK7FRJG
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK7OT
  6. VK7FOLK
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK1HW
  9. VK7JON
  10. VK3SOL/p
  11. VK5FANA
  12. VK7AN
  13. VK4AAC/2
  14. VK5MBD
  15. VK3PF
  16. VK7FGRA
  17. VK7WH
  18. VK3ARH
  19. VK2NP
  20. VK4WC/2
  21. VK4ICE/2
  22. VK5ZGY/m
  23. VK3WAC/m
  24. VK2LX
  25. VK6XN
  26. VK6FSEA
  27. VK2VW
  28. VK3ZPF
  29. VK2VAA
  30. VK3AJA/p
  31. VK4TJ
  32. VK4/AC8WN
  33. VK4/VE6XT
  34. VK2TDB
  35. VK3HKK
  36. VK6BEC
  37. VK3MCK
  38. VK7JON/m
  39. VK7FOLK/m
  40. VK5MA/m
  41. VK3JP
  42. VK7PSJ
  43. VK2JNG/3
  44. VK5CZ/p (SOTA Lagoon Hill VK5/ SE-008)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6XN
  2. VK6ADF

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK7CW
  3. VK3ZIE/p
  4. VK3ZMD

 

References.

Department for Environment and Heritage,  2007, Management Plan Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park and Bucks Lake Game Reserve.

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucks_Lake_Game_Reserve&gt;, viewed 13th June 2017

South East trip

Marija VK5FMAZ and I are home from our trip to the South East region of South Australia.  We attended the South East Radio Group (SERG) Convention and had a great time.

Whilst away we activated a total of seven parks.  Six of those parks were in South Australia, whilst one was in Victoria.  We made a total of 567 QSOs with 44 of those being Park to Park.  We also competed a bit in the VK Shires Contest.

Bucks Lake Game Reserve VKFF-1690

  • Marija – 12 QSOs (1 Park to Park)
  • Paul -50 QSOs (1 Park to Park)

Douglas Point Conservation Park 5CP-057 & VKFF-0795

  • Marija – 11 QSOs
  • Paul – 46 QSOs

Telford Scrub Conservation Park 5CP-226 & VKFF-0805

  • Marija – 15 QSOs (1 Park to Park)
  • Paul – 80 QSOs (3 Park to Park

Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park 5CP-122 & VKFF-0905

  • Marija – 14 QSOs (1 Park to Park)
  • Paul – 51 QSOs (1 Park to Park)

Lower Glenelg National Park, Victoria VKFF-0296

  • Marija – 52 QSOs (7 Park to Park)
  • Paul – 65 QSOs (9 Park to Park)

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

  • Marija – 15 QSOs (5 Park to Park)
  • Paul – 53 QSOs (5 Park to Park

Padthaway Conservation Park 5CP-169 & VKFF-0924

  • Marija – 19 QSOs (4 Park to Park)
  • Paul – 84 QSOs (5 Park to Park)

2017 John Moyle Memorial Field Day certificate

Yesterday I received my 1st place certificate for the 2017 John Moyle Memorial Field Day.  I made a total of 241 contacts with a score of 482 points.  I activated the Totness Recreation Park VKFF-1754 as part of the JMMFD.

Thanks to everyone who called and thankyou to the contest managers

You can read about my activation at……

https://vk5pas.org/2017/03/19/totness-recreation-park-vkff-1754-and-the-john-moyle-memorial-field-day-2017/

VK5PAS JMMFD 2017.png

Certificate of Appreciation

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Organising Committee for the 2017 WIA AGM & Convention which was held recently in Hahndorf.  All presenters on the Saturday afternoon were issued a Certificate of Appreciation, $50.00 cash, and a bottle of red.  Greatly appreciated.

The AGM & Convention was a huge success, all due to the sensational planning that went on behind the scenes in planning the event.

VK5PAS Certificate of appreciation 2017 WIA AGM.pngThe WIA Organising Committee consisted of:-

  • David VK5KC
  • John VK5BJE
  • Jim VK5TR
  • Shirley VK5YL
  • Stuart VK5STU
  • Roy VK5NRG
  • Grant VK5GR
  • Matt VK5ZM
  • David VK5KK
  • Ian VK5ZD
  • Joy Robbins
  • Daniel VK5DF

DSC_6939

Mount Boothby Conservation Park 5CP-144 and VKFF-0913

My final activation for the day was to be the Mount Boothby Conservation Park 5CP-144 & VKFF-0913.  Although I had activated this park previously, back in January 2015, this was prior to the park being added to the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  So this was to be a unique WWFF activation for me.

Mount Boothby is about 180 km south east of Adelaide, and around 14 km west of Culburra.

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 6.12.05 pm.png

Map showing the location of the Mount Boothby Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Mount Boothby Conservation Park is about 4,045 hectares in size and is the fourth largest area of remnant vegetation in the Upper South East region.  The park supports at least 2 species of conservation significance, namely the metallic Sun-orchid and the Mallee Fowl.  The topography in the park consists predominantly of undulating limestone ridges which are overlain with sand.  These vary in height from 20 to 120 metres above sea level (ASL).  Granite outcrops occur on the dune sides.  The most prominent of these is Mount Boothby which rises to 129 metres ASL.   The two major vegetation types in the park are open woodland and open heath.

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 6.17.55 pm.png

Aerial shot of the Mount Boothby Conservation Park with the towns of Coonalpyn, Ki Ki and Yumali in the background.  Image courtesy of Google Maps

After leaving Messent I travelled along the Princes Highway for a number of km and then turned right onto Field Road and travelled north east until I reached Cold and Wet Road.  What a great name for a road.  I then turned right onto Richardson Road.  It was now just after 5.00 p.m. and I enjoyed a magnificent sunset.

Richardson Road shows up on maps and I was expecting a dirt road.  Instead, Richardson Road travels in between 2 sections of private property, leading to the western side of Mount Boothby.  It is in fact a sandy track leading up to the park.  You could traverse this with a conventional vehicle, but only with great care.

DSC_7089

Richardson Road leading to the western side of the park

After travelling around 3.5 km along Richardson Road I reached the north western corner of the park.

I pulled up on a sandy track following the western boundary of the park and set up.  I ran my normal portable station – Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, 80/40/20m linked dipole on 7m squid pole.

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My operating spot in the north western corner of the park.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

As it was getting dark, the temperature had dropped dramatically.  It was now 7 deg C.  But as I wanted to activate the park under the VK5 National & Conservation Park Award rules, I needed to be autonmous from the vehicle.  So I rugged up to keep warm.  I had very spotty internet coverage in the park so I was unable to spot myself.  I headed to 7.144 on the 40m band and started to call CQ.  My first taker was Gerard VK2IO who started off at 5/9, but within an over had almost completely disappeared.  This was followed by Owen VK4FADW who was also experiencing severe fading, and then Adam VK2YK who was a strong 5/9 and reciprocated with a 5/9 for me.  Sadly I was to log just 2 further stations on 40m…Chris VK4BX and finally Peter VK3PF.  Numerous CQ calls went unanswered.  This was not looking good.

I decided that I was wasting my time on 40m and headed to 3.610 on the 80m band.  My first station worked there was Peter VK3PF who was a solid 5/9, much stronger than on 40m.  I then worked Marija VK5FMAZ, Ian VK1DI, Cliff VK2NP and Adrian VK5FANA, all with strong signals.  The 80m band looked as though it was going to provide much better results than 40m.

I was really pleased to hear a constant flow of callers on 80m, and it wasn’t long before I had 20 QSOs in the log, and then 30 QSOs.  It looked as though I might make my target of 44 QSOs afterall.

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The temperature was constantly dropping.  From an initial 7 deg C, down to 4 deg C in 20 minutes and then down to 2 deg C in another 10 minutes time.  It wasn’t long before the temperature was 0.2 deg C.  I was very keen to get my 44 contacts and leave the park.

Contact number 44 came within 90 minutes of being on air at Mount Boothby, and that was with Eugene VK3FEUG.  I was very happy to have reached 44, with the majority of those contacts on the 80m band.  I was also pleased to have 2 Park to Park contacts, with Mark VK3KMF/8 in the Iytwelepenty/Davenport Ranges National Park VKFF-0133, and Chris VK3CJD/p in the Wilsons Promontory National Park VKFF-0956.

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I had a total of 49 stations in the log and I was absolutely freezing.  It was time to pack up and head for home, with a 90 minute drive ahead of me.  I had qualified the park in its own right on 80m, which I never expected to do.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO
  2. VK4FADW
  3. VK2YK
  4. VK4BX
  5. VK3PF

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3KAI
  3. VK5FMAZ
  4. VK1DI
  5. VK2NP
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK3ANL
  8. VK4CPS
  9. VK3GGG
  10. VK3PMG
  11. VK2IO
  12. VK4TJ
  13. VK4/AC8WN
  14. VK4/VE6XT
  15. VK3SQ
  16. VK5KLV
  17. VK3AXF
  18. VK2YK
  19. VK5MRT
  20. VK3EF
  21. VK3SOT
  22. VK2FTEL
  23. VK3KMF/8 (Iytwelepenty/Davenport Ranges National Park VKFF-0133)
  24. VK3BBB
  25. VK5KLJ
  26. VK5PET
  27. VK5ATN
  28. VK3CJD/p (Wilsons Promontory National Park VKFF-0956)
  29. VK3HO/p
  30. VK7KT
  31. VK3SS
  32. VK5FCLK
  33. VK7VH
  34. VK7CW
  35. VK3JP
  36. VK7PRN
  37. VK7FPRN
  38. VK5FMWW
  39. VK3FEUG
  40. VK3MCK
  41. VK5GJ
  42. VK6ZRW/p
  43. VK7GG
  44. VK5NM

 

References.

Department for Environment Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs, 1999, Mount Boothby Conservation Park Management Plan.