Moana Sands Conservation Park 5CP-136 and VKF-1061

After packing up at Onkaparinga River Recreation Park, Marija and I headed to our second park activation for Saturday 1st July 2017, the Moana Sands Conservation Park 5CP-136 & VKFF-1061.  This was to be a unique park for us as activators for both the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, and the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.

Moana Sands Conservation Park is located about 36 km south of Adelaide.

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Map showing the location of the Moana Sands Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Moana Sands Conservation Park is about22 ha (54 acres) in size and was established on the 7th November 1985.  It was proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 in 1985 for the purpose of conserving a ‘significant Aboriginal cultural heritage site’ associated with the Kaurna people.

The park’s coastal sand dunes are very important in the cultural traditions of the Kaurna people who made their summer camp in the dunes next to Pedlar Creek. Many archaeological artefacts, including burial sites, hearths and shell middens – some dating back more than 6000 years – have been found where the overlying sand has blown away.

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Aerial view showing the park in the southern suburbs of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Google maps

Moana was originally farming land from 1841. In the 1850s a local landowner lent his name to the beach and it became known as Dodd’s Beach.  In 1855, when shipping was the primary means of cargo transport in the area, the Nashwauk was wrecked on the beach near the Pedler Creek outlet.


Bricks recovered from the wreck of the Nashwauk.  Image c/o South Australian Maritime Museum.

Due to an increased interest in tourism in the area, in 1927 the land was subdivided by Lake Beach Estate Ltd who held a competition to name the new town.  Mr C.H. Cave won the competition with Moana, which means “blue water” in the Maori language.  The land was divided into blocks of land suitable for holiday homes and wide streets were planned and laid out, but due to the Great Depression in 1929 development of the area was slow.

In the 1950s Moana experienced renewed interest from tourism as the residents of Adelaide enjoyed the freedom and mobility of car ownership – Moana was a pleasant 40 minute drive from Adelaide.

The area was recorded in the 1890’s as “the greatest development of sand dunes of  Gulf St. Vincent” boasting imposing dunes to 80 feet (25 metres); but within 40 years human and animal impact denuded the dunes and erosion demolished their magnificent stature.

The park is home to a large variety of birdlife including the Swamp harrier and the rare Hooded Plover.

We set up on the beach just a little south of Peddler Creek.  We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 80/40/20m linked dipole supported on the 7m telescopic squid pole.

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

Despite it being a beautiful sunny afternoon, it was quite brisk, so there were only about 3 or 4 other vehicles on the beach.


Marija started off the activation again, calling CQ on 7.140.  First in the log was regular park hunter Geoff VK3SQ, followed by Mr. reliable Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, and then Cliff VK2NP.  Within 7 minutes Marija had her 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.  Contact number 10 was Allen VK3ARH.  Marija logged a total of 15 stations, before the pile up got the better of her and demanded that I take over on the mic.


My first station in the log was John VK2YW in Wagga Wagga, followed by Peter VK2NEO and then Mike VK3ZMD.  Unfortunately a G station came up on 7.138, just 2 kc below me, and he was a good 5/7 signal and I experienced a lot of bleedover.  So I decided it was just not worth competing with him and I QSY’d up to 7.144.

I logged a total of 54 stations on 40m, including some European DX, much to my surprise.  Deme EA5IPC from Spain called me in amongst the VK pile up, confirming that sometimes it is very worthwhile listening for stations outside of VK.  You never know who is hearing you.  A few dozen QSOs later I was called by Uwe DL2ND in Germany.  It was quite a thrill to work a bit of DX on 40m from Europe.

I also logged a Park to Park contact with Hans VK6XN in the Greenmount National Park VKFF-0218 who was a good 5/7 signal.  Marija also logged Hans.

I then moved to 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged a total of 7 stations from Hawaii, Italy, Norway, VK2, VK6, and France.  It has been quite slim pickings in recent times with DX on 20m, so it was nice to at least log a handful of overseas stations.  I also logged Hans VK6XN/p on a second band from the Greenmount NP.

I then headed over to 3.610 on the 80m band and started calling CQ on 3.610.  Andrew VK2UH answered my call and reported that my signal was breaking up.  My VSWR was also a little high, but despite checking the BNC connection and the connections in the linked dipole, all appeared okay.  But I decided not to push my luck, and logged just 3 further stations: John VK5BJE, Terry VK5ATN, and Adrian VK5FANA.  Bill VK4FW tried, but we could quite make a valid contact.


It was now approaching 5.00 p.m. local time and it was time to pack up and head home.  Marija and I had both qualified the park for VKFF, and I had qualified the park for WWFF.  Together we had 82 QSOs in the log.


Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK3MH/m
  6. Vk7QP
  7. VK5BJE
  8. VK3FOTO/m
  9. VK4AAC/p
  10. VK3ARH
  11. VK3GQ
  12. VK6BSA/m
  13. VK2IO
  14. VK7CW
  15. VK5HS
  16. VK6XN/p (Greenmount National Park VKFF-0218)
  17. VK4NH

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2YW
  2. VK2NEO
  3. VK3ZMD
  4. VK4AAC/p
  5. VK5BJE
  6. VK2XXM
  7. VK3ANL
  8. VK3FT
  9. VK5HS
  10. VK2QK
  11. VK3FTRI
  12. VK7DIK
  13. VK4HNS
  14. VK3NCR
  15. VK2KYO
  16. VK5GJ
  17. VK2JDR
  18. VK4PDX
  19. VK6MAC
  20. VK3KIM/m
  21. VK3FPHG
  22. VK3ZPF
  23. EA5IPC
  24. VK3BBB
  25. VK2HHA
  26. VK7DW
  27. VK2VRC
  28. VK4FMAX
  29. VK4TJ
  30. VK4GSF
  31. VK6HRC
  32. VK2GPT
  33. VK2VX
  34. VK2NP
  35. VK3FSPG
  36. VK3MPR
  37. VK3AWG
  38. VK7FGRA
  39. VK5KLV
  40. VK4FE
  41. VK2IO
  42. VK3HSB
  43. VK2NWB
  44. VK4NH
  45. VK6XN/p (Greenmount National Park VKFF-0218)
  46. VK5FANA
  47. VK3BUS
  48. VK3SQ
  49. VK7HCK
  50. VK4QQ
  51. VK3ZQ
  52. VK7AU
  53. DL2ND
  54. VK3TXB

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. KH6EB
  2. IK4GRO
  3. LB0OG
  4. VK2SR
  5. VK6RC/m
  6. VK6XN/p (Greenmount National Park VKFF-0218)
  7. F5PAU

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2UH
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5ATN
  4. VK5FANA



Moana Surf Life Saving Club, 2017, <;, viewed 2nd July 2017

National Parks South Australia, 2017, <;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <,_South_Australia&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Onkaparinga River Recreation Park VKFF-1738

Yesterday (Saturday 1st July 2017) was a spectacular sunny Winter’s day, so Marija VK5FMAZ and I packed the Toyota Hi Lux and headed south to activate two parks.  Both were to be unique parks for us as activators for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, and Moana Sands, our second park, was to be a unique park for the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.

Our first park for the day was the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park VKFF-1738 which is located about 32 km south of Adelaide.

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Map showing the location of the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park south of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.


The Onkaparinga River Recreation Park is 284 hectares in size and was established on the 7th November 1985.  Translated from the Kaurna language, ‘Ngangki’ means women, ‘Pari’ means river, and ‘ngka’ means location.  So the correct translation for Onkaparinga is Ngangkiparingka, which means women only places along the river.  The Onkaparinga River, South Australia’s second longest river, flows through the park on its journey to the sea.

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Map of the Onkaparinga River Rectreation Park.  Map courtesy of National Parks SA.

The floodplain and surrounding areas of the park are covered by a combination of open shrubland with Nitre-bush, Lagoon Saltbush, Marsh Saltbush and Sea-berry Saltbush, native grassland and introduced pasture.   Along and near the river areas of there is Common Reed, samphire flats with Thick-head Samphire, Grey Samphire, Shrubby Samphire  and areas of revegetation. The aquatic estuarine flora is dominated by Garweed.

During our visit the park was very active, with lots of bushwalkers, anglers and people canoeing and kayaking down the river.  We had the opportunity of speaking with a few walkers, and explained to them the hobby of amateur radio and the parks awards.


Between 1973 to 1977, the majority of the land which is now dedicated to the recreation park was purchased by the State Planning Authority, a former South Australian State Government Agency.  The purpose of the land acquisition which included land along the full length of Onkaparinga River was threefold.   Firstly, it was ‘to provide open space for recreational purposes’, secondly, ‘to preserve the natural character of the landscape, including the native flora and fauna’ and thirdly, ‘to function as a buffer between areas of urban and rural land.’

In 1982, the majority of the land was transferred to the then Department for Environment and Heritage which established the recreation park in 1985.  In 1993, all of the land east of Main South Road (known as the gorge section) was reclassified as the Onkaparinga River National Park.   For managerial and administrative purposes, the recreation park and the national park are known collectively as the ‘Onkaparinga River Reserve’.

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In February 1839, land in the locality including the Onkaparinga floodplain was surveyed and became available for selection by settlers to the new colony of South Australia.  The majority of the land in the recreation park was a farm originally purchased about 1861 by John Jared, an immigrant who arrived from Lincolnshire, England.  The original purchase of 240 acres was expanded to 400 acres.  Jared named the farm ‘Clear Farm’ and built a house on the property in 1862.  Jared was succeeded in 1871 by his son, John William Jared, who renamed the property ‘Pingle Farm’.  The property remained in the Jared family until the 1970s when it was purchased by the State Planning Authority.  The remains of Pringle Farm which was listed on the South Australian Heritage Register on 11 April 1996 are conserved within the recreation park.

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Over 150 species of birds have been recorded in the park includingSilver Gull, Great Egret, Australian White Ibis, Crested Pigeon, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Australian Magpie, Little Raven, Willie Wagtail, Magpielark.  Many birds migrate from the northern hemisphere to escape the arctic winter. Every Australian summer they come from Siberia, China and Japan to feed.  Below are some photos of the birds I observed during our visit to the park.

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Around 20 species of fish have been recorded in the river including mulloway, jumping mullet, black bream, and yellow-eye mullet.

Onkaparinga River Recreation Park is also home to a ‘mob’ of Western Grey kangaroos.  These can often be seen in the cleared land just below the the south western corner of the park off Commercial Road.  And during our visit, the kangaroos were out enjoying the sunshine.

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Of note, a wild goat which has been nicknamed ‘Gary’ has been adopted by the mob of kangaroos, and calls the mob home.  Unfortunately we didn’t see Gary during our visit.  There was some talk last year that the local Council was going to catch Gary.  We hope that hasn’t occurred.

Gary has become quite a celebrity and there is even a Facebook page dedicated to him which can be found at…….


Gary the goat.  Photo courtesy of Facebook

The park has been subject to a lot of local media attention in recent years, as housing has encroached on vacant land surrounding the park.  There is one last piece of land near the SW corner of the park which has been earmarked for further housing and there has been a lot of public outrage at the proposed housing, suggesting it will spell the end for the kangaroos and Gary the Goat.

Marija and I spent nearly one hour trying to find a suitable spot to enter the park.  Many years ago when I lived and worked in this area, the majority of the land surrounding the park was vacant and there were various tracks leading into the park.  Sadly this is no longer the case, with development all the way around the park.  We had hoped to access the park via Sauerbiers Road, but the GPS took us into continual dead ends in the high density living area which is Seaford Meadows.

We eventually found a nice quiet spot just off River Road.  For this activation we ran the Yaesu FT-857d, set at 10 watts for Marija and 40 watts for me, and the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

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

As is our normal practice when activating parks together, Marija started off first.  Marija is generally only interested in qualifying the park for the VKFF program (10 contacts).  Prior to finding a spot to call CQ, we both worked Gerard VK2JNG who was in the Goobang National Park VKFF-0204.  Marija and I had worked Gerard from the mobile on our way to the park, but were very happy to get the Park to Park contact with Gerard as well.

We then QSY’d down to 7.130 and Marija started calling CQ whilst I spotted her on parksnpeaks.  Marija’s first taker was Geoff VK3SQ at Beechworth in NW Victoria, followed by Dennis VK2HHA in Albury, and then Nick VK3ANL in Melbourne.  Considering it was a weekend, the number of callers were quite low.  But Marija perservered and within 20 minutes had contact number ten in the log, Brett VK2VW.

We then swapped the mic and I started calling CQ and this was answered by Peter (VK3YE) VK5WAT/3 who was pedestrian mobile on Chelsea Beach running QRP 3 watts.  Peter was an excellent 5/8 signal.  Contact number 10, qualifying the park for me for VKFF, was with Peter VK3ZPF.  Shortly afterwards I was called by Ian VK5MA/6 who was activating the Stokes National Park VKFF-0468 in Western Australia.  Ian was 5/8 and considering the time of day (1.20 p.m. local time), had an excellent signal on 40m, some 3,000 km to my west.   Marija also logged Ian.

The 40m band was in quite good condition, with excellent signals from the eastern states of Australia.  Of note, were the number of Western Australian stations logged on 40m: Ian VK5MA/6, Ian VK6EA, Mark VK6BSA mobile, Richard VK6HRC, and Hans VK6XN.

Contact number 44 qualifying the park for the global WWFF program was Peter VK7PRN.  I worked a total of 47 stations on 40m before things started to slow down.  I had received an SMS message from Peter Vk3PF asking me to give Joe VK3YSP a call, who was portable at the GippsTech amateur radio convention.  I headed to 7.144 and have Joe a call, and went live at GippsTech.

I then called CQ on 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged 5 stations: Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, Hans VK6XN, Ken ZL4KD, and Lee VK2LEE.  To complete the activation I put a few CQ calls out on 3.610 on the 80m band and there logged 3 stations: Iain VK5ZIF, John VK5BJE, and Ivan VK5HS.  The 80m band continues to be a reliable form of communication locally when the 40m band is not open.


Marija made a total of 12 contacts including 2 Park to Park QSOs.  I worked a total of 56 stations including 2 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Goobang National Park VKFF-0204)
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK3ANL
  5. VK3ZPF
  6. VK2KYO
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK3ARH
  9. VK5GJ
  10. VK2VW
  11. VK5WAT/3
  12. VK5MA/6 (Stokes National Park VKFF-0468)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Goobang National Park VKFF-0204)
  2. VK5WAT/3
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK2HHA
  6. VK5GJ
  7. VK2IO
  8. VK2VW
  9. VK2UH
  10. VK3ZPF
  11. VK4AAC/p
  12. VK3HWB
  13. VK5MA/6 (Stokes National Park VKFF-0468)
  14. VK3MCK
  15. VK3BBB
  16. VK7NWT
  17. VK3WAR
  18. VK3AWG
  19. VK2JNG/m
  20. VK3MRH
  21. VK6EA
  22. VK5GI
  23. VK7DW
  24. VK3VLA
  25. VK3VEF
  26. VK6BSA/m
  27. VK3GQ
  28. VK4NH
  29. VK2VRC
  30. VK6HRC
  31. VK7AU
  32. VK3FPHG
  33. VK3FSPG
  34. VK3MPR
  35. VK3BG
  36. VK3WAC/m
  37. VK3QA
  38. VK4RF
  39. VK4HA
  40. VK6XN
  41. VK3UH
  42. VK5ZIF
  43. VK7FPRN
  44. VK7PRN
  45. VK7GG
  46. VK2LEE
  47. VK2JDR
  48. VK3YSP/p (Gippstech)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK6XN
  4. ZL4KD
  5. VK2LEE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5ZIF
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5HS



Birds SA, 2017, <;, viewed 2nd July 2017

National Parks South Australia, ‘Onkaparinga River National Park and Recreation Park’.

Wikipedia, 2017, <;, viewed 2nd July 2017