Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve VKFF-1701

Yesterday (Sunday 2nd July 2017) I activated the Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve VKFF-1701.  Not the Conservation Park, but the Reserve.  The 554 hectare Cox Scrub Conservation Park is located on the western side of the Bull Creek Road, whilst the much smaller Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve is located on the eastern side of the Bull Creek Road.

The park is located a few km south of the little town of Ashbourne and about 60 km south of Adelaide.

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Map showing the location of the Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I last activated this park back in August 2016 shortly after it was added to the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) Directory.  For information on that activation please see my previous post at….

https://vk5pas.org/2016/08/09/cox-scrub-conservation-reserve-vkff-1701/

The park is located in close proximity to a number of other parks including its big brother Cox Scrub Conservation Park, Mount Magnificent Conservation Park, Finnis Conservation Park, and Bullock Hill Conservation Park.

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Map showing the park and the surround Conservation Parks.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Cox Creek Conservation Park was established on the 11th day of November 1993 and it 21 hectares (52 acres) in size.

The majority of the adjacent Conservation Park was previously owned by the late Mr V Cox of Ashbourne, who preserved the area in a natural state for overwintering his honey bees.  The land was purchased from Mr Cox in 1969 on condition that he was allowed to keep bees in the park for as long as he required, which was upheld until he passed away.

A fire swept through this area back in December 2016 and burnt around 70 hectares including this park.  The fire had threatened nearby properties and is believed to have started after a 4WD became bogged and sparked a grass fire.

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Aerial shot showing the park in relation to my home QTH

A large amount of native birds can be found in the park including the Beautiful Firetail and the Elegant Parrot.

Although quite small, the park preserves a remnant piece of Fleurieu Peninsula bushland.

If you plan on activating this park, then keep your eyes peeled because getting in there can be tricky.   The park is not signposted.  The park is located on the eastern side of the Bull Creek Road, and a little south of the Conservation Park.  There is a small break in the scrub towards the southern end of the park, with a track leading in through the scrub.    There is an old sign here which says ‘No Hunting.  Trespassers Prosecuted”.  The writing is very faded and I expect it was there when the land was privately owned.  There is also another wooden sign which has fallen over, with nothing visible written on it.

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If you travel along a little further to the south you will come to a dirt driveway and a sign which says ‘Tooper Springs’.  A very short distance along this track is a track darting off to the left, heading north through the park.

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This track follows the eastern boundary of the park and eventually meets up with the other track.

There is a nice clearing where the track meets, with plenty of room for me to string out the 80/40/20m linked dipole.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the temperature being about 18 deg C.

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Aerial shot of the park showing my operating spot towards the southern section.  Image courtesy of Google Maps

Prior to calling CQ I worked Gerard VK2JNG/p on 7.144, who was activating the Goonoo National Park VKFF-0590.  I then headed down the band to 7.130.  It was quite difficult to find a clear frequency as the 40m band was alive with VK’s, ZL’s and Europeans.  Marija VK5FMAZ was first in the log on 7.130 with a 5/5 signal.  Not all that strong, but at least there was some local propagation.  I then logged Dennis VK2HHA, Chris VK3PAT, and then Joe VK3YSP/m and Julie VK3FOWL/m who were mobile on their way home to Melbourne from GippsTech.  Next up was Peter VK3ZPF/p who was activating the Werribee Gorge State Park VKFF-0775.

A dozen or so QSOs later I had another Park to Park in the log, this time Ian VK5MA/6 who was in the Stokes National Park VKFF-0468.  Considering the time of the day on 40m and the distance between us (some 3,000 km), Ian had a beautiful strong 5/8 signal, with Ian giving me a 5/7 into Western Australia.  Then 6 QSOs later I had another VK6 park activator in the log, Hans VK6XN/p who was operating portable in the Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0210 (5/7 both ways).  This was followed by Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park VKFF-1768.

The band was in good shape and there was a continual flow of callers from all across Australia.  My 6th Park to Park contact for the activation came in at contact number 44, with Mark VK4SMA/p who was in the Mount Perry Conservation Park VKFF-1609.  I logged a total of 48 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, & VK7.

I then headed off to the 20m band and started calling CQ on 14.305.  Fred VK4FE was first in the log, followed by Hans VK6XN/p in the Gooseberry Hill National Park.  It was nice to get Hans in the log, Park to Park, on a second band.  But despite 5 minutes of further CQ calls, I had no further takers.

It was now around 4.30 p.m. local time (0700 UTC) and I decided to try out the 80m band.  I called CQ on 3.605 and this was answered by Marija VK5FMAZ, Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG, and then Ivan VK5HS.  Peter VK3PF/p then gave me a call from the Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park, for another Park to Park on a second band.

I was very pleasantly surprised considering the time of the day with the number of callers I had on 80m from VK3, VK3, VK4, VK5.  I logged a total of 24 stations on 80m.  One of my contacts was with Anthony VK3LPG in western Victoria who commented that I must be running out of parks to activate.  In between overs I heard a voice say ‘he hasn’t done Butchers Gap’.  It was Tony VK5ZAI at Kingston in the South East.  The Butchers Gap Conservation Park backs onto Tony’s property.

The property had rapidly started to drop, from 18 down to 9, then to 7, and then to 6 deg C.  So I decided to have one last listen on 40m hoping to pick up some New Zealand stations and possibly some North America.  Sadly this was not to be the case, but I did log a further 12 Australian stations from VK2, VK3, and VK4.

Time had marched on to 6.00 p.m. and it was now getting close to 5 deg C.  I packed up and headed home, feeling very happy with a total of 86 QSOs in the log.

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On the way home in the mobile, I logged ZL1JV and ZL4U in the NZART Memorial Contest.  I could hear some other ZL stations calling CQ contest, but they were just a little too low to work from the mobile.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Goonoo National Park VKFF-0590)
  2. VK5FMAZ
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK3PAT
  5. VK3YSP/m
  6. VK3FOWL/m
  7. VK3ZPF/p (Werribee Gorge State Park VKFF-0775)
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK4FW
  10. VK7QP
  11. VK3VSG
  12. VK5MR
  13. VK3SFG
  14. VK3HQZ/5
  15. VK3TUL
  16. VK3FFSB
  17. VK3GQ
  18. VK3GGG
  19. VK3PMG
  20. VK3ANL
  21. VK5MA/6 (Stokes National Park VKFF-0468)
  22. VK3FOTO
  23. VK3ARH
  24. VK3AV/m
  25. VK3STU
  26. VK4FMAX
  27. VK2YES
  28. VK6XN/p (Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0210)
  29. VK3PF/p (Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park VKFF-1768)
  30. VK2NP
  31. VK2VRC
  32. VK7GG
  33. VK3PB
  34. VK3MRH
  35. VK7ZGK
  36. VK4FE
  37. VK3GH
  38. VK3FREB
  39. VK3KWB
  40. VK2BY/,m
  41. VK3BL
  42. VK3OHM
  43. VK4GSF
  44. VK4SMA/p (Mount Perry Conservation Park VKFF-1609)
  45. VK2NEO
  46. VK4TJ
  47. VK3NGD/m
  48. VK7AU
  49. VK2BHO
  50. VK5FSKS/2
  51. VK4CG
  52. VK3UH
  53. VK1AT/3
  54. VK7KT
  55. VK4PDX
  56. VK4KX
  57. VK2PHA/m
  58. VK3FSPG
  59. VK3MPR
  60. VK2FJPR

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4FE
  2. VK6XN/p (Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0210)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FMAZ
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK3PF/p (Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park VKFF-1768)
  6. VK3GQ
  7. VK4FW
  8. VK5PL
  9. VK2NP
  10. Vk2VRC
  11. VK3VBI
  12. VK3LPG
  13. VK5ZAI
  14. VK5FMWW
  15. VK5KLV
  16. VK5GJ
  17. VK3FORD
  18. VK5FANA
  19. VK5MRT
  20. VK5SFA
  21. VK5HCF
  22. VK3QD
  23. VK5KHZ
  24. VK2BHO

 

 

References.

ABC, 2017, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2006-12-13/crews-contain-sa-fire/2153270&gt;, viewed 3rd July 2017

Dolby, T & Clarke, R, Australian Birds.  A Field Guide to Birding Locations.

National Parks South Australia, 2017, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Fleurieu_Peninsula/cox-scrub-conservation-park&gt;, viewed 3rd July 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_reserves_of_South_Australia#Cox_Scrub_Conservation_Reserve&gt;, viewed 3rd July 2017