Bullock Hill Conservation Park 5CP-265 and VKFF-0873

I spent most of this morning (Tuesday 11th July 2017) adding new references to the WWFF Directory for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  By lunchtime I had endured enough time in front of the computer screen, and as it was such a beautiful sunny Winters day, I decided to head out to activate the Bullock Hill Conservation Park 5CP-265 & VKFF-0873.  The park is located near the town of Ashbourne on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 60 km south of Adelaide.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Bullock Hill Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Bullock Hill Conservation Park was proclaimed on the 20th January 2014, so it is a very young park.  It consists of 221 hectares of undulating countryside, mainly consisting of Pink Gum and Cup Gum, with a dense under storey of Acacias and mixed heath.  Along the eastern boundary of the park there is scattered South Australian Blue Gum over native grassland.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing the park and my operating spot.  My home QTH is in the background about 30 km away.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

Western Grey kangaroos can be found in abundance in the park.  About 95 species of native bird have been located in the park including Common Bronzewing, Superb Fairywren, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Red Wattelbird, Brown Thornbill, Rainbow Bee-Eater, and Grey Shrikethrush.

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Rainbow Bee-Eater.  Courtesy of birdlife.org

I travelled to the park via Strathalbyn and then along the Ashbourne Road.  As you leave Strathalbyn the countryside becomes quite hilly.  I stopped briefly to enjoy the sensational views back to Strathalbyn and out to Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert.

I have activated the park a number of times previously and I have always operated in the past from Wattle Flat Road and the eastern side of the park.  But I had always been interested on whether the western side of the park could be approached.  I travelled south on Signal Flat Road until I reached Haines Road where I turned left and travelled east.  It has been quite wet here in recent days and as a result the track was very wet and boggy in parts.  As it was today, I would probably not attempt passing Haines Road unless you were in a 4WD.

Google maps shows that Haines Road traverses the southern boundary of the park, and runs all the way from Signal Flat Road through to Wattle Flat Road.

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In reality it doesn’t.  As you travel along Haines Road you will pass a large amount of scrub on your left, but this is not the park.  It is private property.  You will then come to the south western corner of the park where there is a park sign.  There is a small parking area here.  I continued along Haines Road and soon reached a locked gate.  There is no further access to the east.  There is quite a nice parking area here and a recently graded fire track which runs north-south through the park.

DSC_7555

I walked about 10 metres down the track and set up my fold up table and deck chair.  Equipment used was my Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and 80/40/20m linked dipole, inverted vee, supported on a 7m telescopic squid pole.

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Above:- Map showing my operating spot in the southern section of the park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

There are some very nice views to be enjoyed here of Lake Alexandrina and down towards the Coorong.

DSC_7581

On my way to the park I had spoken from the mobile with Gerard VK2JNG who was activating the Goodinan State Conservation Area VKFF-1320.  So prior to calling CQ, I spoke with Gerard on 7.144 and logged the Park to Park contact.  Gerard was an excellent 5/9 signal.  I then headed down to 7.139 and asked if the frequency was in use, with Peter VK3PF coming back to let me know the frequency was clear.  Peter was a strong 5/9 + signal.  Next up was Ray VK3NBL, followed by Gerard VK2IO, and then Jonathan VK7JON.

Although it was a weekday, I was very pleased to have a steady flow of callers from Vk2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  There was a small amount of QSB on some signals, but generally the band was in good condition.  I noted that there were 2 other QSOs on the same frequency, one being a KP2, and the others European.

There was a small opening with close in propagation, with a number of VK5’s logged, including Ron VK5MRE in the Riverland, Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula, Les at Port Augusta in the north of the state, Adrian VK5AW in the Riverland, and Wolf VK5WF in Adelaide.

Contact number 34 was Russell VK5OB who was activating the Scott Creek Conservation Park 5CP-207 & VKFF-0788.  This was Russell’s first solo park activation.  Russell had been taken out into the field by John VK5BJE on the Sunday of the WIA AGM/Convention.  Clearly John’s enthusiasm had rubbed off on Russell.  I left the frequency with Russell and headed off to the 20m band.

As it was nearly 2.45 p.m. local time I decided to book into the ANZA DX Net on 14.183.  There was no man made noise on the band at all from Bullock Hill, so I was hearing most stations on the net quite well, including the DX.  I logged 3 stations: John VK7XX, Jack W1FDY in Virginia USA, and Dale VE7SV in Canada.  I then moved up the band to 14.310 where I called CQ.  Sadly only 2 stations were to be entered into the log: Bob VK6POP in Western Australia, and Jonathan VK7JON in Tasmania.

I headed back to the 40m band and found that it had become much busier.  Marco CT1EHI from Portugal was on 7.143 with a strong 5/8 signal, but had quite a pile up from the USA and Australia, so I didn’t bother trying to call.  I found 7.150 clear and self spotted on parksnpeaks.  First in the log was John VK5BJE who was very low down, but workable with the low noise floor.  Eight QSOs later I was very surprised to be called by Richard G0BLB who had a nice 5/7 signal.  Richard was struggling with my signal a bit, but we eventually made it.  I was very pleased to get Richard in the log from the UK with my 40 watts and little bit of wire.  I logged a further 18 stations on 40m including Ken ZL4KD, the ZLFF co-ordinator.

I had checked the DX cluster whilst on 40m and saw a spot for M0YMA who was activating a park, on my operating frequency of 7.150.  Unfortunately we could not hear each other.

To wrap up the activation I headed to 3.610 on the 80m band.  John VK5BJE was there patiently waiting for me.  And what a difference a band makes.  John had gone from 5/1 on 40m to 5/9 + on 80m.  Greg VK5GJ then called in and he was also 5/9.  Greg lowered his power down to 1 watt and was still a good 5/8 signal.

My wife Marija VK5FMAZ sent me a text message to let me know she was just 15 minutes away from arriving home from work, and was keen to get me in the log.  So I continued to call CQ and logged Adrian VK5FANA, Phil VK2HPN, Nick VK3ANL, and Cliff VK2NP.  Marija then gave me a call and made it into my log.  I logged 2 further stations, Des VK3PEF and finally Matt VK3FORD who was mobile.

It was now 5.00 p.m. local time and the sun had disappeared behind the trees and as a result the temperature had dropped dramatically down to 9 deg C.  So I packed up the gear and headed home with a total of 75 contacts in the log.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Goodinan State Conservation Area VKFF-1320)
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK3NBL
  4. VK2IO
  5. VK7JON
  6. VK4HNS/p
  7. VK5MRE
  8. VK3CFA
  9. VK3ZMD
  10. VK3OHM
  11. VK5FANA
  12. VK5KLV
  13. VK5AW/p
  14. VK5WF
  15. VK3FCMC
  16. VK3TKK/m
  17. VK2VW
  18. VK2SB
  19. VK2NP
  20. VK2HHA
  21. VK3MCK
  22. VK3GGG
  23. VK3PMG
  24. VK7GG/m
  25. VK4TJ
  26. VK2HPN
  27. VK7DW
  28. VK5LG
  29. VK5MJ
  30. VK3ANL
  31. VK3SQ
  32. VK5IS
  33. VK2SVN
  34. VK5OB/p (Scott Creek Conservation Park 5CP-207 & VKFF-0788)
  35. VK5BJE
  36. VK4MOO
  37. VK2KJJ
  38. VK3ZVX
  39. VK4FW
  40. VK4FE
  41. VK4SMA
  42. VK3HBG
  43. G0BLB
  44. VK4RG
  45. VK2QA
  46. VK3MCX
  47. VK4QQ
  48. VK3UH
  49. VK3GB
  50. VK3FAHS
  51. VK7FPRN
  52. VK7PRN
  53. ZL4KD
  54. VK5GJ
  55. VK3VIN
  56. VK4KUS
  57. VK4MWB
  58. VK3KRH
  59. VK3VGB
  60. VK2KYO
  61. VK3FOGY

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK7XX
  2. W1FDY
  3. VE7SV
  4. VK6POP
  5. VK7JON

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5GJ
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK2HPN
  5. VK3ANL
  6. VK2NP
  7. VK5FMAZ
  8. VK3PEF
  9. VK3FORD/m

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/bullock-hill-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed 11th July 2017

Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park 5CP-276 and VKFF-1763

Over the weekend just gone I spent most of my weekend off in front of the computer, comparing CAPAD data with existing parks for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  By Sunday (9th July 2017) luncthime I had became totally annoyed with being glued to the computer, so I decided to brave the cold weather and head out to activate a park.  That day I had officially released the VKFF Boomerang Award for the WWFF program, rewarding activators who activate the same park on multiple occasions.  So I decided to head just up the road and activate the Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park 5CP-276 & VKFF-1763.  The park is located about 60 km east of Adelaide.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park, east of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park is a new park and was only gazetted on the 22nd September 2016.  It was previously set aside as Crown land.  The park extends about 15 km along the South Eastern Freeway from near Callington to Murray Bridge.  The park is 426 hectares in size, and provides important habitat for more than 60 bird species, five of which are of State conservation significance.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing the park in relation to my home QTH.  The city of Adelaide and the Gulf ST Vincent and the Yorke Peninsula can be seen in the background.  Image courtesy of Google Maps

The scrub located within the park is a mixture of plant species from across Australia.  This is due to the extensive planting in the area due to the proposed satellite city of Monarto back in the 1970’s.  The then South Australian Premier, Don Dunstan had proposed that Monarto, or ‘New Murray Town’ would become the site of a satellite city of Adelaide.  However this concept was eventually abandoned.  Today, Monarto is little more than a railway siding.  The Monarto open plains zoo is also located nearby.

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I headed to my normal operating spot in the park.  Access is via White Road.

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Above:- Map of the park showing my operating spot.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

There is a track which leads into the park.  I found a nice cleared area in amongst the scrub,and set up my station comprising the Yaesu FT-857d and the 80/40/20m linked dipole.  It was initially not a very pleasant day, very overcast and quite cold, with the occasional sprinkle of rain.  But as this was a Conservation Park I wanted to operate independent of the vehicle as is required in the rules for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.  So I put the bothy bag to good use during this activation, with periods of operation from underneath it when it started to rain.

After setting up I headed to 7.144 and heard Neil VK4HNS working Rob VK4AAC who was activating a park.  But sadly, Rob’s signal was so low that I decided it just wasn’t worth calling him.  Feeling rather dejected because I had missed out on the Park to Park contact, I headed down the band to 7.139 and started calling CQ.  Kev VK3VEK from western Victoria was number one in the log.  This was followed by regular park hunters Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG, Peter VK3PF, Ken VK2KYO, and then my good wife Marija VK5FMAZ.

Much to my surprise, contact number 9 was with Rob VK4AAC/p whose signal had come up to a very readable 5/3.  From my home QTH I would not have been able to work Rob, but as there was no man made noise on the band due to my location, I was able to hear Rob very well from the Freshwater National Park VKFF-0187.

Contact number 21 was another Park to Park, this time with Mark VK4SMA/p who was in the Dwyers Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-1534.  This was a first time activation of the park, so it was a pleasure to be able to log Mark.  Mike VK5MCB then called in from Farina, a ghost town in the Far North of South Australia.  I visited Farina a few years ago with Marija and a few other amateurs, and operated as VK100ANZAC.

The 40m band was in average-good condition, with quite a bit of QSB on the signals.  However I was very happy to have a constant stream of callers.  Contact number 39 was another Park to Park, with Gerard VK2JNG/p who was activating the Durridgere Coordinated Conservation Area.  I logged a total of 46 stations before callers ceased.  I took the opportunity of heading down the band to 7.087.  Marija had sent me a text to advise that Ian VK5MA/6 was in a park in Western Australia.  I logged Ian who was in the Stirling Range National Park VKFF-0467, with a good 5/7 signal.

As it was the weekend for the IARU HF championships, I heard quite a few good signals coming in on 40m from Europe.  But sadly the few stations I called were unable to hear my 40w signal.  So I decided to try my luck on 20m.

Prior to calling CQ I had a tune around the band to see what conditions were like.  I heard a few European stations but they were not very strong.  But the North American stations were strong.  I logged Greg NR6Q in California USA, and then 9A0HQ in Croatia.  I then propped on 14.310 and prior to calling CQ I decided to place a post on the KFF Facebook page stating I was portable and looking for North American contacts.  Soon after I had my first USA station in the log, Jeremy in Colorado.  Hans VK6XN/p then called in, maritime mobile off the coast of Freemantle, running a Buddipole.  Hans had a good 5/7 signal.  My first maritime mobile contact whilst mobile…thanks Hans.

I was then called by Conny N5HC, Lee VK2LEE, and then Rob VK4AAC/p in VKFF-0187.  I was pleasantly surprised to then get a string of DX callers from USA, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and Alaska.  Amongst the DX I also logged a few more VK’s including Stuie VK8NSB in Darwin.  Unfortunately the DX dried up quite quickly, so I tuned across the 20m band and logged a further 10 stations from USA, Czech Republic, Mexico, Germany, and the Canary Islands.

I then headed back to 40m where I logged a further 17 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6 and New Zealand.  This included Jim VK5JW who was operating portable from a sheep station near Lake Eyre in the Far North of VK5.  The band was becoming very busy and I was competing with a YV5 station ont he frequency from Venezuela, so I QSY’d to 7.152 where I logged another 3 VK’s, before heading off to the 80m band.

I called CQ on 3.610 and this was answered by Adam VK2YK, followed by Lou VK3ALB, and then Joe VK3MAB.  Conditions on 80m were excellent, with a total of 14 stations logged from VK1, VK2, VK3, and VK5.

I had now surpassed 100 contacts for the activation.  I decided to have one last quick listen on 40m hoping to log some North American stations.  However, the few that I did call, could not hear me.  I did however, log ZL6HQ and Warren ZL2AJ in New Zealand.

The temperature had dropped down to a very chilly 8 deg and it was about 5.30 p.m. local time, and time for me to pack up and head home.  I was very happy, with a total of 114 QSO’s in the log, with some nice DX contacts.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3VEK
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK2KYO
  6. VK5FMAZ
  7. VK3ARH
  8. VK3KMH
  9. VK4AAC/p (Freshwater National Park VKFF-0187)
  10. VK3OHM
  11. VK2YK
  12. VK3ANL
  13. VK3NXT
  14. VK5NFT
  15. VK7QP
  16. VK3JP
  17. VK2PKT
  18. VK3PAT
  19. VK3BHR
  20. VK5KLV
  21. VK4SMA/p (Dwyers Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-1534)
  22. VK5MCB/p
  23. VK3QB
  24. VK3SQ
  25. VK3WAR
  26. VK1VIC/m
  27. VK7FGRA
  28. VK2HHA
  29. VK3VIN
  30. VK2LEE
  31. VK3GQ
  32. VK2NP
  33. VK3VLA
  34. VK2QK
  35. VK1AT
  36. VK3FTRI
  37. VK7FRJG
  38. VK5PET
  39. VK2JNG/p (Durridgere Co-ordinated Conservation Area VKFF-1314)
  40. VK3NBL
  41. VK4SOE/p
  42. VK2GKA
  43. VK3DBP
  44. VK4FW
  45. VK7AN
  46. VK2IO
  47. VK5MA/6 (Stirling Range National Park VKFF-0467)
  48. VK7DW
  49. VK3ZPF
  50. VK4FARR
  51. VK4KUS
  52. VK2VRC
  53. ZL1TM
  54. VK3AJA
  55. VK3BSG
  56. ZL2ASH
  57. VK3KTO
  58. VK2OA
  59. VK5JW/p
  60. VK3BBB
  61. VK6WC
  62. VK3CWF
  63. VK3MAB
  64. VK4QQ
  65. VK3ZVX
  66. VK3SX
  67. VK7JON
  68. ZL6HQ
  69. ZL2AJ

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. NR6Q
  2. 9A0HQ
  3. KE0HQO
  4. VK6XN/mm
  5. N5HC
  6. VK2LEE
  7. VK4AAC/p (Freshwater National Park VKFF-0187)
  8. AB5NX
  9. TI1K
  10. W6TXK
  11. N7VF
  12. ZL4KD
  13. VK8NSB
  14. K0BBC
  15. VE7CV
  16. JA8RJE
  17. N7GCO
  18. AL7KC
  19. VK4FW
  20. VK4FE
  21. VK2ZH
  22. K7GDL
  23. OL7HQ
  24. K4AB
  25. K3ZJ
  26. W5FMH
  27. KU2M
  28. AB4EJ
  29. XE1LM
  30. DA0HQ
  31. EF8R

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2YK
  2. VK3ALB
  3. VK3MAB
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK3ZPF
  6. VK3ZVX
  7. VK5FMAZ
  8. VK5YX
  9. VK1AT
  10. VK2NP
  11. VK5ATN
  12. VK5FMWW
  13. VK2VRC
  14. VK5FPAC

 

 

Activity so far in 2017

So far during the year 2017 I have undertaken a total of 55 VKFF activations for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  Of those a total of 36 were also valid for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.

The majority of those parks, a total of forty six (46) were in South Australia, while a further nine (9) parks in Victoria.

I have made a total of 4,089 QSOs during those park activations.  That averages out to around 74 QSOs per park activation.

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I have also activated a total of seven (7) peaks for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program, and made a total of 314 QSOs during those activations.  I would like to be more active in SOTA, but it is a long drive from home for me to get to summits.

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I have also activated one Mill for the Mills on the Air program, where I made a total of 87 contacts.

So under my call of VK5PAS/p I have made a total of 4,490 contacts so far in 2017, whilst out portable during 2017.

I have also had the privilege of operating as VI5WOW and VK5WOW, where I activated a total of nine (9) parks and one (1) mill and made a total of 928 QSOs.

THANKYOU to everyone who has given me a shout so far this year whilst I’ve been out portable.

 

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.

IMG_0306

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.

IMG_0328

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

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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.10.29 am.png

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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 8.51.33 pm.png

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.

berecry.jpg

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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.10.03 am.png

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.

DSC_7505

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.

IMG_0297

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.

DSC_7513

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.

DSC_7531

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

 

References.

Moana Surf Life Saving Club, 2017, <http://moanaslsc.com.au/about-moana/our-community/&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

National Parks South Australia, 2017, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Fleurieu_Peninsula/moana-sands-conservation-park&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moana_Sands_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moana,_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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.12.38 am.png

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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.31.11 am.png

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.

DSC_7498.jpg

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’.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 11.02.25 am

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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 10.39.29 am.png

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.

DSC_7438DSC_7441 (1)

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…….

https://www.facebook.com/GaryGoat5165/

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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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.13.22 am.png

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.

DSC_7474.jpg

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

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/onkaparinga-river-recreation-park/&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

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

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkaparinga_River_Recreation_Park&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017