Trip to Victoria and New South Wales

Marija VK5FMAZ and I are home after our 2 week trip away to Victoria and New South Wales.  Whilst away we activated a total of six (6) summits for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program, and a total of twenty seven (27) parks for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program and the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award.

We made a total of 1,680 QSOs under some pretty trying band conditions at times.  This included x 2 Summit to Summit contacts, and 138 x Park to Park contacts.

We travelled a distance of 4,450 km.

Below is a breakdown of the summits and parks activated…….

Saturday 4th November 2017

  • SOTA West of England Fire Tower VK3/ VW-016 and the Kara Kara National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0629
    • Marija – 48 QSOs
      • 1 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 65 QSOs

Sunday 5th November 2017

  • St Arnaud Regional Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0977
    • Marija – 17 QSOs
      • 2 X Park to Park
      • 1 x Summit to Summit
    • Paul – 48 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park
      • 1 x Summit to Summit
  • SOTA Mount Moliagul VICTORIA, VK3/ VN-024
    • Marija – 8 QSOs
    • Paul – 7 QSOs
  • SOTA Mount Macedon VK3/ VC-007 and the Macedon Regional Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0972
    • Marija – 12 QSOs
    • Paul – 34 QSOs

Monday 6th November 2017

  • Holey Plains State Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0758
    • Marija -11 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 47 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park
  • Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park, VICTORIA, VKFF-0951
    • Marija – 11 QSOs
    • Paul – 11 QSOs
  • Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0747
    • Paul – 4 QSOs

Tuesday 7th November 2017

  • Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0747
    • Marija – 13 QSOs
    • Paul – 56 QSOs
  • The Lakes National Park VKFF-0484
    • Marija – 12 QSOs
    • Paul – 46 QSOs

Wednesday 8th November 2017

  • Mount Raymond Regional Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0975
    • Marija – 10 QSOs
    • Paul – 28 QSOs
  • Cape Conran Coastal Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0744
    • Marija – 10 QSOs
    • Paul – 45 QSOs

Thursday 9th November 2017

  • SOTA Goonmirk Rocks VK3/ VG-048 and the Errinundra National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0158
    • Marija – 11 QSOs
    • Paul – 48 QSOs
  • Alpine National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0619
    • Marija – 10 QSOs
      • 1 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 12 QSOs
      • 1 x Park to Park
  • Snowy River National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0455
    • Marija – 13 QSOs
    • Paul – 21 QSOs

Friday 10th November 2017

  • Point Hicks Marine National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0953
    • Marija – 11 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 54 QSOs
      • 3 x Park to Park
  • Lind National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0287
    • Paul – 8 QSOs

Saturday 11th November 2017

  • Alfred National Park, VICTORIA, VKFF-0618
    • Marija – 46 QSOs
      • 13 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 64 QSOs
      • 13 x Park to Park
  • Croajinolong National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0119
    • Marija – 17 QSOs
      • 10 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 49 QSOs
      • 10 x Park to Park

Sunday 12th November 2017

  • Coopracambra National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0113
    • Marija – 47 QSOs
      • 19 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 73 QSOs
      • 19 x Park to Park
  • South East Forests National Park NEW SOUTH WALES, VKFF-0458
    • Marija – 10 QSOs
      • 6 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 10 QSOs
      • 6 x Park to Park
  • Lind National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0287
    • Marija – 16 QSOs
      • 5 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 78 QSOs
      • 5 x Park to Park

Monday 13th November 2017

  • Wingan River West Nature Conservation Reserve VICTORIA, VKFF-2231
    • Marija – 11 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 54 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park
  • Nadgee Nature Reserve NEW SOUTH WALES, VKFF-1977
    • Marija – 11 QSOs
    • Paul – 46 QSOs

Wednesday 15th November 2017

  • Lake Tyers State Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0761
    • Marija – 10 QSOs
    • Paul – 44 QSOs
  • Colquhoun Regional Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0962
    • Marija – 10 QSOs
    • Paul – 61 QSOs

Thursday 16th November 2017

  • Tara Bulga National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0480
    • Marija – 11 QSOs
      • 1 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 45 QSOs
      • 1 x Park to Park
  • Morwell National Park VICTORIA, VKFF-0626
    • Marija – 12 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 20 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park

Friday 17th November 2017

  • Morwell National Park, VICTORIA, VKFF-0626
    • Paul – 25 QSOs
  • Churchill National Park, VICTORIA, VKFF-0621
    • Marija – 10 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 16 QSOs
      • 2 x Park to Park

Saturday 18th November 2017

  • SOTA Mount Cole, VICTORIA, VK3/ VS-008
    • Marija – 7 QSOs
    • Paul – 32 QSOs
  • SOTA Mount Lonarch VICTORIA, VK3/ VS-013
    • Marija – 19 QSOs
    • Paul – 34 QSOs

Sunday 19th November 2017

  • Deep Lead Nature Conservation Reserve No. 1, VICTORIA, VKFF-2033
    • Marija – 10 QSOs
      • 1 x Park to Park
    • Paul – 51 QSOs
      • 1 Park to Park

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Results from the 2017 VKFF Team Championship

I have now received all of the logs for the 2017 VKFF Team Championship.  All amateurs who took part in the event as activators have now received a participation certificate via email.  The certificate features a photograph of the Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Australia, from Point Ann.

VK5FMAZ

The winners are as follows……

FOUNDATION SECTION.

‘Team Onka’ comprising Mike VK5FMWW and Larry VK5FLHR.

They will receive a $50.00 voucher kindly donated by Pages of Cobram and a winenrs certificate each.

The certificate features a photograph of Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia.

VK5FMWW Foundation

QRP SECTION.

‘Special K’s’ comprising Les VK5KLV and Peter VK5KPR.

They will receive a WSPRLite kindly donated by SOTABEAMS, and a winners certificate each.

The certificate features a photograph of Elephant Rocks in the William Bay National Park, Western Australia.

VK5KLV QRP

2 ops/single tx/40 & 80m/wire antenna/100w or less

‘The Walkie Talkies’ comprising Marija VK5FMAZ and Paul VK5PAS.

They will receive a glass etched trophy each and a winners certificate each.

The certificate features a photograph of Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria.

VK5PAS 2017 VKFF Team Champ 40 & 80

Overall winners.

‘The Walkie Talkies’ comprising Marija VK5FMAZ and Paul VK5PAS.

They will receive a glass etched trophy each and a winners certificate each.

The certificate features a photograph of Russell Falls in the Mount Field National Park, Tasmania.

VK5FMAZ Overall winner 2017 VKFF Team Champ

Thanks to everyone who took part in the event, both activators and hunters.  The following teams took part:-

  • ‘The VK4WIPeouts’ comprising Mark VK4SMA and Murray VK4MWB.
  • ‘Team Kookaburra’ comprising Mick VK3GGG and Tony VK3XV.
  • ”Team Onka” comprising Mike VK5FMWW and Larry VK5FLHR.
  • ‘The Walkie Talkies’ comprising Paul VK5PAS and Marija VK5FMAZ.
  • “Penguin Pirates” comprising Hans VK6XN and Phil VK6ADF.
  • “The 2 Robbies” comprising Rob VK4AAC and Rob VK4FFAB.

 

And many thanks to all the sponsors of the event – SOTABEAMS, Pages of Cobram, and those donated some $$$$.  Your involvement is greatly appreciated.

Next years event will be held on Sunday 21st October 2018.  There will be some changes to the event, making it fairer for the VK6 activators.

More information on the 2017 VKFF Team Championship can be found at….

http://www.wwffaustralia.com/2017-results.html

Scott Creek Conservation Park 5CP-207 and VKFF-0788

Today (Thursday 2nd November 2017) I decided to head out into the field to try out my brand new Yaesu FT-857d which I had delivered yesterday.  My original FT-857d which has racked up thousands of QSOs out in the field, gave up and died during an activation last Friday.  So I wanted to give the new rig a run before our planned trip to Victoria and New South Wales.  I also had acquired this week a Yaesu FT-897 from a deceased estate auction through my local radio club, so I wanted to give that a whirl as well.

I chose to activate Scott Creek Conservation Park 5CP-207 & VKFF-0788 as it is close to home.  On the way to the park I phoned my good mate John VK5BJE a call to see if he wanted to accompany me on the activation, as he lives very close to the park.  John agreed, and we made arrangements to meet at the park.

The park is located in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’, about 20 km south east of the city of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 7.15.51 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Scott Creek Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Scott Creek Conservation Park is about 712 hectares in size and was contains some of the most diverse areas of native vegetation in the Adelaide Hills.  The park features sloped valleys, lush creeklines and rounded ridgetops.  The Mount Bold Reservoir is located adjacent to the southern and south eastern boundary of the park.

The main upper canopy species is messmate stringybark which is associated with several other species, including South Australian blue gum, pink gum and cup gum.  In some valleys, river red gum and manna gum are the dominant canopy species.  Silky tea-tree, swamp wattle, soft water fern, and several sedge and rush species grow in the cooler, damper creeklines.  Some of the dominant species occurring in the diverse lower canopy include golden wattle, sweet bursaria, silver banksia, needle bush, drooping sheoak and native cherry.  Understorey species such as common heath, flame heath, common fringe myrtle and lavender grevillea are conspicuous  when in flower.

The park was established on the 7th day of November 1985.  The land which is now the park was formerly Peramangk Aboriginal territory.  European settlers first arrived in the late 1830s.  The Mackereth and Hill families cut timber from the land for use in building the city of Adelaide.  Mackareth cottage can be found just outside of the park.  The cottage dates back to 1839/1840, just 3-4 years after the proclamation of South Australia.   For many years the cottage housed a museum and on occasions provided Devonshire teas on weekend openings to visitors.  In 1984 the National Trust relinquished its interests and the cottage was closed.  It has since fallen into the disgraceful condition it is in today, covered in grafitti.  The cottage is located on SA Water land, who I contacted a number of years ago about the state of disrepair the cottage was in.  They seemed totally disinterested.  The South Australian State Government and SA Water should hang their head in shame.

Above:- Mackareth cottage in its glory (left), and what the cottage now looks like (right).

In about 1847 a Mr Scott brought his flock of sheep to the area and pitched a camp, near the bottom of the creek, Scott Creek, where it empties into the Onkaparinga River.  The people of nearby Cherry Gardens would refer to that locality as Scott’s Bottom, and the stream as Scott’s Creek.  Thus the name for the area.

In 1850, the wheel of a dray wagon broke off pieces of rock which contained copper. Subsequent years saw the area mined for copper and eventually silver.  At one stage about 235 claims were pegged along Scott Creek.  The Almanda Silver Mining Association was formed in 1868 and by the time production was stopped in 1887, the mine had produced 10,000 ounces (310kg) of silver.

70372288.jpg

Above:- The Almanda Silver mine, c. 1868.  A drawing by W.A. Cawthorne.  Courtesy of Trove

The land which is now Scott Creek Conservation Park was privately owned until the early 1970s when land was purchased by the South Australian State Government, with the conservation park being officially declared in 1985.

Over 125 species of native bird have been recorded in the park includingCommon Bronzewing, Laughing Kookaburra, Striated Thornbill, White-browed Scrubwren, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater,Eurasian Coot, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Shining Bronze Cuckoo, Black-shouldered Kite, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Weebill, & Jacky Winter.  During our visit to the park John and I had numerous Red Breasted Robins dancing around where we were operating.  Sadly, I left my camera at home, so I could not get any good bird shots.  All photos were taken on my i-phone.

Numerous native marsupials call the park home including the Southern Brown Bandicoot, the Western Grey Kangaroo, the Koala, the Yellow Footed Antechinus, the Common Ringtail Possum, and the Common Brushtail Possum.  For more information on the fauna of Scott Creek, please have a look at…..

http://users.on.net/~rkwilliams/FoSCCP/Fauna.html

The park has an excellent Friends Group, and more information can be found at….

http://friendsofscottcreek.org.au/

I had just arrived at the park at gate 8 at the start of Cup Gum Track, and was starting to unload the vehicle when John also arrived.  We walked a short distance into the park and set up in the shade of some trees, as it was quite a warm afternoon.

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 7.15.35 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the Scott Creek Conservation Park, showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

We headed to 7.144 and heard Dennis VK2HHA talking with Ron VK3MRH.  We gave them both a call and logged them and then heard Marcus VK2SK come up on the frequency and heard him go back to Gerard VK2JNG who was in a park.  Sadly we were unable to hear Gerard’s signal and we were a little confused at what was going on on the frequency, so we QSYd down to 7.139 where we continued our conversation/s with Dennis and Ron.  Bu then Mick VK3GGG came up to let us know that the other Gerard, Gerard VK2IO was on 7.140 and was in a park.  Again we were unable to hear VK2IO at all, so we QSY’d again, down to 7.135.

John and I swapped the mic, logging stations, using the brand new shiny Yaesu FT-857d.  We were very keen on receiving audio reports and had a number of very useful comments.  All appeared good.  Signals appeared a little down compared to normal, but we still managed QSOs into VK1, VK2, VK3, VK5 and VK7.  This included a Park to Park contact with Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Wallumatta Nature Reserve VKFF-2012.  We were a little surprised when Gerard called in, as just 30 minutes earlier we were unable to hear him.   John and I logged a total of 15 stations before deciding to try out the Yaesu FT-897.

IMG_0634

Above:- the brand new Yaeu FT-857d

John and I again swapped the mic, logging a steady flow of callers from VK2, VK3, and VK5.  We then tuned across the band and logged another Park to Park, this time with Gerard VK2JNG/p who was in the Richmond Range National Park VKFF-0431.  Gerard had also been unreadable an hour earlier, but his signal had now come up to a good 5/3, with Gerard running just 15 watts.

IMG_0637

Above:- the Yaesu FT-897

We then headed to the 80m band and started calling CQ on 3.610.  This was answered by Barry VK5BW who had followed us down from 40m.  Barry was roaring in at 5/9 plus from Bridgewater in the Adelaide Hills.  This was followed by Greg VK5GJ who was also strong, and finally Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula.  Sadly, despite the 80m band being open across VK5, and Barry putting out a call for us on the local repeater, Barry, Greg and Adrian were our only callers on 80m.

We then moved to the 20m band and called CQ on 14.310 which was answered by Cliff VK2NP, with a strong 5/8 signal, followed by Colin VK4PDX who was 5/9 and then Gerard VK2IO/p in the Wallumatta Nature Reserve VKFF-2012.  It was terrific to get another Park to Park with Gerard on another band.  This was followed by another Park to Park on 20m, this time with Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Richmond Range National Park VKFF-0431.  We logged a further 4 stations and then booked in to the ANZA DX Net on 14.182.  Conditions there were quite good, and we logged 6 stations each, including Maurice FK8HZ in New Caledonia, Mike YJ0MB in Vanuatu, and Jim E51JD in the Cook Islands.

To complete the activation we moved back to 40m where we logged a further 12 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5, including a Park to Park QSO with Peter VK3HSB/p in the Alpine National Park VKFF-0619.

IMG_0630

Above:- John VK5BJE on the mic.

We packed up and both headed home, with a total of 102 stations in the log between us, including some nice Pacific DX contacts on 20m, and five Park to Park contacts.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HHA
  2. VK3MRH
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK3GGG
  5. VK3PMG
  6. VK3SQ
  7. VK3ANL
  8. VK2NEO
  9. VK7MPR
  10. VK1LAJ/p
  11. VK2IO/p (Wallumatta Nature Reserve VKFF-2012)
  12. VK7JON
  13. VK5BW
  14. VK7FOLK
  15. VK3VGB
  16. VK2FANT
  17. VK5KBJ
  18. VK5GJ
  19. VK3VIN
  20. VK3UP
  21. VK2JNG/p (Richmond Range National Park VKFF-0431)
  22. VK3NBL
  23. VK2VW
  24. VK5NRG
  25. VK2SVN
  26. VK3NCC
  27. VK3KRH
  28. VK3BBB
  29. VK2ZK
  30. VK4NH
  31. VK3HSB/p (Alpine National Park VKFF-0619)
  32. VK2LEE
  33. VK3FMKE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BW
  2. VK5GJ
  3. VK5FANA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2NP
  2. VK4PDX
  3. VK2IO/p (Wallumatta Nature Reserve VKFF-2012)
  4. VK2JNG/p (Richmond Range National Park VKFF-0431)
  5. VK4RF
  6. VK4HA
  7. VK2HOT
  8. VK4HNS
  9. FK8RZ
  10. VK1TX
  11. YJ0MB
  12. VK4NH
  13. E52JD
  14. VK4DXA

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/mount-lofty-botanic-gardens/>, viewed 2nd November 2017

Friends of Scott Creek, 2017, <http://friendsofscottcreek.org.au/Fauna.html>, viewed 2nd November 2017

National Parks South Australia, 2017, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/scott-creek-conservation-park>, viewed 2nd November 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Creek_Conservation_Park>, viewed 2nd November 2017