Day two and the St Arnaud Regional Park VKFF-0977

Day two (Sunday 5th November 2017) involved an early start from the motel at St Arnaud.  We were up and going by 7.00 a.m. and headed out to our first activation of the day which was the St Arnaud Regional Park VKFF-0977.  This was to be another new park for both Marija and I as activators for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 10.13.34 am.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the St Arnaud Regional Park.  Map courtesy of google maps.

Marija and I headed out of St Arnaud along the Wimmera Highway and turned onto a dirt track into the park and headed to View Point.


There were some nice views from View Point of nearby St Arnaud and the surrounding countryside.

There was also a wooden table and benches at the lookout, however we did have to put up with a bit of a smell in the area and there was a lot of litter strewn about the lookout.  It never ceases to amaze Marija and I how grubby some people can be, with total disregard for the environment.

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Above:- Map showing our operating spot in the park.  Map courtesy of google maps.

The St Arnaud Regional Park is about 957 hectares in size and contains distinctive Box-Ironbark Forest.  The park supports one threatened fauna species, the Swift Parrot, and one threatened plant species, Cane Spear Grass.

Despite the smell, Marija and I decided to set up at the lookout.  We again decided to swap the mic during this activation, until Marija had reached her 10 QSOs to qualify the park for VKFF.  So we set the Yaesu FT-857d at 10 watts and headed to our nominated operating frequency of 7.090.  We normally operate higher in the band, on 7.144, but that part of the 40m band is very busy on Sunday mornings with the WIA broadcasts.

When we got to 7.090 we found Rob VK4NHH calling CQ from SOTA peak North of Mount Byron VK4/ SE-043 in the D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129.  Rob had a beautiful strong 5/8 signal and he reciprocated with a 5/7 for us.  It was a great way to start the activation with a SOTA summit and a Park to Park.

We then headed to 7.115 and started calling CQ.  John VK5BJE was first in the log on that frequency with a very strong 5/9 signal.  It was at this time that a gentleman arrived at the lookout in his car looking for his 2 dogs which had run off.  Marija continued on, logging stations, whilst I had a chat explaining what we were doing.

Within 20 minutes, Marija had her 10 contacts in the log.  Contact number 10 was with Gerard VK2JNG/mobile.  Once Marija had 16 contacts in the log, she was happy to hand the mic over to me, with a view to me boxing on to hopefully get my 44 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

Conditions on the 40m band were quite good, and within 90 minutes I had contact number 44 in the log.  Brett VK2FADV was QSO number 44.  It was clear that close in propagation on 40m was not good, with just two Victorian (VK3) stations in the log on 40m.  So I lowered the squid pole and inserted the 80m links and started calling CQ on 3.610.  Peter VK3PF answered my call, followed by Ian VK3VIN, and then Allen VK3ARH.

I then called CQ on 14.310 but had no takers.  I also tried 5 minutes of CQ calls on 21.250 on the 15m band, but did not have any callers there either.  To complete the activation we headed back to the 40m band for one last quick tune across the band.  We found Peter VK3TKK/p on 7.170 in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park VKFF-0231.

We packed up and headed back into St Arnaud for a good look around and some lunch.  Marija had 17 contacts in the log, whilst I had 48 contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4NHH (SOTA North of Mt Byron VK4/ SE-043 & D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129)
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK2IO
  4. VK2AKA
  5. VK2YK
  6. VK7KW
  7. VK4NH
  8. VK4DXA
  9. VK2PKT
  10. VK2JNG/m
  11. VK7JON
  12. VK2EIR/m
  13. VK5IS
  14. VK7FOLK
  15. VK5KBJ
  16. VK2VW
  17. VK3TKK/p (Hattah-Kulkyne National Park VKFF-0231)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4NHH/p(SOTA North of Mt Byron VK4/ SE-043 & D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129)
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK2AKA
  4. VK2YK
  5. VK7KW
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. VK2PKT
  9. VK2JNG/m
  10. VK7JON
  11. VK2EIR/m
  12. VK5IS
  13. VK7FOLK
  14. VK5KBJ
  15. VK2VW
  16. VK2NP
  17. VK2ZK
  18. VK2JDC
  19. VK5ZEA
  20. VK2LEE
  21. VK7DX
  22. VK4RF
  23. VK4HA
  24. VK5WG
  25. VK2GAZ
  26. VK5KLV
  27. VK5FUZZ
  28. VK2ESG
  29. VK5KC
  30. VK7DW
  31. VK7FRJG
  32. VK2XXM
  33. VK3HQZ/p
  34. VK7VKV
  35. VK7ABY
  36. VK7DIK
  37. VK2HHA
  38. VK7FGRA
  39. VK1BUB
  40. VK3PF
  41. VK4FBGR
  42. VK2DDZ
  43. VK7RN
  44. VK2FADV
  45. VK3TKK/p (Hattah-Kulkyne National Park VKFF-0231)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3VIN
  3. VK3ARH

After packing up we ventured back to St Arnaud and paid a visit to the Information Centre.  We then took a walk around St Arnaud viewing some of the historic buildings.  The town is named after French marshal Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud, commander-in-chief of the army of the East.  There is a statue in the town of Saint Arnaud.  There is also a statue of William John Wills, whon in 1858 assisted in the surveying of the original streets of the town before embarking on the ill fated Burke and Wills expedition to the Gulf of Carpenteria.

Marija and I enjoyed a great $10.00 lunch at the Botanical Hotel.



Environment Conservation Council, ‘Box-Ironbark Forests and Woodlands Investigation’.

4 thoughts on “Day two and the St Arnaud Regional Park VKFF-0977

  1. Hi Paul,
    This park is a new one for me. But I have driven past the park on many occasions while travelling to Bendigo. One day I might stop! The National Parks have been highest on my Victorian agenda.
    I am surprised there were not a few more VK3s on 80 metres?
    John D

    • G’day John,

      I’ve been trying to bowl over the Victorian NP’s myself. So far I’ve activated 25 of the 45 Victorian National Parks, so I still have a fair way to go.

      As for 80m, we were a little surprised as well that there weren’t more callers from VK3.


      Paul VK5PAS.

  2. I concur with the amazing amount of mess being found at some activation sites. Always concerns me as it sometimes is an indicator of the unsavoury types as well.
    I am a bit amazed that you found a ‘New’ activation though!!


    • Hi Chris,

      I guess some people just don’t give a toss. It was clear that a few people had been to the toilet at the lookout. But it was such a nice spot we just grinned and beared it during the activation.


      Paul VK5PAS

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