Croajingolong National Park VKFF-0119

Our second activation for day eight (Saturday 11th November 2017) was the Croajingolong National Park VKFF-0119, which is located about 495 km east of Melbourne, and about 20 km from Cann River.  This was to be a new park for Marija and I for the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award (KRMNPA) and the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Croajingolong National Park.  Map courtesy of google maps

After packing up at the Alfred National Park, Marija and I headed south on West Wingan Road towards the coast.  We soon reached the boundary of the Croajingolong National Park.  Marija had checked out the possibility of activating SOTA peak Mount Everard VK3/ VG-151 which is in the park.  But when we reached the track which lead to the summit, there was a locked gate.  The sign on the gate read ‘Seasonal Closure.  Open from 31 Oct’, and it was certainly passed the 31st October, but none the less the gate was locked.  This meant a significant hike along the track to reach the summit, and we decided to leave it for another day.

Croajingolong National Park is a large park, comprising 88,355-hectares (218,330-acre).  The park is about 80 km by 20 km and is linear in shape.  It was established on the 26th April 1979.  The park is bordered on the southern side by the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean, the western side by Bemm River and the eastern side by the town of Mallacoota.  The park’s northern boundary comprises dense bushland and low hills.

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Above:- Aerial view of the park.  Courtesy of google maps

Together with the adjoining Nadgee Nature Reserve in New South Wales, the park forms one of only 12 Wold Biosphere areas in Australia.  It was nominated in 1977 by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve due to Croajingolong’s spectacular landscapes and environmental significance.

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Above:- Map showing the Croajingolong National Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The name Croajingolong derives from the Aboriginal Krauatungalung words galung, meaning “belonging to” and kraua, meaning “east”.  In 1870, Captain James Cook’s first sighting of Australia’s east coast occurred at Point Hicks in what is now the National Park.  By the 1830’s European settlers had commenced to arrive in area and by the 1850’s pastoralists occupied most of the better land in the area.

In the early 1900s two national parks were set aside around Mallacoota and Wingan Inlet, and in 1970 Captain Cook National Park was established at Point Hicks.  These parks combined to form Croajingolong National Park in 1979.

The park is home to nearly 1,000 native plant species including around 90 species of orchids.  A total of native mammal species, 26 reptile species and 306 species of birds have been recorded in the park.  The birds represent about half of Victoria’s and a third of Australia’s total bird species.  Threatened species found in the park include the Ground Parrot, Eastern Bristlebird, Smoky Mouse, Grey‐headed Flying Fox and Australian Fur Seal.

We continued along West Wingan Road until we reached the Wingan Inlet campground which is located in tall Bloodwood forest on the western shore of Wingan Inlet.  The Wingan River rises below Mount Future, near the Wingan Swamp, north of the Alfred National Park between Cann River and Genoa, and flows generally south through the Croajingolong National Park joined by eight minor tributaries before reaching its mouth with Bass Strait, at the Wingan Inlet.

There was a nice cleared area here in amongst the forest, which allowed us to stretch out the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

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Above:- Our operating spot at Wingan Inlet campground.  Image courtesy of google maps

As we were unsure on what band conditions were going to be like, Marija and I again decided to share the mic until Marija had 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.  We headed to 7.144 and called CQ which was answered by Rex VK3OF/p in the Barmah National Park VKFF-0739.  Rex was quite weak (5/3), as we were to him, but as we both had no man made noise in our parks, we were able to work each other very comfortably.  Next up was Scott VK7NWT, followed by Gerard VK2JNG/p.  Gerard advised us that he was at a park, but was just outside the park boundary as he had encountered a locked gate.  This was a shame as we would have loved to have logged Gerard Park to Park from Croajingolong.

A few QSOs later we had another Park Park in the log, a contact with Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Prospect Nature Reserve VKFF-1986.  Marija’s 10th contact came in the form of another Park to Park, this time with Mark VK4SMA/p who was activating the Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve VKFF-1529.

Marija took a break from the radio, with 10 contacts in the log, and I perservered under some pretty trying band conditions.  I logged Jonathan VK7JON, followed by Jim VK2FADV, and then a Park to Park with Neil VK4HNS/p who was activating the Springbrook National Park VKFF-0463.  But that was when things really dried up on 40m with callers, so I headed to the 80m band.

When I tuned to 3.610 I found Peter VK3ZPF/p there, calling CQ from SOTA summit Mount Donna Buang VK3/ VC-002 in the Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556.  Peter had a strong 5/8 signal.  Each time a Park to Park appeared, Marija also logged the station.  As we had no internet coverage, Peter kindly spotted us on parksnpeaks on 3.605.  We there logged two further Park to Park contacts, with Peter VK3PF/p in the Tarra Bulga National Park VKFF-0480 and Allen VK3ARH who was in the Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620.  Both Peter and Allen were quite low down (5/3) but perfectly readable.

DSC_9962

I then headed to 14.310 on the 20m band where I called CQ on 14.310.  My only taker there was John VK4TJ, who kindly gave me his two other calls of VK4/AC8WN and VK4/VE6XT.  I was very appreciative of this, as the quest to getting 44 contacts during this activation was very hard.

I moved back to 40m where Marija and I logged two further Park to Park contacts, before propping on a frequency and calling CQ.  Those contacts were with Malcolm VK3OAK/p who was in the Mount Richmond National Park VKFF-0361 and Mark VK3OHM/p who was activating the Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0630.

I then moved down to 7.150 and called CQ, which was answered by David VK3TUN/p who was activating the Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630.  I kept calling CQ, with often many minutes of no callers.  But I perservered, having learnt from previous activations, that sometimes you just have to keep calling and calling, and you will eventually fill up your log.

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Above:- Conditions were quite frustrating at times

Two hours into the activation I had contact number 44 in the log, that being a QSO with Doug VK3FJAE.  After Doug, I logged a further 5 stations before deciding to call it a day.  Marija had qualified the park for the KRMNPA and VKFF, while I had also qualifed the park under very difficult conditions for WWFF.

During our activation we had a number of visitors, both human, reptile, and some of our feathered friends.  I had a good chat to a couple of boaties who were about to head out for an afternoon of fishing.  They were very interested in what we were doing and had a listen to some of our contacts.  Birds spotted during our activation included a number of Australian King Parrots who are very identifiable by their bright red head and body.  We also had numerous Superb Fairy Wrens dancing around us during the activation.

We also observed a Lace Monitor.  These reptiles are the second largest monitor in Australia after the Perentie.  They can reach as long as 2.1 metres, and the one we observed was certainly quite large.  There were a number of people camping in the area and it made Marija and I wonder how you would feel if you encountered a Monitor in your tent.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3OF/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  2. VK7NWT
  3. VK2JNG/p
  4. VK2WWV
  5. VK3JP
  6. VK3CA
  7. VK3NSC
  8. VK2IO/p (Prospect Nature Reserve VKFF-1986)
  9. VK4FFAB
  10. VK4SMA/p (Denmark Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-1529)
  11. VK4HNS/p (Springbrook National Park VKFF-0463)
  12. VK3OAK/p (Mount Richmond National Park VKFF-0361)
  13. VK3OHM/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  14. VK3TUN/p (Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-002 & Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  2. VK3PF/p (Tarra Bulga National Park VKFF-0480)
  3. VK3ARH/p (Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3OF/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  2. VK7NWT
  3. VK2JNG/p
  4. VK2WWV
  5. VK3JP
  6. VK3CA
  7. VK3NSC
  8. VK2IO/p (Prospect Nature Reserve VKFF-1986)
  9. VK4SMA/p (Denmark Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-1529)
  10. VK7JON/m
  11. VK2FADV
  12. VK4HNS/p (Springbrook National Park VKFF-0463)
  13. VK3OAK/p (Mount Richmond National Park VKFF-0361)
  14. VK3OHM/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  15. VK3TUN/p (Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630)
  16. VK7DW
  17. VK3PWG
  18. VK7QP
  19. VK2YK
  20. VK3DHI
  21. VK3LDB
  22. VK5KLV
  23. VK3NLK
  24. VK4PDX
  25. VK3NBL/p
  26. VK2LEE
  27. VK3KRH
  28. VK7WH
  29. VK3ELH
  30. VK3PAT
  31. VK4RF
  32. VK4HA
  33. VK3FSPG
  34. VK3MPR
  35. VK3KTO
  36. VK3CWF
  37. VK2FDRN
  38. VK3FJAE
  39. VK3FLMJ
  40. VK5NRG
  41. VK2SK
  42. VK7AN
  43. VK5GJ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-002 & Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  2. VK3PF/p (Tarra Bulga National Park VKFF-0480)
  3. VK3ARH/p (Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK4/VE6XT
  3. VK4/AC8WN

After packing up Marija and I headed back along West Wingan Road and onto the Princes Highway.  We stopped off at the Drummer Rainforest Walk, which is about 11 km east of Cann River.  Two hundred million years ago, when the climate was much wetter and warmer, dinosaurs roamed through flourishing rainforests.  Only a small percentage of Australia’s original rainforest areas remain, including Drummer.  The walk is around 1 km and takes you through the warm temperate rainforest adjacent to the Thurra River.

During our walk we were lucky enough to spot a few Gippsland Water Dragons, a large lizard, measuring up to 80 cm.  They are good swimmers and often dive into the water when disturbed.  They can remain submerged for around 30 minutes.

We then headed back into Cann River and again went to the Cann River Hotel for dinner, and then enjoyed a quite night back in the motel room.

 

References.

Oz Animals, 2017, <http://www.ozanimals.com/Reptile/Gippsland-Water-Dragon/Physignathus/lesueurii%20howittii.html>, viewed 30th November 2017

Parks Victoria, ‘Croajingolong National Park Visitor Guide’.

Parks Victoria, 2017, <http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/croajingolong-national-park>, viewed 30th November 2017

State of Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2005, ‘Drummer Rainforest Walk, Forest Notes’

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croajingolong_National_Park>, viewed 30th November 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingan_River>, viewed 30th November 2017

2 thoughts on “Croajingolong National Park VKFF-0119

  1. Great job you are both doing on this road trip. I appreciate the added detail of your travels -the photos, videos and maps, etc. And of course the hundreds of hf contacts associated with your various contests. All very interesting and entertaining! Mike, KEØGZT

  2. Hi Mike,

    We had a terrific trip. We did a total of 4,500 km, and activated 27 parks and 6 SOTA summits. We made around 1,700 contacts.

    The far east coast of Victoria is a great part of our amazing country down here. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    Cheers,

    Paul VK5PAS.

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