Day eight and Alfred National Park VKFF-0618, the first activation for the 2017 KRMNPA Weekend.

It was now day eight (Saturday 11th November 2017) of our trip, and the first day of our 4 planned park activations for the 2017 Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award Weekend.  Our first park of the day was to be the Alfred National Park VKFF-0618 which is located about 466 km east of Melbourne, and about 20 km east of Cann River.

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

Before heading to the park Marija and I enjoyed a very nice breakfast and a coffee at Relics Cafe at Cann River.  The egg and bacon roll was a great start to the day.  We then headed out of Cann River, east on the Princes Highway.

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Research the night before showed that there were no tracks as such in the Alfred National Park, so we turned right onto West Wingan Road following the western boundary of the park.  We then turned left onto Soda Creek Track.  We drove down Soda Creek Track and set up in amongst the scrub near Allen Creek Track.  The Alfred National Park Visitor Guide actually states:

“there is little opportunity for visitors to stop and enjoy the park due to the risk posed by high speed traffic” (referring to the Princes Highway).

Apparently 30 years ago, the Princes Highway was windy and gravel and allowed for easy stopping and a view of the park.  However, the highway is now sealed and the high speed of vehicles on the highway, no longer allows people to stop to admire the park.

Alfred National Park is 3,050-hectare (7,500-acre) in size and was established back on 23rd December 1925, prior to a National Parks Act or any ranger service.  The park preserves examples of warm temperate rainforest, particularly the jungle of Mount Drummer.  The park is of national significance, and many of the vegetation communities within the park contain species of flora and fauna that are uncommon or rare in Victoria.  It was named after the then Minister for Lands and Water Supply, Alfred Downard.

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Above:- Aerial View of the Alfred National Park.  The cleared green area is Cann River.  Image courtesy of google maps

The rainforest community consists of a closed canopy of Lilly Pilly with numerous lianas, ferns and epiphytes. The wet sclerophyll forest of Alfred National Park is dominated by Messmate, Mountain Grey Gum and Blue Gum. The understorey features Soft Tree-fern, Austral Mulberry, Hazel Pomaderris and Gippsland Waratah and many species of fern.  The park is particularly known for occurrence of four varieties of tree ferns and of epiphytic orchids such as the Orange-blossom orchid and the Rock orchid.  There are 16 flora species in the park that are considered threatened in Victoria.

Much of the park was devastated as a result of the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.  It had a dramatic effect on much of the vegetation and landscape, but the park has certainly recovered well.

A large amount of native flora can be found in the park including Spot-tailed Quoll, Common Bent-wing Bat, Powerful Owl and Sooty Owl.  A total of 36 species of mammals, 167 of birds, 22 of reptiles and 14 of amphibians have been recorded.  The park is home to an amazing bird, the Lyrebird.  The video below shows some of the amazing sounds that this bird replicates.

On our way to the park we booked in to the Riverland Radio Club Net on 7.115 on the 40m band.  The 40m band appeared to have stabilised a bit over the past few days, with signals being quite good.  It was a promising sign that today’s activation would be fruitful.

After we set up Marija and I again booked in to the Riverland Net where we logged a total of 6 stations from VK2 and VK5.  We then tuned across the band to see if we could find any other park activators and it wasn’t long before we did.  We found Peter VK3ZPF/p on 7.139 calling CQ from the Lake Eildon National Park VKFF-0625.  We then worked Matt VK4FMHT/p who was activating the King Island Conservation Park VKFF-1573.

We then headed to 7.150 and started calling CQ.  This was answered by Ian VK5IS in the Mid North of South Australia, followed by Adam VK2YK, and then Garry VK2GAZ.  Signals from New South Wales were very strong.  Adam was our contact number 1o, thus qualifying the park for the VKFF program.  Marija then decided to take a breather and have a walk around the park.

I continued on, calling CQ on 7.150 and logging a total of 45 stations before the UTC rollover (11.00 a.m. Victorian local time).  Contact number 44, qualifying the park for me for the global WWFF program, was a QSO with Rod VK7FRJG in Hobart who was 5/9.  Rod uses a home brew Moxon rectangle as an antenna, and always has a brilliant signal.  Contact number 45 was another Park to Park contact, this time with Rex VK3OF/p who was in the Barmah National Park VKFF-0739.  Marija was quick to log Rex as well.

Once I had my 44 contacts in the log I convinced Marija to get back on the mic.  It was now just after the UTC rollover.  Marija called CQ and that was answered by Cliff VK2NP, followed by Nan VK2KRN who was running QRP, and then Mark VK4SMA/p who was activating the Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve VKFF-1529.  A few QSOs later we had another Park to Park in the log, Malcolm VK3OAK/p who was in the Mount Eccles National Park VKFF-0345.

Marija logged a further 5 stations and callers started to slow down.  So we took the opportunity of tuning across the band in the hope that we would pick up some more Park to Park contacts.  It wasn’t long and we found Tony VK3XV/p on 7.144 who was activating the Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629.

Marija and I then decided to check out the 80m band.   We headed to 3.605 and started calling CQ and we soon had another Park to Park in the log, with a contact with Peter VK3ZPF/p who was in the Lake Eildon National Park VKFF-0625.  This was followed by Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Morwell National Park VKFF-0626.  Two further stations were logged, Geoff VK3SQ at Beechworth and Ian VK1DI in Canberra.

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I then moved to the 20m band and called CQ on 14.310.  This was answered by Lee VK2LEE, John VK5BJE, and then Peter VK5KX.  I logged a further 3 stations on 20m from VK2, VK4, and VK5.

We then moved back to 40m.  Marija needed a further 16 contacts to qualify the park for 44, so she commenced calling CQ which was answered by Michael VK3FCMC, followed by Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Prospect Nature Reserve VKFF-1986, and then Lee VK2LEE.  Marija was then called by Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG who was activating the Budj Bim National Park VKFF-0345.

Marija soon had her 44 in the log, a contact with Les VK3FLES.  Our final contact at Alfred was another Park to Park, this time with Marc VK3OHM/p who was in the Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132.  Marija had qualified the park, with 46 contacts, and I had also qualified the park with 64 contacts.  It was time to pack up and head off to our next park, the Croajinolong National Park.

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Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BRL
  2. VK5MJ
  3. VK2PKT
  4. VK5DW
  5. VK5MRE
  6. VK2SK
  7. VK3ZPF/p (Lake Eildon National Park VKFF-0625)
  8. VK4FMHT/p (King Island Conservation Park VKFF-1573)
  9. VK5IS
  10. VK2YK
  11. VK3OF/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  12. VK2NP
  13. VK2KRN
  14. VK4SMA/p (Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve VKFF-1529)
  15. VK7JON/m
  16. VK7FOLK/m
  17. VK2FRKO/p
  18. VK2SLB
  19. VK3OAK/p (Mount Eccles National Park VKFF-0345)
  20. VK2BTC
  21. VK2IO/m
  22. VK7FRJG
  23. VK7EI
  24. VK7DX
  25. VK3XV/p (Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629)
  26. VK3FCMC
  27. VK2IO/p (Prospect Nature Reserve VKFF-1986)
  28. VK2LEE
  29. VK3PMG/p (Budj Bim National Park VKFF-0345)
  30. VK3GGG/p (Budj Bim National Park VKFF-0345)
  31. VK3FHCT
  32. VK3MRG/p
  33. VK4TJ
  34. VK4/AC8WN
  35. VK4/VE6XT
  36. VK5KLV
  37. VK3HKV
  38. VK3EJS
  39. VK3JDA
  40. VK2MOR
  41. VK3FLES
  42. VK3UH
  43. VK3OHM/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (Lake Eildon National Park VKFF-0625)
  2. VK3PF/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  3. VK1DI

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BRL
  2. VK5MJ
  3. VK2PKT
  4. VK5DW
  5. VK5MRE
  6. VK2SK
  7. VK3ZPF/p (Lake Eildon National Park VKFF-0625)
  8. VK4FMHT/p (King Island Conservation Park VKFF-1573)
  9. VK5IS
  10. VK2YK
  11. VK2GAZ
  12. VK2YA
  13. VK1WAT
  14. VK4RF
  15. VK4HA
  16. VK3TUN
  17. VK2VW
  18. VK2FOUZ
  19. VK2IPK
  20. VK2FXRR
  21. VK2FADV
  22. VK4TJ
  23. VK4/VE6XT
  24. VK4/AC8WN
  25. VK7FGRA
  26. VK4FDJL
  27. VK3NSC
  28. VK2WWV
  29. VK2JNG/m
  30. VK3PWG
  31. VK5KLV
  32. VK2GIB
  33. VK7ZGK
  34. VK3FAHS/p
  35. VK2KT
  36. VK7FOLK/m
  37. VK2QA
  38. VK7MPR
  39. VK1AT
  40. VK1DI
  41. VK2AJG
  42. VK2ZGH
  43. VK2FHIT
  44. VK7FRJG
  45. VK3OF/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  46. VK4SMA/p (Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve VKFF-1529)
  47. VK7JON/m
  48. VK3OAK/p (Mount Eccles National Park VKFF-0345)
  49. VK3XV/p (Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629)
  50. VK2IO/p (Prospect Nature Reserve VKFF-1986)
  51. VK3FHCT
  52. VK3PMG/p (Budj Bim National Park VKFF-0345)
  53. VK3GGG/p (Budj Bim National Park VKFF-0345)
  54. VK3OHM/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (Lake Eildon National Park VKFF-0625)
  2. VK3PF/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK1DI

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2LEE
  2. VK5BKE
  3. VK5KX
  4. VK4ANI/p
  5. VK4LMB
  6. VK5WG

 

References.

Parks Victoria, 2012, ‘Alfred National Park Visitor Guide’.

Parks Victoria, 1998, ‘Lind and Alfred National Parks Management Plan’.

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

2 thoughts on “Day eight and Alfred National Park VKFF-0618, the first activation for the 2017 KRMNPA Weekend.

  1. G’day John,

    I’d like to try to do a tally on all of our contacts to see where they were spread across. It was much harder on 40m going getting back to VK5 from the other side of Melbourne, compared to Melb itself and the western part of Victoria.

    Thanks for all of the contacts.

    73,

    Paul VK5PAS.

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