Day nine, Coopracambra National Park VKFF-0113

Day nine (Sunday 12th November 2017) had crept up very quickly on us.  We had two activations planned today for the 2017 Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award Weekend.  The first being the Coopracambra National Park VKFF-0113, which is located about 473 km east of Melbourne and about 29 km north of Cann River.

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

The Coopracambra National Park is another large park, comprising some 38,800-hectares (96,000-acres), and was established in 1988.  The northern boundary of the park is defined by the Black-Allan Line that marks part of the border between Victoria and New South Wales.  The Monaro Highway defines the park’s western boundary. Within the confines of the park, the Genoa River flows eastwards to the Tasman Sea. T he highest peak in the park is Mount Coopracambra, with an elevation of 1,103 metres (3,619 ft).

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Above:- Map showing the location of the park on the Victorian/New South Wales State border.  Map courtesy of google maps

Combined with the adjoining South East Forests National Park located in New South Wales, the Coopracambra National Park forms one of the largest contiguous areas of high quality wilderness in south-eastern Australia that spans from Bombala in New South Wales to the town of Cann River in Victoria.

Vegetation varies from warm temperate rainforest in the sheltered gullies to open forests of White and Red Stringybark on the ridges, while the riparian zone is dominated by Kanooka and Peppermint. The massive Gippsland Grey Box is particularly striking, with its rough grey trunks contrasting dramatically with snowy white branches. Wildflowers are plentiful in the park, some of which are classified as very significant.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing the Coopracambra National Park.  Image courtesy of google maps

Norman Wakefield (1918-1972), a naturalist, walked the Genoa Gorge and noted the qualities and diversities of native species in the area.  In 1972 he reported the discovery of the oldest known fossill footprints (355 million years old) near the Genoa River.  He made recommendations for the creation of a park, which was to become Coopracambra.

As we had done the morning before, Marija and I headed over to Relics Cafe for a coffee and some breakfast.  We then headed north out of Cann River on the Monaro Highway.  We stopped off briefly to have a look at the old Noorinbee school, which was the first public building for the Cann River residents, built by the local community with voluntary labour and materials in 1898.

We continued north on the Monaro Highway and along the way I spoke with Jim VK2QA, Ron VK3JP and COlin VK3ZZS/7.

We soon reached the south western corner of the Coopracambra National Park.

Although it is possible to access Cooopracambra National Park from any direction using a network of roads, sections of these roads are only suitable for 4WD vehicles.  We accessed the park via WB Line, the main park track.

As we drove along the track we both logged Ian VK1DI/p from the mobile.  Ian being in the Dunlop Grasslands Nature Reserve VKFF-0839.

WB Line has steep grades and is not recommended for conventional vehicles.  We drove a few kms along the track until we reached Yambulla Track.

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There was a nice area here off WB Track where we could park the vehicle and string out the dipole.  Surrounding us was the beautiful forest that is the Coopracambra National Park.

Once we were out of the car we immediately noticed an abundance of native flowers, many of which were very very tiny, but quite spectacular.

We were all set up and ready to go by around 2345 UTC (10.45 a.m. Victorian local time).  As it was before the UTC rollover, we could work stations before and after the UTC rollover, and these would count towards our 44 QSO required for the global World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  We immediately headed to 7.144 once set up and found John VK2AWJ/3 calling CQ from the Errinunda National Park VKFF-0158.  John was quite low to us (4/2), as Errinundra is quite close.  But we were able to successfully log John.  It was a nice way to start the activation with a Park to Park contact.

We then found Joe VK3YSP/p and Julie VK3FOWL/p, operating as VK3SRC/p in the Churchill National Park VKFF-0621, calling CQ on 7.100.  Joe and Julie had a very strong 5/9 signal to Coopracambra.  Next in our log was David VK3IL/p on 7.090, who was activating SOTA summit Mount Stirling VK3/ VE-011.

Marija and I then moved up to 7.095 and started calling CQ.  This was answered by Dennis VK2HHA, followed by Adam VK2YK, and then Roscoe VK3KRH with a booming signal on his beam.  Next in the log was another Park to Park, this time with Rex VK3OF/p who was activating the Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741.  Our 10th contact, qualifying the park for us for VKFF, was Roald VK1RZ.

As Marija now had 10 contacts and had qualified the park for VKFF, she was happy to hand the mic to me.  I continued to call CQ and was pleased to hear that the 40m band was in quite good condition, with stations logged from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK7.  The South Australian stations (VK5) were noticeably absent.  Obviously propagation back over the border on 40m was not working.

A number of Park to Park contacts were logged by both myself and Marija.  They included:-

  • Malcolm VK3OAK/p in the Lower Glenelg National Park VKFF-0296
  • Brett VK3FLCS/p in the Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264
  • Dave VK2ZK/p (VK2JDC/p) in the Turon National Park VKFF-0501
  • Helen VK7FOLK/p in the St Helens Point Conservation Area VKFF-1153
  • David VK3TUN/p in the Heathcote Graytown National Park VKFF-0624
  • Gerard VK2IO/p in the Wambina Nature Reserve VKFF-2014.

I now had 39 stations in the log before the UTC rollover, whilst Marija had 17.

After the UTC rollover I worked a further 16 stations including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Gerard VK2IO/p in the Wambina Nature Reserve VKFF-2014.
  • Mark VK4SMA/p in the Morgan Park Conservation Park VKFF-1597
  • Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Tooloom National Park VKFF-0491
  • Nick VK3ANL/p in the Gresswell Hill Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2104

I now had 55 contacts in the log and had qualified the park for the global WWFF program.

Marija then got back on air and started calling CQ, also hoping to get 44 contacts.  Greg VK7FGRA was first in the log, followed by Lee VK2LEE, and then Michael VK3FCMC.  A few QSOs later Marija was called by Phil VK7FILL/p was activating SOTA summit Mount Roland VK7/ NC-003 in Tasmania with a good 5/5 signal.  About 6 QSOs later Marija was called by Brett VK3FLCS/p for another Park to Park after the rollover from the Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264.

But callers soon dried up, so we decided to try the 80m band.  Unfortunately we only made one contact on 80, but it was a Park to Park, with Brett VK3FLCS in the Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264.

We headed back to 40m where we logged Tony VK3VX in the Wyperfeld National Park VKFF-0549 on 7.139.  Marija then propped on 7.150 and logged 8 stations, passing the required 44 QSOs to qualify the park for WWFF.  Marija’s 44th contact was a QSO with Rick VK4RF.

I then decided to have a go on the 20m band.  My first contact there was with Gerard VK2IO/p in the Wambina Nature Reserve VKFF-2014 on 14.310.  I then moved up the band to 14.315 and called CQ.  This was answered by Colin VK4PDX, followed by Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, and then John VK4TJ.  My 5th and final station logged was Nigel VK6NI in Western Australia.

We had a little bit of time up our sleeve so I decided to try propagation on the 15m band.  I called CQ on 21.244 and this was answered by Colin VK4PDX who had followed me from 20m.  Rick VK4RF/VK4HA then called, followed by Tony VK7LTD and finally John VK4TJ.

To complete the activation we had a final tune across the 40m band, logging 3 more Park to Park contacts: Jonathan VK7JON and Helen VK7FOLK in the Bay of Fires Conservation Area VKFF-1133, and VK3SRC/p in the Churchill National Park VKFF-0621.  Joe and Julie put one of their young students Ethan on the mic and we had a quick chat to him.

DSC_0082

It was time to head off to our next activation of the day, the Lind National Park.  Marija and I had a total of 120 stations in the log between the two of us, including 43 Park to Park QSOs.  It had been a very successful activation.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK2AWJ/p (Errinundra National Park VKFF-0158)
  2. VK3SRC/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  3. VK3FOWL/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  4. VK3YSP/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  5. VK3IL/p (SOTA Mount Stirling VK3/ VE-011)
  6. VK2HHA
  7. VK2YK
  8. VK3KRH
  9. VK3OF/p (Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741)
  10. VK1RZ
  11. VK3OAK/p (Lower Glenelg National Park VKFF-0296)
  12. VK3FLCS/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  13. VK2ZK/p (Turon National Park VKFF-0501)
  14. VK2JDC/p (Turon National Park VKFF-0501)
  15. VK7FOLK/p (St Helens Point Conservation Area VKFF-1153)
  16. VK3TUN/p (Heathcote Graytown National Park VKFF-0624)
  17. VK2IO/p (Wambina Nature Reserve VKFF-2014)

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB after the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Wambina Nature Reserve VKFF-2014)
  2. VK4SMA/p (Morgan Park Conservation Park VKFF-1597)
  3. VK2JNG/p (Tooloom National Park VKFF-0491)
  4. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Hill Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2104)
  5. VK2YK
  6. VK7FGRA
  7. VK2LEE
  8. VK3FCMC
  9. VK3SFG
  10. VK3UH
  11. VK7FILL/p (SOTA Mount Roland VK7/ NC-003)
  12. VK3ARH
  13. VK2BTC
  14. VK3PYE
  15. VK3OHM
  16. VK2XXM
  17. VK3FLCS/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  18. VK7QP
  19. VK3BHR
  20. VK3XV/p (Wyperfeld National Park VKFF-0549)
  21. VK2QA
  22. VK3MRH
  23. VK2PKT
  24. VK7DW
  25. VK3BNJ
  26. VK4RF
  27. VK4HA
  28. VK3TKK/m
  29. VK7FOLK/p (Bay of Fires Conservation Area VKFF-1133)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3FLCS/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK2AWJ/p (Errinundra National Park VKFF-0158)
  2. VK3SRC/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  3. VK3YSP/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  4. VK3FOWL/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  5. VK3IL/p (SOTA Mount Stirling VK3/ VE-011)
  6. VK2HHA
  7. VK2YK
  8. VK3KRH
  9. VK3OF/p (Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741)
  10. VK1RZ
  11. VK3OAK/p (Lower Glenelg National Park VKFF-0296)
  12. VK3OHM
  13. VK3SQ
  14. VK3FLCS/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  15. VK1MA
  16. VK3GGG
  17. VK3PMG
  18. VK4RF
  19. VK4HA
  20. VK2XXM
  21. VK1AT
  22. VK2MOR
  23. VK2UH
  24. VK1HW
  25. VK3MAB
  26. VK7FRJG
  27. VK2PKT
  28. VK4SJD
  29. VK2ZK/p (Turon National Park VKFF-0501)
  30. VK2JDC/p (Turon National Park VKFF-0501)
  31. VK1DI
  32. VK7FOLK/p (St Helens Point Conservation Area VKFF-1153)
  33. VK2NP
  34. VK2KJJ
  35. VK2YW
  36. VK7KT
  37. VK3TUN/p (Heathcote Graytown National Park VKFF-0624)
  38. VK2IO/p (Wambina Nature Reserve VKFF-2014)

I worked the following stations on 40M after the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Wambina Nature Reserve VKFF-2014)
  2. VK4SMA/p (Morgan Park Conservation Park VKFF-1597)
  3. VK2ALF/m
  4. VK3FCMC
  5. VK3UH
  6. VK2GAZ
  7. VK2YA
  8. VK1WAT
  9. VK2JNG/p (Tooloom National Park VKFF-0491)
  10. VK2JNG/p (Tooloom National Park VKFF-0491)
  11. VK4TJ
  12. VK7PAL
  13. VK2LEE
  14. VK7RN
  15. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Hill Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2104)
  16. VK2FADV
  17. VK2YK
  18. VK7FILL/p (SOTA Mount Roland VK7/ NC-003)
  19. VK3FLCS/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  20. VK3XV/p (Wyperfeld National Park VKFF-0549)
  21. VK7JON/p (Bay of Fires Conservation Area VKFF-1133)
  22. VK7FOLK/p (Bay of Fires Conservation Area VKFF-1133)
  23. VK3SRC/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Wambina Nature Reserve VKFF-2014)
  2. VK4PDX
  3. VK4RF
  4. VK4HA
  5. VK4TJ
  6. VK6NO

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK4PDX
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. VK7LTD
  5. VK4TJ

At the end of the activation we drove back down WB Line to Beehive Falls.  We parked in the carpark and took the walk through the scrub, but were very disappointed with the view of the falls.  The track falls well short of the falls, unless you are prepared to chance your luck and scramble over rocks, which we were not.  There is a better view to be had from the roadway of WB Line.

It was another warm day, but fortunately the only reptile we came across during the day was a small lizard.  No snakes fortunately.

DSC_0112

 

 

References.

Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2017, <http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wakefield-norman-arthur-11933>, viewed 30th November 2017

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

2 thoughts on “Day nine, Coopracambra National Park VKFF-0113

  1. Hi Chris,

    Band conditions on Sunday morning were pretty good which resulted in a lot of Park to Park action. If you haven’t been to Coopracambra, put it on your list. Its a great park.

    73,

    Paul VK5PAS

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