An impromptu, quick activation of the Churchill National Park VKFF-0621

We left Moe by mid afternoon and still had a bit of time on our side.  We were to stay in Melbourne that night with some very good friends of ours Jacqui and Des at Kensington, but they were not going to be home from work until around 5.00 p.m. Victorian local time.  So we travelled towards Melbourne along the Princes Highway and decided to duck in to the Churchill National Park VKFF-0621 for an impromptu, quick activation.  This was to be another new park for Marija and I as activators for both 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 Churchill National Park.  Map courtesy of google maps

The Churchill National Park is 271-hectares (670-acres) in size and was established 12th February 1941, so it is quite an old park.  It is  situated about 31 kilometres south east of the city of Melbourne, adjacent to the suburb of Lysterfield South.  It is located adjacent to Lysterfield Park.  When combined the two parks comprise 1,668 hectares (4,120 acres).  The park is an example of the original landscape found in the region.

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The area that is now Churchill National Park was once the police corps headquarters for blacktrackers and provided grazing land for the police horses.  It subsequently became known as the Dandenong Police Paddocks.  Between 1912-1915, the Scoresby Tramway carried crushed rock for the Dandenong Shire Council.  In 1939 the area was set aside as the Dandenong National Park, and was gazetted as such in February 1941.  In 1944, the park was renamed Churchill National Park in honour of Sir Winston Churchill.

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Above:- Sir Winston Churchill, who the park was named in honour of.  Courtesy of wikipedia.

Around 173 different species of birds can be found in the park including the various parrots, honeyeaters, wrens, thornbills, grebes, cockatoos, Australian wood duck and the Pacific black duck.  The migratory Japanese Snipe also visits the park.  Many native mammals are also found in the park, including echidnas, wallabies and kangaroos.

The main entrance to the park is located off Churchill Park Drive.  The park is open from 10.30 a.m. to 4.00  p.m. all year.  And make sure you are out in time, because they lock the gate to get in and there are spikes which prevent entry.   Don’t try crossing the spike the wrong way, because as warned at the gate, they will cause significant damage to your tyres.

Sadly, we came across what you can see below.  It never ceases to amaze Marija and I the grubs that are in this world.

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We set up in the picnic are within the park.  And we pretty much had the area all to ourselves, except for 2 other people.

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After setting up we headed to 7.144 and found Angela VK7FAMP there, calling CQ from the Three Thumbs State Reserve VKFF-1834.  Angela had quite a good signal in amongst the loud static crashes.  After logging Angela we moved down to 7.139 where Marija called CQ.  This was answered by Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG, followed by Gerard VK2IO, and then Chris VK3PAT.  Sixteen minutes into the activation we had 10 contacts in the log, with a contact with Tony VK7LTD who was with Angela, activating the Three Thumbs State Reserve.

With 10 contacts in the log, I boxed on, hoping to get as many contacts in the log as possible.  I didn’t expect to get 44 as we were running a little short of time and I didn’t want to get locked inside the park.  There was also the ever present fear of rain, as it was very black and stormy.  I logged a further 3 stations on 40m from VK3 and VK5, before trying 3.610 on the 80m band.  On 80m I logged Peter VK3ZPF and Michael VK3FCMC.  To complete the activation I put out a few CQ calls on 14.310 on the 20m band, but only one station was logged there, a local, Peter VK3ZPF.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7FAMP/p (Three Thumbs State Reserve VKFF-1834)
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK2IO
  5. VK3PAT
  6. VK5XD
  7. VK3OHM
  8. VK2HHA
  9. VK2VRC
  10. VK7LTD/p (Three Thumbs State Reserve VKFF-1834)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7FAMP/p (Three Thumbs State Reserve VKFF-1834)
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK2IO
  5. VK3PAT
  6. VK5XD
  7. VK3OHM
  8. VK2HHA
  9. VK2VRC
  10. VK7LTD/p (Three Thumbs State Reserve VKFF-1834)
  11. VK5WG
  12. VK3FCMC
  13. VK5FMWW

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF
  2. VK3FCMC

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF

After packing up we headed into Melbourne, battling the Melbourne traffic, before reaching Jacqui and De’s home.  That night we enjoyed a very enjoyable meal at one of the local pizza bars and of course a few ciders and a few beers.

 

 

References.

Parks Victoria, 2017, <http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/churchill-national-park>, viewed 2nd December 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_National_Park>, viewed 1st December 2017

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