Our final activation for the VKFF Activation Weekend, the Ridley Conservation Park VKFF-0932

Our final activation for the 2017 VKFF Activation Weekend was the Ridley Conservation Park VKFF-0932, which is situated about 111 km north east of the city of Adelaide and about 26 km south west of the town of Swan Reach.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Ridley Conservation Park north east of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

After leaving the Swan Reach Conservation we headed back east on the Stott Highway and then turned right onto Murraylands Road passing through the little locality of Langs Landing.  There are some nice spots to stop here to enjoy the great views of the Murray River.

We soon reached the northern section of the park.  Whilst travelling along the Murraylands Road we logged Les VK5KLV/p from the mobile.  Les was in the Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808 on the Eyre Peninsula.  We turned down a dirt track at the intersection of Murraylands Road and Railway Sleeper Track.  Don’t try this if you are in a conventional vehicle.  The track is very narrow and is rocky.

The Ridley Conservation Park is a long and narrow park (10km by 0.4 km) and has a total area of around 414 hectares.  The southern boundary of the park lies on the edge of the valley of the River Marne, with the highest point in the park being located in this southern section.  The remainder of the park to the north comprises flat country which is typical of the limestone plaines west of the Murray River.  The park covers a transition zone in the natural vegetation just to the south of Goyder’s Line between the mallee open scrub to the south and the semi-arid, low woodland to the north.

The park is covered by two major vegetation formations: 35 per cent comprises an open scrub of red mallee and stands of murray pine and associated areas of shrubland dominated by hop bush.  The remaining 65 per cent of the park comprises low open woodland of native apricot and false sandalwood.  The understorey consists of spear-grass and ephemeral herbs; wait-a-while  also occurs in this formation.  A small area near the southern boundary of the park and much of the northern part is almost devoid of trees and can be sub-categorised as open grassland.

The park was originally set aside to conserve native vegetation and bird habitats, but in addition, the open areas of the park include a number of warrens of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat.  Other native animals found in the park include echidna and Western Grey kangaroos.  Various birdlife can be found in the park including Mallee Ringnecks, Purple-crowned Lorikeets, Regent Parrot, White-winged Fairywren, and Butcherbirds.  A total of 109 species of bird have been recorded in the park.

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Above:- the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat.  Image courtesy of wikipedia.

Ridley was once part of a Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR) which ran for roughly 5-10 kilometres parallel to the River Murray.  This reserve linked the stock market of Burra to the north with Murray Bridge to the south.  In the early days of the colony of South Australia, sheep and cattle were driven overland from New South Wales to stock the newly-developed pastoral industry in South Australia.  During the early 1860’s when the Hundreds of land were proclaimed on the western plains of the Murray River, it became necessary to provide areas under the Crown for the localised movement of stock and to give access to markets.  Travelling Stock Reserves, which normally consisted of 20-chain (approx 400 metres) width, were given fixed boundaries and often followed existing stock tracks.

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This particular stock route, as with others, became uncessary with the advent of mechanised transport such as the railway.  The Morgan to Adelaide railway was completed in 1878.  Increasingly there were moves to resume and allot the TSRs to adjoining landowners.

By 1901 local landowners in the Ridley area had approached the Department of Lands, requesting that the TSR in the Hundreds of Ridley and Fisher be resumed and made open for allotment.  During 1901 and again in 1907, proposals went before Parliament, but were not approved.  In 1910 farmers adjoining the reserve requested permission to erect fences and graze sheep on the TSR, claiming that the unused TSR harboured vermin and tied up valuable grazing land.

By 1934 the District Council of Caurnamont had contacted the Director of Lands requesting that the TSR be resumed for allotment, again claiming that it was a home for vermin and was a drain on council funds.  Similar requests were made again in 1937.  In 1939, the ranger of the Crown Lands Department, Inspector Klau inspected the TSR and reported that it was used for camping and watering stock when feed was scarce in the districts to the north of the TSR.  He recommended that the TSR not be resumed as he believed the reserve would be used for this purpose again in the future.

During 1838-1940 there were a number of requests to cut wood in the reserve for charcoal burning and a proposal to clear 28 hectares of the reserve north of Haywards Hill.  The ranger described the reserve as ‘an asset to the State’ and recommended the TSR be retained in its uncleared state.

By 1956 there were further requests to utilise the TSR and on this occsion Annual Licences were granted for grazing purposes.

In 1966 when land was being resumed and purchased for the purpose of national parks, the Land Board proposed that portions of the TSR “be retained and dedicated as a Wildlife Reserve under the control of the Commissioners of the National Parks and Wildlife Reserves at the expiration of the current Annual Licence”.  In September 1967, a field officer for the National Parks Commission, Mr. G.C. Cornwall inspected the TSR and stated “Although a long narrow strip of land such as this is not the ideal shape for a national park, the idea of preserving natural vegetation and bird habitats by setting aside portions of the Travelling Stock Reserve is an excellent one and the area under investigation is suitable for this purpose‘.

First proclaimed as Ridley National Parks Reserve on 30 May 1968 and re-proclaimed on 27 April 1972 as Ridley Conservation Park.

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Unfortunately I didn’t look down when setting up the awning/annexe on the Toyota Hi Lux.  We had set up just 3 metres away from a number of ants nests.  Fortunately they kept their distance and didn’t cause us any dramas during the activation.

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After setting up we immediately went to 7.150 and logged Les VK5KLV/p, Park to Park, from the Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808 in the ‘Iron Triangle’ region of South Australia.  Marija then headed down to 7.130 and called CQ, which was answered by Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG, followed by Neil VK4HNS/p in the Girraween National Park VKFF-0198.

The static crashes were terrible, strength 9 plus at times and it made operating very difficult.  Under some very trying conditions, Marija logged a total of 24 stations before deciding that the static crashes were just too annoying.  Included in these contacts were a number of further Park to Park contacts as follows…..

  • Mark VK4SMA/p in the Crows Nest National Park VKFF-0121
  • Dave VK2ZK/p in the Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558
  • Dave VK2JDC/p in the Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558
  • Rob VK4AAC/p in the Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF-1511
  • VK2IO/p in the Pitt Town Nature Reserve VKFF-1984

I then put out some calls on 7.130 and despite the very severe static crashes, was able to log 19 stations from VK1, VK3, VK3, VK4, and VK7.  Marija and I then lowered the squid pole and inserted the 80m links and headed to 3.610.  I logged 5 stations on 80m, the first being Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG, followed by John VK5BJE, Adrian VK5FANA, and finally Adrian VK5FANA.

Whilst on 80m Marija received a call from Greg VK8GM, who was part of the VK8ZKZ team in a park in the Northern Territory.  He advised that they were on 15m, so Marija and I quickly put up the 15m 1/2 wave, but sadly could not hear a peep from Greg and his team.  I called CQ on 21.244 and logged Tadashi JA1VRY in Japan.

Greg phoned back to ask if we could try 20m.  So it was off to 20m, but again we could not hear Greg.  We could hear the VK2 and VK6 hunters.  Also at this time we saw Allen VK3ARH/p spotted on parksnpeaks on 40m in a park.  So rather than taking down the 15m dipole, we worked Allen from the vehicle.  He was a good 5/7 from the Mount Mercer Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2154.

Down came the linked dipole again, and back with the 15m dipole.  I logged just one more station on 15m, that being Nigel VK6NI, who although quite weak, was very workable from Ridley. I then re-erected the 20/40/80m linked dipole and headed to 14.310, where I found Phil VK6ADF/p in the Coalseam Conservation Park VKFF-1418.  I logged Phil, Park to Park, and then headed up the band to 14.315 where I logged 6 stations from VK4, VK6, VK7 and Japan.

To wrap up the activation I went back to 7.144 on 40m where I logged 13 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6, and VK7, including a Park to Park with Nik VK3NLK/p who was in the Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2031.

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It was time to call it a day and head home after a very enjoyable 2017 VKFF Activation Weekend.  From Ridley, Marija had 25 contacts in the log, including 9 Park to Park contacts, whilst I had 54 QSOs in the log, including

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5KLV/p (Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808)
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK4HNS/p (Girraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  5. VK3KIX
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK2HHA
  8. VK2TCL
  9. VK7JON
  10. VK3MDH/m
  11. VK3UH
  12. VK2XXM
  13. VK4SMA/p (Crows Nest National Park VKFF-0121)
  14. VK2ZK/p (Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558)
  15. VK2JDC/p (Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558)
  16. VK4AAC/p (Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF-1511)
  17. VK3ANL
  18. VK2IO/p (Pitt Town Nature Reserve VKFF-1984)
  19. VK3KMH
  20. VK2PKT
  21. VK2YK
  22. VK2YW
  23. VK2FOUZ
  24. VK4TJ
  25. VK3ARH/p (Mount Mercer Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2154)
  26. VK3NLK/p (Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2031)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5KLV/p (Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808)
  2. VK4HNS/p (Girraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  3. VK4SMA/p (Crows Nest National Park VKFF-0121)
  4. VK2ZK/p (Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558)
  5. VK2JDC/p (Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558)
  6. VK4AAC/p (Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF-1511)
  7. VK2IO/p (Pitt Town Nature Reserve VKFF-1984)
  8. VK3GGG
  9. VK3PMG
  10. VK3PF
  11. VK3KAI
  12. VK3CRG
  13. VK4NH
  14. VK4DXA
  15. VK3FSMT
  16. VK3UH
  17. VK7QP
  18. VK2FOUZ
  19. VK2SK
  20. VK2XXM
  21. VK3KMH
  22. VK3MNZ
  23. VK1DI
  24. VK3FHCT
  25. VK4RF
  26. VK4HA
  27. VK3ARH/p (Mount Mercer Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2154)
  28. VK6YV
  29. VK3NLK/p (Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2031)
  30. VK3BBB
  31. VK1LAJ
  32. VK4FDJL
  33. VK3VGB
  34. VK7JON
  35. VK2AR
  36. VK3FMKE
  37. VK5NJ
  38. VK3ZPF
  39. VK7FRJG
  40. VK3RW

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PMG
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK5BJE
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK5SFA

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. JA1VRY
  2. VK6NI

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6ADF/p (Coalseam Conservation Park VKFF-1418)
  2. VK4GSF
  3. VK4RF
  4. VK4HA
  5. VK6YV
  6. VK7JON
  7. JM4WUZ

After packing up Marija and I headed to Shell Hill, just off the Black Hill Road.  Shell Hill is so named due to the deposit of oyster shells which is believed to be about 5 million years old.  It is the only one of its kind above the surface of the earth in the Southern hemisphere.  It is quite a sight.

We continued along the Black Hill Road until we reached the little town of Black Hill which is located on the banks of the Marne River.  Until 1918, when many places in South Australia had their names changed due to anti German sentiment in World War One, the town was known as Friedensthal, meaning ‘Valley of Peace’.  In its day there was quite a community here, including a post office, school and shop.  But today all that remains are some farmhouses, the old church, and the hall.

We continued on to the Ridley Road and eventually home.  It was a relatively slow drive as there were many kangaroos out on the road.

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2016, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/ridley-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed

Discover Murray, 2017, <http://www.murrayriver.com.au/swan-reach/shell-hill/>, viewed 4th December 2017

National Parks and WIldlife Service, 1984, ‘Conservation Parks of the Murraylands (Western Plains) Management Plans

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hill,_South_Australia>, viewed 4th December 2017

Swan Reach Conservation Park VKFF-0832

Day two (Sunday 26th November 2017) of the 2017 VKFF Activation Weekend had arrived.  Marija and I had enjoyed 2 great nights in Morgan and it was time for us to move on to our first park activation of Sunday, the Swan Reach Conservation Park VKFF-0832 which is located about 170 km north east of Adelaide and about 12 km west of the town of Swan Reach.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Swan Reach Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

After breakfast we headed down to the ferry at Morgan, which crossed the Murray River.  There are a couple of ways of getting to Swan Reach from Morgan, but this is the way the GPS decided to take us.  On the way to the ferry I spoke from the mobile with Liz VK2XSE/p on 7.144.  Liz was activating the Balowra State Conservation Area VKFF-1269 in New South Wales.

Whilst waiting for the ferry, and then whilst on borad the ferry crossing the river, Marija and I worked Mick VK3PMG/p on 7.160, who was in the Jallukar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2115.  Mick had a good 5/7 signal into the mobile, and gave us a 5/7 in return.

We travelled south on the Murbko Road which runs alongside the mighty Murray River.  There are a number of spots here where you can stop to enjoy some spectacular views of the Murray River, which is exactly what we did.

We then reached the Sturt Highway and headed towards the town of Blanchetown, before turning left on to Hunter Road which again hugged the Murray River to our right.  The town of Swan Reach was our next stop.  Swan Reach was initially settled way back in the 1850’s and was originally the largest of five sheep and cattle stations in the area.  It subsequently became a busy riverboat port in South Australia.  We waited to board the ferry at Swan Reach, whilst having a look at the flood levels on an electricity pole.  The 1956 flood literally wiped out the town of Swan Reach.

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After crossing the Murray, we travelled west on the Swan Reach-Angaston Road (the Stott Highway), and soon reached the park.  The Swan Reach Conservation Park is 2,017 hectares in size, with the majority of the park being an open area of Mallee Box, red mallee, and yorrell.  The remaining area consists of low woodland with false sandalwood and bullock bush over an understorey of spear-grass and ephemeral herbs.

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About 97 species of native bird have been recorded in the park including Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Southern Whiteface, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Grey Shrikethrush, Australian Magpie, Malleefowl, Little Eagle, Crested Pigeon, and Inland Thornbill.  Most of the mallee scrub in the park has been cut ver for firewood and the present vegetation is regowth.  The park lacks the numbers of large, mature mallees which originally occurred in the area and provided nesting hollows for birds.  I hardly saw a bird in the park during our visit.

Native animals found in the park include Western Grey kangaroos, Red Kangaroos, and the Southern Hairy-nosed wombat.  Gould’s Goanna and Central Beared Dragons can be found in the park.

Marija and I turned on to the Old Punyelroo Road and then on to a dirt track leading into the park.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing our operating spot in the park.  Image courtesy of google maps

There was plenty of room here to pull the Toyota Hi Lux off the track and roll out the awning/annexe, and stretch out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

As we drove in to the park we worked Marc VK3OHM/p who was activating the Warrandyte State Park VKFF-0774.  As we were within the boundaries of the park it qualified as a Park to Park contact, as mobile is allowed in the WWFF program.  Marc had a cracking 5/9 signal into the mobile.

We set up and immediately headed to 7.140 to get another Park to Park with Marc VK3OHM/p as we were now set up portable.  After logging Marc, we headed up to 7.150 and Marija started calling CQ, whilst I spotted her on parksnpeaks.  Marija’s CQ call was answered by Tom VK5NFT at Millicent in the South East, followed by Tom VK5AA also in the South East at Mount Gambier, and then Chris VK3FHCT.

Our second Park to Park was to follow, a contact with Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG who was activating the Jallukar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2115.  Marija soon had her 10th contact in the log, a QSO with John VK4/AC8WN.  Marija then logged John under another one of his calls VK4/VE6XT and then our good friend John VK5BJE.

As it was a little quiet, we took the opportunity of tuning across the 40m band   to see if we could find some more park activators.  We soon found Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Pitt Town Nature Reserve VKFF-1984.

Marija then went back to 7.150 and called CQ, logging a total of 15 stations including the following three more Park to Park contacts….

  • Rob VK4AAC/p in the Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF- 1511
  • Rob VK4FFAB/p in the Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF- 1511
  • Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Koreelah National Park VKFF-0268

Marija now had 28 contacts in the log and the calls on 40m had slowed down a little, so we decided to go have a listen on the 80m band.  Marija called CQ on 3.610 which was answered by John VK5BJE, followed by Adrian VK5FANA, Tony VK5MRT, and then Ivan VK5HS mobile, all of whom had great signals on 80m.  We also made a Park to Park contact with Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG who was now activating the Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111.  Mick had a good 5/5 signal.

We headed back to 40m where we logged the following Park to Park contacts…..

  • Ian VK1DI/p in the Crace Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0838
  • Nick VK6FSEA/p in the Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park VKFF-1430

We returned to 7.150 and Marija continued to call CQ, logging a further 6 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4 and VK7.  Unfortunately we had a couple of VK6 stations come up on the frequency, and despite us hearing them well, they were unable to hear either Marija or I.  It just wasn’t worth competing with them, so we left the frequency.  We found Mick VK3PMG/VK3GGG on 7.155  in the Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111.  This was Marija’s 44th contact.  She had qualified the park for the global WWFF program.

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Marija then took a coffee break, whilst I put out a few CQ calls on 7.144 on 40m logging 16 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7, including a Park to Park with Neil VK4HNS/p who was in the Girraween National Park VKFF-0198.

Marija and I then headed up to 21.244 on the 15m band, hoping to get a few contacts.  And we were pleased that we put up the 15m /12 wave dipole as the band was wide open to New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.  Our first contact on 15m was a Park to Park with Gerard VK2JNG/p who was in the Koreelah National Park VKFF-0268.  Other Park to Park contacts on 15m were made with Neil VK4HNS/p in the Giraween National Park VKFF-0198, and Rob VK4AAC/p who was activating the Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF-1511.

So with a number of contacts in the log on 15m, it was time to try the 20m band.  I logged 10 contacts there including the following Park to Park contacts…..

  • Neil VK4HNS/p in the Giraween National Park VKFF-0198
  • Gerard VK2IO/p in thePitt Town Nature Reserve VKFF-1984
  • Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Koreelah National Park VKFF-0268

We were about to pack up when we noticed a spot for Les VK5KLV/p on 7.150 in the Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808.  So it was off to 40m again to log Les Park to Park.

Marija had 53 QSOs in the log including 18 Park to Park contacts.  I had 49 QSOs in the log including 22 Park to Park contacts.  Between us we had made 102 QSOs, including 40 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3OHM/p (Warrandyte State Park VKFF-0774)
  2. VK5NFT
  3. VK5AA
  4. VK3FHCT
  5. VK3PMG/p (Jallukar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2115)
  6. VK3GGG/p (Jallukar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2115)
  7. VK2PKT
  8. VK3MRH
  9. VK2XXM
  10. VK4TJ
  11. VK4/AC8WN
  12. VK4/VE6XT
  13. VK5BJE
  14. VK2IO/p (Pitt Town Nature Reserve VKFF-1984)
  15. VK3PF
  16. VK3KAI
  17. VK3GV
  18. VK3SQ
  19. VK3UH
  20. VK3FRAB
  21. VK3ANL
  22. VK4AAC/p (Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF- 1511)
  23. VK4FFAB/p (Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF- 1511)
  24. VK2JNG/p (Koreelah National Park VKFF-0268)
  25. VK4RF
  26. VK4HA
  27. VK3ARH
  28. VK3ZVX
  29. VK3FLJD
  30. Ian VK1DI/p (Crace Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0838)
  31. Nick VK6FSEA/p (Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park VKFF-1430)
  32. VK4NH
  33. VK4DXA
  34. VK3ELH
  35. VK7FRJG
  36. VK4PDX
  37. VK2VW
  38. Mick VK3PMG/p (Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111)
  39. Mick VK3GGG/p (Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111)
  40. VK4HNS/p (Girraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  41. VK5KLV/p (Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5MRT
  4. VK5HS/m
  5. VK3PMG/p (Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111)
  6. VK3GGG (Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111)

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Koreelah National Park VKFF-0268)
  2. VK4HNS/p (Giraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  3. VK4AAC/p (Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF-1511)
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK2YK

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3OHM/p (Warrandyte State Park VKFF-0774)
  2. VK3PMG/p (Jallukar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2115)
  3. VK3GGG/p (Jallukar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2115)
  4. VK2IO/p (Pitt Town Nature Reserve VKFF-1984)
  5. VK4AAC/p (Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF- 1511)
  6. VK4FFAB/p (Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF- 1511)
  7. VK2JNG/p (Koreelah National Park VKFF-0268)
  8. Ian VK1DI/p (Crace Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0838)
  9. Nick VK6FSEA/p (Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park VKFF-1430)
  10. Mick VK3PMG/p (Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111)
  11. Mick VK3GGG/p (Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111)
  12. VK2YW
  13. VK7JON
  14. VK3FLJD
  15. VK3ELH
  16. VK4HNS/p (Giraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  17. VK4FDJL
  18. VK1CT
  19. VK3UH
  20. VK5FMWW
  21. VK2YK
  22. VK3MB
  23. VK5TR
  24. VK3PF
  25. VK5XD
  26. VK3MIJ
  27. VK5BJE
  28. VK5KLV/p (Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. Mick VK3PMG/p (Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111)
  2. Mick VK3GGG/p (Illawarra Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2111)

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Koreelah National Park VKFF-0268)
  2. VK2FSAV
  3. VK2YK
  4. VK4HNS/p (Giraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  5. VK2XXM
  6. VK4AAC/p (Clear Mountain Conservation Park VKFF-1511)
  7. VK6XN
  8. VK4RF
  9. VK4HA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4HNS/p (Giraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  2. VK2UH
  3. VK6NI
  4. VK2IO/p (Pitt Town Nature Reserve VKFF-1984)
  5. VK4PDX
  6. VK2YK
  7. VK4DA
  8. VK2JNG/p (Koreelah National Park VKFF-0268)
  9. VK6ADF/m
  10. VK4SMA/p (Crows Nest National Park VKFF-0121)

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/swan-reach-conservation-park/>, viewed 4th December 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_Reach,_South_Australia>, viewed 4th Dceember 2017

Our 2nd park for Saturday, the White Dam Conservation Park VKFF-1122

Our second activation for Saturday 25th November 2017 was the White Dam Conservation Park VKFF-1122, which is located about 200 km north east of Adelaide, and about 20 km north west of Morgan.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the White Dam Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The White Dam Conservation Park is 891 hectares in size and is bisected by the Morgan-Burra Road, the Goyder Highway.  The park was first gazetted on the 17th July 1969, and was originally part of a travelling stock route.   On the 17th September 1970 it was proclaimed as White National Parks Reserve.  On the 27th April 1972 it was gazetted as the White Dam Conservation Park.

This is pretty harsh and isolated country out here.  The landscape is flat to gently undulating, with much of the park comprising low open woodland of Black Oak with an understorey dominated by Bluebush.

About 91 species of native bird have been recorded in the park including Galah, Black-backed Fairywren, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Southern Whiteface, Redthroat, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Red-capped Robin, Stubble Quail, White-winged Fairywren, White-fronted Honeyeater, Apostlebird, White-browed Babbler, and Gilbert’s Whistler.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing the location of the White Dam Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of google maps

We turned off the Goyder Highway onto a dirt track which lead into the park, and set up at the intersection of a few tracks.  There was plenty of room here to string out the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

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Above:- Map of the White Dam Conservation Park, showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer

Marija kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.150.  John VK5BJE was the first in the log with a 59 plus signal, followed by Adrian VK5FANA who was also 5/9 plus, Brett VK2VW, and then Rick VK4RF/VK4HA.  Contact number 7 was our first Park to Park contact at White Dam, a QSO with Mark VK4SMA/p who was activating the Moggill Conservation Park VKFF-1594 in Queensland.  This was followed by a run of further Park to Park contacts as follows:

  • Peter VK3PF/p who was in the Fernbank Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2088
  • Neil VK4HNS/p in the Sundown National Park VKFF-0471
  • Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Toonumbar National Park VKFF-0492
  • Rob VK4AAC/p in the Glass House Mountains National Park VKFF-0200

Marija now had 11 contacts in the log and had qualified the park for VKFF and handed the mic to me.  I called CQ and this was answered by John VK5BJE, then Les VK5KLV, and then Hans VK5YX, all of whom had 5/9 signals into White Dam.

I went on to work 52 stations on 40m, swapping the mic with Marija whenever a Park to Park contact came up.  And there were plenty of those, as follows…..

  • Dave VK2ZK/p in the Maroota Ridge State Conservation Area VKFF-1348
  • Dave VK2JDC/p in the Maroota Ridge State Conservation Area VKFF-1348
  • Liz VK2XSE/p in the Balowra State Conservation Area VKFF-1269
  • Peter VK2KNV/p in the Balowra State Conservation Area VKFF-1269
  • Peter VK3ZPF/p in the Main Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2135
  • Gordon VK5GY/p in the Red Banks Conservation Park VKFF-1086
  • Jonathan VK7JON/p in the Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802
  • Helen VK7FOLK/p in the Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802
  • Brett VK3FLCS/p in the Spring Plains Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2194
  • VK6MB/p in the Walpole-Normalup Inlets Marine Park VKFF-1456
  • Peter VK3TKK/p in the Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627
  • Hans VK6XN/p in the Buller Nature Reserve VKFF-1868
  • Peter VK3PF/p in the Bengworden Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2045
  • Angela VK7FAMP/p in the Safety Cove State Reserve VKFF-1825
  • Tony VK7LTD/p in the Safety Cove State Reserve VKFF-1825
  • Alan VK5AR/p in the Newland Head Conservation Park VKFF-0922

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Marija then jumped back on the mic, with 30 contacts in the log, and hoping to get 14 more QSOs to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  Marija soon had 44 contacts in the log, with contact number 44 being a QSO with Andrew VK2UH.  We also logged another Park to Park contact, this time with Peter VK3ZPF/p who was activating the Buckley Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2054.

I then went up to the 20m band and found Tony VK7LTD/p on 14.310 calling CQ from the Safety Cove State Reserve VKFF-1825.  I then moved up to 14.315 where I logged 8 stations including Bob VK6POP/p who was activating the Walyunga National Park VKFF-0516 and Hans VK6XN/p in the Buller Nature Reserve VKFF-1868.  I also found Martin VK6AHR/p on 14.310 calling CQ from the Avon Valley National Park VKFF-0008.

I then put out a few calls on 3.610 on the 80m band, but the only station/s logged there was Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG.  To finish off the activation I called CQ on 21.244 for a few minutes, but there were no takers.

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We then packed up and left the park, with Marija having 47 contacts in the log including 23 Park to Park QSOs.  I had 69 contacts in the log, including 28 Park to Park QSOs.  Between us, we had 116 QSOs, including 51 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK2VW
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK2PKT
  7. VK4SMA/p (Moggill Conservation Park VKFF-1594)
  8. VK3PF/p (Fernbank Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2088)
  9. VK4HNS/p (Sundown National Park VKFF-0471)
  10. VK2JNG/p (Toonumbar National Park VKFF-0492)
  11. VK4AAC/p (Glass House Mountains National Park VKFF-0200)
  12. VK2IO/p (Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041)
  13. VK5FAJH/p (Mount Remarkable National Park VKFF-0360)
  14. VK2ZK/p (Maroota Ridge State Conservation Area VKFF-1348)
  15. VK2JDC/p (Maroota Ridge State Conservation Area VKFF-1348)
  16. VK2KNV/p (Balowra State Conservation Area VKFF-1269)
  17. VK2XSE/p (Balowra State Conservation Area VKFF-1269)
  18. VK3ZPF/p (Main Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2135)
  19. VK5GY/p (Red Banks Conservation Park VKFF-1086)
  20. VK7FOLK/p (Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802)
  21. VK7JON/p (Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802)
  22. VK3FLCS/p (Spring Plains Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2194)
  23. VK3TKK/p (Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627)
  24. VK1DI
  25. VK6XN/p (Buller Nature Reserve VKFF-1868)
  26. VK3PF/p (Bengworden Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2045)
  27. VK7FAMP/p (Safety Cove State Reserve VKFF-1825)
  28. VK7LTD/p (Safety Cove State Reserve VKFF-1825)
  29. VK5PET
  30. VK5AR/p (Newland Head Conservation Park VKFF-0922)
  31. VK3FSPG
  32. VK3MPR
  33. VK4GSF
  34. VK3BNJ
  35. VK5KLV
  36. VK5NAW
  37. VK4PDX
  38. VK3MAB
  39. VK7FGRA
  40. VK3FRAB
  41. VK3NLK/m
  42. VK3ZPF/p (Buckley Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2054)
  43. VK3VEK
  44. VK2UH
  45. VK4FARR
  46. VK3VIN
  47. VK3ANL

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SMA/p (Moggill Conservation Park VKFF-1594)
  2. VK3PF/p (Fernbank Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2088)
  3. VK4HNS/p (Sundown National Park VKFF-0471)
  4. VK2JNG/p (Toonumbar National Park VKFF-0492)
  5. VK4AAC/p (Glass House Mountains National Park VKFF-0200)
  6. VK5BJE
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK5YX
  9. VK2IO/p (Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041)
  10. VK5FAJH/p (Mount Remarkable National Park VKFF-0360)
  11. VK2XXM
  12. VK2FCAC
  13. VK3GGG
  14. VK3PMG
  15. VK5HS
  16. VK4RF
  17. VK4HA
  18. VK2ZK/p (Maroota Ridge State Conservation Area VKFF-1348)
  19. VK2JDC/p (Maroota Ridge State Conservation Area VKFF-1348)
  20. VK2XSE/p (Balowra State Conservation Area VKFF-1269)
  21. VK2KNV/p (Balowra State Conservation Area VKFF-1269)
  22. VK2HHA
  23. VK4FDJL
  24. VK3ZPF/p (Main Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2135)
  25. VK4PDX
  26. VK5GY/p (Red Banks Conservation Park VKFF-1086)
  27. VK2UH
  28. VK3UH
  29. VK5FANA
  30. VK5MR
  31. VK3DAC
  32. VK3OHM
  33. VK7JON/p (Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802)
  34. VK7FOLK/p (Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802)
  35. VK3FLCS/p (Spring Plains Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2194)
  36. VK1LAJ
  37. VK4GSF
  38. VK4TJ
  39. VK6MB/p (Walpole-Normalup Inlets Marine Park VKFF-1456)
  40. VK5PET
  41. VK3TKK/p (Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627)
  42. VK2JNG/m
  43. VK1DI
  44. VK3FMKE
  45. VK3LY
  46. VK3HBG
  47. VK6XN/p (Buller Nature Reserve VKFF-1868)
  48. VK3PF/p (Bengworden Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2045)
  49. VK2QK
  50. VK7FAMP/p (Safety Cove State Reserve VKFF-1825)
  51. VK7LTD/p (Safety Cove State Reserve VKFF-1825)
  52. VK5TR
  53. VK5AR/p (Newland Head Conservation Park VKFF-0922)
  54. VK3ANL
  55. VK3ZPF/p (Buckley Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2054)
  56. VK3FRAB
  57. VK7HCK

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. Tony VK7LTD/p (Safety Cove State Reserve VKFF-1825)
  2. VK7HCK
  3. VK6DW
  4. VK7JON
  5. VK2YK
  6. VK6SJ
  7. VK4SMA
  8.  VK6POP/p (Walyunga National Park VKFF-0516)
  9. VK6AHR/p (Avon Valley National Park VKFF-0008)
  10. VK6XN/p (Buller Nature Reserve VKFF-1868)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3GGG
  2. VK3PMG

After packing up we headed to the historic Lindley cemetery which is located, funnily enough, on Lindley Cemetery Road.  As we travelled on this road it gave you a great feel on how vast and isolated this land is.

The Lindley cemetery has many headstones dating back to the 1800’s.  There are also the ruins of the old school and church to be found here.  Both date back to the late 1800’s.  Sadly all that remains is a pile of stone.

We also had a look at the Henry Bryan memorial.  I spoke about this very interesting story in the last post.

That night we tried the second pub in town, the Terminus, and enjoyed a very nice meal.

IMG_0860

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/white-dam-conservation-park/>, viewed 3rd December 2017