Lake St Clair Conservation Park 5CP-112 and VKFF-1047

Our second park for Saturday 10th March 2018 was the Lake St Clair Conservation Park 5CP-112 & VKFF-1047.  The park is located about 20 km south of the town of Robe and about 350 km south east of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 11.53.28 am.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Lake St Clair Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Lake St Clair Conservation Park is about 189 hectares in size and was proclaimed on the 29th June 2006.  The park was established to protect remnant Swamp Antechinus habitat of Silky Tea-Tree/Cutting Grass that fringes the lake.  The park protects the largest remaining example of intact native vegetation around the Lake St Clair wetland and lagoon, providing an important habitat for many rare and threatened native wildlife species.

Lake St Clair, a shallow, saline lake below sea level, forms the middle lake in a series of three large coastal salt lakes between Robe and Beachport.  It contained water during our visit, although we did not get close to the water’s edge.

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Above;- Aerial shot of Lake St Clair, showing the park to the north east of the lake.  Image courtesy of National Parks SA.

The park is a haven for bird species, with the swamp providing habitat for many waders. Two nationally significant birds can be found in the park, the Orange-bellied parrot and the Hooded plover.  Nationally significant numbers of the migratory Golden Plover have been recorded at Lake St Clair.  During our visit we spotted a number of Wedge Tailed Eagles soaring high in the breeze.  Unfortunately they weren’t quite close enough for great photos.


The park is also frequented by Eastern grey kangaroos, Red-necked wallabies, Common wombats, Swamp Wallabies, and echidnas.

After leaving the Little Dip Conservation Park, Marija and I travelled south on the Nora Creina Road and then turned left onto Powells Road.  Lake St Clair soon came into view on the right of the vehicle.

We continued along Powells Road and finally found a gate, which of course was locked.  The only way in to the park was to scramble over a rickety barbed wire fence.  We stopped briefly to check this location out but found no real shade, and as it was such a hot afternoon (in the mid 30 deg C), we decided to continue on to see if we could find an alternative operating spot.

We turned right onto the Southern Ports Highway and travelled south, keeping an eye out for possible spots to set up.  But they appeared to be non existant, and we soon reached the southern boundary of the park.  We continued on to Bog Land and drove all the way back around the lake again.  We decided to head back to the gate we had come across and try to find some shade.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Lake St Clair Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of google maps

The Department of Environment Water & Natural Resources (DEWNR) website has very limited detail on the park, and actually states “Go bushwalking and experience the park’s diverse range of flora species….“.  Sadly, the reality is that access to the park is not easy.  Okay if you are prepared to scramble over the barbed wire fence, but if you were elderly or disabled, there is no chance of accessing this park.  There were also no apparent walking trails.

In any event, we set up the fold up table and deck chair, hard up against some shrubs, trying to get a little shade from the very hot afternoon sun.  We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 80/40/20m linked dipole for this activation.  There was a nice cleared area here to stretch out the antenna.

Prior to propping on a frequency we tuned across the 40m band and made two Park to Park contacts.  The first being with Ian VK1DI/p in the Old Naas Travelling Stock Route (TSR) Nature Reserve VKFF-0992, and then Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Heathcote National Park VKFF-0232.

I then called CQ on 7.155.  This was answered by Fred VK3DAC/p who was in the Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763, and then Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Glenmaggie Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2094.  I made my 10 contacts, qualifying the park for the VKFF program, and then swapped the mic with Marija who soon also had 10 contacts in the log.  Contact number 10 being with Peter VK5ZPG at Quorn in the north of South Australia.  Marija made a total of 18 contacts, before we again swapped operating positions.  I was hoping to get my 44 to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.


The band conditions were okay and there was a welcomed steady flow of callers.  We were keen to get out of the park asap, as it was a hot afternoon.  Contact number 44 for me was a QSO with Malcolm VK3OAK.  I logged a total of 58 contacts on 40m including some further Park to Park contacts (Marija also logged the P2P contacts):

  • VK5HSX/3 (Creswick Regional Park VKFF-0964)
  • VK6MB/p (Midgergoroo National Park VKFF-0650)
  • VK5HMB/3 (Murray Sunset National Park VKFF-0373)
  • VK5KLV/p (Telowie Gorge Conservation Park 5CP-227 & VKFF-1105)

Callers then dried up, so I tuned across the band and logged Wade VK1MIC/p who was activating SOTA peak Mount Ainslie VK1/ AC-040 in the Mount Ainslee Nature Reserve VKFFF-0850.  Wade was activating the summit as part of a regular VK/ZL/EU/JA SOTA event.

I then headed over to the 20m band where I logged a total of 5 stations, including John VK6NU/p who was on the top of SOTA peak Mount Randall VK6/ SW-039.  I also logged two Japanese stations, Tadashi JA1VRY and Etsuro JH1IED.  The strongest station worked was Hans VK6XN in Perth who was 5/9 +.  I saw 2 spots on parksnpeaks for Jonathan VK7JON and Wynne ZL2ATH, both on SOTA summits, but sadly they were not readable.

To finish off the activation for me I put a few calls out on 80m and logged Tony VK5MRT and Nik VK3NLK.


Marija had 22 contacts in the log and I talked her into getting back on air to get another 22 to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  And that was done quite quickly, within about 25 minutes.  Contact number 44 being with Peter VK2KNV.

So with a total of 113 contacts in the log between us, including 17 Park to Park contacts, it was time to pack up and head back into Robe to freshen up and get some dinner.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1DI/p (Old Naas Travelling Stock Route (TSR) Nature Reserve VKFF-0992)
  2. VK2IO/p (Heathcote National Park VKFF-0232)
  3. VK3DAC/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  4. VK3PF/p (Glenmaggie Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2094)
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK2FAAA/p
  9. VK3SQ
  10. VK5ZPG
  11. VK5FMWW
  12. VK7FGRA
  13. VK7QP
  14. VK5KFB
  15. VK2PKT
  16. VK3TKK/m
  17. VK2HHA
  18. VK4AAC/2
  19. VK5HSX/3 (Creswick Regional Park VKFF-0964)
  20. VK6MB/p (Midgergoroo National Park VKFF-0650)
  21. VK5HMB/3 (Murray Sunset National Park VKFF-0373)
  22. VK5KLV/p (Telowie Gorge Conservation Park 5CP-227 & VKFF-1105)
  23. VK3ANL
  24. VK6PCT/3
  25. VK4FDJL
  26. VK5HS
  27. VK2NP
  28. VK4SMA
  29. VK3IRS
  30. VK5NJ
  31. VK3FLCS
  32. VK4TJ
  33. VK4/AC8WN
  34. VK4/VE6XT
  35. VK2LAX/p (SOTA VK2/ HU-092)
  36. VK5FMLO
  37. VK3FXBR
  38. VK3TKK/m
  39. VK3FDAN
  40. VK6XN
  41. VK3GQ/2
  42. VK3NLK
  43. VK4FJFM
  44. VK2KNV
  45. VK7ZGK
  46. VK4FARR
  47. VK2NEO

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1DI/p (Old Naas Travelling Stock Route (TSR) Nature Reserve VKFF-0992)
  2. VK2IO/p (Heathcote National Park VKFF-0232)
  3. VK3DAC/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  4. VK3PF/p (Glenmaggie Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2094)
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK5PL
  7. VK7QP
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK4AAC/2
  12. VK5FMWW
  13. VK3TP
  14. VK2UH
  15. VK4FDJL
  16. VK5FMLO
  17. VK2KYO
  18. VK2HHA
  19. VK3UH
  20. VK2LEE
  21. VK5ZPG
  22. VK5HSX/3 (Creswick Regional Park VKFF-0964)
  23. VK7EV/m
  24. VK5DC/m
  25. VK5JK
  26. VK3VAR
  27. VK3VGB
  28. VK4TJ
  29. VK2VW
  30. VK2NP
  31. VK3FLCS
  32. VK3UCD
  33. VK3ANL
  34. VK3TKK/m
  35. VK3PNG
  36. VK2USH
  37. VK2PKT
  38. VK6MB/p (Midgergoroo National Park VKFF-0650)
  39. VK2ZVG
  40. VK5HMB/3 (Murray Sunset National Park VKFF-0373)
  41. VK3AXH
  42. VK4VXX/3
  43. VK5NRG
  44. VK3OAK
  45. VK5KLV/p (Telowie Gorge Conservation Park 5CP-227 & VKFF-1105)
  46. VK3MAB
  47. VK5HS
  48. VK5YX/2
  49. ZL2ALK
  50. VK3BBB
  51. VK3ZE
  52. VK2ASS
  53. VK5VC
  54. VK5KDK
  55. VK3AHR
  56. VK7PSJ
  57. VK7FTAS
  58. VK4GSF
  59. VK1MIC/p (SOTA Mount Ainslie VK1/ AC-040 & Mount Ainslee Nature Reserve VKFFF-0850)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6NU/p (SOTA Mount Randall VK6/ SW-039)
  2. VK6XN
  3. VK4SMA
  4. JA1VRY
  5. JH1IED

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5MRT
  2. VK3NLK

As we drove back into Robe I spoke with John VK6NU/p who was activating SOTA peak VK6/ SW-039.  John was a good 5/5 into the mobile.

After getting back into Robe we decided to get some Chinese take away and head back to the motel.  Whilst waiting for the order I took a stroll down Smillie Street which contains a number of very historic buidlings.

We then headed back to our accomodation at the Robe Harbour View Motel, which we would recommend for anyone visiting Robe.  Very friendly staff and clean and tidy rooms.


There is also a nice view of the Lake Butler Marina across from the motel.






Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2011, ‘Lake St Clair Conservation Park Supplementary Document to Management Plan 2011’.

National Parks South Australia, 2018, <>, viewed 13th March 2018

2 thoughts on “Lake St Clair Conservation Park 5CP-112 and VKFF-1047

  1. G’day Chris,

    Yep it was pretty warm at Lake St Clair. At least we had a bit of a sea breeze at Little Dip. We were pleased to get back to the motel room that night.

    Thanks for taking part in the weekend. It was a lot quieter than previous years.


    Paul VK5PAS.

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