Little Dip Conservation Park 5CP-120 and VKFF-0904

It was now day two of our trip (Saturday 10th March 2018).  We had two planned activations for the day, with the first being the Little Dip Conservation Park 5CP-120 & VKFF-0904.  The park is located about 5 km south of Robe.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Little Dip Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Little Dip Conservation Park is 21.5 km2 in size and was established on the 21st August 1975.  The park comprises two distinct landscapes.  Firstly a coastal strip containing sand dunes, cliffs, shore platforms, reefs and islets.  The coastal strip is about 11 km long.  The park also conserves a number of small lakes, with each lake having its own unique character, ranging from the open, marshy and shallow Lake Eliza to the very salty Big Dip Lake, and the deep Fresh Water Lake.

The area features a ruggedly beautiful coastline including a large area of coastal sand dunes.  The coastal scrub that gives way to thick groves of melaleuca, dense rushes and samphire flats surrounding the lakes is a haven for birdwatchers. The beaches provide good opportunities for beachcombing and surf fishing.

The foreshore of Lake Eliza was home to the Boandik aboriginal people some 10,000 years ago.  Large numbers of middens (shellfish remains) can still be seen in the park today.

Several species of native animals can be found in the park, which were once wide spread in the South East area.  They include the Swamp Antechinus and the Swamp Rat.  The rare and endangered Orange-bellied Parrot frequents the park as it migrates along the Victorian and South Australian coast during winter.  The vulnerable Rufous Bristlebird can also be found in the park.

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Above:- Rufous Bristlebird.  Image courtesy of wikipedia.

We travelled south out or Robe along the Nora Creina Road and soon came across the park sign.

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We tried a number of tracks but there didn’t appear to be too much opportunity of stretching out the dipole.  This included the track down to Little Dip Beach.

We ended up going to the Long Gully campground area and this was ideal.  There was only one caravan in the campground, and plenty of room for us to set up.

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Above:- Map of the Little Dip Conservation Park, showing our operating spot at Long Gully campground.  Image courtesy of National Parks SA.

Long Gully is essentially a paddock in amongst the scrub and the sand dunes.  The camp ground has toilet facilities, but very little shade.

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

As there wasn’t much shade we rolled out the awning on the Toyota Hi Lux and made ourselves comfortable in the deck chairs.  It was already a warm morning, with the top temperature expected to be around 34 deg C.

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After setting up we tuned across the 40m band hoping to get some Park to Park contacts in the log.  It didn’t take us long, finding the Riverland Radio Club boys on 7.150 activating an island on the Murray River.  We logged Peter VK5PE/p, Danny VK5DW/p, Ivan VK5HS/p, and Andy VK5LA/p on Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058.  They were booming in to Little Dip with S9 plus signals.

We then found Tony VK3XV/5 on 7.139 portable in the Grass Tree Conservation Park 5CP-080 & VKFF-0885.  As Tony was quite close to us, signals were low down, but we made it comfortably exchanging 5/1 signal reports.

I then found a clear frequency and started calling CQ on 7.155.  This was answered by Eric VK7EV mobile, with an excellent 5/7 signal.  This was followed by Les VK5KLV/p who was activating the Clements Gap Conservation Park 5CP-043 & VKFF-0812.  Each time a park activator popped up, Marija and I would swap the mic so she could log the Park to Park contact.

I had a steady flow of callers from across Australia, but it was noticeable that there were not as many VK5 park activators out this year.  I’m not sure of the definitive reason why?  However it was pleasing to see a number of interstate park activators out and about taking advantage of the Park to Park opportunities.

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I logged a total of 39 stations on 40m including the following further Park to Park contacts:

  • VK5WAT/3 (Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2031)
  • VK1DI/p (Crace Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0838)
  • VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Forest Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2103)
  • VK3FMPB/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-2103)
  • VK5HSX/3 (Creswick Regional Park VKFF-0964)
  • VK5PET/p (Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park 5CP-276 & VKFF-1763)
  • VK4AAC/2 (Tarlo River National Park VKFF-0478)

We then lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for the 80m section of the dipole.  Marija had seen quite a few spots pop up on parksnpeaks for VK5 activators who we were unable to hear on the 40m band.  We were hopeful they would see our spot on 80m on parksnpeaks and follow us down for a contact.  But sadly that didn’t happen, except for Adrian VK5FANA/p who was in the Bird Islands Conservation Park 5CP-021 & VKFF-0871.  Our only other contacts on 80m were with Peter VK3PF with a good 5/6 signal, and John VK5BJE who was a strong 5/8.

I now needed just 2 more contacts to get my 44 QSOs, required to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  So I headed back to 40m where I (we) logged the Riverland boys again, who this time were in the Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087.  This time around the signal of Andy VK5LA, Peter VK5PE, Ivan VK5HS, and Danny VK5DW was down quite low.  But we were able to comfortably exchange signal reports, and it was great to get another brand new park in the log.  Even better, Park to Park.

After working the boys I headed to 7.135 and called CQ where I logged Adrian VK5FANA/p in the Bird Islands Conservation Park 5CP-021 & VKFF-0871, followed by Bob VK3SX.

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Marija had already qualified the park for the VKFF program, but I encouraged her to get back on air and see if she could get 44 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  So it was back into the menu and lowering the power back down to 10 watts PEP.  Marija quickly had a little pile up going and within 30 minutes had 44 contacts in the log.  Contact number 44 was with Martin VK7GN, the husband of Linda VK7QP, who has become a keen park activator and hunter in recent times.

Whilst Marija was on air we were visited by two of the local DEWNR rangers, who were very friendly and talkative and were aware of the parks program.

We then had a tune across the 40m band and logged Tony VK3XV/5 who was activating the Mullinger Swamp Conservation Park 5CP-153 & VKFF-1065.  This was another new park for both Marija and I.

I then tried my luck on the 20m band, but the only caller there was Gerard VK2JNG/p, who was not in a park on this occasion.  A very rare event indeed, as Gerard has become a very very active park activator.

I then moved back to 40m where I logged a further 29 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7, including another Park to Park contact, this time with Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Heathcote National Park VKFF-0232.

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It was now 1.45 p.m. and time to pack up and head off to our second park, the Lake St Clair Conservation Park.  Together we had 128 contacts in the log, and 44 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5PE/p (Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058)
  2. VK5DW/p (Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058)
  3. VK5HS/p (Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058)
  4. VK5LA/p (Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058)
  5. VK3XV/5 (Grass Tree Conservation Park 5CP-080 & VKFF-0885)
  6. VK5KLV/p (Clements Gap Conservation Park 5CP-043 & VKFF-0812)
  7. VK5WAT/3 (Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2031)
  8. VK1DI/p (Crace Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0838)
  9. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Forest Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2103)
  10. VK3FMPB/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  11. VK5HSX/3 (Creswick Regional Park VKFF-0964)
  12. VK5PET/p (Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park 5CP-276 & VKFF-1763)
  13. VK4AAC/2 (Tarlo River National Park VKFF-0478)
  14. VK5LA/p (Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087)
  15. VK5PE/p (Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087)
  16. VK5HS/p (Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087)
  17. VK5DW/p (Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087)
  18. VK5FANA/p (Bird Islands Conservation Park 5CP-021 & VKFF-0871)
  19. VK3SX
  20. VK3AHR
  21. VK1RZ
  22. VK3BBB
  23. VK5ZPG
  24. VK3MRG/p
  25. VK3PF
  26. VK4TJ
  27. VK4NH
  28. VK4DXA
  29. ZL4TY/VK4
  30. VK3TJC
  31. VK2AB
  32. VK3UH
  33. VK7QP
  34. VK2KYO
  35. VK2GKA
  36. VK3SQ
  37. VK2JNG/p
  38. VK1FCLU
  39. VK2FABE
  40. VK3FSPG
  41. VK3MPR
  42. VK7GN
  43. VK4FDJL
  44. VK3KAI
  45. VK3DRH
  46. VK3XV/5 (Mullinger Swamp Conservation Park 5CP-153 & VKFF-1065)
  47. VK2IO/p (Heathcote National Park VKFF-0232)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5FANA/p (Bird Islands Conservation Park 5CP-021 & VKFF-0871)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5PE/p (Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058)
  2. VK5DW/p (Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058)
  3. VK5HS/p (Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058)
  4. VK5LA/p (Media Island Conservation Park 5CP-132 & VKFF-1058)
  5. VK3XV/5 (Grass Tree Conservation Park 5CP-080 & VKFF-0885)
  6. VK7EV/m
  7. VK5KLV/p (Clements Gap Conservation Park 5CP-043 & VKFF-0812)
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK2LEE
  10. VK5WAT/3 (Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2031)
  11. VK3BBB
  12. VK2EXA
  13. VK1DI/p (Crace Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0838)
  14. VK2PKT
  15. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Forest Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2103)
  16. VK3FMPB/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  17. VK2HHA
  18. VK3MRG/p
  19. VK5HSX/3 (Creswick Regional Park VKFF-0964)
  20. VK4FDJL
  21. VK5PET/p (Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park 5CP-276 & VKFF-1763)
  22. VK3FLCS
  23. VK3FSPG
  24. VK3MPR
  25. VK2KYO
  26. VK7JON/m
  27. VK7FOLK/m
  28. VK7QP
  29. VK3UH
  30. VK2KMI
  31. VK2IO
  32. VK2NP
  33. VK3FMKE
  34. VK3PF
  35. VK4TJ
  36. VK2USH
  37. VK4AAC/2 (Tarlo River National Park VKFF-0478)
  38. VK3MWD
  39. VK3GMC
  40. VK5LA/p (Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087)
  41. VK5PE/p (Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087)
  42. VK5HS/p (Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087)
  43. VK5DW/p (Rilli Island Conservation Park 5CP-198 & VKFF-1087)
  44. VK5FANA/p (Bird Islands Conservation Park 5CP-021 & VKFF-0871)
  45. VK3SX
  46. VK3XV/5 (Mullinger Swamp Conservation Park 5CP-153 & VKFF-1065)
  47. VK3PAT/p
  48. VK5MRT
  49. VK2LX
  50. VK2VW
  51. VK5BMC
  52. VK5ZPG
  53. VK3FRJD
  54. VK7EK
  55. VK5PL
  56. VK5YX/2 (Kosciuszko National Park VKFF-0269)
  57. VK5LOL/2 (Kosciuszko National Park VKFF-0269)
  58. VK3VAR
  59. VK5FANA/m
  60. VK3FXBR
  61. VK3HOT
  62. VK3TKK/m
  63. VK3DQ
  64. VK7VZ/p
  65. VK3BF
  66. VK5KFB
  67. VK7NWT
  68. VK3DAC
  69. VK3TP
  70. VK4NH
  71. VK4DXA
  72. ZL4TY/VK4
  73. VK5VBR
  74. VK3FHCT
  75. VK2IO/p (Heathcote National Park VKFF-0232)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5FANA/p (Bird Islands Conservation Park 5CP-021 & VKFF-0871)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p

 

References.

National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Environment and Planning, ‘Little Dip Conservation Park Management Plan’.

National Parks South Australia, 2018, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Limestone_Coast/little-dip-conservation-park>, viewed 13th March 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Dip_Conservation_Park>, viewed 13th March 2018

4 thoughts on “Little Dip Conservation Park 5CP-120 and VKFF-0904

  1. Hi Chris,

    We saw a lot of spots pop up for VK5 activators but we were really struggling to hear them on the 40m band. There were occasional openings of close in propagation, but they were really limited.

    Cheers mate,

    Paul VK5PAS

  2. Hi Paul
    I was pleased to have the 80m contact with you at the Little Dip CP. That is one significant park in the SE that is still on our to do list.
    I really enjoyed reading about the park. Thanks.
    John D
    VK5BJE/VK5PF

    • G’day John,

      Conditions were pretty good again on 80m in the middle of the day, just not many stations around, particularly the VK5’s which is a little disappointing. Netherless I will keep giving 80m a go during my activations. Never ceases to amaze me who we log down on that band. Thanks for giving us a shout there. You had a good strong signal.

      73,

      Paul VK5PAS

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