Lake Hawdon South Conservation Park 5CP-110 and VKFF-1045

Our second park for Sunday 11th March 2018 was the Lake Hawdon South Conservation Park 5CP-110 & VKFF-1045.  The park is located about 12 km east of the town of Robe and about 388 km south east of the city of Adelaide.

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

The Lake Hawdon Conservation Park was gazetted in February 2010 and is about 3,190 hectares in size.  The park is part of the Lake Hawdon System Important Bird Area, which comprises an area of 374 square kilometres covering a series of five coastal lakes: Lake Hawdon, Lake Robe, Lake Eliza, Lae St Clair, and Lake George.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Lake Hawdon South Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of google maps.

The wetland system was identified by BirdLife International as an IBA because it regularly supports over 1% of the world populations of red-necked stint, and often of sharp-tailed sandpipers, double-banded plovers and banded stilts. It also provides habitat for orange-bellied parrots, Australasian bitterns, rufous bristlebirds and striated fieldwrens.

Neophema_chrysogaster_male_-_Melaleuca

Above:- Orange-bellied parrot.  Image courtesy of eikipedia

Lake Hawdon is an ephemeral wetland, meaning it lasts for a very short time.  It is typified by seasonal brackish swamps surrounded by cleared grazing land.  It contains large expanses of sedgelands which are of high conservation value as there are no comparable areas of sedgeland remaining in the South East of South Australia.

The park is home to a number of native animals including the Western Grey Kangaroo, the Swamp Rat, and the Swamp Antechinus.  The now extinct Toolache Wallaby is believed to have previously been found at Lake Hawdon South.  They were once widespread through south eastern South Australia and south western Victoria.  A combination of numerous threats caused the decline and eventual extinction of the toolache wallaby. One of the largest factors was the destruction of its habitat.  Very sad indeed.

Macropus_greyi_-_Gould

Above:- the now extinct Toolache Wallaby.  Image courtesy of wikipedia.

On our way to the park we worked Peter VK3TKK/p who was portable in the Timor Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2211.  Peter was an excellent 5/9 into the mobile.

Lake Hawdon South was one park that we were concerned about access.  A study of maps the previous night had not shown any obvious access points, except perhaps off the Old Narracoorte Road.  Peter VK3PF had previously activated this park and had activate the park from the point we were looking at, off the Old Narracoorte Road.

So after leaving the Woakwine Conservation Park, Marija and I drove east on the Old Narracoorte Road and within a few km we reached the northern boundary of the park.  There were no signs for the park, but we were relying on mapping in the vehicle.  Maps show a road in the north western corner of the park, but that did not exist in reality.  So we continued east, passed the Lake Hawdon Connecting Drain, and on to the north eastern corner of the park.

In amongst the scrub we found a little clearing which lead to an unlocked farmers gate.  Just to the right of this was another set of gates which lead to the park.  The second set of gates were old and rickety and were tied together with some old rope.

We parked the vehicle and climbed over the second set of gates into the park.  There is a fenceline following the road side of the park and an area between the fence and the road, and some breaks in the fence.  But, the grass here was very long and as it was a hot day we weren’t keen to walk through the long grass.  So climbing the fence appeared to be the best option.

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Above:- A map showing the Law Hawdon Conservation Park, and our operating spot in the northern section of the park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

We walked about 50 metres down a cleared area along the fenceline and set up the fold up table and deck chair hard up against a small shrub, hoping to get some shade from the hot afternoon sun.

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I kicked off the activation by calling CQ on 7.155.  This was answered by Peter VK5ZPG at Quorn in the north of South Australia.  Peter was running QRP 5 watts and was an excellent 5/8 to Lake Hawdon.  This was followed by Karl VK2GKA, Ken VK3UH, and then Gerard VK2IO.  Contact number 10 came ten minutes into the activation with a contact with Colin VK3LO.

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After logging 11 contacts and qualifying the park for the VKFF program, I lowered the power on the Yaesu FT-857d down to 10 watts, and Marija jumped into the operators chair.  Her first contact was with Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235, followed by Peter VK3ZPF, and then Stef VK5HSX/3 in the Mount Alexander Regional Park VKFF-0973.  Dennis VK2HHA also called, and this was followed by another two Park to Park contacts with Nick VK3ANL/p who was in the Ironbark Road Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2113, and then Les VK5KLV/p in the The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park 5CP-228 & VKFF-0817.

Marija logged a total of 14 stations and had the park under her belt for the VKFF program.  I then jumped back on the mic hoping to get my 44 contacts to qualify the park for the WWFF global program.  First in the log was Peter VK5KPR/p  in the The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park 5CP-228 & VKFF-0817, followed by Stef  VK5HSX/3 in the Mount Alexander Regional Park VKFF-0973.

DSC_0428

I logged a further 34 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7.  This included 5 further Park to Park contacts:

  • VK4AAC/1 (Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve VKFF-0991)
  • VK1DI/p (Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve VKFF-0991)
  • VK3FMPB/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  • VK3TKK/p (Wehla Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2226)
  • VK6MB/p (Midgergoroo National Park VKFF-0650)

Contact number 44 was a QSO with John VK4TJ in Queensland.

I then put out a few calls on 80m and I was really pleased to get John VK5BJE and Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG in the log.  Conditions were quite good on 80m but sadly as is often the case there weren’t too many callers.

To finish off the activation I called CQ on 14.310 on the 20m band and logged Mike VK6MB/p in the Midgergoroo National Park VKFF-0650 who had a strong 5/9 signal.  And then Hans VK6XN who was 5/9 plus.  But sadly they were my only takers on that band.

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It was now just after 3.30 p.m. local time and we decided to pack up and go for a drive to Beachport for a look around.  Between us, Marija and I had 73 contact in the log from Lake Hawdon South, including 19 Park to Park contacts.

Marija  worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF/p (Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235)
  2. VK3ZPF
  3. VK5HSX/m
  4. VK2HHA
  5. VK3ANL/p (Ironbark Road Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2113)
  6. VK5KLV/p (The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park 5CP-228 & VKFF-0817)
  7. VK2EXA
  8. VK3LO
  9. VK3AW
  10. VK4FFAB
  11. VK3SQ
  12. VK4NH
  13. VK4DXA
  14. ZL4TY/VK4
  15. VK5KPR/p  (The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park 5CP-228 & VKFF-0817)
  16. VK5HSX/3 (Mount Alexander Regional Park VKFF-0973)
  17. VK4AAC/1 (Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve VKFF-0991)
  18. VK1DI/p (Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve VKFF-0991)
  19. VK5ZPG
  20. VK3TKK/p (Wehla Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2226)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5ZPG
  2. VK2GKA/p
  3. VK3UH
  4. VK2IO
  5. VK2NP
  6. VK3DAC
  7. VK2HHA
  8. VK3EXA
  9. VK4FDJL
  10. VK3LO
  11. VK5FANA
  12. VK3PF/p (Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2235)
  13. VK3ANL/p (Ironbark Road Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2113)
  14. VK5KLV/p (The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park 5CP-228 & VKFF-0817)
  15. VK5KPR/p  (The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park 5CP-228 & VKFF-0817)
  16. VK5HSX/3 (Mount Alexander Regional Park VKFF-0973)
  17. VK3BBB
  18. VK3AHR
  19. VK3SQ
  20. VK3ARH
  21. VK2PKT
  22. VK4AAC/1 (Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve VKFF-0991)
  23. VK1DI/p (Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve VKFF-0991)
  24. VK4NH
  25. VK4DXA
  26. ZL4TY/VK4
  27. VK7DON
  28. VK2VW
  29. VK2LEE
  30. VK3ZMD
  31. VK3FMPB/p (Kinglake National Park VKFF-0264)
  32. VK5FMWW
  33. VK7ME
  34. VK3GB
  35. VK2NEO
  36. VK2YK
  37. VK3RU
  38. VK3FSPG
  39. VK3MPR
  40. VK3ZE
  41. VK3TKK/p (Wehla Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2226)
  42. VK6MB/p (Midgergoroo National Park VKFF-0650)
  43. VK3FMKE
  44. VK4TJ
  45. VK3ZIP
  46. VK5PL
  47. VK1LAJ
  48. VK3AB/p

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3GGG/p
  3. VK3PMG/p

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/p (Midgergoroo National Park VKFF-0650)
  2. VK6XN

 

References.

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Hawdon_System_Important_Bird_Area>, viewed 15th March 2018.

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toolache_wallaby>, viewed 15th March 2018

2 thoughts on “Lake Hawdon South Conservation Park 5CP-110 and VKFF-1045

  1. Hi John,

    I can’t say that this park ranks up there amongst my favourites. It was a pretty warm day and very little shade. This appeared to be the only access point and there were no walking trails. The grass was too high for us to venture too far.

    73,

    Paul VK5PAS.

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