Bunbury Conservation Reserve VKFF-1691

Our second park for ANZAC Day was the Bunbury Conservation Reserve VKFF-1691, which is located about 40 km west of the town of Keith, on the western side of Bunbury Road.  This was to be a unique park for both Marija and I for the WWFF program.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 9.46.17 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Bunbury Conservation Reserve.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Bunbury Conservation Reserve is about 1,945 hectares (4,810 acres) in size and was proclaimed on the 11th November 1993.

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 11.37.21 am.png

Above:- Aerial shot of the park, with Adelaide and my home QTH in the distance.  Image courtesy of google maps

The park takes its name from the property ‘Bunbury’ once held by James W.D. Dening (1842-1930) who emigrated to Australia in 1849 with his parents aboard the Louisa Baillie.

The park comprises mainly of white sand dune and watercourses, with Pink Gum, Yellow mallee, Desert Banksia, Sand heath yacca, Swamp paper-bark, Short-leaf honey-myrtle, Round-leaf wilsonia, and Samphire low shrubland.

Birds SA have recorded a total of 54 native species of bird in the park including Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Inland Thornbill, Australian Golden Whistler, Silvereye, Weebill, Spotted Pardalote, Scarlet Robin, White-browed Woodswallow, and Magpielark

We found a gate leading in to the park off the Bunbury Road and drove about 1 km along the sandy 4WD track and set up alongside of the track.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 9.45.59 pm.png

Above:- Aerial shot of the Bunbury Conservation Reserve showing our operating spot in the eastern section of the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Prior to calling CQ Marija and I tuned across the 40m band to see if we could find any other park activators.  We found Ian VK1DI/2 on 7.150, activating the Yanunbeyan State Conservation Area VKFF-1400.  After logging Ian I moved up the band to find a clear spot.  As it was now late afternoon (about 4.00 p.m. local time), the 40m band was very busy with lots of VK and European stations.  I found 7.165 clear and started calling CQ.  This was answered by Peter VK3PF, followed by Graham VK7ZGK and then Steve AX5SFA.

The 40m band seemed to still be in good shape, albeit that the number of callers appeared to have dropped off from our previous activation.  However, there was a steady flow of callers from across Australia.  I qualified the park for WWFF with 44 contacts within 30 minutes.  I logged a total of 49 stations on 40m including another Park to Park, with Bill VK4FW/p who was in the  Glastonbury National Park VKFF-1197.  Marija also logged Bill.

Marija and I then swapped the mic.  Marija called CQ on 7.165 and this was answered by John VK4TJ, followed by Mark VK4SMA, and then Keith AX3FMKE.  After a few minutes, Marija had 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.  Marija’s 10th contact was with Terry VK5ATN.  Marija went on to log a total of 40 stations on 40m, including two New Zealand contacts: Owen ZL4CY and Ken ZL4KD.  And also a further Park to Park, with Gerard VK2IO/p in the Marramarra National Park VKFF-0307.

We then lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for the 80m band and Marija commenced calling CQ on 3.610.  This was answered by John VK5BJE with a big 5/9 plus signal, followed by Steve VK5ST and then Adrian VK5FANA.  Marija logged a total of 9 stations on 80m from VK2, VK3 and VK5.  Adrian VK5FANA was her 44th contact, thus qualifying the park for the global WWFF program.

We then lowered the squid pole again and removed the links and headed to the 20m band.  But I had left it too late.  It was now after 0730 UTC (5.00 p.m. local time) and the band, long path to Europe, had closed.  I had no takers on 20m.  So it was back to 40m for one final round of calls.  I logged a further 15 stations, including Andre ZL1TM, and John AX6NU/p on SOTA peak VK6/ SW-039.


The sun was setting and it was also starting to get a bit chilly, and we had a good 2 hour drive to get back home.  So with a total of 114 QSOs in the log, including 6 Park to Park contacts, it was time to hit the road.  On the way home we worked Nick VK6NDX who was activating the Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park VKFF-1430.  Nick had an excellent 5/9 signal into the mobile.  I also had a quick chat to my good mate Ted VK6NTE.  I also had a quick listen in on the 7130 DX Net, but could hear very few stations, so I decided not to check in.

We then stopped off at the Riverside Hotel at Tailem Bend for a meal.  We often stop off here and can highly recommend the meal.  During the day you can sit outside on the balcony which overlooks the mighty River Murray.


Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1DI/2 (Yanunbeyan State Conservation Area VKFF-1400)
  2. VK4FW/p (Glastonbury National Park VKFF-1197)
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK4SMA
  5. AX3FMLE
  6. AX2PKT
  7. VK2PKT
  8. VK3CDR
  9. VK5FANA
  10. VK5ATN
  11. AX5ATN
  12. VK3UCD
  13. VK4NH
  14. AX4NH
  15. VK4DXA
  16. AX4DXA
  17. ZL4TY/VK4
  18. VK4FDJL
  19. VK2NP
  20. ZL4CY
  21. ZL4KD
  22. AX2LEE
  23. VK2LEE
  24. VK2EMI
  25. VK3ZD
  26. VK3MB
  27. VK3UH
  28. VK3BBB
  29. VK3PF
  30. AX3PF
  31. VK3KAI
  32. AX3KAI
  33. VK3SX
  34. AX3SX
  35. VK7JON
  36. VK6PCT/3
  37. VK3FIAN
  38. VK2YK
  39. VK2NEO
  40. VK2IO/p (Marramarra National Park VKFF-0307)

Marija logged the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5PF
  3. VK5ST
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK5VC
  7. VK2YK
  8. AX3FMKE
  9. VK2PH

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1DI/2 (Yanunbeyan State Conservation Area VKFF-1400)
  2. VK3PF
  3. AX7ZGK
  4. AX5SFA
  5. VK3MDH/p
  6. VK3GGG
  7. VK3PMG
  8. AX3GGG
  9. AX3PMG
  10. AX3MRG/p
  11. VK5BJE
  12. VK7JON
  13. VK2HOT
  14. AX2HOT
  15. VK2PKT
  16. AX2PKT
  17. VK3ZZS/p
  18. VK2NP
  19. VK2LEE
  20. AX2LEE
  21. VK3UCD
  22. VK3FSPG
  23. VK3MPR
  24. VK5ATN
  25. VK3LDB
  26. VK2HHA
  27. AX2HHA
  28. VK4FW/p (Glastonbury National Park VKFF-1197)
  29. VK2EIR/p
  30. AX2FRKO/p
  31. VK2JNG/p
  32. VK3TKK/m
  33. VK4NH
  34. AX4NH
  35. VK4DXA
  36. AX4DXA
  37. ZL4TY/VK4
  38. VK4FDJL
  39. AX3ANL
  40. VK3ANL
  41. VK5FANA
  42. VK3SQ
  43. VK4SMA
  44. AX3FMKE
  45. VK3FDI
  46. VK3KSK
  47. VK4PDX
  48. VK2BHO
  49. VK3BMT
  50. VK2IO/p (Marramarra National Park VKFF-0307)
  51. VK2NEO
  52. ZL1TM
  53. VK3ARH
  54. AX2PDW
  55. VK3OHM/6
  56. VK2NP
  57. VK3ZPF
  58. AX2AKB
  59. VK2AKB
  60. VK2YK
  61. VK3SX
  62. AX3SX
  63. AX4ITT
  64. AX6NU/p (SOTA VK6/ SW-039)
  65. VK3BFR



Birds SA, 2018, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/bunbury-conservation-reserve/>, viewed 26th April 2018

State Library South Australia, 2018, <http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/digitalpubs/placenamesofsouthaustralia/>, viewed 26th April 2018

4 thoughts on “Bunbury Conservation Reserve VKFF-1691

  1. Hi Paul,
    A most interesting write-up and a great shot of the sunset. Thanks for being there and two new parks in the log.
    John D

  2. Great pics and great to get you from Mt.Randall VK6/SW-039, looks like a small area at the summit not in Monadnocks NP so only did Sota, same at Mt.Cooke. Wonder if its due to trig points and maybe crown land. Anyway looks like you had fun. Luke VK6ZLB just couldn’t get you so he’ll try another day. 73 John VK6NU

    • Hi John,

      I really struggled with VK6ZLB. Marija and I could hear somebody calling but we just couldn’t pull him through. Thanks for calling us. It was difficult, but we made it.


      Paul VK5PAS

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