Canunda National Park 5NP-002 and VKFF-0075; and the Lower South East Marine Park VKFF-1725

After leaving the Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park we headed to the nearby town of Tantanoola, intending to visit the historic Tantanoola Pub.  But we were a little too early for lunch as it was only 11.30 a.m.  In fact as we pulled up in Tantanoola, they were only just opening up the hotel.  So we decided to do the Woakwine Range WInd Farm tourist drive.

We travelled out of town along the Poonada Road and then onto the Canunda Frontage Road.  We were soon amongst the wind turbines in the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere.  When fully operational, the 123 spectacular turbines at Canunda and Lake Bonney wind farm development will generate almost 300 megawatts which represents the equivalent of one eighth of South Australia’s energy needs.  The turbines are about 100 metres tall.


Above:- Marija standing in front of the wind turbines, giving you a good idea of just how big they are.

As we headed out along the Canunda Frontage Road we encountered some other road users (see below).


Above:- Some of the other road users

A little further along we spotted a flock of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos.  They are a large cockatoo which has a yellow cheek patch and yellow panels on the tail.  In South Australia they are listed as being vulnerable.

As we drove along Canunda Frontage Road we enjoyed some great views of Lake Bonney S.E.  This is not to be confused with Lake Bonney in the Riverland region of South Australia.  Lake Bonney S.E. is a coastal freshwater lake. With a surface area of 5,056 square kilometres, Lake Bonney S.E. is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Australia.

As we drove along the Canunda Frontage Road we decided to activate the Canunda National Park 5NP-002 & VKFF-0075.  I had activated and qualified this park previously, so our intention was to get the park qualified for Marija and then head back into Tantanoola to the hotel.

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 1.19.01 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Canunda National Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

We turned off the Canunda Frontage Road and onto the Canunda Causeway and soon reached the park boundary.  We continued through the park along the Oil Rig Square Road.  A short distance later we reached the coastline.

It was here that we made the decision to head down onto the beach as it was quite a nice afternoon.  We lowered the tyre pressure down to around 12 psi and then drove through the dunes down onto the beach.

We drove about 1km along the beach and pulled off the trail made by other 4WDers and rolled out the awning of the Toyota Hi Lux.  Once down on the beach I realised that we were also within the Lower South East Marine Park.


Above:- Our operating spot.  A beautiful view.

Unfortunately I had no internet coverage so I was unable to self spot on parksnpeaks and/or Facebook, and I was unable to look up the VKFF number for the Marine Park.  So Marija put out some CQ calls on 7.135 and these were answered by Adrian VK5FANA.  Adrian kindly looked up the VKFF reference for us for the Marine Park and also spotted us.  I cannot encourage enough, that hunters spot activators.  Not only does it greatly assist the activators, but it also helps your fellow park hunters.

As a result of Adrian’s spot, Marija soon had a number of amateurs giving her a shout.  Within 9 minutes Marija had qualified the park for the VKFF program, with 10 contacts in the log.  QSO number 10 was with Charlie VK3FCIA.

Marija logged a total of 23 stations including three Park to Park QSOS:

  • Stef VK5HSX/3 – Croajingolong National Park VKFF-0119
  • Andrew VK7DW/p – Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area VKFF-1156
  • Mark Vk4SMA/p – Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639

It was an amazing day for this time of the year down in the South East.  It is normally cold and raining.  But today we were blessed with quite a bit of sunshine.  It was a beautiful spot, with the sound of the waves rolling in.  Occasionally we had some trailbikes and other 4WDers travelling passed us.

Other than that the only onlookers were some of the local birds (of the feathered variety).

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK3AZN
  3. VK4VXX/5
  4. VK3HOT
  5. VK2HHA
  6. VK3MIJ
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK3ER
  9. VK5HSX/3 (Croajingolong National Park VKFF-0119)
  10. VK7FCIA
  11. Vk2RP/m
  12. VK2BDR/m
  13. VK5TT
  14. VK3ELH
  15. VK2NP
  16. VK3UH
  17. VK3ANL
  18. VK2VW
  19. VK3PF
  20. VK3IRS
  21. VK2LEE
  22. VK7DW/p (Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area VKFF-1156)
  23. VK4SMA/p (Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639)

After Marija had qualified Canunda for the VKFF program, I jumped on the mic to activate the Lower South East Marine Park VKFF-1725.  The Lower South East Marine Park is divided into two sections: the first adjacent to Canunda National Park and the second from MacDonnell Bay just west of French Point to the Victorian border.  At 360 km2, it represents 1% of South Australia’s marine parks network.

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 2.13.06 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the two sections of the Lower South East Marine Park.  Image courtesy of DEWNR.

First in the log for me were two Park to Park contacts, with Mark VK4SMA/p and Ade VK4SOE/p who were activating the Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639.  As this was a new park there was quite a flurry of activity at the commencement of the activation.  But this slowed down quite quickly, and with 37 contacts in the log on 40m, callers dried up.  I was 7 short of qualifying the park for the global WWFF program.

The 37 contacts were spread across VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and VK7.  Other than the Park to Park contacts with Mark and Ade, I had made the following Park to Park QSOS.

  • Alan VK2MG/p -Wyrrabalong National Park VKFF-0550
  • Andrew VK7DW/p – Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area VKFF-1156

I also logged Graham VK3SOL/p operating portable at the Echuca Moama Steam Rally.


I then headed to 3.610 on the 80m band where I called CQ.  This was answered by Adrian VK5FANA, followed by Ivan VK5HS/mobile and then Andy VK5LA/mobile.  I logged a further 5 stations, all from Victoria.  Peter VK3ZPF was contact number 44.

To complete the activation I QSY’d to the 20m band where I found Mike VK6MB/8 in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park VKFF-0505.  Mike had a brilliant 5/9 signal down to the beach from his iconic location in the Northern Territory.  I then moved up to 14.315 and worked Hans VK6XN.  Sadly Hans was my only caller.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SMA/p (Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639)
  2. VK4SOE/p (Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639)
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK2RP/m
  5. VK2BDR/m
  6. VK5LA/m
  7. VK5HS/m
  8. VK2HPN/1
  9. VK3ELH
  10. VK2MG/p (Wyrrabalong National Park VKFF-0550)
  11. VK3SOL/p
  12. VK2LEE
  13. VK3NXT
  14. VK2NP
  15. VK2HHA
  16. VK3SQ
  17. VK3PF
  18. VK3ZPF
  19. VK4TJ
  20. VK4CPS
  21. VK2IO/m
  22. VK3TKK/m
  23. VK7DW/p (Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area VKFF-1156)
  24. VK7FGRA
  25. VK3MAB
  26. VK5TT
  27. VK4VXX/5
  28. VK3ER
  29. VK2QK
  30. VK5PL
  31. VK3ARH
  32. VK3AHR
  33. VK7CC
  34. VK3ANL
  35. VK2VW
  36. VK7ME
  37. VK3KAI

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5HS/m
  3. VK5LA/m
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK3KAI
  6. VK3ARH
  7. VK3ZPF
  8. VK3SQ

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/8 (Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park VKFF-0505)
  2. VK6XN

It was now coming up to 2.15 p.m. and time for us to pack up.  Marija had qualified Canunda for VKFF and I had qualified the Marine park for VKFF and WWFF.  We drove back down the beach and up the sand dunes, where we got the air pressure generator out and put the tyres back up to their correct psi.


We drove back into Tantanoola and called into the Tantanoola Pub for a few drinks.  The hotel is well known for having the ‘Tantanoola Tiger’ on display.  During the late 1800’s it is reported that a Bengal tiger escaped from a travelling circus.  Soon after, locals started reporting missing sheep and cattle, but despite extensive searches, no animal was found.  And then in August 1895, a local man, Thomas Donovan shot an animal believed to the the tiger.  However it appears that it was not the tiger, but most likely a Eurasian wolf.

We drove back to Mount Gambier and had a shower and then headed to Jens Hotel for dinner.  We had an arranged dinner with a group incuding Rob VK4AAC and his wife Doris, John VK5NJ and his wife Tanina, Joe VK3YSP and his wife Julie VK3FOWL, Ross from Strictly Ham and his son.  This was a great night with lots of laughs.




Attractions online directory, 2018, <>, viewed 18th June 2018

Govt of South Australia, ‘Marine Park 19 Lower South East Marine Park’

Mount Gambier Point, 2018, <>, viewed 18th June 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <>, viewed 18th June 2018

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