Mumbannar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2161

It was now day three (Sunday 10th June 2018) of our trip.  We had one planned park activation for the day, over the border in Victoria.  After a warm shower Marija and I headed to Subway again for breakfast, comprising a coffee and an egg & bacon roll.  We then drove around the Valley Lake in Mount Gambier.  It was a sunny but very chilly morning, with lots of mist still hovering around the surface of the lake.

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Above:- Valley Lake

We then decided to take a walk up to the top of the Centennary Tower which commemorates the naming and the European discovery of Mount Gambier by Lieutenant James Grant in December 1800.  The tower sits 190 metres above sea level.

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This is not an easy walk.  It is a very steep walk.  However, I need the exercise, and the walk would burn off some of the red wine consumed the night before.  Along the way, the track was alive with Superb Fairy Wrens.

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And once you have got to the top, and have taken a number of breaths and regained your composure, you are rewarded with the best views of Mount Gambier and the surrounding countryside.

We had read on the internet that the tower was open at times, selling refreshments and souvenirs.  However it was not open during our visit.

We then walked back to the vehicle and took a drive around the famous Blue Lake at Mount Gambier.  The Blue Lake is a crater lake which between December to March turns to a vibrant cobalt blue colour.

Marija and I then attended the scout hall in Mount Gambier, the venue for the South East Radio Group’s annual convention.  We caught up with Col VK5HCF and a number of other SERG members.  We also said g’day to Joe VK3YSP and Julie VK3FOWL who were busy with some students , undertaking some activities including soldering.  Joe and Julie do magnificent work with children through the School Amateur Radio Club Network.

Marija and I then headed to our first park activation for the day, the Mumbannar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2161.  The park is located about 40 km east of Mount Gambier, and 12 km (by road) west of the town of Mumbannar in south western Victoria.

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Above:- Map showing the location of Mumbannar Nature Conservation Reserve.  Map courtesy of google maps

We headed out of Mount Gambier on the Princes Highway and soon reached the State border of South Australia and Victoria.  We stopped briefly for a photograph and then continued on to the park.

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Above:- Marija at the State border.

We turned off the Princes Highway onto Faheys Settlement Road.  We soon reached the park on the eastern side of the road.  The park was well signposted.  There were no gates into the park, so we pulled over to the side of the road and then climbed the fence with our gear and set up.

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

I have not been able to find out information on this park on the internet.  It is recorded on the Parks Victoria website, but there is no associated information.

The park is a piece of remnant scrub which is surrounded by cleared land for farming, and also pine plantations.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Mumbannar NRC, looking west back towards the SA/Vic border.  Image courtesy of google maps

This was the weekend of the VK Shires Contest, so Marija and I intended on handing out some exchanges for the contest, as well as activating the park.  The objectives of this contest are for amateurs around the world to contact as many VK shires as possible in the contest period.  Our shire for this park was Glenelg Shire (GL3).

Mumbannar was to be a unique park for both Marija and I in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

After setting up we headed to 7.144 and found Tony VK3XV/p activating the Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629 in western Victoria.  After logging Tony we tuned across the band and found Marc VK3OHM/p in the Terrrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630.  Next was another Park to Park contact, this time with Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Beni State Conservation Area VKFF-1277.

I then propped on 7.160 and called CQ.  First in the log following my CQ call was Les VK5KLV, followed by Garry VK7JGD and then Mark VK7ME.  I logged a total of 33 stations on 40m including some more Park to Park contacts as follows….

  • Ian VK1DI/2 – The Rock Nature Reserve VKFF-2002
  • Rob VK4AAC/5 – Telford Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0805
  • VK4HNS/p – Archer National Park VKFF-0336
  • Brian VK3BCM/p – Alpine National Park VKFF-0619

With 33 contacts in the log I headed off to 3.610 on the 80m band.  John VK5BJE was first in the log, followed by Rob VK4AAC/5, and then Sue, both in the Telford Scrub Conservation Park.  Adrian VK5FANA then gave me a shout, followed by Peter VK3PF.  Despite band conditions on 80m being quite good, they were my only 5 contacts on that band.

I then moved back to 40m and called CQ on 7.140.  This was answered by Ivan VK5HS mobile.  My 44th contact, qualifying the log for the global WWFF program was with Nick VK3ANL/p in the Gresswell Forest part b Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2103.  I logged a further 2 stations, and with 46 contacts in the log, it was time to swap the mic with Marija.

Marija then called CQ on 7.140 and logged Nick VK3ANL/p in the Gresswell Forest part b Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2103, followed by John VK2YW/p, and then Greg VK4VXX/8.  Marija’s 10th contact, qualifying the park for VKFF was a QSO with Bill ZL2AYZ in New Zealand.  Bill was a strong 5/8 and gave Marija a 5/6 signal report.

Marija logged a further 6 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, & VK8.  This included a contact with our friend Greg VK8GM in Alice Springs.  Marija and I decided to give 80m a go again.  Marija called CQ on 3.610 and logged Ivan VK5HS/m, Adrian VK5FANA, and then Nick VK3ANL/p in the Gresswell Forest part b Nature Conservation Reserve.

To complete the activation we moved back to 40m where we logged another Park to Park contact, with Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Sappa Bulga National Park VKFF-1180.

Marija had qualified the park, with a total of 19 contacts.  I had qualified the park for both VKFF and WWFF with 48 conatcts.  Between us we had 16 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3XV/p (Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629)
  2. VK3OHM/p (Terrrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630)
  3. VK2JNG/p (Beni State Conservation Area VKFF-1277)
  4. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Forest part b Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2103)
  5. VK2YW/p
  6. VK4VXX/8
  7. VK5LA/m
  8. VK7QP/p
  9. VK5HS
  10. ZL2AYZ
  11. VK5KLV
  12. VK3AHR
  13. VK2KJJ
  14. VK2MT
  15. VK8GM/p
  16. VK4FDJL

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS/m
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK3ANL

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3XV/p (Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629)
  2. VK3OHM/p (Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630)
  3. VK2JNG/p (Beni State Conservation Area VKFF-1277)
  4. VK5KLV
  5. VK7JGD
  6. VK7ME
  7. VK1DI/2 (The Rock Nature Reserve VKFF-2002)
  8. ZL2AYZ
  9. VK3AHR
  10. VK2AB
  11. VK5LA/p
  12. VK5FANA/m
  13. VK2VEX
  14. VK2MTM
  15. VK4AAC/5 (Telford Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0805)
  16. VK3ZD/p
  17. VK2FSAV
  18. VK4HNS/p (Archer National Park VKFF-0336)
  19. VK3BCM/p (Alpine National Park VKFF-0619)
  20. VK6MN
  21. VK2LKW
  22. VK3FXBR
  23. VK2KJJ
  24. VK2YE
  25. VK2VW
  26. VK5FANA
  27. VK2NP
  28. VK4TJ
  29. VK4/AC8WN
  30. VK4/VE6XT
  31. VK2AZ
  32. VK3SG
  33. VK5KFB
  34. VK5HS/m
  35. VK2BBQ
  36. VK2MT
  37. VK7EK
  38. VK8GM
  39. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Forest part b Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2103)
  40. VK2YW/p
  41. VK4VXX/8
  42. VK2JNG/p (Sappa Bulga National Park VKFF-1180)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK4AAC/5 (Telford Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0805)
  3. VK5AYL/p (Telford Scrub Conservation Park VKFF-0805)
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK3ANL/p (Gresswell Forest part b Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2103)

 

References.

Monument Australia, 2018, <http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/landscape/exploration/display/51260-centenary-tower>, viewed 18th June 2018

Wireless Institute of Australia, 2018, <http://www.wia.org.au/members/contests/wavks/>, viewed 18th June 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Lake_(South_Australia)>, viewed 18th June 2018

2 thoughts on “Mumbannar Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2161

  1. Hi Paul, another new Park for me. Thanks for the activation and the excursion to 80 m. I always enjoy reading your posts.
    Cheers
    John D
    VK5BJE/VK5PF

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for the contact.

      It’s a shame more people don’t get on to the 80m band during their activations. It is a terrific band, even in the middle of the day, and has really surprised me just how well it performs.

      73,

      Paul VK5PAS.

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