Koonda Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2349

Our second park for the day (Friday 9th November 2018) was the Koonda Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2349, which is about 43 km (by road) from Murrayville in north western Victoria.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 10.06.20 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Koonda Nature Conservation Reserve in north western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

After leaving the Manya Nature Conservation Reserve we drove back towards Murrayville.  We stopped off briefly to have a look at the site of the old Sunset State School at Panitya North, which operated between 1917 – 1943.

We then drove into Murrayville and went to the caravan park to pick up our cabin key.  We then headed out of Murrayville, on the Mallee Highway and soon reached the town of Cowangie.  The Post Office opened on 15 July 1912 when a regular mail service was provided by the opening of the railway from Ouyen to Murrayville a month earlier. Known as Kow Plains until 1913, the office closed in 1994.  The word ‘Kow is derived from an aboriginal word believed to mean ‘white clay or gypsum’.  The name Cowangie is thought to be derived from an aboriginal word meaning ‘fog or mist’.

Former Formula One and V8 Supercar driver Larry Perkins grew up in Cowangie.


I was unable to locate much information about the Koonda NCR.  Koonda is 5.06 km2 in size and is a typical mallee park.  It is recorded on the Parks Victoria website as a Flora Reserve.  Koonda appears to be an aboriginal word meaning ‘bandicoot’.  The park is not to be confused with the area of Koonda, which is located near Upotipotpon, about 536 km to the south east of the park.

Marija and I access the park via Sunset Road off the Mallee Highway, and then Morrison Plain Road.  We could not find any signs for the park, but were guided in by our GPS.  It was a hot day, so we parked the car just off the road, and set up underneath the shade of some trees.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 10.06.07 pm.png

Above:- Aerial view of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I commenced the activation by calling CQ on 7.144.  As per our previous activation at Manya, we had no internet coverage, so we were unable to self spot on parksnpeaks.  First in the log was Alan VK3ALN/p, followed by Marc VK3OHM, Dennis VK2HHA, and Les VK5KLV.  All had good 5/8-9 signals.  I logged a total of 24 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5.  This included Ade VK4SOE/p who was in the Sundown National Park VKFF-0471.  Marija and I then swapped the mic.


Marija had soon achieved her 10 contacts to qualify the park for the VKFF program, with a QSO with Geoff VK3SQ.  Marija logged one further station, Adam VK2YK, before we decided to try our luck on the 80m band.  Marija logged 5 stations on 80m, including a Park to Park with Brett VK3FLCS/p in the Macedon Regional Park VKFF-0972.  I logged 5 stations also, including  a Park to Park with Brett.

To complete the activation I called CQ on 14.310, but did not get any takers.  Spotting is certainly a very important tool when activating parks.  I’m sure had we been spotted on parksnpeaks, I would have made contacts on 20m.  But sadly we had no internet coverage and were unable to throw up a self spot.

Marija and I had 45 contacts in the log between the 2 of us from the park, including 3 Park to Park contacts.  We will have to return here to get our 44 QSOs to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF/m
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK7ZGK
  4. VK4NH
  5. VI4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK2IO
  8. VK2MOR
  9. VK3ALN/p
  10. VK3SQ
  11. VK2YK

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5HS/m
  3. VK3FLCS/p (Macedon Regional Park VKFF-0972)
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK5FMWW

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ALN/p
  2. VK3OHM
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK5KLV’
  5. VK3GZ
  6. VK3FDZE
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK4SMA
  9. VK3NRG/p
  10. VK4NH
  11. VK4DXA
  12. ZL4TY/VK4
  13. VK2IO
  14. VK3TKK/m
  15. VK3CWF
  16. VK4TJ
  17. VK2NP
  18. VK2MOR
  19. VK4SOE/p (Sundown National Park VKFF-0471)
  20. VK3PF
  21. VK5FANA
  22. VK2YK
  23. VK1FMGG
  24. VK4ANB

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5FMWW
  4. VK5FMLO
  5. VK3FLCS/p (Macedon Regional Park VKFF-0972)




Dear Grandpa Pencil, 2018, <http://www.grandpapencil.net/austral/abword/abk.htm>, viewed 12th November 2018

Victorian Places, 2018, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/cowangie>, viewed 12th November 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowangie>, viewed 12th November 2018


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