Torrita Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2460

It was now day two (Saturday 10th November 2018) of our 2018 KRMNPA trip.  The weather forecast was for a beautiful day in the low 30’s (deg C).  Marija and I had a bit of a sleep in and left the caravan park at around 7.30 a.m. and headed towards the Cobb & Co Cafe in Murrayville for some breakfast.

First though, we stopped briefly to have a look a the old shops in Reed Street, Murrayville.  Sadly many are now empty.  One of the old shops of note is the old Nana’s Deli, which still has the old Holstens aerated drinks sign on the front window.

Murrayville is a small town with a population of about 350 people.  It is located about 22 km east of the South Australian/Victorian State border.  The town was named in honour of John Murray (1851-1916), the Premier of Victoria from 1909-1912.  The town was surveyed in 1910, with the post office opening that year, and the hotel built in 1911.  Murrayville’s main industry is cereal crops, sheep and cattle.  However, tourism is now an important income for the town.  It is an ideal base to explore the many nearby parks.


Above:- Outside the Murrayville Hotel.

We paid a quick visit to the old Murrayville railway station, an old timber weatherboard building, which opened in 1912 and ceased operating a number of years ago.  In the park opposite the hotel, there are a number of information boards and an old horse drawn wagon which was used to cart bags of grain during the early years of settlement of Murrayville.

Murrayville is the birth place of former Olympic basketballer Rachael Sporn.  She played for the Adelaide Lightning and the Detroit Shock, and competed at three Olympic Games.


After a quick look around the town we headed to the Cobb & Co Cafe for breakfast.  We enjoyed a nice brekkie of bacon and eggs.  The shop was originally run way back in 1911 as a Fruit & Vegetable shop.

After breakfast we headed east along the Mallee Highway.  Our first stop was Cowangie, about 19 km east of Murrayville.  The name “cowangie” comes from the Wergaia Aboriginal word “cow” meaning “white”.  There are a few points of interest here, including one of Victoria’s first Bush Nursing Centres, and the old Bakehouse which was opened in 1912.  The bakers oven has now been restored.

Our next stop was the town of Underbool on the Mallee Highway.  The town name is thought to come from the German word underbolt given to it by surveyor Dr. Neumayer when he camped there in October 1861.  The town was proclaimed in 1911.  There is a pioneer memorial here and a number of other displays.

We also travelled a short distance out of town to the Underbool cemetery to view the gates which came from the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

We decided on our first park activation of the day to be the Torrita Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2460, which is located about  76 km east of Murrayville, and about 467 km north west of Melbourne.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 11.18.30 am.png

The Torrita Flora & Fauna Reserve is about 2.52 km2 in size.  It is located on the southern side of the Mallee Highway at the small town of Torrita.


The park appears on some maps as the Nyang Flora Reserve.  A Post Office was opened at Torrita in July 1912, providing a regular mail service as a result of the opening of the railway from Ouyen to Murrayville a month earlier in June 1912.  The railway stop was originally known as Nyang until 1921.

Marija and I drove down Pole Road and found a track leading into the park.  It was a warm morning, so we set up underneath the shade of some trees and competed with the flies.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 11.18.15 am.png

Above:- Aerial shot of the Torrita Flora & Fauna Reserve, showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I started off the activation, calling CQ on 7.150 after Marija had thrown up a spot on parksnpeaks.  First in the log was Rod VK7FRJG in Tasmania, followed by the ever reliable John VK4TJ, and then Ray VK4NH.  I reached my 10 QSOs, qualifying the park for the VKFF program, in 10 minutes.  Contact number 10 being a QSO with Dennis VK2HHA.  This included a Park to Park with Alan VK3ALN/p who was activating SOTA peak Arthurs Seat VK3/ VC-031 in the Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750.

Marija and I then swapped the mic, after I had lowered the power back down to 10 watts PEP for Marija.  Marija’s first contact was with VK3ALN/p in VKFF-0750 , followed by Ken VK2KYO, Dennis VK2HHA, and then Ian VK5IS.  Marija’s 10th contact came 16 minutes into her being on air, a contact with Ray VK4NH in Queensland.  Marija logged a total of 19 stations before we swapped the mic.


The flies here were absolutely relentless, and no matter how much Aerogard we applied, we couldn’t keep them at bay.  I ended up getting out my netting.

My first contact was with Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784.  I logged a further 17 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK5 and VK7, before callers dried up.  I now had 27 contacts in the log, and was hoping to get my 44 to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  We lowered the squid pole, and inserted the 80m links and headed off to 3.610.  Adrian VK5FANA had kindly placed a post for us, advising that we were about to head to 80.  John VK5BJE was first in the log on 80m, with a strong 5/8 signal from the Adelaide Hills.  This was followed by Ivan VK5HS, Peter VK2UXO, and then Ian VK5IS.

I logged 13 stations on 80m, and I was now just 4 contacts short of my 44.   So it was off to 20m.  I called CQ on 14.310 and Ray VK4NH came back to my call with a good 5/5 signal.  Contact number 44 was a QSO with John VK4TJ.


Much to my surprise I had qualified the park for WWFF, with 46 contacts in the log.  Marija had also qualified the park for VKFF, with 19 contacts in the log.  It was time to pack up and head off to our next park.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ALN/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-031 & Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750)
  2. VK2KYO
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK5IS
  5. VK2FHIT
  6. VK3ANL
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK2PKT
  10. VK4NH
  11. VK4DXA
  12. ZL4TY/VK4
  13. VK3MKE
  14. VK3WAC/m
  15. VK3MAB
  16. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  17. VK3SQ
  18. VK1DI
  19. VK7QP

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7FRJG
  2. VK4TJ
  3. VK4/AC8WN
  4. VK4/VE6XT
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3ALN/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-031 & Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750)
  9. VK2KYO
  10. VK2HHA
  11. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  12. VK7QP
  13. VK5FANA
  14. VK5BJE
  15. VK5KLV
  16. VK5YX
  17. BK3BCM
  18. VK2UXO
  19. VK5SFA
  20. VK3SQ
  21. VK2VW
  22. VK5EMI
  23. VK3WAC/m
  24. VK3FRAB
  25. VK3MAB
  26. VK3LTL
  27. VK3PF

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5HS
  3. VK2UXO
  4. VK5IS
  5. VK5YX
  6. VK3WAC/m
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK5SFA
  10. VK3MAB
  11. VK3MKE
  12. VK7QP
  13. VK5NPP

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/AC8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT




Aussie Towns, 2018, <;, viewed 14th November 2018

Murray Mallee Touring Route, 2018, <>, viewed 14th November 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <,_Victoria>, viewed 14th November 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <>, viewed 14th November 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <>, viewed 14th November 2018

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