Walpeup Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2471

Our second for park for Satuday 10th November 2018, was the Walpeup Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2471, which is located about 80 km east of Murrayville, and about 459 km north east of Melbourne.

This was to be another unique park for both Marija and I, and a brand new park for all of the WWFF hunters.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Walpeup Nature Conservation Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Walpeup, pronounced wol’pee UP, is a small town with a population of about 200 people.  The town was settled, following the arrival of the railway during the 1910’s.  The Walpeup Primary School was established in June 1912, followed by the Post Office which commenced in Walpeup in December 1912.

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In its heyday in 1920, Walpeup had a population of about 400 people, with a general store, blacksmith, butcher, a bank branch, and other businesses.  ‘Walpeup’ is derived from an Aboriginal word with several meanings including ‘stumpy tailed lizard’ and another is an indigenous acacia.

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The Walpeup Nature Conservation Reserve is about 1.78km2 and is located in 9 autonomous blocks, on both the southern and northern side of the Mallee Highway in the town of Walpeup.

Marija and I headed out of town on the Walpeup-Hopetoun Road.  As it was a warm sunny day, there were plenty of Shingleback or ‘Stumpy’ lizards on the road.

We found a small track running off the bitumen, with a small clearing amongst the scrub.  It appeared to be ain ideal spot to set up.  Little were we to know that when we turned on the transceiver, the noise on the 40m band was strength 7 to 8.  I suspect we were just a little too close to the town.  My recommendation for those wanting to activate this park in the future, is to try the south western part of the park away from the town.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Walpeup NCR, showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

To kick off the activation Marija and I had a Park to Park contact with Nik VK3NLK/p who was activating the Grampians National Park VKFF-0213.  We then moved up the band to 7.155 and I started calling CQ.  Greg VK2EXA came back to my call, followed by Peter VK3TKK, and then Keith VK2PKT.  Fortunately they all had strong signals, as the strength 7 to 8 was making it very difficult to hear the lower down stations.

I logged 5 stations, including another Park to Park, with Gerard VK2IO/p in the Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784, with Marija also logging Gerard.  As Marija had the mic, we decided to swap operators.

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Next in the log, was a third Park to Park, with Mark VK4SMA/p who was activating the Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525.  Marija soon qualified the park for the VKFF program, with her 10th contact being with Linda VK7QP.  Marija logged a total of 14 stations, before the noise got so annoying that she had enough.  This included a 4th Park to Park, with David VK5PL/p who was in the Para Wirra Conservation Park VKFF-1739.

I then tried to pick up a few more contacts on 40m, under pretty trying conditions.  Thoe noise was awful, so I apologise to anyone who was calling that I could not hear.  I logged a further 10 stations on 40m including Alan VK3ALN/p who was at Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750.

Feeling a little frustrated I headed down to the 80m, but it was no better there, with a strength 8 noise on that band.  As a result I logged just one contact there, with Andy VK5LA in the Riverland.

To complete the activation I called CQ on 14.310 on the 20m band and logged a total of 13 stations from VK2, VK4, VK7, VK8 and New Zealand.  I was really pleased to be able to speak with Stuie VK8NSB in Darwin, and also Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand.  I also made another Park to Park contact, with Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-2784.

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With just 31 contacts in the log for me, and 14 for Marija, we decided not to persevere with the noise, and pack up and head off to another park.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3NLK/p (Grampians National Park VKFF-0213)
  2. VK2IO/p ( Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  3. VK4SMA/p (Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525)
  4. VK5BJE
  5. VK3OHM
  6. VK2EXA
  7. VK3PF
  8. VK5KLV
  9. VK5YX
  10. VK7QP
  11. VK2NP
  12. VK5PL/p (Para Wirra Conservation Park VKFF-1739)
  13. VK3SQ
  14. VK3TKK

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3NLK/p (Grampians National Park VKFF-0213)
  2. VK2EXA
  3. VK3TKK
  4. VK2PKT
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  7. VK5PL/p (Para Wirra Conservation Park VKFF-1739)
  8. VK5BJE
  9. VK3OHM
  10. VK5KLV
  11. Vk2KYO
  12. Vk2YK
  13. VK3ALN/p (Arthurs Seat State Park VKFF-0750)
  14. VK3SQ
  15. VK5LA
  16. VK2VW
  17. VK3WAC/m

I worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5LA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK8NSB
  5. VK2MBA
  6. VK4RF
  7. VK4HA
  8. VK4TJ
  9. VK4/AC8WN
  10. VK4/VE6XT
  11. VK7PSJ
  12. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  13. ZL1TM

 

 

References.

Protected Planet, 2018, <https://www.protectedplanet.net/walpeup-f-f-r-nature-conservation-reserve>, viewed 14th November 2018

Victorian Places, 2018, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/walpeup>, viewed 14th November 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpeup>, viewed 14th November 2018

2 thoughts on “Walpeup Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2471

  1. Hi Paul
    I am pleased to have had qsos with both you and Marija for the Walpeup Park. I first heard of Walpeup in 1963 after moving from Hobart to Melbourne for work. A couple of chaps I knew had vacation jobs pickling wheat for saving as next year’s seed. It was apparently a tough, dirty job! I was surprised that there was so much noise apparently coming from the town. At one stage here while you were away 40 metres was unusable here because of noise, which I suspect was QRN. Excellent photos by the way.
    73
    John D
    VK5BJE/VK5PF

  2. Hi John,

    I couldn’t believe the noise floor from this park. It made it very tough going. Next time I will definitely try from a different location. And the flies also loved Walpeup.

    Cheers,

    Paul VK5PAS.

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