After leaving the Welshmans Plain Nature Conservation Reserve, Marija and I headed towards Walpeup, hoping to get some diesel before heading to our next intended atcivation, the Wyperfeld National Park. Unfortunately we found the service station at Walpeup closed. So our next option was to travel a further 30 km to the east to Ouyen.
So it was off to Ouyen, a commercial, cultural and transport centre for the surrounding grain farming region. The name is believed to be derived from the Wergaia word “wuya-wuya”, which some believe means “pink-eared duck”, whilst others claim it means “ghost waterhole”.
We took the time out to have a look at a few of the attractions in Ouyen. One of those is the old Ouyen Courthouse. It was built in 1914 and was used up until the 1980’s.
We also had a look at the Ouyen mural on Oke Street.
Our final stop in Ouyen was the Big Mallee Stump, which was relocated from Tiega to Ouyen. The stump is estimated to be hundreds of years old and is believed to be the largest mallee stump in Australia.
We then decided to head to the Bronzewing Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2280, for a quick activation from the car. Bronzewing is located about 21 km south of Ouyen on the Calder Highway.
The Bronzewing Flora & Fauna Reserve is about 123.62 km2 in size. eBird Australia have recorded about 77 species of native bird in the park, including the park by which it takes its name, the Common Bronzewing Pigeon.
The park was well signposted on the Calder Highway.
We pulled off the road on a 4WD track and I started calling CQ. First in the log was Peter VK3PF who is the leading VKFF hunter in Australia. This was followed by Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Brisbane Water National Park VKFF-0056. It was slow going, but I eventually had my required 10 contacts in the log, with a QSO with John VK2AWJ/3 in the Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132. My final contact was with Peter VK3TKK/p who was activating the Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627.
Thanks to everyone who called me during this ‘lightning quick’ activation.
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
- VK2IO/p (Brisbane Water National Park VKFF-0056)
- VK2AWJ/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
- VK3TKK/p (Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627)
Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouyen>, viewed 15th November 2018
Very nearly tracked back through Ouyen from Wagga on that day but due to not knowing the availability fuel stayed on the highway.
Availability of fuel along this stretch of the Mallee Hwy is a bit patchy. We will be trading in the Hi Lux soon, and plan on getting a long range fuel tank installed in the new Hi Lux.