After leaving Costerfield, Marija and I continued east on the Heathcote-Nagambie Road, until we reached the Graytown-Rushworth Road. We turned left here, heading for the Spring Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2193.
The Spring Creek Nature Conservation Reserve (NCR) is located within the Heathcote Graytown National Park, so if you intend to activate this park, you will need to ensure that you are within the boundaries of the Reserve.
The Spring Creek NCR is about 401 hectares in size. It includes the former Rushworth-Heathcote State Forest, the Mount Black Flora Reserve, and other Crown land. The park takes its name from Spring Creek, an intermittent stream which rises from the Mount Black area and flows south through the reserve, and eventually into the Goulburn River.
Together with the Heathcote Graytown National Park, and the adjacent forestsed area, the Spring Creek Nature Conservation Reserve form the most extensive tract of Box-Ironbark forest in Victoria. It is one of only six known Victorian localities in which the endangered Crimson Spider-orchid occurs.
The forest protects critical habitat for a number of rare species including the Powerful Owl, Swift Parrot, Brush-tailed Phascogale and Bibrons Toadlet (images below courtesy of Wikipedia).
We travelled a few hundred metres down Bailieston Road, to ensure that we were inside the park boundaries. There were no signs for the park.
We pulled up on the side of the road. Again, for this activation I operated from the vehicle, as we were a little short of time. Equipment used was the Icom IC-7000, 100 watts and the Codan 930 antenna.
I used 7.150 again for this activation, asking if the frequency was in use before I called CQ. VK7VDL came back to me to advise that the frequency was clear, and as a result he was first in the log. This was followed by Ray VK4NH, Danny VK5DW, and then Nick VK3ANL. Contact number 10 came 7 minutes into the activation, with a QSO with Scott VK4CZ.
I worked a further 5 stations before going QRT and heading off to the next park. I had qualified the park for VKFF, with 15 contacts in the log. Again, as we were pressed for time, Marija did not activate Spring Creek.
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
Parks Victoria, 2008, ‘Heathcote-Graytown National Park and Spring Creek Nature Conservation Reserve Management Plan’.