It was now day four of our trip, Monday 19th November 2018. We had only one planned park activation for the day, and that being the Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741. This was to be another unique park for both Marija and I for both the WWFF program and the KRMNPA.
The park is located just to the north of Shepparton and stretches all the way to the mighty Murray River to the east of Echuca/Moama.
For breakfast we headed to the Windmill at Emerald Bank. We enjoyed some bacon and eggs and coffee, and purchased some of the chocolates which are on sale there.
We then headed south out of Shepparton on the Goulburn Valley Freeway and into the little town of Murchison, which is located on the banks of the Goulburn River. The town features a number of cow statues called ‘Mooving Art’. In 1999, Shepparton’s CBD marketing committee Shepparton Show Me introduced Moooving Arts predecessor – the Merry Moos, for a Christmas campaign. The Merry Moos were so successful it was decided to expand the concept and Moooving Art was born. They can now be found in Shepparton and surrounding towns, including Murchison.
We then travelled out to the Murchison cemetery which contains the grave of King Charles Tattambo, the leader of the Goulburn tribe at the time of European settlement. Tattambo died in 1866. His son, Captain John, and his widow, Queen Mary, were buried next to King Charles’ grave in 1874.
We then visited the Murchison Italian Ossario – War Memorial and Chapel. During World War II an estimated 4,000 Italian, German, and Japanese were sent to prison camps in the Goulburn Valley, including Murchsion. Many died whilst in the camps and were buried in the Murhcison cemetery. In 1956 the infamous floods of that year caused serious damage to many of the graves. The mausoleum was completed in 1961 and it was agreed that all Italian POW’s and internees who died in Australian prison camps, should be interred in the mauoleum.
Our next stop was the stately mansion, Thornebridge. The mansion was built in 1868 by Henry Thorne as a Commercial Travellers Inn, and was known as Thornes Bridge Hotel and Store. In 1895 it was renamed Gregorys Bridge Hotel and Store. From that time it was owned by many people until it was delicenced in 1969. Today, after much loving tender care, the mansion haas been transformed into historic luxury accomodation. The building is shadowed by a heritage listed London Plane Tree, planted in 1913. It is the 4th biggest in the State.
We then returned to Shepparton and visited the Shepparton Motor Museum. And whata great museum this is, whether you are a car buff or not. The museum features up to 100 classic, heritage and muscle cars, which have been generously loaned or donated to the museum. You can also find motorcycles and car collectables.
There are some real classics here to be viewed. And they have all generously been loaned for display by motoring enthusiasts all across Australia. The museum’s collection is constantly changing.
There is also a Furphy collection here. What is a Furphy I hear you ask? A furphy is a water cart designed and constructed by a company established by John Furphy of J. Furphy & Sons of Shepparton, Victoria. The steel and cast iron tanks were first made in the 1880s and were used on farms and by stock agents. Many Furphy water carts were used to take water to Australian Army personnel during World War I in Australia, Europe and the Middle East.
Outdoors there is a small collection of tractors and an old fire engine.
The museum also features an extensive bicycle collection. In fact it is the largest and rarest collection of bicycles in Australia, and one of the largest in the world. The bicycles are the collecting passion of Paul and Charlie Farren. The majority of the bicycles are pre 1900, with the most recent bike being from about 1910. The Farren collection includes penny farthings of all sizes, bamboo bikes, curious tricycles, women’s sidesaddle bikes, tandems/three seaters and “sociables” that allowed riders to sit side by side.
And of course during my visit to the museum I was able to track down a radio collection.
And my thanks to Marija for allowing me to purchase a car during our visit. Well, not the one I wanted. But second best, a die cast model of a 1958 Chevy Impala.
We then headed to the town of Tatura, which means ‘small lagoon’ in the local aboriginal language. We visited the memorial for Private Robert Mactier, who was a Victoria Cross recipient.
We then visited the Tatura Irrigation and Wartime Camps Museum, a fascinating museum which tells the very interesting story of the inturnment of Germans, Japanese and Italians during World War Two. During the Second World War there were between 4,000 to 8,000 internees held at seven camps in the Goulburn Valley. Three of the camps housed Prisoners Of War, and the remaining four camps held internees. Of the internee camps, Camps 1 and 2 were near Tatura and held mostly German and Italian single males. This museum is a must if you are in the area.
It was now mid afternoon and we were feeling a bit peckish. One of Marija’s friends had recommended the vanilla slice at the Tatura Bakery, so that it where we headed for a bite to eat.
We then ventured out to Dhurringile Mansion, a 65 room mansion which was constructed by wealthy pastoralist John Winter. It was subsequently sold in 1907 to Everard Browne, the son of Rolf Boldrewood, the Robbert Under Arms novelist. During the Second World War the mansion was used for the detention of German officers. Today it is used as a low security prison, HMS Prison Dhurringile. What a waste! We couldn’t get close to the mansion due to the security, but took the pictures below from the Tatura Road.
Our next stop was the German War cemetery, located next to the Tatura Cemetery. The cemetery contains the graves of 250 German civilian internees of World War One, and German civilian internees, German Army and German Air Force of World War Two, who died in Australia during the War.
We headed back into Shepparton and went to the SPC Factory Sales. I thought they were just going to see SPS fruit products here, but I was very surprised to learn that they stock almost everything. Australian brands of goods are stocked, with 20-70% off normal retail prices.
It was now late afternoon, and time to head off the Lower Goulburn National Park. We headed out of Shepparton on Reedy Swamp Road and soon reached the park, which was well signposted.
The Lower Goulburn National Park is a large park, consisting of 9,310-hectares (23,000-acres). The Victorian State Government created the Lower Goulburn National Park, along with other new and expanded parks, in June 2010 to protect and enhance the River Red Gum forests in Victoria. The park is renowned for its River Red Gums, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, that line much of the course of the Goulburn River and the National Park. These iconic Australian trees have been known to reach 45 metres and live for more than 500 years.
The Goulburn River, a major inland perennial river of the Goulburn Broken catchment, part of the Murray-Darling basin, flows through the park. The headwaters of the Goulburn River rise in the western end of the Victorian Alps, below the peak of Corn Hill before descending to flow into the Murray River near Echuca, making it the longest river in Victoria at 654 kilometres.
Explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell explored the area in 1824, naming the Goulburn River in honour of Major Frederick Goulburn (1788-1837), the first Colonial Secretary of New South Wales.
The River Red Gum forest in the park, along with the wetlands and billabongs provides habitat for numerous significant fauna species including Brush-tailed Phascogales, Barking Owls, Royal Spoonbills and Musk Ducks. Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Spiny Freshwater Crayfish are found in the river.
There were some nice spots to stop before we reached our operating spot. It gave me the opportunity of taking some bird photos. This part of park, Reedy Swamp is a haven for waterbirds.
We travelled down one of the 4WD tracks off Reedy Swamp Road and set up our portable station, comprising the Yaesu FT-897 and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.
To kick off the activation Marija and I logged on 40m, Jonathan VK7JON who was activating SOTA summit Mount Mangana VK7/ SC-017. I then moved up the band to 7.150 and started calling CQ, whilst Marija placed up a spot for me on parksnpeaks. First to come back to my CQ call was Gerard VK2IO with a strong 5/8 signal, followed by Ray VK4NH, and then Adrian VK5FANA. Within 10 minutes I had contact number 10 in the log, a QSO with Alan VK3ALN/p at Rye. I logged one more station, Alan VK2MG, before swapping the mic with Marija.
Marija then called CQ and Ray VK4NH was first to come back, followed by Alan VK2MG, Adrian VK5FANA, and then Rob VK2CRF. Marija had also soon qualified the park, with contact number 10 being a QSO with Alan VK3ALN/p. Marija logged a further 4 stations before handing the mic back to me.
I was keen to try to get my 44 QSOs, required to qualify the park for the global WWFF program. Unfortunately that was not be. I logged just a further 7 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK5 and VK7. I tried calling CQ on 14.310 but had no takers there, and had to endure the ever present Over the Horizon Radar which was very strong.
To complete the activation I called CQ on 3.610 on the 80m band where I logged a total of 6 stations from VK3 and VK5.
I ended up with 24 contacts in the log, and had qualified the park for VKFF and the KRMNPA, as had Marija.
Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
- VK7JON/p (SOTA Mount Mangana VK7/ SC-017)
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
- VK7JON/p (SOTA Mount Mangana VK7/ SC-017)
I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-
Aussie Towns, 2018, <https://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/murchison-vic>, viewed 9th December 2018
Greater Shepparton Visitor Centre, 2018, <http://visitshepparton.com.au/moooving-art/about-moooving-art>, viewed 9th December 2018
Monument Australia, 2018, <http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/conflict/multiple/display/33692-german-war-cemetery>, viewed 9th December 2018
Parks Victoria, 2013, ‘Lower Goulburn National Park Visitor Guide’.
Shepparton Motor Museum, 2018, <https://sheppartonmotormuseumandcollectibles.com.au/>, viewed 9th December 2018
Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furphy>, viewed 9th December 2018
Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goulburn_River>, viewed 9th December 2018