Main Ridge Flora Reserve VKFF-2135

Our second planned park for the 2018 VKFF Activation Weekend was to be the Point Nepean National Park, but we chose to alter our plans and head to the Main Ridge Flora Reserve VKFF-2135.  Main Ridge is located about 105 km south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula.  This was to be a first time activation for both Marija and I.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Main Ridge Flora Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Main Ridge Flora Reserve is about 158 acres in size.  It is located in relatively close proximity to the Greens Bush section of the Mornington Peninsula National Park.  I was unable to locate much information about this park on the internet.  The Parks Victoria website only contains 3 photos and a map, with no further detail.

The park is one of the last remaining remnant pieces of bushland on the Mornington Peninsula.  The park takes its name from the locality of Main Ridge, which was originally known as Main Creek.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Main Ridge Flora Reserve.  Image courtesy of google maps

The park was alive with birdlife during our visit, including Kookaburras, Crimson Rosellas, Superb Fairy Wrens, White-throated Treecreepers, Eastern Yellow Robins, and  Grey Fantails.  Some of those appear in the photos below which I snapped during my visit to the park.

We accessed the park via the Mornington-Flinders Road.  There was a small area out the front where we parked out vehicle, and we walked a short distance down the walking trail and set up.  We ran the Yaesu FT-897 and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  Power output for me was 40 watts, and 10 watts PEP for Marija.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Main Ridge Flora Reserve, showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

We had the park all to ourselves, so we were able to use the walking trail to our advantage, by stringing out the linked dipole.

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Above:- the walking trail through the park

Prior to calling CQ, Marija and I tuned across the band to see if we could log some other park activators.  We found Mark VK4SMA/p, Ade VK4SOE/p, and Steve VK4FNOR.p on 7.144.  Mark was in the Giraween National Park VKFF-0198, whilst Ade & Steve were activating the Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011.

After speaking with Mark, Ade & Steve, I headed down the band to 7.135 and started calling CQ.  This was answered by Ray VK4NH, who was also keen to log Marija, so we swapped the mic after lowering the power for Marija.  We decided it was too hard going in and out of the menu, so Marija continued to operate.  Andy VK5LA/p then called in, who was activating the Murray River National Park VKFF-0372, followed by Linda VK7QP.  This was followed by Ian VK1DI/p in the Urambi Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0864.  I also logged Ian, Park to Park.

DSC_4784

But it was very slow going on the band, and Marija logged just 2 further stations on 40m, Grant VK2LX, and Rod VK7FRJG.  So I jumped back on the mic, ramping the power back up to 40 watts.  It had started to drizzle again with rain, so Marija headed back to the vehicle for shelter, while I huddled underneath the bothy bag.  I logged a further 20 stations on 40 m including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Ian VK1DI/p in the Urambi Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0864
  • Alan VK2MG/p in the Watagans National Park VKFF-0522
  • Liz VK2XSE/p in the Loughnan Nature Reserve VKFF-2651
  • Gerard VK2IO/p on SOTA peak VK2/ CT-032 in the Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041
  • Nik VK3NLK/p in the The Pines Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2451
  • Alan VK3ALN/p in the Point Nepean National Park VKFF-0628
  • Les VK5KLV/p in the Munyaroo Conservation Park VKFF-0920
  • Steve VK5MSD/p in the Munyaroo Conservation Park VKFF-0920
  • Rob VK4AAC/p in the Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493

I then moved to the 80m band and started calling CQ on 3.610 after placing a spot on parksnpeaks.  Sadly my only taker on 80m was Geoff VK3SQ in Beechworth.

I then headed to 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged a total of 4 stations from VK4 and New Zealand.  I decided to have a tune across the 20m band before heading back to 40m, and I am very pleased I did.  I managed to log A35EU in Tonga on 14.185.  This was a new DXCC entity for me whilst being portable.  I am trying to get my DXCC from operating portable, and I am slowly getting there, being in the high 80’s now.

I then moved back to 40m and tuned across the band hoping to find some park activators.  I found Rob VK2QR/3 on 7.135 calling CQ from the Lonsdale Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2132.  I shouted out to Marija and she jumped out of the vehicle to also log Rob Park to Park.

I then moved up to 7.155 and called CQ.  I logged 5 stations including some more Park to Park contacts: Adam VK2YK/p in the Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park VKFF-1410, and Peter VK2KNV/p in the Loughnan Nature Reserve VKFF-2651.

Marija and I saw a spot pop up for Peter VK3PF/p on 3.615, so we lowered the squid pole and inserted the 80m sections of the antenna and headed to 3.615.  We both logged Peter who was in the Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965.  Peter became my 44th contact, qualifying the park for me for WWFF, so I encouraged Marija to get back on the mic whilst I headed off for a walk to take some more photographs.

But Marija found conditions difficult, logging just a further 2 stations on 40m, Mike VK5FMWW and Lee VK2LEE.

We packed up with a total of 61 contacts in the log between the 2 of us, including 27 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SMA/p (Girraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  2. VK4SOE/p (Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011)
  3. VK4FNOR/p (Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011)
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK5LA/p (Murray River National ParkVKFF-0372)
  8. VK7QP
  9. VK1DI/p (Urambi Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0864)
  10. VK2LX
  11. VK7FRJG
  12. VK2QR/3 (Lonsdale Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2132)
  13. VK5FMWW
  14. VK2LEE

Marija worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF/p (Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SOE/p (Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011)
  2. VK4FNOR/p (Bald Rock National Park VKFF-0011)
  3. VK4SMA/p (Girraween National Park VKFF-0198)
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK5LA/p (Murray River National ParkVKFF-0372)
  8. VK1DI/p (Urambi Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0864)
  9. VK7FRJG
  10. VK2LX
  11. VK2BY
  12. VK2MG/p (Watagans National Park VKFF-0522)
  13. VK2XSE/p (Loughnan Nature Reserve VKFF-2651)
  14. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-032 & Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041)
  15. VK3NLK/p (The Pines Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2451)
  16. VK3ALN/p (Point Nepean National Park VKFF-0628)
  17. VK5HS
  18. VK2PKT
  19. VK2LEE
  20. VK5PL
  21. VK5KLV/p (Munyaroo Conservation Park VKFF-0920)
  22. VK5MSD/p (Munyaroo Conservation Park VKFF-0920)
  23. VK5FANA
  24. VK7QP
  25. VK4AAC/p (Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493)
  26. VK3SX
  27. VK5LG
  28. VK2FMNW
  29. VK2QR/3 (Lonsdale Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2132)
  30. VK2YK/p (Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park VKFF-1410)
  31. VK2HRX
  32. VK7BEN
  33. VK2KNV/p (Loughnan Nature Reserve VKFF-2651)
  34. VI2WG50/p (Loughnan Nature Reserve VKFF-2651)
  35. VK5FMWW

I worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3PF/p (Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965)
  3. VK3KAI/p (Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965)
  4. VK3GV/p (Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965)
  5. VK3ANL

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. ZL1TM
  5. A35EU

We headed back down the Mornington Peninsula and stopped at Rye to catch up with Alan VK3ALN and hsi wife Robyn.  We enjoyed a nice coffee at Alan and Robyn’s motorhome, and arranged to catch up for tea the next night.

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We then headed back into Sorrento and ordered some Chinese take away.  Whilst waiting for the food we had a quick drive around Rye.  The weather had cleared up quite nicely compared to the dull and overcast conditions the day before.  We then headed back to the motel room for a relatively early night.

 

References.

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Ridge,_Victoria>, viewed 18th December 2018

2 thoughts on “Main Ridge Flora Reserve VKFF-2135

  1. G’day Chris,

    The contact with Tonga was a real bonus. It’s getting really hard now picking up new countries out in the field with conditions as poor as they have been. Hopefully conditions will start to pick up again.

    73 mate,

    Paul VK5PAS.

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