Point Cook Coastal Park VKFF-1875


After leaving Williamstown, Marija and I drove west along Koroit Creek Road and then along the Princes Freeway.  We then took the Point Cook Road, with our next stop being the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Museum at Point Cook.

The museum is located on RAAF Base at Williamstown, so we stopped at the checkpoint and received some visitor cards.  The base serves as the headquarters to both the Air Combat Group and the Surveillance and Response Group of the RAAF.  This is the birthplace of the Australian Flying Corps and the Royal Australian Air Force.  We were under strict instructions to only take photos of the museum and not other parts of the base.

The museum is open Tuesday-Friday from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.  Entry is free, but a donation is the right thing to do.  The museum houses an extensive collection of memorabillia and aircraft, and we highly recommend a visit here if you are in Williamstown.

The RAAF Museum was formed in 1952 at the direction of Air Marshall Sir George Jones.  It is currently overseen by the RAAF’s Air Training Wing.  You can literally spend hours here looking at all of the displays.

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The museum displays aircraft of significance to the RAAF from its inception as the Australian Flying Corps, all the way through to present day.  The aircraft are within the museum and also on display in a number of hangars, some of which were unfortunately closed during our visit.

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Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 1.00 p.m. there are interactive flying displays, and we were fortunate enough to experience one.

Outdoors you can view a Lockheed Hercules, a Caribou, and various other aircraft.

We left the museum and drove the short distance to the adjacent Point Cook Coastal Park VKFF-1875.  This was to be another unique park for Marija and I as activators in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Point Cook Coastal Park.  Map courtesy of google maps.

The Point Cook Coastal Park is about 863 hectares (2,130 acres) in size and was established in 1978.  The park extends from the RAAF base northeast along the coast fo the Laverton Creek, and includes the Cheetham Wetlands which are 420 hectares of artificial and natural lagoons created on an old salt works.  The park is primarily used for recreational purposes however it has areas of high conservation significance such as Spectacle Lake and the RAMSAR listed wetlands.

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The park is adjoined by the Point Cook Marine Sanctuary which covers nearly 300 hectares and was declared in 2004.

The park supports 22 Victorian threatened flora species, two of which are considered endangered.

More than 200 species of birds have been recorded in the park.  A total of 34 of these are covered by international migratory agreements.  This includes the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement, and the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement.  Each year the park is visited by thousands of migratory birds which come from as far awat as Siberia and Japan.

As we entered the park we passed the plane spotting site in the park which contains an information board on various aircraft which can be seen in the air from the nearby RAAF base.


Across the grasslands there are some nice views of Melbourne off in the distance.


We drove down Main Drive and then Side Entrance Drive, down to the Beach Recreation Area.

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Above:- Map of the Point Cook Coastal Park, showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

There were a number of different operating options here.  We chose a table and bench which had a shadecloth covering over the top.  It was an ideal spot to operate from, with plenty of room to stretch out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

Marija kicked off the activation by calling CQ on 7.144.  And it wasn’t long before contact number one was in the log.  It was a QSO with James VK2HFC/p who was activating the Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558.  It was a great way to start the activation with a Park to Park.  I also logged James.

Next for Marija was John VK4TJ, and his associated two calls, and then Joseph VK5WU, followed by Steve VK5KSW.  Marija’s 10th contact was Adrian VK5FANA.  Marija logged a further 2 stations before we swapped the mic.


I called CQ and this was answered by Adrian VK5FANA, followed by Bob VK3XP, and then Gerard VK2IO.  Contact number ten, qualifying the park for me for VKFF, was Ray ZL4TY/VK4.  It was a great time of the day to be out and about, with the 40m band in very good shape.  I had a steady flow of callers and within about 40 minutes I had 37 contacts in the log on 40m.

When callers slowed down I lowered the squid pole and removed the links, allowing me to operate on the 20m band.  I called CQ for a short time on 14.310 but had no callers, so I headed down the band to 14.183 and booked in to the ANZA DX Net.  I there logged Steve VK4KUS and Antoine 3D2AG in Fiji.


I then moved back to 14.310, and with a fresh spot placed on parksnpeaks by Marija, I started calling CQ.  I logged a total of 6 stations from VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK6.  This included Peter VK3TKK who was mobile, having just left work, and on his way to visit us in the park.

I then saw a spot come up for Greg VK4VXX/6 on 14.315, so I moved up to that frequency and logged a Park to Park contact with Greg who was in the Walyunga National Park VKFF-0516.

I then tried my luck on 3.610 on the 80m band, and loffed just the 2 stations there, Ken VK3UH and Geoff VK3SQ.

To conclude the activation I moved back to 40m and tuned across the band.  I heard the Kandos Net just starting to wrap up and worked Ron VK5MRE, Mal VK5MJ, and Darren VK2NNN.


In the meantime Peter VK3TKK had arrived at the park.  This was the second time I have met Peter, and it was great to catch up again, albeit a quick g’day.


Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HFC/p (Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558)
  2. VK4TJ
  3. VK4/AC8WN
  4. VK4/VE6XT
  5. VK5WU
  6. VK5KSW
  7. VK4NH
  8. VK4DXA
  9. ZL4TY/VK4
  10. VK5FANA
  11. VK3TKK/m
  12. VK2VW

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HFC/p (Yellomundee Regional Park VKFF-0558)
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK3XP
  4. VK2IO
  5. VK5HS
  6. VK7FRJG
  7. VK4HAT
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK5YP
  12. VK4BYE
  13. VK5KSW
  14. VK4TJ
  15. VK4/AC8WN
  16. VK4/VE6XT
  17. VK2BHO
  18. VK2NSS
  19. VK5TS
  20. VK3NBL
  21. VK3PF/m
  22. VK5DW
  23. VK2FADV
  24. VK2KF
  25. VK2FNYN/m
  26. VK5XY
  27. VK5KLV
  28. VK2MKE
  29. VK2SLB
  30. VK3ZZS
  31. VK2IJS
  32. VK5FERS
  33. VK3TKK/m
  34. VK2AWJ
  35. VK2FVG
  36. VK2ISO
  37. VK3FQJ
  38. VK5MRE
  39. VK5MJ
  40. VK2NNN

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4KUS
  2. 3D2AG
  3. VK5KLV
  4. VK6NTE
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3TKK/m
  9. VK4VXX/6 (Walyunga National Park VKFF-0516)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3UH
  2. VK3SQ

We then drove in to Geelong and booked in to our accomodation, the Best Western Admiralty Motor Inn.


We freshened up and headed out for tea to the Geelong Hotel.  It was a very enjoyable meal, with the hotel staff very friendly.  We can highly recommend this hotel.





Parks Victoria, ‘Point Cook Coastal Park and Cheetham Wetlands Visitor Guide’

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAAF_Base_Williamtown>, viewed 20th December 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheetham_Wetlands>, viewed 20th December 2018

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Cook_Coastal_Park>, viewed 20th December 2018

Day twelve, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2339

Day twelve was now upon us (Tuesday 27th November 2018) and it was time for us to travel from Williamstown to Geelong.  It was just a short 66 km drive, but we had planned a few things to do during the day, so the short drive down the road was most welcome compared to a few hours on the road.

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Above:- Map showing the route between Williamstown and Geelong.  Map courtesy of google maps

We kicked off the day with an activation of the Jawbone Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2339.  This is not to be confused with the Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, which currently does not qualify for VKFF/WWFF.  The park is located at Williamstown, about 15 km by road from the Melbourne Central Business District.  The park takes its name from a small promontory known as ‘The Jawbone’.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Jawbone Flora & Fauna Reserve at Williamstown in Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve consists of 50 acres of wetlands, open grasslands, a saltmarsh, and a mangrove area.  It is located alongside the Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, a 30 hectare area, which is the closest marine protected area to the Melbourne Central Business District.

The eastern boundary of the park starts near the Williamstown High School on Bayview Street, with the north western boundary near the rear of the Quest Apartments and Maddox Road.

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Above:- Map showing the Jawbone Flora & Fauna Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The map below shows the adjacent Jawbone Marine Sanctuary.

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Above:- the Jawbone Marine Sanctuary.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet

This was once a highly degraded site, but it has been transformed into a haven for wildlife and a place of enjoyment for the community.  A large area of the reserve was once a rifle range which was established in 1877 and later named after Major C.E. Merrett, a member of the Australian Shooting team of 1912.  The range was a training ground for soldiers and later used by police and civillians.  In 1956 for the Melbourne Olympic Games, the range was used as the rifle shooting venue.  It was closed in 1990 due to the sale of land for a housing estate.


The park provides an ideal habitat for up to 120 species of birds, including ducks, coots, moorhens, cormorants, grebes, swans, herons, stilts, spoonbills and pelicans.  Some of those birds that call the park home feature in the photos below which I took in the park.

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We drove down to Bayview Street near the Williamstown High School.  We then walked about 50 metres along the Bay Trail until we reached the eastern boundary of the park, where we climbed a metal railing fence, and set up.  We ran the Yaesu FT-897 and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Jawbone Flora & Fauna Reserve, showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of google maps

This area of the park faces out towards Jawbone Bay and the large Port Philllip Bay.


The Bay Trail was very busy with walkers, joggers and cyclists, and we received a number of interesting looks during the activation.


We had made quite an early start, so we were set up and ready to go by just after 9.00 a.m. local time.  I called CQ on 7.144 after Marija had placed a spot for me on parksnpeaks.  James VK2HFC was to be number one in the log, followed by Peter VK3TKK mobile, and then Gerard VK2IO.  It was a weekday and it was quite slow going, but within 13 minutes I had qualified the park for VKFF, with a QSO with John VK4/AC8WN.

I then swapped the mic with Marija so she could qualify the park.  Marija’s first contact was with John VK4TJ, followed by James VK2HFC, and then Alan VK3ALN.  But with the power lowered down to just 10 watts PEP for Marija, it was much harder going.

So it was down to 3.610 on the 80m band, with 5 contacts in the log for Marija, and another 5 to go.  Marija logged just 2 stations on 80m, Geoff Vk3SQ and Ken VK2KYO.  We lowered the squid pole again and removed the 80m links and it was back to 7.144 for Marija.  Contact number 10 came soon after, with a QSO with John VK7FJFD.  Marija logged a further 3 stations before I gave 80m one final go.  I logged just the 1 station, Peter VK3PF.

We then decided to call it quits and packed up, with both of us qualifying the park for the VKFF program.


Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK4/AC8WN
  3. VK4/VE6XT
  4. VK2HFC
  5. VK3ALN/p
  6. VK3SQ
  7. VK3TKK/m
  8. VK7FJFD
  9. VK4NH
  10. VK4DXA
  11. ZL4TY/VK4

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK2KYO

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HFC
  2. VK3TKK/m
  3. VK2IO
  4. VK3ALN/p
  5. VK7PSJ
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. VK4TJ
  10. VK4/AC8WN
  11. VK4/VE6XT

I worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF

At the end of the activation we had a quick look (through the fence) at Fort Gellibrand, which was built in 1855 during the Crimean War to guard against a possible Russian invasion.

Opposite is the site of Gellibrands Bluestone Quarry, which commenced in 1838.  It supplied ballast to weigh down empty ships on their return journey.  Ballast was also supplied to the railways for lining tracks.  Other than ballast, bluestone blocks cut from the quarry were used to construct many of the first piers and buildings in Williamstown and Melbourne.


We then drove in to the historic heart of Williamstown.  It was named William’s Town in 1837 after King William IV, the English monarch.  There are numerous heritage buildings and sites in Williamstown.


We took a walk along the waterfront where you can get excellent vies of the City of Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay, and the mouth of the Yarra River.

Moored at Gem Pier is HMAS Castlemaine, a World War Two mine sweeper which was built at the local shipyards.  It is now used as a Maritime Museum.

We stopped for some morning tea at one of the local cafes, and then headed to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook.

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Parks Victoria, 2018, <https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/jawbone-f.f.r.>, viewed 20th December 2018

Parks Victoria, 2013, ‘Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve Visitor Guide’

Wild Melbourne, 2018, <http://wildmelbourne.org/bush-beats/jawbone-flora-and-fauna-reserve>, viewed 20th December 2018