Peter Francis Points Flora Reserve VKFF-2421

Our next intended activation was the Peter Francis Points Flora Reserve VKFF-2421 which is located at Coleraine, about 329 km west of Melbourne.  This was to be the first time that the park had been activated for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of he Peter Francis Points Flora Reserve at Coleraine.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

As we drove into Coleraine, we stopped briefly to have a look at the Adam Lindsay Gordon monument on the edge of town.  It commemorates the 19th century poet, who developed a reputation as a distinguished horse rider in the town’s Great Western Steeplechase.  Poems related to the race are “The Fields of Coleraine” and “Banker`s Dream”.

We then stopped for a drinks and toilet break at the Coleraine Visitor Info Centre which is et in the old Coleraine Railway Station.

We then headed to the Peter Francis Points Flora Reserve, also known as the Peter Francis Points Arboretum Nature Conservation Reserve.  We travelled south on the Coleraine-Merino Road and then turned right into Top Hilgay Road, and then Points Road and entered the park.

There were some very nice views of the town of Coleraine as we travelled along Top Hilgay Road.

The Peter Francis Points Arboretum is 37 hectares in size and is a collection of native Australian plants.  There are more than 10,000 recorded Australian native plants in the reserve, including several threatened species.  ‘The Points’ gets its name from two peaks of land on the site.

The Points Arboretum was started in 1966 by Mr. Joe Wright, Shire Engineer, Mrs. Mary Hope and Mr. Peter Francis.

We travelled to the lookout which overlooked the town of Coleraine.  As we were running a bit short of time, this was to be a very quick activation from the vehicle, using the Icom IC-7000 and the Codan 9350 self tuning antenna mounted on the rear of the Toyota Hi Lux.

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Above:- Map of the Peter Francis Points Flora Reserve, showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet 

There were some nice views of Coleraine through the trees from the lookout.

First in the log for this activation was a Park to Park contact, with Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784.  Both Marija and I logged Gerard.  We then found Mark VK4SMA on 7.140, activating the Freshwater National Park VKFF-0187.

After both logging Mark I moved down to 7.135 and started calling CQ.  The IC-7000 was then just about rattled off the windscreen, as I was called Steve VK3NSC who lives at Coleraine.  I logged Steve and arranged to pop in to see him quickly following the activation.

I made my 10 contacts and then handed the mic to Marija.  We were keen to qualify the park for VKFF and then get down to say hi to Steve and then continue on our journey, as we still had a few things we wanted to see, and a long way before we got home.

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Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  2. VK4SMA/p (Freshwater National Park VKFF-0187)
  3. VK3NSC
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/Ac8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT
  7. VK7QP
  8. VK2LX
  9. VK4KY/p
  10. VK7GN

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  2. VK4SMA/p (Freshwater National Park VKFF-0187)
  3. VK3NSC
  4. VK7QP
  5. VK7FJFD
  6. VK2LX
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK4TJ
  9. VK4/AC8WN
  10. VK4/VE6XT

After Marija had qualified the park we headed down the road to Steve’s home, where he showed us his radio shack.  Unfortunately we were a bit pressed for time and after a 20 minute chat, we hit the road once again.  It was great to catch up with Steve, who I have spoken to a number of times on air, but had never met.

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Our next stop was Glenelg Fine Confectionary, a specialist chocolate shop in Coleraine.  We ended up walking out with a number of bags of chocolates.

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We then headed north out of Coleraine on the Coleraine-Edenhope Road, with out next intended stop being the town of Harrow.  We soon reached the outskirts of Harrow where there is a monument to commemorate the 1836 expedition of the explorer Major Thomas Mitchell.  We also stopped at the Glenelg River at Harrow where there is another monument recognising that Major Mitchell camped at the location on 31st July 1836.  This part of the Major Mitchell Trail, and there is an information board here with a number of interesting facts.

We then drove into Harrow, a little town which was originally known as Upper Glenelg.  The name of the town changed to Harrow in 1854.  There are claims that Harrow is the oldest inland town in Victoria.

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We stopped to have a look at the old log gaol, which was built in 1858 from locally sawn logs.  It was used by police up until 1869.

There is also a stone wall here which is the remains of a stable which is believed to have been used by Cobb & Co coaches in the early days of Harrow.

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Also nearby is Kalang Cottage, a settlers cottage built in 1876.  It was shifted into the town of Harrow and restored.  The cottage contains pit sawn boards and a single roof under the iron.

We then visited The Johnny Mullagh/Harrow Discovery Centre.  The museum features numerous exhibits relating to the Australian aboriginal cricket team which toured England in 1868.  I suspect not many Australians would know that this was the first Australian cricket team to tour England, and was comprised of aboriginals.  Johnny Mullagh was a member of that team, and is buried in Harrow.

The museum also features the largest Sir Donald Bradman collection in Australia.  If you are a cricket fan, you could spend hours here.  We highly recommend a visit here.

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We also visited the Harrow Bone Yard which contains a number of funny headstones.

Harrow is a town which both Marija and I confirmed we want to revisit and spend some time in.  It is an incredibly historic town and the caravan park/camping area on the Glenelg River looked idealic.

 

 

References.

Monuments Australia, 2018, <http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/arts/display/30870-adam-lindsay-gordon->, viewed 22nd December 2018

Peter Francis Point Arboretum, 2018, <http://www.thepoints.org.au/>, viewed 22nd December 2018

Victorian Heritage Database Report, 2018, ‘Peter Francis Points Arboretum’

Wikipedia, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrow,_Victoria>, viewed 22nd December 2018

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