Cancellation of the remainder of our trip

My Dad has been terminally ill for some time, and sadly, after a long battle, he passed away on Sunday morning.  As a result, Marija and I canceled the remainder of our park activations and our trip, and we headed back to Adelaide.

Dad served with the South Australia Police between 1955-1992, and attained the rank of Sergeant.  He also performed National Service with the Army and attained the rank of Sergeant.

Dad was awarded the National Medal, the Australian Police Medal, and the Australian Defence Medal for his service in both the Police and the Army.

Dad, you will be very sorely missed.  We all love you very much.

Beachport Conservation Park 5CP-014 and VKFF-0791

Our second park for Saturday 23rd March 2019 was the Beachport Conservation Park 5CP-014 & VKFF-0791.  The park is located about 383 km south-east of Adelaide, and immediately to the north of the town of Beachport.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Beachport Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Beachport Conservation Park is 875 ha (2,160 acres) and was established on the 1st January 1959.  The park protects sand dunes and coastal vegetation between Lake George and the Southern Ocean.

Lake George is part of the Lake Hawdon System Important Bird Area. The wetland system was identified by BirdLife International as an IBA because it regularly supports over 1% of the world populations of red-necked stint, and often of sharp-tailed sandpipers, double-banded plovers and banded stilts. It also provides habitat for orange-bellied parrots, Australasian bitterns, rufous bristlebirds and striated fieldwrens.

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Above:- Aerial view of the Beachport Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

Marija and I entered the park via Lake George Road and headed to the 3 Mile Bend Campground area.  On our way in to the park, I spoke with Mike VK6MB/3 who was in the Moondarra State Park VKFF-0764.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Beachport Conservation Park, showing our operating spot on the southern shore of Lake George.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

We set up right on the edge of Lake George.  It was a magnificent outlook, looking across the lake, which was alive with birdlife.  Unfortunately, the sun had disappeared and during our activation, we had the occasional sprinkle of rain.

I started calling CQ on 7.144, with first in the log being Nick VK3ANL, followed by Dennis VK2HHA, and then Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784.  I logged a total of 21 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5, including the following Park to Park contacts:

  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Ada Tall Trees Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2253
  • Mike VK6MB/3 – Moondarra State Park VKFF-0764
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p – Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813
  • Tony VK5MRT/p – Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 & VKFF-1767
  • Andrew VK5MR/p – Sheoak Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0935

DSC_6542

I had qualified the park for VKFF, so it was Marija’s turn to jump into the operators chair.  First in the log for Marija was Peter VK2UXO with a very big signal, followed by Wayne VK2DWP, and then Andrew VK5MR/p in the Sheoak Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0935.  Within 9 minutes, Marija had qualified the park for VKFF, with 10 QSOs.  Contact number 10 was with regular park hunter, John VK4TJ.

With 19 contacts in the log for Marija, I again called CQ on 7.144 and logged a further 24 stations.  I had now qualified the park for the global WWFF program.  Further Park to Park contacts were as follows:

  • Adam VK2YK/p – Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park VKFF-1410
  • Perrin VK3XPT/p – Barmah National Park VKFF-0739
  • Jonathan VK7JON/p – St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1152
  • Helen VK7FOLK/p – St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1152

It was nice to log Perrin VK3XPT who was in the Barmah National Park, and was using a military manpack transceiver.

DSC_6544

Marija and I then moved to the 80m band, where I logged 8 stations, and Marija logged 5 stations.  This included the following Park to Park contacts:

  • VK5FANA/p – Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813
  • VK5FLEA/p – Talisker Conservation Park 5CP-223 & VKFF-0790
  • VK2IO/p – Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784
  • VK5YX/p – Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890
  • VK5LOL/p – Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890

To conclude the activation I went back to 40m to 7.144 and logged a further 6 stations before we called it a day.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2UXO
  2. VK2DWP
  3. VK5MR/p (Sheoak Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0935)
  4. VK2HHA
  5. VK3CWF
  6. VK3NXT
  7. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  8. VK7FAMP/p (Scamander Conservation Area VKFF-1147)
  9. VK7LTD/p (Scamander Conservation Area VKFF-1147)
  10. VK4TJ
  11. VK4/AC8WN
  12. VK4/VE6XT
  13. VK3ZPF
  14. VK7KEV
  15. VK7ALH
  16. VK3UH
  17. VK2KNV
  18. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813)
  19. VK2EXA
  20. VK2YK/p (Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park VKFF-1410)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813)
  2. VK5FLEA/p (Talisker Conservation Park 5CP-223 & VKFF-0790)
  3. VK5YX/p (Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890)
  4. VK5LOL/p (Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890)
  5. VK7ALH

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ANL
  2. VK2HHA
  3. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  4. VK5KLV
  5. VK4HNS
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. VK3MKE
  10. VK3CWF
  11. VK3LTL
  12. VK3UH
  13. VK3PF/p (Ada Tall Trees Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2253)
  14. VK2XSE/m
  15. VK2LEE
  16. VK6MB/3 (Moondarra State Park VKFF-0764)
  17. VK1DI
  18. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813)
  19. VK5MRT/p (Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 & VKFF-1767)
  20. VK3XM
  21. VK5MR/p (Sheoak Hill Conservation Park VKFF-0935)
  22. VK2EXA
  23. VK7KEV
  24. VK7ALH
  25. VK2HOT
  26. VK3SQ
  27. VK3BYD
  28. VK3ZPF
  29. VK2KYO
  30. VK2YK/p (Port Stephens/Great Lakes Marine Park VKFF-1410)
  31. VK2KNV/m
  32. VK2PKT
  33. VK3XPT/p (Barman National Park VKFF-0739)
  34. VK7JON/p (St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1152)
  35. VK7FOLK/p (St Helens Conservation Area VKFF-1152)
  36. VK2UXO
  37. VK1MIC/p
  38. VK4FDJL
  39. VK3HQZ
  40. VK3MCK
  41. VK4CZ
  42. VK2IR
  43. VK7HCK
  44. VK7LH
  45. ZL1TM
  46. VK3PF/m
  47. VK4MWB
  48. VK3SX
  49. VK3MLU
  50. VK4PDX
  51. VK4FARR

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA/p (Clinton Conservation Park 5CP-044 & VKFF-0813)
  2. VK5FLEA/p (Talisker Conservation Park 5CP-223 & VKFF-0790)
  3. VK5LSB
  4. VK3UCD
  5. VK7ALH
  6. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  7. VK5YX/p (Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890)
  8. VK5LOL/p (Hallet Cove Conservation Park VKFF-0890)

During the activation, Marija and I had both heard gunshots.  At first, I thought it may have been some sort of bird scarer at a nearby property.  But the shots became increasingly louder and appeared to be coming to the west – north west of our location, within the park.  It was quite off-putting, considering the way the world is nowadays.  But when we started hearing shots started coming just to our east, I decided to call the Police.

It was then that Marija saw a person about 300 metres to our east carrying a long object and occasionally walking out into the water.  With the aid of my camera’s telephoto lens, I was able to confirm that there was, in fact, a male with a shotgun.  This was our reason for going QRT quickly.

Once we packed up, Marija and I drove along Lake George Road, on the southwestern shoreline of Lake George.  Sadly, at a number of locations, we located numerous duck heads, duck wings, and gizzards.  The gunshots continued.

We googled duck shooting for Lake George, but could not find anything definitive.  We had not observed any signs to indicate that shooting was taking place, nor was there anything on the Department for Environment and Water website to advise that duck shooting was in progress.

The Department’s website states:

‘…..an array of birdlife……Bring your binoculars for the chance to spay a pied oystercatcher, small waders on the beach, a white faced heroin or pied coromorants….

It further states:

“enjoy a picnic at Lake George”

Considering we had people wandering around with firearms, and there were duck body parts all around the shoreline, we both believed this was totally unsatisfactory.  I have contacted the Department and was advised that there were campers at 3 Mile Bend that weekend who also heard the shots and left the park feeling very concerned.  I don’t blame them.  I am awaiting an official response from the Department.

We then drove towards the exit of the park, stopping briefly to take a few bird photos.

We stopped for 10 minutes or so to have a look at Wooley Waterhole, at the park entrance.  Native birds, including Superb Fairy-wrens, Red-browned Finches, and Yellow-rumped Thornbills, depend on this waterhole for fresh water.  During our visit we observed dozens of Silvereyes, Fantails, and Eastern Yellow Robins.

DSC_6606

Also near the entrance to the park is a moument to commemorate the old Robe to Beachport track, once used by mail coaches and travellers passing through the area.

We headed back into Beachport, and once again went out for tea at Bompas, enjoying another very nice meal.

 

References.

National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1990, ‘Beachport Conservation Park Management Plan’

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beachport_Conservation_Park>, viewed 29th March 2019

Belt Hill Conservation Park 5CP-016 and VKFF-0870

It was now Saturday 23rd March 2019, and day one of the 6th anniversary activation weekend of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.  Our first intended activation for day was the Belt Hill Conservation Park 5CP-016 & VKFF-0870.  The park is located about 379 km south east of Adelaide, and about 20 km east of the town of Beachport.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Belt Hill Conservation Park in the South East of South Australia.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Prior to heading to the park, Marija and I had breakfast at the Waterfront Cafe at Beachport, enjoying some poached eggs on toast and coffee.  We then headed out of Beachport and stopped briefly to have a look at the monument for the South East Drainage Scheme.  There is a cairn commemorating the commencement in 1863 of drainage construction in the Millicent district.

On our way to the park both Marija and I checked in to the 10AM Net on 7.097 run by Ron VK3AHR.

We drove north along Stuckey Lane and took a dirt track which followed the southern boundary of the park.  This led to another track which took us into the park.

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Above:- track inside the park.

Belt Hill Conservation Park is 10 hectares (25 acres) in size and was established on the 27th April 1972.  It is situated in the locality of Hatherleigh.  In 1971, the land was offered by its owner, A. McArthur of Rendelsham, to the “then National Parks Commission” for “dedication as a Reserve.”  The park consists of Banksia, Blackwood and Golden Wattle.

There are two aboriginal archaeological sites in the park, both located in the dune area.  It is believed that the area supported a substantial aboriginal population as it is elevated, well sheltered and watered, and would have offered many sources of food.

During our visit to the park, we spotted numerous native birds, including Silvereyes and Fantails.  Some of my snaps appear below.

There weren’t any cleared spots in the park, so we set up on the 4WD track in the southern section f the park.  We suspected it was highly unlikely that there would be other visitors to the park.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

After setting up I joined the 10am Net on 7.097 and there worked a total of 5 stations.  I then moved up the band to 7.139 and started calling CQ, whilst Marija placed a spot up on parksnpeaks.  John VK3HBG was the first to call in, followed by Geoff VK3SQ and then Peter VK3PF.  I worked a total of 30 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  This included a Park to Park contact with Greg VK5GJ/p who was activating the Thidna Conservation Park 5CP-281 & VKFF-2250.

DSC_6502

Marija then jumped on the mic and called CQ on 7.139.  Dennis VK2HHA was first in the log, followed by Tony VK3XV mobile in VK5, and then Dale VK1POP/2.  Marija worked a total of 17 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5.  This included the following Park to Park contacts;

  • David VK5DG/p – Little Dip Conservation Park 5CP-120 & VKFF-0904
  • Mike VK6MB/3 – Moondarra State Park VKFF-0764

DSC_6497

Marija and I then tuned across the band and found Tom VK5EE/p on 7.130, activating the Big Heath Conservation Park 5CP-018 & VKFF-0792.  We also worked Adrian VK5FANA/p in the Wills Creek Conservation Park 5CP-254 & VKFF-0819.

It was then off to the 80m band, where Marija logged 8 stations, and I logged 13 stations, including the following Park to Park contacts:

  • Peter VK5PET/p – Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 & VKFF-1767
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p – Wills Creek Conservation Park 5CP-254 & VKFF-0819
  • Greg VK5GJ/p – Thidna Conservation Park 5CP-281 & VKFF-2250
  • Peter VK5PET – Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372
  • Ivan VK5HS/p -Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372
  • Danny VK5DW/p – Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372
  • Peter VK5PE/p – Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372
  • Rob VK5TRM/p – Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372
  • Dean VK5FDOG/p – Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372
  • Sandy VK5FSGP/p – Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372
  • David VK5FVIN/p – Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372

DSC_6486

I had now qualified the park for the global WWFF program, with 47 contacts in the log.  I moved to 14.310 on the 20m band and called CQ.  Dale VK1POP/2 was first in the log, followed by Dick VK4OP, and then Scott VK4CZ.  I logged 10 stations from VK1, VK2, and VK4.  This included a Park to Park contact with Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784.  The Over the Horizon Radar was present on 20m once again, being strength 9 and blocking out some of the stations that I was talking with.

Marija and I moved back to the 40m band.  Marija had 26 contacts in the log, and we were hoping she might get close to the 44 required to qualify the park for WWFF.  Within half an hour, Marija had her 44th contact in the log, a QSO with Tom VK5AA/p.  Marija and I logged the following Park to Park contacts:

  • Gerard VK2IO/p –  Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784
  • Tom VK5EE – Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908
  • Col VK5HFC/p – Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908
  • Tom VK5TA/p – Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908
  • Tom VK5AA/p – Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908
  • David VK5PL/p – Marne Valley Conservation Park 5CP-128 & VKFF-0906

To complete the activation, Marija and I tuned across the band, and found Andrew VK5MR/p on 7.165, activating the Heggaton Conservation Park 5CP-089 & VKFF-1037.  It was a great way to complete the activation with a Park to Park contact.

DSC_6500

Marija logged a total of 48 contacts including 18 Park to Park QSOs.

I logged a total of 62 contacts including 21 Park to Park QSOs.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2HHA
  2. VK3XV/5
  3. VK1POP/2
  4. VK2PKT
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3NXT
  9. VK5KLV
  10. VK5DG/p (Little Dip Conservation Park 5CP-120 & VKFF-0904)
  11. VK3MPR
  12. VK2LEE
  13. VK3ANL
  14. VK6MB/3 (Moondarra State Park VKFF-0764)
  15. VK3SQ
  16. VK3ZPF
  17. VK3AHR
  18. VK5FANA/p (Wills Creek Conservation Park 5CP-254 & VKFF-0819)
  19. VK3PF/m
  20. VK3MKE
  21. VK3IRM
  22. VK5CZ
  23. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  24. VK4CZ
  25. VK2FAAA
  26. VK4TJ
  27. VK4/AC8WN
  28. VK4/VE6XT
  29. VK2ND
  30. VK2KYO
  31. VK2EXA
  32. VK7EK
  33. VK5EE/p (Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908)
  34. VK5HCF/p (Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908)
  35. VK5TA/p (Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908)
  36. VK5AA (Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908)
  37. VK2UH
  38. VK5PL/p (Marne Valley Conservation Park 5CP-128 & VKFF-0906)
  39. VK5MR/p (Heggaton Conservation Park 5CP-089 & VKFF-1037)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5PET/p (Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 & VKFF-1767)
  2. VK5HS/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  3. VK5DW/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  4. VK5PE/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  5. VK5TRM/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  6. VK5FDOG/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  7. VK5FSGP/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  8. VK5FVIN/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3AHR
  2. VK7EK
  3. VK3PTE
  4. VK3KHS
  5. VK2ASS
  6. VK3HBG
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK7EE
  10. VK4FDJL
  11. VK4NH
  12. VK4DXA
  13. ZL4TY/VK4
  14. VK3SQ
  15. VK4HNS
  16. VK4TJ
  17. VK4/AC8WN
  18. VK4/VE6XT
  19. VK5FLEA/p (SOTA VK5/ SE-016)
  20. VK5GJ/p (Thidna Conservation Park 5CP-281 & VKFF-2250)
  21. VK3PF
  22. VK2MTC
  23. VK2IO
  24. VK2EXA
  25. VK1POP/2
  26. VK3ZPF
  27. VK2KNV/m
  28. VK3XV/5
  29. VK3NXT
  30. VK2HHA
  31. VK5DG/p (Little Dip Conservation Park 5CP-120 & VKFF-0904)
  32. VK6MB/3 (Moondarra State Park VKFF-0764)
  33. VK5EE/p (Big Heath Conservation Park 5CP-018 & VKFF-0792)
  34. VK5FANA/p (Wills Creek Conservation Park 5CP-254 & VKFF-0819)
  35. VK5HCF/p (Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908)
  36. VK5EE/p (Mary Seymour Conservation Park 5CP-131 & VKFF-0908)
  37. VK5PL/p (Marne Valley Conservation Park 5CP-128 & VKFF-0906)
  38. VK3XPT/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  39. VK5MR/p (Heggaton Conservation Park 5CP-089 & VKFF-1037)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5PET/p (Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 & VKFF-1767
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5FANA/p (Wills Creek Conservation Park 5CP-254 & VKFF-0819)
  4. VK5WU
  5. VK5HS/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  6. VK5DW/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  7. VK5PE/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  8. VK5GJ/p (Thidna Conservation Park 5CP-281 & VKFF-2250)
  9. VK5TRM/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  10. VK5FDOG/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  11. VK5AYL
  12. VK5FSGP/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)
  13. VK5FVIN/p (Murray River National Park 5NP-016 & VKFF-0372)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK1POP/2
  2. VK4OP
  3. VK4CZ
  4. VK2IO/p (Rouse Hill Regional Park VKFF-2784)
  5. VK2BY
  6. VK2NMC
  7. VK4NH
  8. VK4DXA
  9. ZL4TY/VK4
  10. VK1DI

We then headed to the Beachport Conservation Park.  Just after leaving Belt Hill I logged Andrew VK5MR/p who was in the Heggaton Conservation Park VKFF-1037.

 

References.

National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1990, ‘Small Parks of the Lower South East Management Plans’.

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_Hill_Conservation_Park>, viewed 29th March 2019

Mount Scott Conservation Park 5CP-150 and VKFF-0918

After leaving Tilley Swamp, Marija and I headed for our next intended park activation, the Mount Scott Conservation Park 5CP-150 & VKFF-0918.  The park is located about 317 km south east of Adelaide, and about 25 km east of the town of Kingston.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 5.07.40 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Mount Scott Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

On the way, we detoured off the Princes Highway, onto the Old Coorong Road and drove through the Coorong National Park.  We stopped off at The Granites, which is located at Long Bay.  The Granites consist of some large rocks on this beautiful section of beach, just south of The Coorong.

We then drove into the town of Kingston, stopping off at the Big Lobster for a quick photo.  It’s a bit sad to see that the shop adjacent to the Big Lobster is empty.  It was previously a visitor complex which included a restaurant.  The Big Lobster was opened on 15 December 1979 after six months of construction.  The structure is 17 metres high, 15.2 metres long, and 13.7 metres wide.

DSC_6440

We then stopped at the foreshore and enjoyed some lunch.  As you can see from the photo below, Marija acquired some friends, who were keen on their share of our lunch.

DSC_6442

We then stopped off briefly to have a look at the Cape Jaffa lighthouse, which was originally built on the Margaret Brook Reef, 8 km out to sea from Cape Jaffa, and 20 km south west of Kingston.  The lighthouse was constructed to protect ships in the area, with work commencing in late 1868, and completing in January 1872.

DSC_6443

Kingston contains many historic buildings and there is a heritage trail which highlights many of these.  We took the time to admire some of those buildings.

We then stopped off at the Fish Sales shop on the foresehore and purchased some fresh South Australian prawns.

DSC_6456

It was then off to the Mount Scott Conservation Park, which is 1,267 hectares in size and located in the locality of Blackford.  The park takes its name from the nearby small hill of Mount Scott.  The park was proclaimed on the 9th day of November 1972, and is located on part of the South East relict beach dunes.  The park protects a variety of vegetation, including large River Red Gums, South Australian Blue Gum, Pink Gum, Swamp Paper-bark, and Mallee Honey-myrtle.

Birds SA have recorded mored than 136 native species of bird in the park including Malleefowl, Galah, Eastern Rosella, New Holland Honeyeater, Grey Shrikethrush, White-browed Babbler, Silvereye, Painted Buttonquail, Cockatiel, Blue-winged Parrot, and Crested Bellbird.

We took the Princes Highway out of Kingston, and turned on to Rowney Road West.  We then turned right onto Mount Scott Road.  The park is signposted at this location.

DSC_6473

We soon reached the park which was well signposted.  But at the same time we saw the park sign, we saw another sign advising that the park was closed for pest eradication.  Fortunately it was for 2018.  The authorities had not bothered to take down the sign.

We drove a short distance down a dirt track to a camping area and set up.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Mount Scott Conservation Park, showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

Once again I kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.144.  Unfortunately, we had very little, if any phone coverage, so we were unable to throw up a spot on parksnpeaks.  We were lucky because Mike VK6MB/3 came back to my CQ call.  This was followed by Ken VK3UH, Dennis VK2HHA, and then John VK4TJ.  I had soon qualified the park for VKFF, with 10 contacts, and swapped the mic with Marija.

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Marija then took charge of the station and her first contact was with Rob VK2QR.  Rob was gracious enough to provide Marija with his 4 other callsigns, so Marija was already halfway there in qualifying the park for VKFF.  Within 6 minutes, Marija had 10 contacts in the log.  Contact number 10 was with Paul VK3HN.

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We then swapped the mic once again.  I logged a further 4 stations on 40m, before callers tapered off.  It was time to head to 20m.  I called CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by Ray VK4NH, followed by John VK4TJ, and then Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand.  I then moved down the band to 14.183 and booked in to the ANZA DX Net, where I logged a total of 4 stations, from VK4, New Zealand, and the South Cook Islands.

I now had 26 stations in the log and headed to 3.610 on the 80m band.  I logged 5 stations here, from VK3 and VK5.  Conditions on 80m were exceptional, but despite that, I only worked the 5 stations.  This included Hans VK5YX in the southern suburbs of Adelaide who was super strong and gave me a 15/9 signal report.  Hans was really surprised at the performance of the 80m band for this time of the day.  I also logged Mike VK5FMWW who gave me a 15/9 signal report.

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I then moved back to 40m and both Marija and I logged Angela VK7FAMP and Tony VK7LTD who were in the Freycinet National Park VKFF-0188.   I soon had 44 contacts in the log, with contact number 44 being Gary VK2FABE.  Marija and I also spoke with Jonathan VK7JON and Helen VK7FOLK who were in the St Helens Conservation Park VKFF-1153.  But the biggest surprise of the afternoon was to be called on 40m by Lauro IK4GRO.  Lauro was 5/7 and gave me a 5/3 signal report.  Not bad for 40 watts and a little piece of wire.

I ended up making a total of 48 QSOS.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2QR
  2. VK2SWL
  3. VK2TTY
  4. VK3TTY/2
  5. VK3QJ/2
  6. VK6MB/3
  7. VK2HHA
  8. VK2KYO
  9. VK3UH
  10. VK3HN
  11. VK7FAMP/p (Freycinet National Park VKFF-0188)
  12. VK7LTD/p (Freycinet National Park VKFF-0188)
  13. VK7FOLK/p (St Helens Conservation Park VKFF-1153)
  14. VK7JON/p (St Helens Conservation Park VKFF-1153)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/3
  2. VK3UH
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/AC8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT
  7. VK3HN
  8. VK2QR
  9. VK2SWL
  10. VK2TTY
  11. VK3TTY/2
  12. VK2LEE
  13. VK3HQZ
  14. VK2YW
  15. VK7DW
  16. VK7FAMP/p (Freycinet National Park VKFF-0188)
  17. VK7LTD/p (Freycinet National Park VKFF-0188)
  18. VK3QJ
  19. VK3PF
  20. VK4NH
  21. VK4DXA
  22. ZL4TY/VK4
  23. ZL1TM
  24. VK4RF
  25. VK4HA
  26. VK2HRX
  27. VK2IO/m
  28. VK2FABE
  29. IK4GRO
  30. VK7HCK
  31. VK7FOLK/p (St Helens Conservation Park VKFF-1153)
  32. VK7JON/p (St Helens Conservation Park VKFF-1153)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/AC8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT
  7. ZL1TM
  8. VK4LMB
  9. ZL2GLG
  10. E51JD
  11. VK4PDX

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3FPSR
  3. VK5HY
  4. VK5YX
  5. VK5FMWW

After packing up, Marija and I stopped briefly to have a look at the old Bullocky Bridge, which was a 90 feet long bridge built in the 1850’s, spanning the Reedy Creek.  It served as the main outlet for heavily laden bullock wagons between the Tatiara district and Port Caroline (Kingston), between 1856 and 1910.  The remaining logs are approximately 160 years old.

We then drove back along the Princes Highway and I worked Franc F5PAU in France.  Franc was 5/9 and gave me a 5/6 into western Europe.  Marija and I then stopped briefly to have a look at a monument, erected in honour of the crew of an Avro Anson aircraft which crashed in 1942 at Reedy Creek, killing the five airmen.

We then reached Beachport and booked in to our accommodation, the Beachport Motor Inn, which we can highly recommend.

We then headed out for tea to Bompas and had a terrific Chinese meal.  It was then back to the motel to watch a bit of telly and then retire for the night.

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/mount-scott-conservation-park/>, viewed 28th March 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lobster>, viewed 28th March 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Scott_Conservation_Park>, viewed 28th March 2019

Tilley Swamp Conservation Park 5CP-232 and VKFF-0938

On the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March 2019, the special activation weekend was held for the 6th anniversary of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.

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Marija and I had planned to stay 3 nights at Beachport in the South East of South Australia.  Our plans were to activate 2 parks on Friday on the way down to Beachport, a further 4 parks over the weekend, and then 2 parks on the way home on Monday.

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Above:- Our route from Mount Barker to Beachport.  Map courtesy of Plotaroute.

Our first activation on the trip was the Tilley Swamp Conservation Park 5CP-232 & VKFF-0938,  is located about 199 km south east of Adelaide, and about 40 km south of Salt Creek.  The park is located about 5 km inland from the Coorong coast in the Upper South East of South Australia.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Tilley Swamp Conservation Park in the upper south east of South Australia.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

We left home at about 7.45 a.m. and travelled east on the South Eastern Freeway to Tailem Bend, and then turned off onto the Princes Highway.  Our first stop for the day was for a coffee and some breakfast in the town of Meningie, on the banks of Lake Albert.

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Above:- Sailing on Lake Albert

We got a coffee and a toasted sandwich at the local bakery and then headed down to the foreshore.  There is a monument here for the Birdman of the Coorong, John Francis Peggotty.  He was a local bushranger who often rode on the back of an ostrich, one of the many set free when the market for fashionable ostrich feathers ceased.  There is also a monument re the crash of an Avro Anson aircraft into Lake Albert in 1942.

As Meningie is set on Lake Albert, there are plenty of waterbirds to be found at Meningie.

We then continued out of Meningie on the Princes Highway and soon reached the waters of the Coorong.

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Above:- The Coorong, near Meningie.

The Tilley Swamp Conservation Park is about 1,525 hectares in size and was proclaimed and gazetted in 1993, primarily to ‘conserve remnant vegetation associations’.  It is one of a few reserves in the district containing threatened plant species.  The park also provides habitat for several other threatened species including the Metallic Sun-orchid, Common Wombat, and Rufous Bristlebird.   A large portion of Tilley Swamp Conservation Park contains a seasonally inundated wetland system which forms part of the Tilley Swamp Watercourse.

The park takes its name from the locality, Tilley Swamp, which was named after William Tilley, an early pastoral leaseholder.  On 1st July 1851 Tilley took up pastoral lease no. 199 known as Miserable Creek, calling it Tilley’s Swamp.  Tilley constructed Tilley’s Accomodation House which was one of the stages on the Overland Road to the Victorian gold fields.  The aborigines knew the district as kopanopintar-kopan.  Kopan -‘one’ and pintar -‘stone axe’.

A number of native animals and birds call the park home.  Bird species include the vulnerable Rufous Bristlebird, Yellow Thornbill, Beautiful Firetail, Southern Emu-wren, and Elegant Parrot.  Native animals include the Common Wombat, Red-necked Wallaby, and Western Grey kangaroo.

The park was devastated by a bushfire in February 2013, and during our visit, it was clear that the park was still recovering.

We continued through Policemans Point and Salt Creek, and then turned left into Petherick Road.  We soon reached the conservation park which was well signposted.

I activated this park back in June 2014, but this was prior to Tilley Swamp being included in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  That activation was for the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award, only.

https://vk5pas.org/2014/06/11/tilley-swamp-conservation-park/

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We entered the park through a closed, but unlocked set of gates, and set up just off a 4WD track.  For this activation, we ran the Yaesu FT-897 and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.  Power output was 10 watts PEP for Marija, and 40 watts for me.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.144, while Marija placed a spot for me on both parksnpeaks and on Facebook.  Unfortunately, the static crashes on the 40m band were peaking strength 9, making it quite difficult at time.  First in the log was Ron VK3AHR at Wodonga, followed by Dennis VK2HHA, Peter VK3PF, and then Tony VK3XV mobile in VK5.

It was quite slow going on the band, and it took me 8 minutes to get contact number 10 in the log.  That being a QSO with Ken VK3UH.  I logged a further 2 contacts, before swapping the mic with Marija.

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Marija’s first contact was with Ken VK2KYO, followed by Ron VK3AHR, and then Ken VK3UH.  It took Marija 12 minutes to get 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.  Once Marija had 11 contacts in the log, we once again swapped the mic.

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Marija and I lowered the squid pole, and inserted the links for the 80m band, and I started calling CQ on 3.610.  Adrian VK5FANA was the first station logged on 80m, followed by Joe VK5WU, and then Ivan VK5HS who was mobile.  Despite the band conditions being quite good, I only logged the 3 stations on 80m.

It was then back to 40m, where I logged a further 13 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK7.  This included Angela VK7FAMP/p and Tony VK7LTD/p who were both portable in the Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841.  Marija also logged Angela and Tony.

I then decided to try my luck on the 20m band.  I called CQ on 14.310 and logged 6 stations, all from Queensland.  I now had 34 contacts in the log, and needed just 10 more to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

I then called CQ for about 5 minutes on 21.244 on 15m, but did not have a single taker.  So I moved back to 40m and called CQ on 7.144.  Unfortunately, there were very few takers, and I logged just 2 more stations, Geoff VK3SQ, and Peter VK3KAI.  Five more minutes of CQ calls failed to yield any callers.

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I had fallen short by 8 QSOS, of qualifying the park for WWFF.  This is a park I will have to go back to.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2KYO
  2. VK3AHR
  3. VK3UH
  4. VK2QR
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK2JDL
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. VK2HHA
  11. VK2FAAA/m
  12. VK7FAMP/p (Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841)
  13. VK7LTD/p (Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3AHR
  2. VK2HHA
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK3XV/5
  5. VK2QR
  6. VK2IO
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. VK3UH
  11. VK2KYO
  12. VK4HNS
  13. VK4CPS
  14. VK7FAMP/p (Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841)
  15. VK7LTD/p (Wye River State Reserve VKFF-1841)
  16. VK6MB/3
  17. VK2KNV/m
  18. VK4FDJL
  19. VK4NH
  20. VK4DXA
  21. ZL4TY/VK4
  22. VK3ANL
  23. VK2EMA
  24. VK7KT/m
  25. VK2LEE
  26. VK3SQ
  27. VK3KAI

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5WU
  3. VK5HS/m

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/AC8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT

 

References.

National Parks & Wildlife, 2000, ‘Tilley Swamp Conservation Park Management Plan’.

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilley_Swamp,_South_Australia>, viewed 28th March 2019