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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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