Nixon Skinner Conservation Park 5CP-165 and VKFF-0923

After leaving Kalamunda I headed back along Hay Flat Road and into Normanville and Yankalilla and then headed north on Main South Road.  My intention was to head home, but I was travelling past the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park 5CP-165 & VKFF-0923, so I decided to pop in there for a quick activation.

I have activated and qualified this park previously.  This would be my third activation of the park.

Nixon Skinner is located about 63 km south of Adelaide and about 4  km south of the town of Myponga.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 8.13.31 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Nixon Skinner is only a small park.  It comprises 8 hectares of native vegetation and backs on to the southwestern side of the Myponga Reservoir which provides about 5% of the drinking water for Adelaide.  It is the main source of filtered water for southern metropolitan Adelaide and the southern coast area.

In 1956 Mrs Lucy Eleanor Page, a long-standing and active member of the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia, donated the land.  The park was named in honour of her grandfathers and was the first privately donated reserve to be established in South Australia for the preservation in perpetuity of native plants and animals and for the enjoyment of nature lovers.  It was re-proclaimed on the 27th April 1972 as a Conservation Park.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 8.22.58 pm.png

The park is home to a number of native orchids including Donkey, Hare, Spider, Mosquito, Duck and Purple Cockatoos.

Birds SA have recorded about 86 native species of bird in the park including Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, Crescent Honeyeater, Brown Thornbill, Grey Shrikethrush, Scarlet Robin, Musk Lorikeet, Willie Wagtail, Restless Flycatcher, Rufous Whistler, and Black-capped Sittella.

I parked the 4WD in a small parking area near the access gate.  The gate is locked and vehicular access to the park is not possible.  I walked about 30 metres down the walking trail and set up my station comprising the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 8.14.34 pm.png

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

After setting up I headed to 7.144 and asked if the frequency was in use.  A familiar voice came back to advise that the frequency was clear.  It was regular park hunter Peter VK3PF with a beautiful 5/9 signal.  Peter kindly spotted me on parksnpeaks which resulted in a mini pile up soon ensuing.  Wayne VK7NET was second in the log, followed by Deryck VK4FDJL. and then Rob VK4AAC/2.

I logged a total of 29 stations on 40m before callers slowed down.  Not bad considering this was a weekday.  I then saw a spot for Gerard VK2IO/5 come up on 7.150 and it was an opportunistic time for me to head up there to log Gerard Park to Park.  I spoke with Gerard who was in the Martin Washpool Conservation Park VKFF-0907, and I then headed back to 7.144 and called CQ again.

I logged a further 4 stations on 7.144 including Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand.  But callers dried up very quickly so I headed off the 20m band where I called CQ for around 5 minutes with absolutely no callers.

So it was down with the squid pole and in with the 80m links and off to that band where I made a Park to park contact with Gerard VK2IO/p in the Martin Washpool Conservation Park VKFF-0907.  I then moved up to 3.615 and called CQ.  Rob Vk4AAC/2 answered my CQ call, followed by David VK5PL and then Ken VK2KYO.  Contact number 44 came shortly afterwards, that being with Adrian VK5FANA.

To complete the activation I moved back to 40m where I logged a further 8 stations from VK2, VK3 and VK7.


I had 52 contacts in the log and it was now 10 deg C and time to pack up and head home.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK7NET
  3. VK4FDJL
  4. VK4AAC/2
  5. VK2VH
  6. VK4RF
  7. VK4HA
  8. VK3PAT
  9. VK3FLCS
  10. VK4FARR
  11. VK2KNV/m
  12. VK3SQ
  13. VK4SMA
  14. VK3FIAN
  15. VK3FRAB
  16. VK2VW
  17. VK2NP
  18. VK7IJ
  19. VK6KJ
  20. VK3JM
  21. VK3ATO
  22. VK3ZMD
  23. VK2HHA
  24. VK4TJ
  25. VK4/AC8WN
  26. VK4/VE6XT
  27. VK2CAF
  28. VK2GGC
  29. VK4CPS
  30. VK2IO/5 (Martin Washpool Conservation Park VKFF-0907)
  31. VK3FMPC
  32. VK2ADB
  33. VK3GB
  34. ZL1TM
  35. VK3VYD
  36. VK7AN
  37. VK2MWK
  38. VK2LT
  39. VK3RU
  40. VK2FF
  41. VK3BCM
  42. VK3IC

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/5 (Martin Washpool Conservation Park VKFF-0907)
  2. VK4AAC/2
  3. VK2VH
  4. VK5PL
  5. VK2KYO
  6. VK3SQ
  7. VK5AYL
  8. VK5FPKR
  9. VK5BJE
  10. VK5FANA

After packing up I took a bit of a detour home, along Forktree Road admiring some of the beautiful rolling green hills of the Fleurieu Peninsula.


Above:- Looking south from Forktree Road.

I then turned right onto Reservoir Road, stopping briefly at the Myponga Reservoir lookout.  The Myponga Reservoir was built between 1958-1962 and has a capacity of 5,905 million gallons.

I continued along Reservoir Road where there were some great views of the township of Myponga.  This is an aboriginal word meaning ‘high cliffs’.


As I continued along Reservoir Road towards Main South Road I enjoyed some great views of the coastline south of Adelaide.

I headed home through Willunga Hill and Meadows.  It had been the end of another great day of park activating.  The activation of Kalamunda had brought my unique park tally as an activator to 300.




Birds SA, 2019, <>, viewed 17th June 2019

Tourism Yankalilla, 2019, <>, viewed 17th June 2019

Kalamunda Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2894

Today (Monday 17th June 2019) the weather had changed dramatically.  Yesterday we had a beautiful sunny day for mid-June.  But today the cloud cover and occasional showers had rolled in.  Despite the weather, I packed the 4WD and headed for a unique park, the Kalamunda Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2894.

The reserve is about 82 km south of the city of Adelaide, and about 6 km south of the town of Yankalilla.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 7.16.22 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Kalamunda Native Forest Reserve.  Map courtesy of google maps.

The Kalamunda Native Forest Reserve (MFR) forms part of the Second Valley Forest Reserve on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  Together with the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve and the Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve, the 3 NFR’s comprise 250 hectares of native vegetation.  The name Kalamunda comes from the aboriginal words Cala meaning home, and Munnda meaning forest.  Thus Kalamunda means ‘A home in the forest’.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 5.53.57 pm.png

Above:- An aerial shot showing the location of the reserve.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The Kalamunda NFR consists of about 83 hectares of native scrub.  It is surrounded by pine plantations and private land which has been cleared for farming purposes.  The reserve preserves remnant native vegetation, 15% or less of which now remains on the Fleurieu.  Kalamunda contains Pink Gum woodland, Rough-bark Manna gum woodland and Messmate Stringybark forest.  The reserve contains a number of native plants which are of high conservation significance including the Nationally vulnerable species Clover glycine.


I travelled from home to Willunga and then took the Victor Harbor Road and then turned right onto Pages Flat Road to the little town of Myponga.  I then drove south along Main South Road and soon reached the town of Yankalilla.  I then travelled into Normanville and took Hay Flat Road and headed south.  I then turned right onto Maple Lane.


Above:- the start of Maple Lane.

It wasn’t long and I reached two signs, one which read ‘Dry weather track 4WD only’.  The other read ‘Trespassers will be prosecuted’.  Maple Lane is a government road but I erred on the side of caution and decided not to proceed any further.


I then headed back to Hay Flat Road and headed south towards Range Road enjoying some of the amazing views of the surrounding countryside on the way.


Once I reached Range Road I headed west and then turned right onto Springs Road, and then right again onto Mount Hayfield Road.  After a number of kms, I reached Attril Track.  There is no gate here and it appears access is allowed on the track.


Above:- Attril Track.

It didn’t long and I soon reached the southeastern corner of the park which is adjacent to the pine forest.

There were some great views looking south towards Normanville as I drove along Attril Track.


Above:- View to the south towards Normanville from Attril Track.

I parked the 4WD and climbed over the fence into the reserve.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 5.53.10 pm.png

Above:- Map of the reserve showing my operating spot.  Map courtesy fo Forestry SA.

Before calling CQ I tuned across the band and found Mike VK6MB/3 calling CQ on 7.150 from the Nurmurkah Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2167.  It was a nice way to start the activation with a Park to Park.  Next in the log was Marc VK3OHM/p who was activating the Swan Bay-Edwards Point Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2444.

After speaking with Marc I headed down the band to 7.139 and started calling CQ.  Dennis VK2HHA came back to my call, followed by some of the park regulars, Peter VK3PF, Ken VK2KYO, and then Cliff VK2NP.  Within a few minutes, I had qualified the park for VKFF, with contact number ten being with Adrian VK5FANA.

I logged a total of 21 stations on 40m including 2 further Park to Park contacts: Gerard VK2IO/5 in the Tilley Swamp Conservation Park VKFF-0938 and Peter VK3TKK/p in The Spit Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2452.

I then moved to 3.610 on the 80m band where I logged 9 stations including Gerard VK2IO/5 in the Tilley Swamp Conservation Park VKFF-0938 and Peter VK3TKK/p in The Spit Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2452.

It was time for me to try 20m which had been a poor performer of late.  I logged 4 contacts on 20m, from New South Wales and Queensland.

To wrap up the activation I headed back to 40m for a few final CQ calls.  I logged a further 11 stations including Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand, and Mike VK6MB/3 activating the Broken-Boosey State Park  VKFF-0752.


Above:- My shack for the afternoon at Kalamunda.

I had 46 contacts in the log, including 7 Park to Park QSOs, and I had qualified the park for VKFF and WWFF.  I had also beaten the rain which threatened during the activation.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/3 (Nurmurkah Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2167)
  2. VK3OHM/p (Swan Bay-Edwards Point Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2444)
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK2KYO
  6. VK2NP
  7. VK4FDJL
  8. VK5IS
  9. VK3FRAB
  10. VK5FANA
  11. VK1HW
  12. VK3SQ
  13. VK4TJ
  14. VK4/AC8WN
  15. VK4/VE6XT
  16. VK2VW
  17. VK5PL
  18. VK2IO/5 (Tilley Swamp Conservation Park VKFF-0938)
  19. VK3TKK/p (The Spit Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2452)
  20. VK3BBB/p
  21. VK2XXM
  22. VK3AHR
  23. VK3KAI
  24. VK3GV
  25. VK4FARR
  26. ZL1TM
  27. VK3AHA
  28. VK3FMPC
  29. VK2UH
  30. VK3UH
  31. VK6MB/3 (Broken-Boosey State Park  VKFF-0752)
  32. VK4SMA

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5PL
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK3UFO
  7. VK2IO/5 (Tilley Swamp Conservation Park VKFF-0938)
  8. VK2UH
  9. VK3TKK/p (The Spit Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2452)

I logged the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2UH
  2. VK2VW
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK4/AC8WN
  5. VK4/VE6XT




Forestry SA, 2016, ‘Kalamunda, Springs Road & Congeratinga Native Forest Reserves Management Plan’