Ettrick Conservation Park 5CP-267 and VKFF-1029

Today (Saturday 6th July 2019) was a beautiful sunny day ahead of some wet weather coming in from the west.  So I took the opportunity of heading east to activate some Murray Mallee parks.  The first park was to be the Ettrick Conservation Park 5CP-267 & VKFF-1029.  I have activated and qualified this park previously so today’s activation would go towards the Boomerang Award.

The park is located about 110 km east of Adelaide and about 33 km north east of the town of Murray Bridge.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Ettrick Conservation Park in the Murray Mallee.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I left home at around 9.30 a.m. and headed east along the South Eastern Freeway to Murray Bridge.  I then headed north on Burdett Road and stopped briefly to admire some of the views of the Murray River.

I then turned right onto Glenburr Road.  This took me past a number of cropping properties and some old abandoned stone farm buildings.

About 4-5 km along Glenburr Road I reached the junction with Boundary Road.  This is the northwestern corner of the park which is not signposted.  I have mentioned this in previous posts, but do not get some of the surrounding scrub confused with the park and end up on private property.  There is a lot of native vegetation around the park which is not part of the Ettrick Conservation Park.

The Ettrick Conservation Park was established on the 31st day of October 2013 and is about 479 hectares in size.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Ettrick Conservation Park looking north.  The Murray River can be seen to the north of the park.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

The park takes its name after the Hundred of Ettrick which was proclaimed on 4th May 1893. It was named by Governor Kintore who hailed from Scotland where there is a ‘Parish of Ettrick’ in Selkirk, derived from the Gaelic eadar-dha-eas – ‘between two waterfalls’.

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ABove:- Ninth Earl of Kintore, Governor Kintore.  Image courtesy of adb.anu.edu.au

The park is made up of open mallee with several species of Eucalpyt.  It is also home to one of the few remaining examples of tussock grassland in this part of the Murray Darling Basin.  The park is an important refuge for species such as the Malleefowl and Regent Parrot.

Birds SA have recorded about 65 species of bird in the park including Mallee Ringneck, Galah, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Spotted Pardalote, White-browed Babbler, White-winged Chough, Peaceful Dove, Purple-backed Fairywren, Splendid Fairywren, Grey Butcherbird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, and Gilbert’s Whistler.

If you follow the main track through the park it will bring you to an old abandoned farmhouse which I suspect was the original homestead on the property before it was acquired by the South Australian Government as a park.

I travelled along a 4WD track which led into the park via a gateway (minus the gate) on Glenburr Road.  I found a clearing in amongst the scrub and set up my station comprising the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.  I ran about 30 watts for this activation.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park showing my operating spot. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I had very little phone coverage in the park so had a lot of difficulty in trying to self-post on parksnpeaks.  I called CQ on 7.144 and this was almost immediately answered by Hans VK5YX with a big signal from the southern suburbs of Adelaide.  I had forgotten to write down the park reference so Hans kindly looked it up for me.  Geoff VK3SQ and Brett VK2VW followed and I was informed that Rob VK4AAC/3 was down on 80m in a park.  So it was down with the squid pole and in with the 80m sections of the antenna and off to 3.640.  I logged Rob who was activating the Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978.

I then headed back to 7.144 on 40m and found that there was quite a pile up waiting for me.  I logged Lee VK2LEE, followed by Mike VK6MB/2 in the Kemendok National Park VKFF-1174.  About 8 QSOs later Rob VK4AAC/3 gave me a shout for a Park to Park on a different band.

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Within an hour I had 44 contacts in the log, with QSO number 44 being with Peter VK2FPAR.  A few QSOs after Pete I had my fifth Park to Park QSO in the log with a contact with Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428.

I logged a total of 49 stations on 40m before heading over to the 20m band.  I called CQ and this was answered by Scott VK4CZ with a lovely 5/9 signal, although the pesky Over the Horizon Radar was present on 20m once again.  Hans VK6XN then gave me a shout followed by Ian VK6EA who has become a regular park hunter of late.

I logged 12 stations on 20m and then headed down to 3.610 on 80m.  As I had no internet coverage I was hoping there may be someone on that frequency monitoring.  And fortunately, there was.  John VK5BJE was first in the log, followed by Peter VK3PF/p in the Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428, and finally Gerard VK2IO/5.

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I had 64 contacts in the log in a little under 90 minutes and it was time to pack up and head off to my next park the Lowan Conservation Park.

A BIG THANKS to those who took the time to spot me during this activation.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5YX
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK2VW
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK6MB/2 (Kemendok National Park VKFF-1174)
  6. VK4RF
  7. VK4HA
  8. VK1MA
  9. VK3MCK
  10. VK2HHA
  11. VK2PKT
  12. VK5BJE
  13. VK4AAC/3 (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  14. VK2VH/3 (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  15. VK2NP
  16. VK2YK
  17. VK4NH
  18. VK4DXA
  19. ZL4TY/VK4
  20. VK4CZ
  21. VK4FARR
  22. VK2FADV
  23. VK4HNS
  24. VK4TJ
  25. VK4/AC8WN
  26. VK4/VE6XT
  27. VK3MPR
  28. VK2MJW
  29. VK4HAT
  30. VK1AT
  31. VK2CTG
  32. VK7FJFD
  33. VK6EA
  34. VK3XPT
  35. VK3CM
  36. VK3AHR
  37. VK7FEAT/m
  38. VK4MWB
  39. VK2XXM
  40. VK7NSS
  41. VK2MOR
  42. VK3ZNK
  43. VK2FPAR
  44. VK4FDJL
  45. VK3PF/p (Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428)
  46. VK7FRJG
  47. VK3LTL
  48. VK7VZ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK4AAC/3 (Tocumwal Regional Park VKFF-0978)
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK3PF/p (Rokeby Flora Reserve VKFF-2428)
  4. VK2IO/5

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4CZ
  2. VK6XN
  3. VK6EA
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK2NP
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. ZL1TM
  10. VK4TJ
  11. VK4/AC8WN
  12. VK4/VE6XT

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/ettrick-conservation-park/>, viewed 6th July 2019

State Library of South Australia, 2019, <http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/digitalpubs/placenamesofsouthaustralia/>, viewed 6th July 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettrick_Conservation_Park>, viewed 6th July 2019

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