Spring Mount Conservation Park 5CP-219 and VKFF-0789

Yesterday (Saturday 17th August 2019) I drove down to the Fleurieu Peninsula and activated the Spring Mount Conservation Park 5CP-219 & VKFF-0789.  My noise floor at home has dropped from strength 9 down to strength 7, but it is still annoying enough that every opportunity I get I like to head out and activate portable.

This weekend was the International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW) and the Remembrance Day Contest (RD).  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the two events clash.  Some may disagree, but I believe the two events should remain autonomous and should be held on different dates.  I was hoping to log some of the ILLW operators but was happy to hand out some numbers for the RD contest.

I have activated and qualified Spring Mount previously.  This is one of my favourite parks.  It is a beautiful stringybark forest which has a number of great walks within the park.

The park is located about 72 km south of the city of Adelaide and about 15 km (by road) south-east of the town of Myponga.

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

I drove down to Willunga along Brookman Road and onto the Victor Harbor Road.  I then turned right onto Pages Flat Road and then left onto Hindmarsh Tiers Road.  I soon reached Springmount Road and headed up towards Spring Mount.  There are some very nice views of the surrounding countryside to be enjoyed from Springmount Road.

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Above:- View of the countryside from Springmoutn Road.

Spring Mount Conservation Park is about 2.79 square km in size and was established on the 3rd day of February 1966.  Spring Mount preserves a relatively undisturbed mature stringybark forest and is located in an undulating ironstone plateau with a handful of small but quite steep valleys.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Spring Mount Conservation Park, looking north back towards the wine-growing region of McLaren Vale.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The park first acquired protected area status as a Wild-Life Reserve on the 3rd day of February 1966.  On the 27th day of April 1972, the Wild-Life Reserve was reconstituted as the Spring Mount Conservation Park under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. In 1973 and 2013, additional land was added to the park.

During my visit to the park, some of the native flowers were out in bloom.

The park’s large trees provide breeding habitat for the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, a large cockatoo with is native to the southeast of Australia.  Its plumage is mostly brownish-black and it has prominent yellow cheek patches and a yellow tail band. 

The park also contains some nice walks through the stringybark forest.

Birds SA have recorded about 90 species of bird in the park including Adelaide Rosella, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, Crescent Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-thrush, Grey Fantail, Scarlet Robin, Brush Bronzewing, Sacred Kingfisher, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Bassian Thrush, and Beautiful Firetail.

During my visit, I observed a number of birds, many of which were too quick for me.  But I did manage to snap the shots below of a female Superb Fairy Wren and a Scarlet Robin.

I parked the 4WD in the carpark on Springmount Road and claimed a small fence and set up on a boundary rail that ran parallel to Springmount Road.  There was plenty of room here to string out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.  The park is very heavily forested and the gap between the forest and the roadway offered a good operating spot.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Spring Mount Conservation Park, showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

Before calling CQ I tuned across the band to log some of the ILLW operators.  First in the log was VK3ILH at the Port Albert Museum Citadel Light AU0110.  Next was VK2MB at the Barrenjoey Lighthouse AU0046, followed by Dick VK7DIK/p at the Table Cape Lighthouse AU0039.

I then propped on 7.135 and logged a total of 52 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK6, and VK7 before 0300 UTC which was the scheduled starting time of the RD Contest.  This included a further 5 lighthouses and 3 Park to Park contacts.

I took a few minutes off-air with some radio silence for the RD Contest and about 3 minutes after 0300 UTC I started calling CQ again.  I logged 15 stations, and although I wasn’t really competing in the RD, I handed out a few numbers for those who were taking part.  I also logged Patrick (VK5MPJ) operating as VK5BAR from the Marino Conservation Park VKFF-1056 and Allen VK3ARH/p who was activating SOTA peak VK3/ VW-002 in the Grampians National Park.

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Above:- View from gate 3 to my operating spot.

I then tuned across the band and logged three more ILLW stations: Brad VK3SPL at the Split Point Lighthouse AU0032, Tony VK3WI at the Williamstown Timeball Tower AU0036, and Ken VK3ATL at the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse AU0028.

I then moved down to the 80m band where I called CQ on 3.610.  I logged 5 stations from VK3 and VK5 including Allen VK3ARH who was activating SOTA peak VK3/ VW-002 in the Grampians National Park VKFF-0213.

I then headed up to 14.310 on the 20m band and logged 8 stations including Nick VK6CNL at the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse AU0010 & Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283, and Anthony VK6CLL at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse AU0008 & Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283.

I moved back to 40m and logged Ray VK4XXX/p at the Sea Hill Point Lighthouse AU0060.  To complete the activation I propped on 7.142 and logged a further 31 stations including Ian VK3ATL at the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse AU0028, and Alan VK2MG/p at the Bemboka National Park VKFF-0049.

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Above:- My operating spot in the park.

Lighthouses worked on 40m SSB:

  1. VK3ILH – Port Albert Museum Citadel Light AU0110
  2. VK2MB/p – Barrenjoey Lighthouse AU0046
  3. VK7DIK/p – Table Cape Lighthouse AU0039
  4. VK3CSH/p – Cape Schanck Lighthouse AU0012
  5. VK6CLL – Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse AU0008
  6. VK6XN/p – Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse AU0008
  7. VK2HBG/p – Warden Head Lighthouse AU0035
  8. VK3EG/p – Point Hicks Lighthouse AU0027
  9. VK3SPL – Split Point Lighthouse AU0032
  10. VK3WI – Williamstown Timeball Tower AU0036
  11. VK3ATL – Point Lonsdale Lighthouse AU0028
  12. VK4XXX/p – Sea Hill Point Lighthouse AU0060

Lighthouses worked on 20m SSB:-

  • VK6CNL – Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse AU0010
  • VK6CLL – Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse AU0008

Park to Park contacts worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK6CLL – Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283
  2. VK6XN/p – Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283
  3. VK3EG/p – Croajingolong National Park VKFF-0119
  4. VK4HNS/p – Cape Byron State Conservation Park VKFF-1295
  5. VK5BAR/p – Marino Conservation Park VKFF-1056
  6. VK3ARH/p – Grampians National Park VKFF-0213 (also SOTA VK3/ VW-002)
  7. VK2MG/p – Bemboka National Park VKFF-0049

Park to Park contacts on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6CNL – Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283
  2. VK6CLL – Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283

Park to Park contacts on 80m SSB:-

  1. Allen VK3ARH/p – Grampians National Park VKFF-0213 (also SOTA VK3/ VW-002)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ILH (Port Albert Museum Citadel Light AU0110)
  2. VK2MB (Barrenjoey Lighthouse AU0046)
  3. VK7DIK/p (Table Cape Lighthouse AU0039)
  4. VK3FIAN
  5. VK3MKE
  6. VK2PKT
  7. VK3MPC
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK2LEE
  10. VK7QP
  11. VK3FLCS
  12. VK2MOP
  13. VK3MCK
  14. VK1MA
  15. VK4CZ
  16. VK3BNR
  17. VK3SIM
  18. VK3PKY/m
  19. VK3CSH/p (Cape Schanck Lighthouse AU0012)
  20. VK6CLL (Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse AU0008 & Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283)
  21. VK6XN/p (Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse AU0008 & Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283)
  22. VK2HBG/p (Warden Head Lighthouse AU0035)
  23. VK2EXA
  24. VK2VH
  25. VK4AAC/2
  26. VK3MPR
  27. VK3EG/p (Point Hicks Lighthouse AU0027 & Croajingolong National Park VKFF-0119)
  28. VK2NP
  29. VK2XXM
  30. VK3ELH
  31. VK2ADB
  32. VK3LK
  33. VK7OT/p
  34. VK3PNG
  35. VK3MB
  36. VK3SQ
  37. VK3ER
  38. VK7MMT/p
  39. VK4JSS
  40. VK3ACT
  41. VK7EE
  42. VK3FADM/1
  43. VK4TJ
  44. VK4/AC8WN
  45. VK4/VE6XT
  46. VK4SSN
  47. VK3AWG/m
  48. VK3AHR
  49. VK2MOR
  50. VK3ANL
  51. VK5VCR
  52. VK3YSA
  53. VK3RW
  54. VK3MDH
  55. VK3FTJS
  56. VK4HNS/2 (Cape Byron State Conservation Park VKFF-1295)
  57. VK3UH
  58. VK3AZZ
  59. VK5BAR/p (Marino Conservation Park VKFF-1056)
  60. VK2MB (Barrenjoey Lighthouse AU0046)
  61. VK3SIM
  62. VK2RSB
  63. VK7HSD
  64. VK3JK
  65. VK3ASU
  66. VK2VW
  67. VK3TNL
  68. VK3ARH (SOTA VK3/ VW-002 & the Grampians National Park VKFF-0213)
  69. VK6CLL (Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse AU0008 & Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283)
  70. VK3OB
  71. VK3SPL (Split Point Lighthouse AU0032)
  72. VK3WI (Williamstown Timeball Tower AU0036)
  73. VK3ATL (Point Lonsdale Lighthouse AU0028)
  74. VK4XXX/p (Sea Hill Point Lighthouse AU0060)
  75. VK3ATL (Point Lonsdale Lighthouse AU0028)
  76. VK3ER
  77. VK2MG/p (Bemboka National Park VKFF-0049)
  78. VK3TNL
  79. VK7FOLK/p
  80. VK3NCC
  81. VK3MDH
  82. VK3ZAP
  83. VK2LX
  84. VK3AMW
  85. VK2MT
  86. VK4QH
  87. VK3ADW
  88. VK7JON/p
  89. VK2UXO

I logged the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK3ARH/p (SOTA VK3/ VW-002 & the Grampians National Park VKFF-0213)
  3. VK5CB
  4. VK5CZ
  5. VK5BJE

I logged the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2LEE
  2. VK4TJ
  3. VK4/AC8WN
  4. VK4/VE6XT
  5. VK4SSN
  6. VK6CNL (Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse AU0010 & Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283)
  7. VK4CZ
  8. VK6CLL (Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse AU0008 & Leuwin-Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283)

With 118 stations in the log, I packed up and took a walk through the park for about 30 minutes. 

I then travelled down Mount Alma Road to Inman Valley Road.  I stopped briefly to log ZL6CC at the Cape Campbell lighthouse NZ0001.  ZL6CC was a genuine 5/9 into the mobile and gave me a 5/9 signal report which I was incredibly surprised with.  A big thank you to Greg VK2GJC who allowed me in to call the New Zealand lighthouse station.

I continued down Mount Alma Road enjoying some nice views of the Inman Valley which takes its name after Inspector Henry Inman, founder and first commander of the South Australia Police.

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I stopped briefly to have a look at Selwyn Rock, a glaciated pavement in the bed of the Inman River.  The rock was first described in 1859 and was named after ARC Selwyn, a Victorian Government geologist.  The rock dates back to the Permian period and was exposed when the Inman River eroded the topography to its present-day surface.

I then took Sawpit Road, and headed back towards Hindmarsh Tiers Road, stopping every now and again to view the dozens of Western Grey kangaroos grazing in the paddocks.

My next stop was Hindmarsh Falls which can be located at the end of Hindmarsh Falls Road.  A short walk from the carpark takes you to the falls.  The falls are located in the Hindmarsh Falls Recreation Reserve.

Along the way, I took the photo below of an Australian Golden Whistler.

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Above:- Golden Whistler at Hindmarsh Falls

It was then back to the 4WD and back off to home after a great day out.

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/spring-mount-conservation-park/>, viewed 18th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Mount_Conservation_Park>, viewed 18th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow-tailed_black_cockatoo>, viewed 18th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inman_Valley,_South_Australia>, viewed 18th August 2019

WWFF Activator 264 certificate

In the past few days, I received in my Inbox my latest global World Wide Flora & Fauna certificate.

It is issued for having activated a total of 264 different references where 44 QSOs were logged.  I have activated 318 different references, and I have reached the 44 QSO threshold in 264 of those.

Thanks to everyone who has called me during my activations, and thank you to Friedrich DL4BBH the Awards Manager.

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Sandy Creek Conservation Park 5CP-204 and VKFF-0933

My final park for Tuesday 13th August 2019 was the Sandy Creek Conservation Park 5CP-204 & VKFF-0933.  This is another park which I have previously activated and qualified.

The park is located about 56 km north of the city of Adelaide and about 3 km west of the town of Lyndoch in the southern Barossa Valley.

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

The Sandy Creek Conservation Park is about 142 hectares in size and was established on the 7th day of October 1965.  It is one of the few remaining tracts of undisturbed and undeveloped native bushland in the Barossa Valley.  As a result, it plays a vital role in providing habitat for various native wildlife and birds.  The park is surrounded by sand quarries, cleared farmland and vineyards.

The park is located in the localities of Lyndoch and Sandy Creek.  Nearby Cockatoo Valley is named for the flocks of corellas.  The park takes its name from the nearby town of Sandy Creek just a few km down the road.  The settlement of Sandy Creek grew around the Irish Harp Hotel which was built c. 1850.  It takes its name from the soil in the area which is deep, loose sand.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Sandy Creek CP looking north towards the wine-growing region of the Barossa Valley.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

On the 7th day of October 1965 Section 72 of the Hundred of Barossa was proclaimed as a Wildlife-Reserve.  Further sections of land were added on the 25th day of May 1967 and the park was gazetted as the Sandy Creek National Park.  It was re-proclaimed as Sandy Creek Conservation Park on the 27th day of April 1972.  Further parcels of land were added to the park in 1991, 1994, and 2006.

During the first half of the 1900s much of the Sandy Creek Conservation Park was cleared and planted with vines.  The vineyards were subsequently abandoned due to low soil fertility.  Sections of the park were named after life-long ornithologists and conservationists, Cecil Rix and Mark Bonnin who identified many native bird species in the area.

Cecil Rix was a former Commissioner of the National Parks Commission.   The following is taken from his obituary:-

“One of the many parks that Cecil sought to be dedicated, I must tell you of Sandy Creek in 1962.  It was a nasty hot day with a north wind and Cecil was working in the Barossa area.  He drove down a narrow lane into some shady scrub to east his lunch.  At once he discovered the beautiful bushland to be a haven of numerous species of birds.  A delight for Cecil.  He sought to get Sandy Creek purchased as a Park, but treasury would not provide the money.  At the end of the year, the Minister of Lands, Mr Quirke, officially thanked Cecil on behalf of the Premier Tom Playford for all of his good work during the year.  Cecil, never stuck for a quick reply said; ‘Tell Tom that if he wants to thank me he could buy Sandy Creek land for a national Park’.  Next day, at a meeting of the Cabinet, Mr QUirke passed on Cecil’s words to the Premier.  At 2 p.m. Cecil’s phone rang. The caller said, ‘Quirke here.  We’ve bought your birds.'”

Today many areas that Cecil Rix identified have become National Parks and Conservation Parks.  This includes Sandy Creek, Para Wirra, Innes, Spring Gully, Cape Gantheaume, Ngarkat, Hambidge, Hincks, Mount Remarkable, Coorong, Coffin Bat, Canunda, and Cox Scrub.  In 1938 there were just three National Parks in South Australia.  But by 1972, when Rix retired from the National Parks Commission, there were 109 parks.

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Above:- Plaque in the park to commemorate Cecil Rix.

The Sir Keith Wilson section of the Sandy Creek Conservation Park was a gift from the Wilson family and the Nature Foundation of SA Inc.  Sir Keith Cameron Wilson (3 September 1900 – 28 September 1987) was an Australian lawyer and politician.

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Above:- Sir Keith Cameron Wilson.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The park conserves a rare patch of plains/valley vegetation.  It is dominated by stands of native Southern Cypress-pine and Pink Gum.  Blue Gums and Peppermint Box also provide a canopy to a rich variety of shrubs such as Silver Broom, Guinea Flower and Sticky Hopbush.

There are two walks in the park: the Wren Walk which is a 3.5 km loop, and the Boundary Walk which is a 4 km loop.

Birds SA have recorded about 45 species of bird in the park including Peaceful Dove, Common Bronzewing, Superb Fairywren, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Black-winged Currawong, Willie Wagtail, Diamond Dove, Brush Bronzewing, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, White-winged Triller, and Zebra Finch.

A number of native animals call the park home including Echidnas and Western Grey kangaroos.  The kangaroos were out in force enjoying the afternoon sun during my visit.

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The park can be accessed via Pimpala Road (southern section of the park) or via Conservation Park Road (northern section of the park).  I accessed the park from the north and parked in the carpark at the end of Conservation Park Road.  It was just a  short walk from the vehicle through the park gate to where I set up.

I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  Power output was just 20 watts.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Sandy Creek Conservation Park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I was set up and ready to go by around 0645 UTC, 4.15 p.m. South Australian local time.  It was starting to get a bit cool now with the temperature dropping to around 12 deg C.  The sun was also starting to go down and the 40m band had really opened up to Europe.  As a result, it was quite hard to find a clear spot on the band.

I started calling CQ on 7.145 and it didn’t take long for one of the park regulars to give me a shout.  It was Rick VK4RF/VK4HA with a strong 5/9 signal from Queensland.  Peter Vk3PF was next, followed by Rob VK2MZ and then Glen VK4FARR.

Contact number ten came 7 minutes into the activation.  It was Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand who is a regular park hunter.  I continued on and eventually logged a total of 20 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.

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I then moved down to the 80m band and started calling CQ on 3.610.  There was quite a little pile up waiting for me.  First in the log on 80m was Lee VK2LEE, followed by John VK5BJE, Adrian VK5FANA, and then John VK5FLEA/p who was activating the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park VKFF-0782.

In the end, I logged a very pleasing total of 16 stations on 80m from VK2, VK3, and VK5.

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As it approached 5.30 p.m. local time I made the decision to pack up and head home.  I had qualified the park for VKFF which was my main goal, and I now had 5 South Australian parks activated during the month of August.  This meant that I had qualified for the special National Parks & Wildlife Award.

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I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK2MZ
  5. VK4FARR
  6. VK6JES
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. ZL1TM
  11. VK3MPR
  12. VK3YW
  13. VK2UXO
  14. VK7OT/p
  15. VK4FDJL/6
  16. VK7MMT/p
  17. VK3UH
  18. VK7VZ
  19. VK1DI
  20. VK5CB

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2LEE
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5FLEA/p (Mark Oliphant Conservation Park VKFF-0782)
  5. VK3BBB
  6. VK5SFA/m
  7. VK5IJ
  8. VK5DO
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK5CB
  11. VK2SLB
  12. VK5CZ
  13. VK5JW
  14. VK3UH
  15. VK2HRX
  16. VK5PL

As I drove home I was rewarded with a magnificent sunset.

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References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/sandy-creek-conservation-park/>, viewed 16th August 2019

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/images/saopdfs/Volume33/1998V33P031.pdf>, viewed 16th August 2019

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2010, ‘Sandy Creek Conservation Park’ brochure.

State Library South Australia, 2019, <http://www.slsa.ha.sa.gov.au/digitalpubs/placenamesofsouthaustralia/S.pdf>, viewed 16th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Creek_Conservation_Park>, viewed 15th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Creek,_South_Australia>, viewed 16th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Wilson_(South_Australian_politician)>, viewed 16th August 2019

Para Wirra Conservation Park 5CP-275 and VKFF-1739

My third park for Tuesday 13th August 2019 was the Para Wirra Conservation Park 5CP-275 & VKFF-1739.  I have activated and qualified this park previously.

Para Wirra is located about 38 km northeast of the city of Adelaide and about `12 km (by road) south-west of the town of Williamstown.

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

The Para Wirra Conservation Park is 1,417 hectares (3,500 acres) in size and was established on the 21st day of June 1962.  It is located in the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges at the corner end of the Adelaide metropolitan area.  The conservation park is part of a larger, 2,573-hectare (6,360-acre) block of contiguous native vegetation, the remainder of which is owned by Forestry SA, SA Water and private landholders.   Only 26% of the Mount Lofty Ranges remains uncleared.

The conservation park takes its name from the Aboriginal words, Para meaning “river” and Wirra meaning “forest”.

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Above:- Map of the Para Wirra Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of National Parks & Wildlife Service.

The park is predominately covered in eucalyptus; however, there is a wide variety of vegetation types including Woodland – Open Woodland (low open woodland) – Low open forest – Closed scrub – Eucalyptus open scrub – open scrub – Melaleuca uncinata closed heath.

On the 21st day of June 1962, the park was proclaimed under the Crown Lands Act 1929 as the Para Wirra National Park.  The national park was officially opened on 24th September 1963 by the then Premier of South Australia, Sir Thomas Playford.  It was the second reserve in the State of Australia to be proclaimed as a National Park.  On the 27th day of April 1972, the national park was reconstituted as a recreation park.  This reconstitution reflected the park’s role as a natural area catering to a wide range of recreational activities.  On the 2nd day of November 2015, Environment Minister Ian Hunter announced that to better recognise and protect the recreation park’s natural and heritage values, it would be upgraded to Conservation Park status.  The recreation park was abolished on 19 May 2016 and on the same day, its landholding was constituted as the Para Wirra Conservation Park.

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Above:- Sir Thomas Playford, c. 1956.  Image courtesy of wikipedia

Numerous native mammals can be found in the park including Western Grey kangaroos, Euros,  Yellow-footed antechinus,  Short-beaked Echidna, the Common ringtail possum and the Brushtail possum.

Over 120 species of birds have been recorded in the conservation park including the emu which was introduced into the park in 1967.  Other native birds include White-faced heron, White-browned Babbler, Black-chinned honeyeater, Scarlet Robin, Laughing Kookaburra and Red-rumped parrot.

A total of 38 recorded reptiles and amphibians can be found in the park including the long-necked tortoise, Bearded Dragon, Brown tree frog, Yellow-faced whip snake and Red-bellied black snake.

I set up on a track at the East gate on Humbug Scrub Road.  There were two locked gates here so I could not travel into the park along Wirra Road.  However, there was a small car parking area, and a dirt track leading to a water tank.

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Above:- the locked gates at the East gate entrance.

For this activation I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 20 watts output and the 20/40/80m linked dipole, inverted vee, supported by the 7-metre telescopic squid pole.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Para Wirra Conservation Park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

As it was starting to get a little late in the afternoon, the 40m band had opened up into Europe, so I was unable to get onto 7.144.  I dropped down the band a little to 7.140 and started calling CQ.  Ian VK3BUF mobile came back to my call.  Ian had a strong 5/9 signal from about 40 km north of Wagga.  Next in the log were some of the park regulars, Geoff VK3SQ, David VK5PL, Peter VK3PF, and Ken VK3UH.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for a strong European station to pop up on my frequency.  They were a good 5/7 signal and I just couldn’t compete, so with 9 contacts in the log, I moved down the band to 7.130.

John VK5BJE had followed me down and was logged.  John was 5/5 from the Adelaide Hills and gave me a 5/1 signal report.  I then logged Lee and Robbie VK5FRSM in the Adelaide Hills who was very low down.  Next was Neil VK3VZE.  I was Neil’s first SSB contact in many years.

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Next in the log was Perrin VK3XPT who was using an old Wagner transceiver which was a former State Emergency Services transceiver.  My last contact on 40m was with Rick VK5VCR in the Adelaide Hills.

I then moved down to 3.610 on 80m and started calling CQ.  John VK5BJE had followed me down from 40m and was first in the log on that band, followed by Rick VK5VCR, David VK5LSB, and Perrin VK3XPT.

To complete the activation I called CQ on 14.310 on the 20m band.  I logged Rick VK4RF/VK4HA and Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand.

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Above:- Perrin VK3XPT’s old Wagner transceiver.  Image courtesy of VK3XPT.

With 22 contacts in the log, it was time to pack up and head off to my final park for the day, the Sandy Creek Conservation Park.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3BUF/m
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK5PL
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK3UH
  6. VK4FARR
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. VK5BJE
  11. VK2LEE
  12. VK5FRSM
  13. VK3ZVE
  14. VK3XPT
  15. VK5VCR

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5VCR
  3. VK5LSB
  4. VK3XPT

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. ZL1TM

 

 

References.

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Para_Wirra_Conservation_Park>, viewed 15th August 2019

Hale Conservation Park 5CP-086 and VKFF-0889

My second park for Tuesday 13th August 2019 was the Hale Conservation Park 5CP-086 & VKFF-0889.  I have activated and qualified this park previously.

Hale is located about 52 km northeast of Adelaide and about 3km southeast of the town of Williamstown which is regarded as the southern gateway to the winegrowing region of the Barossa Valley.

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

The Hale Conservation Park is and was established on the 9th of January 1964.  The park is well signposted on Warren Road.

The park is located in rugged hills country of the north-central Mount Lofty Ranges.    The park habitat is mostly Woodland comprised of Long-leaf Box, Pink Gum and Messmate Stringybark over Golden Wattle and Yacca.

The park contains old mica diggings.  Mica is used in the electrical industry due to its unusual ability to act as a thermal conductor and electrical insulator at the same time.

There is a 4km circuit in the park which is rated as moderate in difficulty.

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Above:- The walking trail in the Hale CP.  Map courtesy of Walking SA.

Various native mammals can be found in the park including Western Grey kangaroo and echidna.

Birds SA have recorded about 87 species of bird in the park including Superb Fairywren, Eastern Spinebill, New Holland Honeyeater, Crescent Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Australian Golden Whistler, Black-winged Currawong, Painted Buttonquail, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Little Wattlebird, Noisy Miner, Black-capped Sittella, and Black-faced Cuckooshrike.

The park first gained protected status as a Wild-Life Reserve on 9th January 1964 under the Crown Lands Act 1929.  Additional land was added n 4th January 1965 and the park was proclaimed as the Hale Wild-Life Reserve.  On 9th November 1967, the park was proclaimed under the National Parks Act 1966 as the Hale National Park.  The park was re-proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 as the Hale Conservation Park on 27th April 1972.

The park is named in honour of Herbert Mathew Hale who was the Director of the South Australian Museum from 1931 to 1960.  He took part in numerous South Australian Museum Expeditions as well as the Board for Anthropological Research expeditions.  During these trips, he participated in anthropological research, took motion picture film, still photography, phonographic recordings, as well as conducting zoological studies.  Hale was a prominent member of many societies and associations including the Royal Society of South Australia; the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, the Anthropological Society of South Australia, and was secretary (1928-1956) to the Board for Anthropological Research.

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Above:- Herbert Mathew Hale.  Image c/o Trove

I parked the 4WD in the small carpark on Warren Road and set up on the edge of the walking track in the park.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 20 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Hale Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

After setting up I turned on the transceiver and tuned to 7.144 and heard Ian VK5CZ/p calling CQ from Mokota Conservation Park VKFF-1062.  After logging Ian Park to Park I moved down to 7.139, and after placing a spot on parksnpeaks, I started calling CQ.  Park regular Peter VK3PF came back to my call, followed by another park regular John VK4TJ and then Geoff VK3SQ who is another committed park hunter.

Band conditions were still quite poor with lots of deep fading noticed on most signals.  It took me a little longer to get the required 10 QSOs in the log for VKFF qualification.  Contact number ten came 14 minutes into the activation and was with Steve VK3HK.

I logged 13 stations on 40m and then moved to 3.610, calling CQ after placing a self spot on parksnpeaks.  First in the log was Hans VK5YX with a strong 5/9 signal, followed by John VK5BJE in the Adelaide Hills who had a strong 5/9 signal.

To complete the activation I called CQ on 14.310 on the 20m, logging only John VK4TJ and his USA and Canadian calls.

I had qualified another park for VKFF and now had 3 VK5 parks for the month of August.  Just 2 more to go to qualify for the National Parks and Wildlife Service Award.

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Above:- My shack in the Hale CP.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ/p (Mokota Conservation Park VKFF-1062)
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK4/AC8WN
  5. VK4/VE6XT
  6. VK3SQ
  7. VK3MKE
  8. VK4PZZ
  9. VK5PL
  10. VK3HK
  11. Vk2ON
  12. VK7NWT
  13. VK5BJE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5YX
  2. VK5BJE

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK4/AC8WN
  3. VK4/VE6XT

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/hale-conservation-park/>, viewed 14th August 2019

South Australian Museum, 2019, <http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/collections/information-resources/archives/hale-herbert-matthew-aa-124>, viewed 13th August 2019

Walking SA, 2019, <https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/hale-conservation-park-loop/>, viewed 14th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hale_Conservation_Park>, viewed 14th August 2019

Warren Conservation Park 5CP-247 and VKFF-0941

Today (Tuesday 13th August 2019) I activated four parks.  My intention was to activate the 4 parks and get 10 contacts in each.  These 4 parks would go towards the special South Australia National Parks and Wildlife certificate which is on offer in August 2019 by the VKFF program.

My first park was the Warren Conservation Park 5CP-247 & VKFF-0941.  I have activated and qualified the park previously.

The park is located about 36 km northeast of the city of Adelaide and about 10 km southeast of the town of Williamstown.  It is located in the lower section of the Barossa Valley.

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

The Warren Conservation Park is 364 hectares in size and was established on the 14th July 1966.  The park is well signposted on the corner of South Para Road and Watts Gully Road.  The park itself also has a sign on Watts Gully Road.

The best access to the park is via the Watts Gully trailhead on Watts Gully Road.  There is a small car parking area here and a pedestrian entrance to a boardwalk into the park.  Otherwise, you can hike into the park from other points including the walking track from the nearby Hale Conservation Park or the Tower Track through Mount Crawford Forest.

The park is situated in rugged hilly country in the Mount Lofty Ranges.  The major habitat in the park is Woodland with Pink Gum and Long-leaf Box.

The park has four challenging walking trails, including a section of the long-distance Heysen Trail. The tracks are steep and difficult and should be used by experienced bushwalkers only.

The park first gained protected area status as a wildlife reserve proclaimed under the Crown Lands Act 1929 on the 14th July 1966.  On the 9th November 1967, the land in the wildlife reserve was proclaimed under the National Parks Act 1966 as the Warren National Park.  On the 27th November 1969, section 321 was added to the national park. On the 27th April 1972, the national park was reconstituted as the Warren Conservation Park upon the proclamation of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.   In 1980, it was listed on the now-defunct Register of the National Estate.

The park is named after the Hundred of Warren, which in turn was named in honour of John Warren (1830-1914), who was an Australian pastoralist and politician.

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Above:- The Hon. John Warren.  Image courtesy of wikipedia.

There is a wide variety of native animals found in the park including Western Grey kangaroos, koalas, Southern Brown bandicoots, and echidnas.

Birds SA have recorded about 75 species of bird in the park including Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater,  Crescent Honeyeater, Striated Thornbill, Australian Golden Whistler, Grey Fantail, Peaceful Dove, Brown Treecreeper, Black-chinned Honeyeater, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, and White-winged Chough.

In 1884, gold was found by John Watts in nearby Watts Gully, near the current day Warren Conservation Park.  In fact, it was Watts Gully Road that I was headed for.  The area yielded gold nuggets as large as 14 ounces.  As a result, Forreston boomed as a little town.  From articles I have read on TROVE, it appears the area’s population swelled, with around 350-400 persons working on the diggings.

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Above: – Article from the ‘Evening News’ dated Sat 20 June 1885.  Courtesy of Trove.

I drove along Watts Gully Road and set up just off the boardwalk.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 20 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

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Above:- The Warren Conservation Park showing my operating spot in the southern section of the park.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I commenced calling CQ on 7.144 and this was soon answered by Ian VK3FIAN with a good strong 5/8 signal.  This was followed by a Park to Park contact with Ian VK5CZ/p who was activating the Mokota Conservation Park VKFF-1062 in the mid-north of South Australia.  Peter VK3PF followed, then Terry VK6ATM in Western Australia, and then Owen VK7OR.  Next in the log was Ken VK3UH who kindly spotted me on parksnpeaks.

Within about 13 minutes I had contact number ten in the log, with a QSO with John VK5BJE in the Adelaide Hills.  This was followed by Deryck VK4FDJL/6 who was in the Mangkili Claypan Nature Reserve VKFF-2941.

Band conditions were quite poor, with lots of fading noted on most signals.  Signals from Victorian stations were well down compared to normal.  My last station logged on 40m was Liz VK2XSE/m who kindly placed a spot up for me on parksnpeaks.

With 20 contacts in the log I headed off to the 80m band.  I placed a self spot on parksnpeaks and started calling CQ on 3.610.  Unfortunately, I logged just the two stations: John VK5BJE, and Ian VK5CZ in the Mokota Conservation Park for a second band.

To complete the activation I moved to the 20m band after putting up a spot on parksnpeaks, and called CQ on 14.310.  I logged John VK4TJ, along with his USA and Canadian callsigns.

With 25 contacts in the log, including 3 Park to Park contacts, it was time to pack up and head off to my next park, the Hale Conservation Park.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3FIAN
  2. VK5CZ/p (Mokota Conservation Park VKFF-1062)
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK6ATM
  5. VK7OR
  6. VK3UH
  7. VK5BQ
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK1TX
  10. VK5BJE
  11. VK4FDJL/6 (Mangkili Claypan Nature Reserve VKFF-2941)
  12. VK2KNV/m
  13. VK5FBIC
  14. VK7OT/p
  15. VK2UXO
  16. VK4TJ
  17. VK4/AC8WN
  18. VK4/VE6XT
  19. VK7MMT/p
  20. VK2XSE/m

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5CZ/p (Mokota Conservation Park VKFF-1062)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK4/AC8WN
  3. VK4/VE6XT

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/warren-conservation-park/>, viewed 13th August 2019

National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2019, <https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/warren-conservation-park>, viewed 13th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Conservation_Park>, viewed 13th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Warren_(Australian_politician)&gt;, viewed 13th August 2019

NPWS certificate

Today I activated four South Australian Conservation Parks to bring my tally of VK5 parks activated in August to five.

As a result, I have qualified for the special National Parks & Wildlife Service South Australia certificate.

This special certificate is on offer during August for anyone who activates or works at least five different South Australian VKFF references during August.  More information can be found on the WWFF Australia website at…….

https://www.wwffaustralia.com/national-parks–wildlife-service-vk5.html

Thanks to everyone who called me.

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