My second park for Tuesday 30th July 2019 was the O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park VKFF-1737. This was another park that I had never activated previously.
O’Halloran Hill is located about 16 km south of the city centre of Adelaide.
The O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park is about 253 hectares (630 acres) in size and was established on the 7th day of September 1989. It is located in the suburbs of Seaview Downs and O’Halloran Hill. The park is popular with walkers, joggers, horse riders and mountain bike riders. Parts of the park are leased to recreational organisations involved in archery, target shooting and model aircraft.
O’ Halloran Hill takes its name after Major Thomas Shuldham O’Halloran (1797-1870), the first Police Commissioner of South Australia and first Police Magistrate of South Australia. He had a reputation for belligerence, with one of his mounted troopers from the 1840s commented that “Old Major O’Halloran used to say ‘I never hated a man longer than a day'”.
In June 1840 the brig ‘Maria‘ wrecked near Kingston in the South East of South Australia. Local aboriginal people are reported to be responsible for the massacre of all 25 survivors. Governor Gawler ordered O’Halloran, who at that time was the Police Commissioner and Police Inspector Alexander Tolmer to lead a party of police and sailors to the area to find and execute those responsible. On the 22nd day of August 1840 following several days of investigation and interviews, two local Ngarrindjeri aboriginal men were publicly hanged on the Coorong in front of 65 members of their tribe. Upon O’Halloran’s orders, their bodies remained In situ as a warning against violence towards Europeans by the aborigines.
O’Halloran established a farm at what is now O’Halloran Hill. It was called Lizard Lodge. O’Halloran died at his home “Lizard Lodge”, and was buried at Christ Church, O’Halloran Hill, an Anglican church which he helped to establish and is also located in the suburb, now overlooking the old Glenthorne CSIRO Research station, which is soon to become the Glenthorne National Park.
At one stage, virtually all of the O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park was cleared grazing land. However, over the last 30 years, much of the area has been revegetated. In the decade prior to the park’s proclamation under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, the previous management agency (the State Planning Authority) made a concerted effort to re-vegetate the area and sponsored mass plantings of thousands of trees.
It is believed that 26,500 trees were planted in the late 1970s and more than 78,000 were planted from 1990 to 2000.
The park contains Grey Box woodland, Golden Wattle, Sheoak, Tea Tree, River Red Gum, Peppermint Box, Grevillia and Hakea.
The park consists of undulating land and there are some magnificent views to be enjoyed of the Adelaide metropolitan coastline.
And if you head to the northern section of the park there are some terrific views of the city of Adelaide.
The park is inhabited by various native fauna including Common Brushtail Possum and Common Ringtail Possum. Birds SA have recorded about 68 species of bird in the park including Weebill, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Australian Magpie, Silvereye, Eastern Rosella, Australian Golden Whistler, Magpielark, Brown Songlark, and Mistletoebird. Some of those I sighted appear in my photos below.
I parked in the carpark on Majors Road near Adams Road. There is a large carpark here at the start of a number of Mountain bike trails and walking trails.
I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.
Despite there being large power lines nearby, I was surprised to hear a low noise floor when I turned on the transceiver. First in the log was Geoff VK3SQ, followed by Marc VK3OHM, Steve VK3YW, and then John VK4TJ.
It only took me about 12 minutes to get 10 contacts in the log, and I had the park under my belt for VKFF. It may have been a weekday, but there were plenty of callers and within an hour I had 39 contacts in the log and was just 5 short of the required 44 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.
I also had two Park to Park contacts in the log, with Ian VK1DI/2 in the Gibraltar Range National Park VKFF-0197 and Mike VK6MB/3 in the Leaghur Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2367.
However, callers had dried up, so I lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for the 80m band and headed for 3.610. First, in the log, there was Adrian VK5FANA, followed by John VK5BJE, Ian VK5KKT and then John VK5MJC. Unfortunately, they were my only callers despite the band being wide open across South Australia.
To complete the activation I moved up to 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged 8 stations from VK2 and VK4.
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
- VK1DI/2 (Gibraltar Range National Park VKFF-0197)
- VK6MB/3 (Leaghur Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2367)
I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-
Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/ohalloran-hill-recreation-park/>, viewed 1st August 2019
Department for Environment and Heritage, 2008, O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park Management Plan.
Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Halloran_Hill_Recreation_Park>, viewed 1st August 2019
Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Shuldham_O%27Halloran>, viewed 1st August 2019