Red Gum Swamp (Yanac) Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2427

Our second park for Saturday 3rd August 2019 was the Red Gum Swamp (Yanac) Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2427.  The park is located about 31 km north of the town of Kaniva in western Victoria.  This was to be another first time activation.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Red Gum Swamp (Yanac) Wildlife Reserve in western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

After leaving Miramparim, Marija and I headed north on Broughton Road until we reached the junction with Block 40 Road.  Broughton Road makes a sharp right turn here.  A few hundred metres up the road we turned into an access track which leads to the park and runs in between two paddocks.

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Above:- Access track to the park from Broughton Road.

We soon reached the southwestern corner of the park which was well signposted.

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The Red Gum Swamp (Yanac) Wildlife Reserve is about 220 acres in size.  It takes its name from the small town and area of Yanac which was named after the Yanac-a-Yanac pastoral run which was established in 1846).  The run had a homestead near the Yanac swamp which is about 4 km south-east of the village.  This swamp is not to be confused with the Red Gum Swamp.  It is believed that the name was derived from an Aboriginal expression describing bats flying at night.

Further European settlement commenced in the Yanac district during the late 1870s.  In 1880 a school was opened at Yanac South.   In 1887 a Methodist church was built and in 1905 a Lutheran church was opened.  In 1912 the railway arrived in Yanac.  By the late 1880s, the Yanac School had opened in the methodist church and a blacksmith was established.

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Above:- The Yanac railway station, c. 1940s.  Image courtesy of ‘Wimmera Way Back When’.

Due to the establishment of the railway, Yanac became a minor local centre, with football, tennis and rifle clubs.  In 1921 a public hall was built.  The Yanac general store remained open until about 1998.   In addition to the store, post office and silos, Yanac has a recreation reserve, a hall, a Uniting church.  The 1990s saw several closures in Yanac including the school (1993), the Lutheran church (1995) and the Salvation Army Hall (1998).

We set up on the western side of the park.  We found a gate, however, it was locked, so we climbed over the fence and set up just inside the boundary fence.  Again for this activation, we ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

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Above:- An aerial view of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google maps

Prior to calling CQ we tuned across the band and found Mark VK4SMA/p calling CQ from the Lockyer National Park VKFF-0719.  After logging Mark I moved down the band to 7.139 and started calling CQ.  Cliff VK2NP was the first to come back to my call, followed by John VK4TJ and then Jim VK1AT.

It didn’t take me long, just 6 minutes, and I had contact number ten in the log, a contact with Gerard VK2IO/5 who was activating SOTA peak St Marys Peak VK5/ NE-001 in the Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176.  Mary also took the opportunity of logging the SOTA summit and Park to Park with Gerard.

I logged a further 6 six stations from VK2. VK3, VK4, and VK7, before swapping the mic with Marija.  This included another Park to Park, with Adam VK2YK/p who was activating the Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595.

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Having lowered the power down to 10 watts for Marija to work Adam VK2YK/p, we decided it was a good opportunity for Marija to stay in the operator’s chair and get her ten contacts to qualify the park for VKFF.

Marija called CQ which was answered by a number of the park regulars, Lee VK2LEE, Peter VK3PF, and then Ray VK4NH.  Shortly thereafter, Marija had ten contacts in the log with a QSO with Mark VK4SMA/p in the Lockyer National Park VKFF-0719.

Happy with having qualified the park for VKFF, we again swapped the mic.

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I called CQ again on 7.139 which was answered by Brett VK2VW.  It was once again clear that there was very little if any, propagation around Victoria and back into South Australia on 40m.  So with 29 contacts in the log, I headed off to the 80m band.

Marija placed a spot up for me on parksnpeaks and I called CQ on 3.610.  John Vk5BJE came back to my call with a good strong 5/9 signal from the Adelaide Hills, followed by Ken VK2KYO, and then Adrian VK5FANA.

We were cognizant of time and wanted to fit in as many parks during the day as possible, so my thanks go out to John VK5NJ and Peter VK3PF who gave me some of their other calls to go towards my tally of 44.  I also logged Gerard VK2IO/5 for a second band from St Marys Peak VK5/ NE-001 & Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176.

I was now just 1 QSO away from the magical 44 and I moved to the 20m band.  I called CQ on 14.310 and this was answered by Rick VK4RF, followed by Ray VK4NH and then Andrei ZL1TM.

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We had both qualified the park for VKFF and I had qualified the park for WWFF.  With a total of 59 QSOs in the log including 7 Park to Park contacts, it was time to pack up and head off to our next park.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/5 (SOTA St Marys Peak VK5/ NE-001 & Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176)
  2. VK2YK/p (Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595)
  3. VK2LEE
  4. VK3PF
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK7OT
  9. VK2JXA
  10. VK4SMA/p (Lockyer National Park VKFF-0719 VKFF-0719)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SMA/p (Lockyer National Park VKFF-0719)
  2. VK2NP
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK4/Ac8WN
  5. VK4/VE6XT
  6. VK1AT
  7. VK2HRX
  8. VK2PKT
  9. VK2LEE
  10. VK2IO/5 (SOTA St Marys Peak VK5/ NE-001 & Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176)
  11. VK3PF
  12. VK4NH
  13. VK4DXA
  14. ZL4TY/VK4
  15. VK7OT
  16. VK2YK/p (Hunter Wetlands National Park VKFF-0595)
  17. VK2VW
  18. VK2AD
  19. VK2IK/m
  20. VK7ME
  21. VK3MH/2
  22. VK2SLB
  23. VK5KLV
  24. VK2FALL
  25. VK7DW
  26. VK7AN
  27. VK2ARZ
  28. VK2RU/4
  29. VK2QA
  30. VK4FARR

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK2KYO
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5PL
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK5LEX
  7. VK5CZ
  8. VK5NJ
  9. VK5JN
  10. VK5/ZL1NJ
  11. VK3KAI
  12. VK3GV
  13. VK2IO/5 (SOTA St Marys Peak VK5/ NE-001 & Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK4NH
  4. VK4DXA
  5. ZL4TY/VK4
  6. ZL1TM

 

 

References.

Victorian Place Names, 2019, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/yanac>, viewed 5th August 2019

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