Red Bluff Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2426

Our second intended park activation for Sunday 4th August 2019 was the Red Bluff Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2426.  I had researched the park before leaving home and saw that it was quite remote and to get into it there was going to be a fair bit of ‘bushbashing’.  This would be the first time that the park had been activated.

The park is located about 90km by road from the town of Kaniva in western Victoria.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Red Bluff Nature Conservation Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet. 

The Red Bluff Nature Conservation Reserve is about 3,900 hectares in size.  The park’s western boundary abuts the Victoria/South Australia State border, while its northern boundary abuts the Big Desert Wilderness Area.  Just over the State border to the north west of the park is the 270,000 hectare Ngarkat Conservation Park located in South Australia.

In 2014, Red Bluff Flora and Fauna Reserve and the Big Desert Wilderness Park were affected by large-scale fires.

To get to the park we travelled north on Taylors Road until we reached Red Bluff Firebreak Track.  We turned right onto the track.  Don’t turn left.  This will not take you to the park, but to the Border Track on the State border.

The track is absolutely 4WD only.  It is sandy and narrow and takes you through spectacular country.  There was a bit of water on the track in parts where we observed emus coming in for a drink.

After travelling some distance along the Red Bluff Firebreak Track we turned left onto the Red Bluff Track and travelled west.  We soon entered the track.  The terrain was starting to get a bit hilly, and as we were travelling on our own I did not want to get bogged.  So I did a 10 point turn and turned the 4WD around to face the way we came in.

DSC_9951

Marija and I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  I ran 30 watts output whilst Marija ran 10 watts.

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Above:- Map showing our operating spot in the park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

This was a remote location and as such there was no internet coverage.  We were unable to place a self spot on parksnpeaks.  After setting up we tuned across the band and found Neil VK4HNS/p on 7.144 calling CQ from the Pooh Corner Nature Reserve VKFF-2878 in Queensland.

I then propped on 7.139 and called CQ.  This was answered by Peter VK3PF who informed me that Ian VK5CZ was up the band in a park.  Marija and I quickly tuned up to 7.154 and could hear Ian in there, albeit very light.  But due to the lack of man-made noise in both parks, we were able to work each other quite easily and logged Ian who was in the Caroona Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0875.

I then moved back down to 7.139 and called CQ, logging Cliff VK2NP and then Gerard VK2IO/5 who was activating the Flinders Rangers National Park VKFF-0176.  Marija also logged Gerard.

DSC_9971

I continued calling CQ on 40m and ended up logging a total of 37 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  This included Nigel VK5NIG/p who was activating SOTA peak Mount Gawler VK5/ SE-013.  This almost became an invalid contact as Nigel was very low down to me and somebody came up to relay Nigel’s callsign.  Unfortunately, this makes the contact invalid.  But Nigel persisted and I was able to legitimately copy his callsign and a signal report was also exchanged making the QSO valid.

I was just about to head to the 80m band when I was called by Jonathan VK7JON who was activating the Peggs Beach Conservation Area VKFF-2913 in Tasmania with his wife Helen VK7FOLK/p.  Both Marija and I logged Jonathan and Helen, and then left the frequency with them and we moved down to 80m.

I called CQ on 3.610.  Peter VK3PF had been very kind and had spotted my move to this band.  First in the log was David VK5PL, followed by John VK5BJE, and then Nev VK5WG.  Appropriately contact number 44 was with Peter VK3PF.  Contact number 45 was with Ian VK5CZ/p in the Caroona Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0875 for a second band.

DSC_9950

I had now qualified the park for the global WWFF program and it was time for Marija to pick up her remaining 5 contacts to qualify the park for VKFF.  Marija called CQ on 3.610 and logged Brian VK3BBB mobile, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, Adrian VK5FANA, Andy VK5LA, and then Hans VK5YX.

Marija had now qualified the park and went on to work a further 7 stations from VK2, VK3, and VK5, including Ian VK5CZ/p in the Caroona Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0875.

DSC_9960

I then put out 5 minutes of CQ calls on 14.310 on the 20m band but had no takers.  To conclude the activation I moved back to 7.144 on 40m and called CQ, logging a further 2 stations from VK2.

It was time to pack up and make the journey back along the tracks and back to the Western Highway and our final park for the day, the Hardings Springs Conservation Reserve over the border in South Australia.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4HNS/p (Pooh Corner Nature Reserve VKFF-2878)
  2. VK5CZ/p (Caroona Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0875)
  3. VK2IO/5 (Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176)
  4. VK7FOLK/p (Peggs Beach Conservation Area VKFF-2913)
  5. VK7JON/p (Peggs Beach Conservation Area VKFF-2913)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3BBB/m
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5LA
  5. VK5YX
  6. VK5AYL
  7. VK5BJE
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK6MB/3
  10. VK3ZNK
  11. VK2KJJ
  12. VK5CZ/p (Caroona Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0875)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4HNS/p (Pooh Corner Nature Reserve VKFF-2878)
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK5CZ/p (Caroona Creek Conservation Park VKFF-0875)
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK2IO/5 (Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176)
  6. VK4CZ
  7. VK2LSB
  8. VK3UH
  9. VK2UH
  10. VK4SMA
  11. VK2FADV
  12. VK1MIC
  13. VK1MA
  14. VK2LEE
  15. VK4NH
  16. VK4DXA
  17. ZL4TY/VK4
  18. VK7OT
  19. VK2RSB
  20. VK2TMO
  21. VK2AB
  22. VK1AT
  23. VK4RF
  24. VK4HA
  25. VK1VIC
  26. VK4TJ
  27. VK4/AC8WN
  28. VK4/VE6XT
  29. VK2UXO
  30. VK7KW
  31. VK2ABK
  32. VK7KT
  33. VK2PBC
  34. VK5NIG/p (SOTA Mount Gawler VK5/ SE-013)
  35. VK2LX
  36. VK7FOLK/p (Peggs Beach Conservation Area VKFF-2913)
  37. VK7JON/p (Peggs Beach Conservation Area VKFF-2913)
  38. VK2VW
  39. VK2KJJ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5PL
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5WG
  4. VK5LA
  5. VK3BBB
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK3PF
  8. VK5CZ/p (Caroona Creek Conservation Park VKFF-1875)

 

 

References.

Bonzle, 2019, <http://www.bonzle.com>, viewed 7th August 2019

Parks Victoria, 2019, <https://www.facebook.com/ParksVictoria/posts/1199652090094748>, viewed 7th August 2019

Yarrangook Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2497

Marija and I hit the road on Sunday morning (4th August 2019) at around 8.30 a.m. local time and headed down the main street of Bordertown for a morning coffee.  We then filled up with diesel and had a look at a few of the local attractions.

The first was the childhood home of former Australian Prime Minister (PM) Robert James Lee ‘Bob’ Hawke.  He was the Australian PM from 1983 to 1990.  Hawke was born on the 9th December 1929 in Bordertown and lived in the town until 1935.  The building was built by the National Bank in 1884 and conducted business there until the branch closed in June 1885.  It was purchased by the Congregational Church as a manse in 1897.  Clem A Hawke was the Minister from 1928 to 1935.  It ceased to be a manse in 1976.

Bordertown is also famous for its white kangaroos which can be seen at the Bordertown Wildlife Park.  A mob of White Kangaroos that are a genetic strain of the Western Grey can be seen in the park.

We then left Bordertown and drove over the South Australian/Victorian State border into VK3 for our first park of the day, the Yarrangook Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2497.

The park is located about 58 km north-west of the town of Kaniva.

 

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Yarrangook Flora & Fauna Reserve in western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Just after crossing the State border we turned left onto the Serviceton North-Telopea Downs Road and headed north.  This road runs parallel to the State border.  The road is sealed for a number of km but then turns to dirt and becomes Taylors Road.

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We continued along Taylors Road and about 44 km after leaving the Wimmera Highway we reached the southwestern corner of the Yarrangook Flora & Fauna Reserve which is well signposted.

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The Yarrangook Flora and Fauna Reserve is 1,525 hectares in size and consists of five areas of undisturbed mallee-broom bush scrub.  The westernmost section is located on Taylors Road about 44 km north of the Western Highway.  Two other sections are located on Chappel Road.  While the two eastern sections of the park are located on Murrawong North Road.

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Above:- The five sections of the Yarrangook Flora and Fauna Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The name Yarrangook comes from the aboriginal words yarran meaning acacia, and ook meaning water.  Thus acacia growing by water.  The mallee—broom bush vegetation in the park is interspersed with areas of open heath and brown stringybark scrub.

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The park provides an important refuge for the Australian Bustard, a large ground bird which is often referred to as the Plains Turkey or Bush Turkey.  The male is up to 1.2 metres tall with a 2.3-metre wingspan.  Unfortunately, we did not see any during our visit to the park.

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Above:- the Australian Bustard.  Image courtesy of wikipedia.

The park is surrounded by cleared farming land.

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We found a gate to a paddock on the western side of Taylors Road and parked the 4WD there and carried the gear across the road to the park.  We set up in a small clearing in amongst the scrub.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the westernmost section of park and our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google maps

This was quite a remote location and we had internet coverage in the park so we were unable to place a self spot up on parksnpeaks.  The 40m band was busy with the broadcasts from the Wireless Institute of Australia, so we were unable to get onto the frequency of 7.144.  I found 7.130 to be clear and started calling CQ hoping that some of the park regulars would find me and then place a spot up for me.

First in the log was Paul VK7PAL, followed by Matt VK3FORD/2, Haucke VK1HW and then Peter VK3ZPF.  I had been lucky.  Peter VK3ZPF who is a regular park hunter and activator and is the VK3 State rep, placed a spot up for me on parksnpeaks.  This resulted in a steady flow of callers.  Thanks Peter.

A few QSOs later I was called by Gerard VK2IO/5 who was activating the Bunkers Conservation Reserve VKFF-1692.  Marija also logged Gerard.  This was a new park for both of us as hunters.

I logged 23 stations on 40m before the callers dried up.  I then called CQ on 3.610, unable to self spot.  Fortunately, John VK4TJ had kept listening on 40m and spotted me on parksnpeaks when I announced that I was moving to 80m.  First, in the log, was Adrian VK5FANA, followed by Gerard VK2IO/5 in the Bunkers Conservation Reserve VKFF-1692 for a second band for both Marija and me.  Conditions were quite good on 80m and I ended up logging a total of 7 stations there from VK3 and VK5.

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I had 30 contacts in the log and it was time for Marija to get on the air and qualify the park for VKFF.  We decided to remain on the 80m band.  Marija called CQ and this was answered by David VK5PL, followed by Peter VK3PF, Ken VK2KYO, John VK5BJE, and then Geoff VK3SQ.  But a further 5 minutes of CQ calls went unanswered so we decided to move back to the 40m band, with Marija requiring just 3 more contacts for her 10.

Marija called CQ on 7.144 and this was answered by Peter VK3PF who spotted Marija on parksnpeaks.  Geoff VK3SQ then called in, followed by contact number ten with Ken VK2KYO.  Marija logged a further 3 station before callers once again dried up.

It was an opportune tune to move to the 20m band.  Peter VK3PF kindly placed a spot up for me to advise that I would soon be on 14.310.  Marija and I lowered the squid pole and removed the links for the 20m and then headed for 14.310.  I called CQ and Ray VK4NH responded, followed by John VK4TJ.  Both Ray and John have other callsigns, so 2 contacts became 6.  I then logged Peter VK6RZ with a strong 5/9 signal from across the other side of Australia in Western Australia.

I now had 37 contacts in the log and needed a further 7 to qualify the park for WWFF.  So it was back to 7.144 on the 40m band.  Rob VK4AAC/2 came back to my CQ call, followed by Peter VK2OQ mobile and then Geoff VK3SQ.  Contact 44 followed soon after with Chris VK1CT.

I ended up logging a total of 54 stations including 2 Park to Park contacts.  Marija logged 13 stations including 2 Park to Park contacts.

THANK YOU to those who took the time to spot us on either parksnpeaks and/or Facebook.

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Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/5 (Bunkers Conservation Reserve VKFF-1692)
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK2KYO
  5. VK4AAC/2
  6. VK2VH
  7. VK5FANA

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/5 (Bunkers Conservation Reserve VKFF-1692)
  2. VK5PL
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK2KYO
  5. VK5BJE
  6. VK3SQ

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK7PAL
  2. VK3FORD/2
  3. VK1HW
  4. VK3ZPF
  5. VK7OT
  6. VK2IO/5 (Bunkers Conservation Reserve VKFF-1692)
  7. VK1NP
  8. VK1MA
  9. VK4CZ
  10. VK4RF
  11. VK4HA
  12. VK4NH
  13. VK4DXA
  14. ZL4TY/VK4
  15. VK2VW
  16. VK3PF
  17. VK2PKT
  18. VK2EXA
  19. VK4TJ
  20. VK4/AC8WN
  21. VK4/VE6XT
  22. VK2ADB
  23. VK2LEE
  24. VK4AAC/2
  25. VK2VH
  26. VK2OQ/m
  27. VK3SQ
  28. VK7KT
  29. VK4SMA
  30. VK1CT
  31. VK3UH
  32. VK2TTL
  33. VK3BD
  34. VK2KNV/m
  35. VK2LIS/m
  36. VK5KLV
  37. VK3ARH
  38. VK1AT
  39. VK1DI
  40. VK7ALH

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK2IO/5 (Bunkers Conservation Reserve VKFF-1692)
  3. VK5BJE
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK3MCK
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK2KYO

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. ZL4TY/VK4
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/AC8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT
  7. VK6RZ

 

 

References.

Land Conservation Council, 1986, Wimmera Area Final Recommendations.

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

Wimmera Place Names, 2019, <https://swiftconsortium.org.au/client/en_AU/search/asset/243363>, viewed 6th August 2019

Jumping Jack Wattle Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2120

Our final park for Saturday 3rd August 2019, was the Jumping Jack Wattle Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2120.  The park is located about 18 km west of the town of Nhill in western Victoria.

This was to be a first-time activation of the park.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Jumping Jack Wattle Nature Conservation Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The park is officially called the Jumping Jack Wattle Nature Conservation Reserve but is still signposted as the Diapur Flora Reserve.  The park is located on the Nhill-Diapur Road at the intersection with Lawloit-Diapur Road.  Diapur is situated on the Melbourne-Adelaide railway line and is the halfway point of the journey.

George Coles, whose son Sir George James Coles, the founder of the Coles empire, lived at Diapur in the late 1800s.  He built a store, a blacksmiths shop and a hotel here.

The park is home to Jumping-jack Wattle Acacia enterocarpa which is listed as Threatened in Victoria and Endangered in South Australia.

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Above:- Jumping-jack Wattle.  Image c/o Peter Tucker, flickr.

We pulled up on the side of the road and strung out the 20/40/80m dipole.  There was barely enough room to stretch it out due to the scrub in the park.

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

We were in the park just before dark so we decided to kick off the activation 80m.  And as it turned out that is where we stayed for the duration of the activation.

First in the log was Peter VK3PF, followed by Nick VK3ANL, Scott VK4CZ and then David VK5PL.  Within just 6 minutes I had qualified the park for VKFF with 10 contacts in the log.  QSO number 10 was with Adam VK2YK.

I logged a total of 33 stations on 80m before swapping the mic with Marija.

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Marija’s first contact was with John VK5BJE, followed by Peter VK3PF, and then Geoff VK3SQ.  Marija’s tenth contact came 6 minutes into her activation, with QSO number ten being with Nik VK3ZNK.

Once Marija had logged her 10th contact I got back on air and was hoping to pick up my 44 QSOs as quickly as possible as it was starting to get late and we needed to be back at Bordertown to book into our accommodation by 8.00 p.m.

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It took me just another 12 minutes to pick up my remaining 12 contacts.  My final contact was with Paul VK3DA mobile.

As we had qualified the park on 80m and we were pushed for time, we did not operate on 40m or 20m for this activation.

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Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK3CRG
  5. VK4TJ
  6. VK4/AC8WN
  7. VK4/VE6XT
  8. VK3DBP
  9. VK5YX
  10. VK3ZNK

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3ANL
  3. VK4CZ
  4. VK5PL
  5. VK5WG
  6. VK2HRX
  7. VK4NH
  8. VK4DXA
  9. ZL4TY/VK4
  10. VK2YK
  11. VK5FILL
  12. VK2MOP
  13. VK4MWB
  14. VK2LEE
  15. VK4TJ
  16. Vk4/AC8WN
  17. VK4/VE6XT
  18. VK3SQ
  19. VK4SMA
  20. VK3MPR
  21. VK3MKE
  22. VK7BEN
  23. VK5AYL
  24. VK5BJE
  25. VK5FD
  26. VK2VW
  27. VK3CRG
  28. VK3CIB
  29. Vk3DBP
  30. VK3ZNK
  31. VK2FALL
  32. VK7ROY
  33. ZL1TM
  34. VK2LPF
  35. VK5YX
  36. VK5FANA
  37. VK2EME
  38. VK5KLV
  39. VK3VEK
  40. VK2POW
  41. VK5LJ
  42. VK2UMA
  43. VK3UFO
  44. VK4CAN
  45. VK3DA/m

Marija and I drove back across the Victorian/South Australian State Border into VK5.  We booked into our motel and then headed to the Bordertown Hotel for a meal and a few beverages.

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References.

The Wimmera Mail Times, 2019, <https://www.mailtimes.com.au/story/968911/diapur-launched-dynasty/>, viewed 6th August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diapur,_Victoria>, viewed 6th August 2019

 

Nhill Swamp Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2412

Our fourth park for Saturday 3rd August 2019 was the Nhill Swamp Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2412.  The park is located on the southern side of the town of Nhill in western Victoria, about 376 km north-west of the city of Melbourne.

This was to be the first time that the park had been activated for WWFF/VKFF.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Nhill Swamp Wildlife Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

After leaving Boyeo we travelled south-east on the Nhill-Yanac Road and soon reached the town of Nhill.  “Nhill” is believed to be a Wergaia aboriginal word meaning “early morning mist rising over water” or “white mist rising from the water”.

Marija and I initially headed to the northwestern part of the park just to the rear of the Jaypex park.  There are a few interesting things to see here including the John Shaw Neilson memorial cottage.  This was the birthplace of the lyric poet, John Shaw Neilson (1872-1942).  He was largely untrained and only had a basic education, but became one of Australia’s finest lyric poets.  The cottage was relocated from Penola in South Australia to Nhill.

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Above:- John Shaw Neilson memorial cottage

There is also an aboriginal scar tree.  The tree was removed from the Western Highway at the Jerparit junction.  The bark was removed from the trunk of the tree in about 1800 for use as a canoe.

There is also an information board about the endangered Malleefowl which can be found in parks in western Victoria.

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There are a number of information boards here about the park and a boardwalk which takes you through the swamp.

The boardwalk was originally constructed in 1996, but was closed in 2012 due to public safety concerns.  To their credit, the Nhill community rallied to rebuild the boardwalk.  A Boardwalk Committee was formed to advocate for a community-led refurbishment.  Following two years of fundraising by the Rotary Club Nhill and the Lowan Lodge of Freemasons Nhill, the prospect of a new boardwalk was in sight.  Remaining funds were secured with generous contributions from Freemasons Victoria, the Victorian Government and Parks Victoria.  Refurbishment works commenced in 2014 and works were completed in June 2015.

Adjacent to the park is Nhill Lake.  This was the site of a traditional aboriginal Corroboree Ground where aboriginal people would meet and perform ceremonies, consisting of traditional songs, dances, weddings, trading and celebrations.  A meeting between aboriginal people and the first squatters Dugald Macpherson and George Belcher took place here on 4th January 1845.

Macpherson and Belcher understood from their meeting with the local aboriginal people that the place was called ‘nhill’, a Wergaia aboriginal word meaning the abode of the spirits.  The aboriginal people believed that the mist rising from the waters early in the morning were the spirits of their ancestors.

In 1879 brothers Frank and John Oliver obtained a licence to build a flour mill on a 3-acre site around the northwestern edge of the swamp.  Within months land was surveyed for the township of Nhill.  With its water for horses, on the inland route from Adelaide to Melbourne, Nhill earned its place as a stop on the Cobb and Co coach route.

During our visit to the park, it was alive with birdlife.  I took the photographs below of a pair of Red-rumped Parrots and an Australian Owlet Nightjar, the smallest of the nocturnal birds found in Australia.

Marija and I decided to drive around to the southern side of the park on the Nhill-Harrow Road, opposite the Nhill racecourse.  The park is signposted here and we found a 4WD track which led right into the park.

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We drove a short distance down the track and set up.  We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

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

I called CQ on 7.144 which was answered very quickly by Grant VK2LX with his usual big signal and great audio, followed by Scott VK4CZ with an equally big signal, and then regular park hunter John VK4TJ.  It took me just 4 minutes to qualify the park for VKFF, with contact number ten being with Ray VK4DXA.  One of those callers was Max IK1GPG in Italy who was 5/7 and gave me a 5/5 signal report into Europe.

As we were running short of time Marija and I decided that I would push through and get my 44 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program, and Marija would then come on air to get her 10 for VKFF.  Just 45 minutes into the activation and I had my 44th QSO in the log, a contact with Danny VK2ARO.

I had made contacts into VK1, VK2, VK4, VK7, VK8, New Zealand, Italy and the Canary Islands.  I was very happy to log Juan EA8YT in Tenerife in the Canary Islands off the north-western coast of Africa.  What was noticeable was the lack of VK3’s and VK5’s in the log due to the lack of close-in propagation.

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Marija then jumped onto the mic and also very quickly qualified the park for VKFF.  Her first contact was with Jim VK2FADV, followed by Adam VK2YK, and then Fred VK4FE.  Contact number ten was with Ray VK4NH.

Marija logged a total of 18 stations from VK2, VK4, and VK7, before I jumped back into the operator’s chair and called CQ on 3.615.  Conditions were excellent on 80m into VK3 and VK5, with a total of 15 stations logged.

It was just after 5.30 p.m. local time and we hoped to squeeze in one more park, and still had to get back to Bordertown, so we packed up and hit the road.

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Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2FADV
  2. VK2YK
  3. VK4FE
  4. VK4GJW
  5. VK4SYD
  6. VK7PAL
  7. VK4SMA
  8. VK4FDJL
  9. VK2LX
  10. VK4NH
  11. VK4DXA
  12. ZL4TY/VK4
  13. VK4MWB
  14. VK4FARR
  15. VK7ZTA
  16. VK4CZ
  17. VK4PHD
  18. VK2SLB

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2LX
  2. VK4CZ
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK4/AC8WN
  5. VK4/VE6XT
  6. VK2VW
  7. IK1GPG
  8. VK2BY
  9. VK4NH
  10. VK4DXA
  11. ZL4TY/VK4
  12. VK4MWB
  13. VK2TM
  14. VK2LEE
  15. VK2YK
  16. VK4SMA
  17. VK2PKT
  18. ZL1TM
  19. VK4HNS
  20. VK1MA
  21. VK4RG
  22. VK4RF
  23. VK4HA
  24. VK4FDJL/8
  25. EA8YT
  26. VK4PDX
  27. VK2BAI
  28. VK2JXA
  29. VK2SLB
  30. VK4FARR
  31. VK7PAL
  32. VK2QK
  33. VK7ZTA
  34. VK7AN
  35. VK4MGL
  36. VK2OWD
  37. VK1AT
  38. VK4FE
  39. VK2CDS/p
  40. VK2PV
  41. VK4SYD
  42. VK2RSB
  43. VK4GJW
  44. VK2ARO
  45. VK2QM

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK3ANL
  4. VK3PF
  5. Vk5YX
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK2LEE
  8. VK5PL
  9. VK2CDS/p
  10. VK5KLV
  11. VK5AYL
  12. VK4CZ
  13. VK5LA
  14. VK3MH/2
  15. VK3MPR

 

 

References.

Monuments Australia, 2019, <http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/arts/display/32925-john-shaw-neilson>, viewed 6th August 2019

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

Boyeo Flora Reserve VKFF-2275

Our third park for the day was the Boyeo Flora Reserve VKFF-2275, which is located about 14 km north-west of the town of Nhill in western Victoria.  Again this was to be a first-time activation of this park.

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 5.56.03 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Boyeo Flora Reserve in western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

After leaving Red Gum Swamp we travelled east on Broughton Road and then turned right onto the Nhill-Yanac Road and travelled south.  We soon reached the park which is located at the intersection of the Nhill-Yanac Road and McDonalds Road.  The park is well signposted.

DSC_9830

The park is a small piece of remnant bushland surrounded by cleared land for farming.  I have been unable to find out very much about this park on the internet.

DSC_9833

Close by to the park is the Boyeo Hall.  In the adjacent grounds are a number of plaques commemorating pioneers of the district.

Little remains in the area nowadays.  The Boyeo school opened in February 1884 in a temporary building on a 2-acre site.  In 1885 a timber schoolroom was erected with a 4 room residence attached.  The school closed in 1944.  The ruins can be located north of the Boyeo Flora Reserve, near the Boyeo Swamp Wildlife Reserve.

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 6.59.00 pm.png

Above:- The Boyeo school in the late 1880s.  Image courtesy of ‘Wimmera Way back When’.

We parked the 4WD on McDonalds Road and set up on the northwestern side of the road in a clearing in the scrub.

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 6.01.09 pm.png

Above:- Aerial shot of the Boyeo Flora Reserve showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google maps

First in the log for this activation was Mark VK4SMA/p who was calling CQ on 7.140 from the Ravensbourne National Park VKFF-0427.  Mark kindly handed the frequency over to us and I started calling CQ.  This was answered by regular par hunter Rick VK4RF, followed by Peter VK3PF, and then Andrei ZL1TM.

Two QSOs later both Marija and I logged Gerard VK2IO/5 who was activating SOTA St Marys Peak VK5/ NE-001 in the Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0427.  St Marys Peak is the highest point in the Flinders Ranges at 1,189 metres (3,901 feet).

It took me just 4 minutes to get my 10 contacts to qualify the park for VKFF.  Contact number ten was with John VK4TJ using his Canadian call.

DSC_9852

After logging John I swapped the operator’s chair with Marija who started calling CQ on 7.140.  This was answered by Grant VK2LX, followed by Keith Vk2PKT and then David VK2CDS/p.  It took Marija just 8 minutes to reach the 10 QSO threshold.   Contact number ten was a QSO with Ian VK5CZ who has just started to become involved in the WWFF/VKFF program/s.

Marija went on to log a total of 20 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.

DSC_9832

I had ten QSOs in the log and a long way away from the 44 required to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  Marija placed a fresh spot for me on parksnpeaks and I got stuck into calling CQ.  Lee VK2LEE responded to my call, followed by Grant VK2LX, and Scott VK4CZ who was very strong.

I logged a total of 30 stations on 40m before callers dried up.  I then headed down to 3.615 on the 80m band and called CQ, logging a total of 9 stations from VK3, VK5, & VK7.

I was now just 6 contacts short of 44, and I decided to try the 20m band.  After a fresh spot on parksnpeaks, I called CQ on 14.310.  Anthony VK6MAC came back to my call with a good 5/7 signal, followed by Hans VK6XN who was also 5/7.  Unfortunately, they were my only callers.

I moved back to 7.140 and called CQ which was answered by Brendon VK3MH who was mobile in VK2, followed by Ron VK2ABK, and then Glen VK4FSCC mobile.  But that was it, with no more takers.  I was one short of 44.  I had seen a post on Facebook from David VK5PL asking if I could go back to 80m which I did.  I logged David for my 44th contact.

DSC_9853.jpg

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SMA/p (Ravensbourne National Park VKFF-0427)
  2. VK2IO/5 (St Marys Peak VK5/ NE-001 & Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176)
  3. VK2LX
  4. VK2PKT
  5. VK2CDS/p
  6. VK2FSAV
  7. VK4NH
  8. VK4DXA
  9. ZL4TY/VK4
  10. VK5CZ
  11. VK7OT
  12. VK4RF
  13. VK4HA
  14. VK7FJFD
  15. VK5KLV
  16. VK3PF
  17. VK2LEE
  18. VK4TJ
  19. VK4/AC8WN
  20. VK4/VE6XT

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SMA/p (Ravensbourne National Park VKFF-0427)
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. VK3PF
  5. ZL1TM
  6. VK5AR/m
  7. VK2IO/5 (St Marys Peak VK5/ NE-001 & Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-0176)
  8. VK4TJ
  9. VK4/AC8WN
  10. VK4/VE6XT
  11. VK2LEE
  12. VK2LX
  13. VK4CZ
  14. VK1MA
  15. VK7OT
  16. VK2AB
  17. VK7FJFD
  18. VK2VW
  19. VK7KW
  20. VK4FARR
  21. VK2PKT
  22. VK4BR
  23. VK5KLV
  24. VK3SQ
  25. VK2NJP
  26. VK3DMP
  27. VK4IY/m
  28. VK4MWB
  29. VK7EE
  30. VK7ME
  31. VK3MH/2
  32. VK2ABK
  33. VK4FSCC/m

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3KAI
  3. VK3GV
  4. VK7EE
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK5BJE
  8. VK7ME
  9. VK5PL

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6MAC
  2. VK6XN

 

 

References.

Wimmera Way Back When, 2019, <http://wimmera-w-b-w.blogspot.com/search/label/Boyeo>, viewed 6th August 2019

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.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 8.47.54 pm.png

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.

DSC_9816

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

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

DSC_9817

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.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.30.41 pm.png

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.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 8.56.21 pm.png

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.

DSC_9824

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.

DSC_9822

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.

DSC_9819

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

Mirampiram Flora Reserve VKFF-2387

Our first park for our weekend away was the Mirampiram Flora Reserve VKFF-2387, which is located about 17 km (by road) north of the town of Kaniva in western Victoria.  This was the first time that the park had been activated.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 3.11.35 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Mirampiram Flora Reserve VKFF-2387 in western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Marija and I left home on Saturday morning (3rd August 2019) bright and early.  We were on the road by just after 6.00 a.m.  We had a 313 km drive ahead of us before reaching Mirampiram.  Our first stop for the day was at Coonalpyn where we filled up with some hot coffee and a bacon & egg sandwich at the Silo Cafe.  We then continued east along the Dukes Highway and soon reached the South Australian/Victorian State border.

DSC_9929.jpg

The Mirampiram Flora Reserve takes its name from the locality of Mirampiram or Miram-Piram in the County of Lowan in western Victoria.  The park is not to be confused with the Mirammpiram Bushland Reserves which are four separate reserves located to the north and south of the Flora Reserve.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 6.15.32 pm.png

Above:- An aerial view of the Mirampiran Flora Reserve, looking east.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The tiny town of Miram which is located on the Adelaide-Melbourne railway line, about 10 km northeast of Kaniva was named after the locality of mripiram later expressed as Miram Piram.  It was shortened to Miram in 1904.  Miram is an Aboriginal word for the bough of a tree.

European settlement commenced in the area during the 1870s.  In 1884 a school was opened.  In 1887 the railway from Dimboola to Serviceton was extended and this resulted in the expansion of the district’s farming activity.  Prior to this the district’s wheat crops were carried to Dimboola or South Australia by road wagons.

In 1888 Miram’s first store was opened by George Coles (1833-1866).  His son, Sir George James Coles, was the founder of the national variety stores chain, G.J. Coles and Company.   In April 1903 the Miram store was acquired by Philip Wheaton.  It was operated by the Wheaton family up until 2000.

The store was more than a grocery store.  It also stocked drapery, footwear, millinery, glassware, menswear, timber, hardware, iron, motor oils, and even wireless receivers.   It provided an electricity supply for the town and a permanent water supply.  Fresh eggs were sold from the Wheaton’s poultry farm, fresh milk from their Friesian dairy herd, cream & butter, and a meat supply from their beef herd.  The store also served as a Post Office.

In 1890 an Anglican church was opened in Miram, with the Wheaton family running a Methodist Sunday school for nearly 50 years.  In 1914, a public hall was built and in 1939 silos were built near the railway station.  The 1950s started to see the demise of Miram.  In 1952 the Miram school was closed with children being bussed to the Kaniva Consolidated School.  In 1960 the Anglican church close, followed by the Methodist church in 1964.

On some maps the park may show as the Mirampiram Nature Conservation Reserve.  It is located on Sandsmere Hall Road, a few hundred metres east of the Broughton Road intersection.  The park is a small piece of remnant scrub which is surrounded by cleared farming land.

DSC_9815

Above:- Cleared farming land on the southern side of the park.

The park contains Jumping-jack wattle which is only found in the southern part of mainland Australia, with patchy distribution in the Wimmera area of western Victoria and some adjacent areas of South Australia.

Although the park is only small, it was alive with birdlife during our visit.  Whilst Marija was on air I snuck away for a walk through the park and took some photographs of birds observed in the park.

Marija and I travelled east on Sandsmere Hall Road and soon reached the park, which is not signposted.  We parked near the eastern boundary of the park and set up in the southeastern corner of the park.

We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  I ran 30 watts output, whilst Marija ran her 10 watts PEP abiding with her Foundation licence conditions.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 6.12.40 pm.png

Above:- Aerial view of the Mirampiram Flora Reserve showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google maps

We were set up and ready to go by just after the UTC rollover.  It was around 10.00 a.m. Victorian local time.  After turning on the transceiver we found Ian VK1DI/2 on 7.144 calling CQ from the Sappa Bulga National Park VKFF-1180.  Marija and I both logged Ian for a Park to Park contact.

I then moved down the band to 7.139 and Marija placed a spot up for me on parksnpeaks whilst I started calling CQ.  John VK7FJFD came back to my CQ call, followed by some of the park regulars Adam VK2YK, and Rick VK4RF.  Within about 12 minutes I had qualified the park for VKFF, with contact number ten being with John VK4TJ using his Canadian callsign.  I logged a further 4 stations before swapping the mic with Marija.

DSC_9787

Marija started calling CQ on 7.139.  Rick VK4RF was the first to come back to her CQ call, followed by Lee VK2LEE, John VK4TJ, and then Adam VK2YK.  It only took Marija about 7 minutes to get ten contacts in the log, thus qualifying the park for VKFF.  Contact number ten was with Terry VK2MTJ.

Marija went on to work 14 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK7.  It was clear that there was no obvious propagation into South Australia on 40m from our spot in western Victoria.  And our only Victorian contact was a local VK3 station.

DSC_9789

I jumped back into the operator’s chair and called CQ again on 7.139.  It was hard going as there was no real propagation to VK3 and VK5.  I logged a further 9 stations from VK1, VK2, and VK4.  The biggest signal logged was Tex VK1TX in Canberra with a big 5/9 plus signal.

Marija and I then lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for 80m and headed for 3.610 hoping to get some VK3 and VK5 stations in the log.  Marija spotted me on parksnpeaks and I started calling CQ on 3.610.  John VK5BJE in the Adelaide Hills came back to my call, followed by Peter VK3PF, and David VK5PL.  All signals were strength 9.  Although the 80m band was again proving to be very reliable, I only had 7 callers.

I then moved to the 20m band and started calling CQ on 14.310, competing at times with the Over the Horizon Radar which was strength 9 plus when it came on.  First in the log on 20m was Rob VK4SYD/p who was activating the North Pine Dam Nature Refuge VKFF-2876.

I now had 32 contacts in the log and required another 12 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  I headed back to 40m and worked Mark VK4SMA/p on 7.144 who was in the Lockyer National Park VKFF-0719.  This was followed by Andrew VK1DA/2 and Wade VK1MIC/2 who were activating SOTA summit VK2/ SW-027.  Marija also logged Andrew and Wade.

Two QSOs later I was called by Rob VK4SYD/p in the North Pine Dam Nature Refuge VKFF-2876 for a second band.  Marija also worked Rob.

It didn’t take me long and I soon had contact number 44 in the log, a QSO with Ray VK4NH.  I logged a total of 52 contacts before callers dried up.  It was now just after 11.30 a.m. local time and it was time for us to pack up anyway and head off to our next park.

DSC_9788.jpg

Between us, Marija and I had logged 71 stations including 7 Park to Park contacts.  It ahd been a good start to our trip.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1DI/2 (Sappa Bulga National Park VKFF-1180)
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK4TJ
  6. VK4/AC8WN
  7. VK4/VE6XT
  8. VK2YK
  9. VK3LY
  10. VK2MTJ
  11. VK7FJFD
  12. VK7EE
  13. VK2VW
  14. VK4HNS
  15. VK2FAMG/p
  16. VK4SMA/p (Lockyer National Park VKFF-0719)
  17. VK1DA/2 (SOTA VK2/ SW-027)
  18. VK1MIC/2 (SOTA VK2/ SW-027)
  19. VK4SYD/p (North Pine Dam Nature Refuge VKFF-2876)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK1DI/2 (Sappa Bulga National Park VKFF-1180)
  2. VK7FJFD
  3. VK2YK
  4. VK4RF
  5. VK4HA
  6. VK2NN
  7. VK2FRKO
  8. VK4TJ
  9. VK4/AC8WN
  10. VK4/VE6XT
  11. VK4FARR
  12. VK2LEE
  13. VK2PKT
  14. VK5NJ
  15. VK2VW
  16. VK4HNS
  17. VK3FORD/4
  18. VK1TX
  19. VK7FRJG
  20. VK3PF
  21. VK2AX
  22. VK2KEL
  23. VK2LX
  24. VK4SMA/p (Lockyer National Park VKFF-0719)
  25. VK1DA/2 (SOTA VK2/ SW-027)
  26. VK1MIC/2 (SOTA VK2/ SW-027)
  27. VK2NJP
  28. VK4SYD/p (North Pine Dam Nature Refuge VKFF-2876)
  29. VK2HRX
  30. VK2SLB
  31. VK2RU/4
  32. VK4QA
  33. VK7OR
  34. VK2GIB
  35. VK4NH
  36. VK4DXA
  37. ZL4TY/VK4
  38. VK7OT
  39. VK7VZ
  40. VK1AT
  41. VK4HAT
  42. VK4CZ
  43. VK3MH/2

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK5PL
  4. VK3OCD
  5. VK3LPG
  6. VK3MCK
  7. VK5FANA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4SYD/p (North Pine Dam Nature Refuge VKFF-2876)
  2. VK6MMB

 

 

References.

State Wide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams, 2019, <https://www.swifft.net.au/cb_pages/sp_jumping-jack_wattle.php>, viewed 5th August 2019

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

Wimmera Way back when, 2019, <http://wimmera-w-b-w.blogspot.com/2014/02/in-beginning-gj-coles.html>, viewed 5th August 2019

Trip to the south east of South Australia, and western Victoria

Thank you to everyone who called Marija VK5FMAZ and me during our weekend away in the south-east of South Australia and western Victoria.

We activated a total of eight (8) different parks.  Seven (7) of those were first time activations.

  • Mirampiram Flora Reserve VKFF-2387
    • 71 QSOs
  • Red Gum Swamp (Yanac) Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2427
    • 59 QSOs
  • Boyeo Flora Reserve VKFF-2275
    • 64 QSOs
  • Nhill Swamp Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2412
    • 78 QSOs
  • Jumping Jack Wattle NCR VKFF-2120
    • 55 QSOs
  • Yarrangook Flora Reserve VKFF-2497
    • 67 QSOs
  • Red Bluff NCR VKFF-2426
    • 64 QSOs
  • Hardings Springs Conservation Reserve
    • 60 QSOs

We made a total of 518 QSOs on 20, 40, & 80m SSB into VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, Vk5, VK6, VK7, New Zealand, Italy, & the Canary Islands.

This included 35 Park to Park contacts with:-

  • Ian VK1DI/2
  • Mark VK4SMA
  • Rob VK4SYD
  • Gerard VK2IO/5
  • Adam VK2YK
  • Neil VK4HNS
  • Ian VK5CZ
  • Jonathan VK7JON
  • Helen VK7FOLK
  • Greg VK4VXX
  • Brett VK3FLCS

We would like to thank those who took the time to spot us on parksnpeaks and Facebook, as a number of the parks we were in, were remote, and we had no phone coverage.

More info and photos on each activation will appear on my WordPress site in the coming week or so.

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2019 World Ranger Day

Yesterday (Wednesday 31st July 2019) was World Ranger Day which commemorates Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and celebrates the critical work Rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures.  World Ranger Day is observed annually on the 31st of July.

The VKFF program has a special activator certificate on offer for any amateur who activated a VKFF reference on World Ranger Day.

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 9.29.47 pm.png

My digging around shows that a total of 23 amateurs took part as Activators.  A total of 29 different parks were activated.

  1. Andrew VK1DA
    • Red Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0860
  2. Ian VK1DI/2
    • New England National Park VKFF-0385
    • Oxley Wild Rivers National Park VKFF-0406
  3. Gerard VK2IO/5
    • Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation ParkVKFF-1114
    • Lake Eyre National Park VKFF-0276
  4. Ken VK2KYO
    • Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785
  5. Brett VK3FLCS
    • Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763
  6. Mark VK3PI
    • Heathcote-Graytown National Park VKFF-0624
  7. Peter VK3PF
    • Tarra Bulga National Park VKFF-0480
    • Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465
    • Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464
    • Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287
    • Gormandale Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2325
  8. Peter VK3TKK
    • The Spit Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2452
  9. Rob VK4AAC/3
    • Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132
  10. Neil VK4HNS
    • Tamborine National Park VKFF-0475
  11. Grant VK4JAZ
    • Pooh Corner Nature Reserve VKFF-2878
  12. Steve VK4JSS
    • Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525
  13. Ade VK4SOE
    • Sundown National Park VKFF-0471
  14. John VK5BJE
    • Mylor Conservation Park VKFF-0785
  15. Adrian VK5FANA
    • Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park VKFF-1755
  16. Marija VK5FMAZ
    • Mount George Conservation Park VKFF-0784
  17. Keith VK5OQ/3
    • Alpine National Park VKFF-0619
  18. Paul VK5PAS
    • Mount George Conservation Park VKFF-0784
  19. Peter VK5PET
    • Tolderol Game Reserve VKFF-1752
  20. Mike VK6MB/3
    • Wychitella Conservation Reserve VKFF-2032
    • Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236
  21. Phil VK6ADF
    • Burma Road Nature Reserve VKFF-2800
  22. Hans VK6XN
    • Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940
  23. Angela VK7FAMP
    • South Arm Nature Recreation Area VKFF-2929

THANKS to everyone who took part.  It certainly turned out to be a very popular day.  The VKFF program will be running similar activation days on future special dates.

Remember, if you activated a park, and would like a special 2019 World Ranger Day certificate, please drop me a quick email at…..vk5pas@wia.org.au

Mount George Conservation Park 5CP-147 and VKFF-0784, and 2019 World Ranger Day

Yesterday (Wednesday 31st July 2019) was World Ranger Day, and after finishing work a little earlier, I headed out to one of my local parks, the Mount George Conservation Park 5CP-147 & VKFF-0784.

I have activated and qualified this park many times over.  However, it was close to home and handy, as I did not finish work until after 3.00 p.m. local time.

Mount George is located about 26 km east of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 8.18.24 pm.png

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

World Ranger Day is observed annually on the 31st day of July and commemorates Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and celebrates the critical work Rangers do to protect the worlds natural and cultural treasures.

Believe it or not, about 149 rangers were lost in 2019 alone.  Amazing.

images

Below are a few videos on World Ranger Day.

The Mount George Conservation Park is located on the northern side of the busy South Eastern Freeway.  The park was proclaimed on the 7th November 1996 and conserves 85 hectares of important native vegetation in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.  The park was originally 67 hectares in size before the boundaries were extended in 2003, adding a further 18 hectares.

The park is characterised by steep slopes adorned with Stringybark Open Forest.  The State endangered Mountain Gum can be found in the park.  The park also contains creeks, wetlands, and freshwater bogs.  The Mount George summit, 520 metres, is located within the park.  Sadly it does not have the required prominence for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program.

I set up in the picnic ground area at the end of Mount George Road.  I used one of the wooden tables and benches and stretched out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

My only gripe with this location is the fact that people visit this part of the park with their dogs which run amok, piddling and pooing and running off-leash.  Dogs are permitted in this section of the park, but they are required to be kept on a lead.  I have never seen this occur and have never seen it policed.

And this activation did not disappoint.  I had one dog piddle on my squid pole and my battery, with the owner hardly blinking an eye.

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 8.15.50 pm.png

Above:- An aerial shot of the Mount George Conservation Park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I was set up and ready to go by about 0610 UTC (3.40 p.m. local time).  First in the log was Ade VK4SOE/p in the Sundown National Park VKFF-0471.

I logged a total of 35 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.  This included the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Ade VK4SOE/p (Sundown National Park VKFF-0471)
  • Peter VK3PF/p (Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287)
  • Rob VK4AAC/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  • Rob VK2VH/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  • Gerard VK2IO/5 (Lake Eyre National Park VKFF-0276)
  • Brett VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  • Steve VK4JSS/p (Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525)

This was Steve VK4JSS first ever park activation.  It was great to get Steve in the log Park to Park.

I then moved to 20m where I logged Hans VK6XN who was activating the Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940.  This was followed by Rick VK5VCR who was quite low down but very readable and then Peter VK6RZ.

I then moved down to the 80m band where I logged 12 stations including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Brett VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p (Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park VKFF-1755)
  • Mike VK6MB/3 (Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236)
  • Peter VK3PF/p (Gormandale Flora Reserve VKFF-2325)

I then moved back to 40m where I logged Hans VK6XN/p in the Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940 for a second band, and then Brett VK2VW

IMG_2389

It was now around 5.15 p.m. and my wife Marija VK5FMAZ arrived at the park.  Marija’s first contact was with Brett VK2VW, followed by Hans VK6XN/p in the Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940.

Marija logged 10 stations on 40m from VK2, VK4, VK5, VK6 and VK7 before callers dried up.  It was late afternoon and the 40m band had fallen out to Victoria.

We then moved back down to the 80m band where Marija logged 9 stations including a Park to Park with Mike VK6MB/3 in the Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236.

IMG_2386

It was now freezing cold.  The temperature had dropped to about 3 deg C and the local time was about 6.30 p.m.  We packed up and were about to drive out of the park when I found Andrew VK1DA calling CQ on 7.144 from the Red Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0860.  After we logged Andrew, he was called by Phil VK6ADF/p who was in the Burma Road Nature Reserve VKFF-2800.  Andrew kindly allowed Marija and I to log Phil Park to Park.

Together we made a total of 86 QSOs on 20, 40, & 80m SSB. This included 19 Park to Park QSOs.

Thanks to everyone who called us and thanks to all of the activators who took part in the 2019 World Ranger Day activation event.

IMG_2391

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2VW
  2. VK6XN/p (Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940)
  3. VK2YK
  4. VK7OTC
  5. VK6GLX
  6. VK4SMA
  7. VK5BJE
  8. VK4TJ
  9. VK4/AC8WN
  10. VK4/VE6XT
  11. VK1DA/p (Red Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0860)
  12. VK6ADF/p (Burma Road Nature Reserve VKFF-2800)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5LA
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK3NBL
  6. VK5VCR
  7. VK5SFA
  8. VK6MB/3 (Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236)
  9. VK2YK

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SOE/p (Sundown National Park VKFF-0471)
  2. VK3PF/p (Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287)
  3. VK4AAC/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  4. VK2VH/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  5. VK2KNV/m
  6. VK3MCK
  7. VK2IO/5 (Lake Eyre National Park VKFF-0276)
  8. VK4SMA
  9. VK4FDJL/8
  10. VK2LEE
  11. VK4FARR
  12. VK3SQ
  13. VK2KYO
  14. VK2NP
  15. VK5BJE
  16. VK3ATO
  17. VK2YMU
  18. VK2EXA
  19. ZL1TM
  20. VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  21. VK4HAT
  22. VK4NH
  23. VK4DXA
  24. ZL4TY/VK4
  25. VK2PKT
  26. VK4RF
  27. VK4HA
  28. VK4JSS/p (Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525)
  29. VK2ADB
  30. VK3FIAN
  31. VK4COA
  32. VK3ZLT
  33. VK6RZ
  34. VK4VXX
  35. VK4/AG7WB
  36. VK6XN/p (Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940)
  37. VK2VW
  38. VK6KJ
  39. VK1DA/p (Red Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0860)
  40. VK6ADF/p (Burma Road Nature Reserve VKFF-2800)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6XN/p (Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940)
  2. VK5VCR
  3. VK6RZ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  2. VK5FANA/p (Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park VKFF-1755)
  3. VK5VCR
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK3VKT/m
  6. VK5WG
  7. VK7ROY
  8. VK6MB/3 (Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236)
  9. VK3SQ
  10. VK5AYL
  11. VK2YK
  12. VK3PF/p (Gormandale Flora Reserve VKFF-2325)
  13. VK5BJE
  14. VK3SQ
  15. VK7ME
  16. VK5LA
  17. VK3PF
  18. VK3MPR
  19. VK7FJFD
  20. VK2TTP
  21. VK3HN
  22. VK3NRG/4

 

 

References.

Department for Environment and Heritage, 2006, Mount George Conservation Park Management Plan.

The Thin Green Line, 2019, <https://thingreenline.org.au/world-ranger-day/>, viewed 1st August 2019