Turriff Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2466

Our next intended park for the day was the Turriff Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2466.   This was to be the first time the park had been activated for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

The park is located about 390 km north-west of Melbourne.

Screen Shot 2019-11-13 at 9.06.43 pm.png

Above:- Map showing the location of the Turriff Flora & Fauna Reserve.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

To get to the park we travelled east out of Patchewollock on the Patchewollock-Sea Lake Road.  We soon reached the little town of Speed which was named after William, Harold and Gordon Speed, who settled in the district in 1903.  Speed is the venue of the Mallee Machinery Field Days, first held in 1979. It is run over two days in August and has over 8,000 people attend.  The normal population of the town is only about 100 people.

The Turriff Flora and Fauna Reserve is about 617 acres in size and was established in 1981.  The park takes its name from the locality of Turriff which was settled in 1902.  In 1994 a meteorite with a mass of 0.28 kilograms (0.62 lb) was found in a field near Turriff.

The park is named after the nearby town of Turriff.  In 1901 the first settlers came to the Malle area where the town of Turriff was later named after Mr John Turriff, the Manager of Corrong Station.  There was no permanent water, no telephone, and roads were just sandy tracks.  In 1902-1903 the railway line was constructed through thick mallee scrub from Woomerlang to Nowingi.  The SEC power came in 1964.  In about 1912, 17,000 km of open channel was constructed by horse teams and scoops, which brought water to the are from storage in the Grampians.  This was completed in 1920.  Channels ran once a year to fill dams.

We accessed the park via Roberts Road which runs off the Sunraysia Highway.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Turriff Flora & Fauna Reserve showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

The VK6 guys were still on 7.145, so once again I called CQ on 7.140.  First in the log was Grant VK2LX, followed by Adrian VK5FANA, and then Ray VK4NH.  Once I had ten contacts in the log I swapped the mic with Marija.

DSC_6237

Marija’s first contact was with Steve VK5KSW on the Yorke Peninsula, followed by Peter VK3PF/m, and then Adrian VK5FANA.  It only took Marija about 9 minutes to get her tenth contact which was with Ian VK3VDX.

DSC_6240

I then jumped onto the mic and logged a further two stations on 40m, before moving to the 20m band.  I there logged just the one station, Adam VK2YK.  Marija and I then moved to 80m where we spoke with Liz VK2XSE/p who was activating the Jerilderie Nature Reserve VKFF-1942.  I then moved down to 3.610 and logged Rob VK2VH.

We were a bit pressed for time, so we packed up and headed off to our next park.  We had qualified another new park for VKFF.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5KSW
  2. VK3PF/m
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK2VH
  9. VK4AAC/2
  10. VK3VDX
  11. VK2LX

Marija worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2XSE/p (Jerilderie Nature Reserve VKFF-1942)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2LX
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK4NH
  4. VK4DXA
  5. ZL4TY/VK4
  6. VK2IO
  7. VK4HNS
  8. VK3PF/m
  9. VK2HGP
  10. VK5KSW
  11. VK2VH
  12. VK4AAC/2

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2YK

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2XSE/p (Jerilderie Nature Reserve VKFF-1942)
  2. VK2VH
  3. VK4AAC/2

 

References.

Protected Planet, 2019, <https://www.protectedplanet.net/search?q=turriff>, viewed 13th November 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed,_Victoria>, viewed 13th November 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turriff,_Victoria>, viewed 13th November 2019

Yetmans Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2502

It was now Monday 11th November 2019 and our two nights at Murrayville had come to an end.  Our plan for today was to try to activate as many parks as possible and also to fit in quite a bit of sightseeing.  With respect to the parks, we intended just to qualify them for VKFF with 10 contacts, and to come back another day for the 44 QSOs required for WWFF global qualification.

We enjoy our trips to Murrayville.  It is just a little town, but we always find the locals very friendly and the accommodation at the Murrayville Caravan Park is top-notch.

Murrayville was named after John Murray (1851-1916) the Premier of Victoria from 1909-1912.

The town is a shadow of its former self.  Many of the shops in the town’s main street are closed.  In its heyday, it was largest of several settlements west of Ouyen.  In 1933 the town’s population was 603.

The Murrayville Hotel dates back to 1911.  We have always enjoyed our meals there.  The old fruit and vegetable shop which is now the Cobb & Co Cafe is also one of our regular haunts when we visit Murrayville.  At the eastern end of the town, you can view some old rusting army tanks.

Our first park of the day was the Yetmans Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2502, which is located about 440 km north-west of Melbourne.

This was to be only the second time that this park had been activated for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  It was the first time for Marija and I.

Screen Shot 2019-11-13 at 8.22.42 pm.png

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

We travelled east on the Mallee Highway and then turned left onto the Hopetoun-Walpeup Road to travel south.  Along the way, I spotted a Wedge-tailed eagle in a gum tree about 300 metres off the road.  The photos below were captured as it was flying off.

The Yetmans Flora and Fauna Reserve is about 593 hectares in size and was established in 1986.  It was clear from the park sign that the authorities have not been out to this park for a long time.

We accessed the park on its northern boundary on Woollards Road.  We found a gap in the scrub with enough room to pull off the road and set up our station.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Yetmans Flora & Fauna Reserve showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

There were a couple of VK6 stations talking on 7.145 so I headed down to 7.140 and called CQ.  Brenton VK3CM came back to my call with a very big 5/9 plus signal.  This was followed by Adam VK2YK and Rod VK7FRJG.

The 40m band was in poor shape and it took me 15 minutes to get 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.  I logged 11 stations before swapping the mic with Marija.

DSC_6227

Marija called CQ on 7.140 and this was answered by Alan VK3ARH, followed by Lee VK2LEE, and then Adrian VK5FANA.  It took Marija only 6 minutes to get her 10 contacts.  QSO number ten was with Rob VK4AAC/2.  Marija logged a further two stations before handing me back the mic.

I then logged a further 4 stations on 40m before heading down to the 80m band.  Unfortunately, I was only able to log the single station on 80m, that being David VK5PL.   To conclude the activation I moved up to the 20m band where I logged two stations, Lee VK2LEE and Brett VK2VW.

With the park qualified for VKFF, Marija and I packed up and once again hit the road, heading for our next park.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ARH
  2. VK2LEE
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK4HNS
  8. VK2YK
  9. VK2VH
  10. Vk4AAC/2
  11. VK3PF/m
  12. VK5CZ

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. Vk3CM
  2. VK2YK
  3. Vk7FRJG
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK3VEL
  7. VK2UXO
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK2IO
  12. VK5CZ
  13. VK4HNS
  14. VK2LEE
  15. VK3PF/m

I worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5PL

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2LEE
  2. VK2VW

 

References.

Protected Planet, 2019, <https://www.protectedplanet.net/search?q=yetmans>, viewed 13th November 2019

Victorian Places, 2019, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/murrayville>, viewed 13th December 2019

Wyperfeld National Park VKFF-0549

Our third and final park for Sunday (10th November 2019) was the Wyperfeld National Park VKFF-0549.  This would be our second Victorian National Park for the 2019 Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award (KRMNPA) Activation Weekend.

The park is located about 450 km north-west of Melbourne and is located in the Mallee district of north-western Victoria.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Wyperfeld National Park in western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

We stopped briefly in the town of Patchewollock which is believed to take its name from the corruption of two aboriginal words ‘putje’ meaning ‘plenty’ and ‘wallah’ meaning ‘porcupine grass’.  Thus ‘the place of plenty porcupine grass’.

The town contains some large Mallee Fowl sculptures which are made of corrugated iron.

Patchewollock is also part of the Silo Art Trail.  Brisbane artist Fintan Magee completed the work in 2016.  The work portrays an image of the archetypal Aussie farmer.

You can also view some railway buildings from a bygone era.  The line to Patchewollock was officially opened on the 4th day of May 1925.  Patchewollock Railway Station’s last wheat train departed on the 3rd day of July 1986 and the line closed on the 8th day of December 1986.

The Wyperfeld National Park is the third largest National Park in Victoria.  It is about 357,017 hectares (882,210 acres) in size.  It was declared in 1921 to protect this large piece of mallee, woodland and heathland.

The park’s name comes from the Parish of Wyperfeld.  There have been numerous attempts to discover the origin of the word ‘Wyperfeld’.  It is believed to come from the German ‘Wyper’, a tributary of the Rhine, and ‘Feld’, a field.

The park can be reached:

  • via Patchewollock off the Sunraysia Highway
  • via Hopetoun on the Henty Highway
  • via Underbook on the Mallee Highway
  • via Rainbow from the Western Highway at Dimboola.
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Above:- An aerial view of the Wyperfeld National Park looking north.  Image courtesy of Google maps

Prior to European settlement in the area, the Wotjobaluk aboriginal people regularly travelled along Outlet Creek which snakes its way through the centre of the park, visiting the lakes and swamps.  From the 1860s European settlers followed the same route to establish pastoral runs.

In 1909 a total of 3,900 hectares were reserved by the Victorian State Government following pressure from naturalists.  In 1921 Wyperfeld National Park was proclaimed.  Wyperfeld was Australia’s first Mallee National Park.

About 450 species of native plants can be found in the park.  River Red Gum and Black Box woodlands cover the floodplains of Outlet Creek and its lakes.  Pine-Buloke grows on nearby dunes.  Mallee eucalypts cover most of the eastern section of the park.

Over 200 species of bird have been recorded in the park.  Wyperfeld National Park is nationally recognised as an Important Bird Area.  This is due to the area’s threatened population of Malleefowl and other species of birds including the Mallee Emu-wren.

After leaving Patchewoolock we headed west on Baring Road and then Pine Plains Road.  We soon reached the eastern boundary of the park.

Last year we activated the park from the Casuarina campground.  This year we decided to head to the Snowdrift campground.

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Above:- The Wyperfeld National Park showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Snowdrift contains magnificent white sand dunes in a normally flat park.

Marija was keen enough to climb the sand dunes.  There are some great views to be had of the surrounding area from the top.

After setting up Marija and I tuned across the band to see if we could hear any other park activators, but sadly we did not.  In fact, the band was very quiet with very few operators.  But there was a very low down station on 7.145 so I was unable to get onto 7.144.  I found 7.141 clear and started to call CQ.  We were unable to self spot on parksnpeaks as there was absolutely no internet coverage from within the park at our location.

It took around 3 or 4 minutes of CQ calls before the first station came back to my CQ call.  It was Grant VK2LX with a big 5/9 signal.  Grant kindly spotted us on parksnpeaks which resulted in a lot more traffic.  Second in the log was Kieran VK2QK, followed by Graham VK7ZGK, and then a Park to Park with Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Dural Nature Reserve VKFF-1926.  Marija also logged Gerard.

I logged a total of 12 stations on 40m before swapping the mic with Marija.

DSC_6114

Marija called CQ on 7.141 and this was answered by Linda VK7QP, followed by Mark VK4SMA, and Scott VK4CZ.  Just 5 minutes later and Marija had contact number ten in the log, with a contact with Dave VK2RP.

Marija went on to work a total of 21 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK7.  This included a further Park to Park, with Peter Vk3ZPF/p who was in the Churchill National Park VKFF-0621.

DSC_6118

Although we have both previously activated and qualified Wyperfeld, it is always nice to get your 10 or 44 contacts during an activation.  Despite the band being in rather a poor shape, I was hoping to get my 44, so I hopped back into the operator’s chair.

I logged a further 33 stations including Park to Park contacts with Alan VK2MG/4 in the Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639, Peter VK3ZPF/p in the Churchill National Park VKFF-0621, and David VK5DG/3 in the Alfred National Park VKFF-0618.  Contact number 44 was with Andrew VK7DW and came in an hour and twenty minutes into the activation.  Not bad considering the band conditions were poor.

I then moved up to the 20m band where I logged three stations, Mark VK3BSA mobile 6, Jonathan VK7JON and Murray VK4MWB.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Dural Nature Reserve VKFF-1926)
  2. VK7QP
  3. VK4SMA
  4. VK4CZ
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3HAY
  9. VK2YK
  10. VK2RP
  11. VK2BDR
  12. VK7JON
  13. VK4MWB
  14. VK4TJ
  15. VK4/AC8WN
  16. VK4/VE6XT
  17. VK4SSN
  18. VK3ZPF/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  19. VK2EZT
  20. VK7FOLK
  21. VK3PF/m
  22. VK5DG/3 (Alfred National Park VKFF-0618)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2LX
  2. VK2QK
  3. VK7ZGK
  4. VK2IO/p (Dural Nature Reserve VKFF-1926)
  5. VK1AT
  6. VK3BSA/5
  7. VK4NH
  8. VK4DXA
  9. ZL4TY/VK4
  10. VK7QP
  11. VK4CZ
  12. VKSMA
  13. VK2MG/4 (Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639)
  14. VK2PKT
  15. VK7HCK
  16. VK3MPR
  17. VK7JON
  18. VK4FARR
  19. VK5NAW
  20. VK7FJFD
  21. VK2JES
  22. VK2PGB
  23. VK3FADM/1
  24. VK3ZPF/p (Churchill National ParkVKFF-0621)
  25. VK2AD
  26. VK4GSF
  27. VK4MWB
  28. VK3ANL
  29. VK4TJ
  30. VK4/AC8WN
  31. VK4/VE6XT
  32. VK4SSN
  33. VK3BSA/6
  34. VK2LEE
  35. VK2UH
  36. VK2SK
  37. VK7ROY
  38. VK7ME
  39. VK1JH
  40. VK7VZ
  41. VK5DG/3 (Alfred National Park VKFF-0618)
  42. VK4HNS
  43. VK2PAA
  44. VK7DW
  45. VK4PDX

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK3BSA/6
  2. VK7JON
  3. VK4MWB

x

DSC_6199

x

 

References.

Parks Victoria, 2006, Wyperfeld National Park Visitor Guide

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

Timberoo Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2456

Our second park for Sunday (10th November 2019) was the Timberoo Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2456.  This was to be only the second time that the park had been activated for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  It was the first time that Marija and I had activated the park.

The park is located about 24 km south-west of the town of Ouyen in north-western Victoria.

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Above:- A map showing the location of the Timberoo Flora and Fauna Reserve in north-western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

After leaving Kattyoong Marija and I drove east on the Mallee Highway and into the little town of Walpeup.  The town’s name is derived from an aboriginal word with several meanings including ‘stumpy tailed lizard’ and the other an indigenous acacia.  There isn’t much at Walpeup these days.  However in its heyday in 1920 the town had a population of about 400 people, with a general store, a blacksmith, a butcher, a bank branch, and various other businesses.

The Timberoo Flora & Fauna Reserve is also referred to on maps as the Timberoo Nature Conservation Reserve.  It is a large piece of remnant mallee scrub which is surrounded by cleared farming land.  It is not to be confused with the much smaller Timberoo Bushland Reserve.

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Above:- An aerial view of the Timberoo Flora & Fauna Reserve looking west.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

The reserve is 3,034 acres in size and was created in 1993.  The reserve contains Walpeup Lake which has no water in it, and due to water no longer being piped into it, will probably remain that way for some time.

We accessed the park via Walpeup Lake Road which runs off the Hopetoun-Walpeup Road.

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Above:- Map showing the Timberoo Flora & Fauna Reserve showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

After setting up Marija and I had a tune across the 40m band before calling CQ, hoping to track down some other park activators.  Our first contact was with Peter VK3ZPF/p who was activating the Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556.  At the end of our QSO with Les VK5KLV asked us to go up to 7.165.  We moved up the band and logged Les VK5KLV/p who was in the Franklin Harbor Marine Park VKFF-1709.

I then moved down the band to 7.144 and started calling CQ.  First in the log was Lee VK2LEE, followed by Mark VK2EMI, and then Ray VK4NH.  A handful of contacts later I had two more Park to Park contacts in the log: Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Berowa Valley National Park VKFF-1162, and Shane VK2LUV/p who was activating the Belford National Park VKFF-0023.

DSC_6076

With 21 contacts in the log, I swapped the mic with Marija.  It didn’t take long and Marija had soon qualified the park for VKFF.  Her tenth contact was with Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula.  Marija logged 10 contacts including a Park to Park with Alan VK2MG/4 in the Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639.

IMG_3345

Marija had now qualified the park for VKFF, so I again jumped into the operator’s chair.  I logged a further 6 stations with band conditions on 40m being very poor.  This included a Park to Park with Alan VK2MG/4 in the Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639.

With 27 contacts in the log, I moved to the 20m band where I logged a total of 8 stations.  This included a contact with Mark VK3BSA/5 who was mobile on the Nullabor Highway.

I then moved down to the 80m band and logged 5 stations including Park to Park contacts with Peter VK3ZPF/p in the Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556 and Brett VK3FLCS/p in the Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630.

I then moved back to 40m and logged a further 12 stations including a Park to Park with Gerard VK2IO/p in the Dural Nature Reserve VKFF-1926.

DSC_6077.jpg

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  2. VK5KLV/p (Franklin Harbor Marine Park VKFF-1709)
  3. VK2LUV/p (Belford National Park VKFF-0023)
  4. VK7QP
  5. VK3UH
  6. VK2VW
  7. VK4AAC/2
  8. VK2MG/4 (Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639)
  9. VK5FANA
  10. VK2IO/p (Dural Nature Reserve VKFF-1926)
  11. VK2UH

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  2. VK5KLV/p (Franklin Harbor Marine Park VKFF-1709)
  3. VK2LEE
  4. VK2EMI’
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3DAC
  9. VK2IO/p (Berowa Valley National Park VKFF-1162)
  10. VK2LUV/p (Belford National Park VKFF-0023)
  11. VK3SQ
  12. VK7QP
  13. VK7EK
  14. VK3PF
  15. VK3UH
  16. VK3MPR
  17. VK3HAY
  18. VK4SMA
  19. VK2VH
  20. VK4AAC/2
  21. VK2HBO
  22. VK5FANA
  23. VK2HMV
  24. VK4CZ
  25. VK2AWS
  26. VK3BSA/5
  27. VK2MG/4 (Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639)
  28. VK2VW
  29. VK7KT
  30. VK1AT
  31. VK4MWB
  32. VK7JJ
  33. VK5TR
  34. VK7FRJG
  35. VK2LX
  36. VK3AQX
  37. VK2IO/p (Dural Nature Reserve VKFF-1926)
  38. VK2UH
  39. VK7JON

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK3BSA/5
  2. VK4CZ
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK4/AC8WN
  5. VK4/VE6XT
  6. VK4SSN
  7. VK4SMA
  8. VK4MWB

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556)
  2. VK7QP
  3. VK3FLCS/p (Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630)
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK5DW

 

 

References.

Victorian Places, 2019, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/walpeup>, viewed 13th November 2019