Our final park for our three-day trip away was the Ni Ni Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2413. This was to be another first-time activation for the World Wide Flora & Fauna (WWFF) program.
The park is located about 382 km north-west of the city of Melbourne, and about 10 km south-west of the town of Jeparit.
After leaving the Hindmarsh Flora and Fauna Reserve we drove south on the DImboola-Rainbow Road and soon reached the little town of Jeparit. It is believed that Jeparit is a corruption of a local Aboriginal word (a Gromiluk word) meaning “the home of small birds”. The town is famous due to it being the birthplace of the founder of the Liberal Party, and former Australian Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies. There is quite a bit to see in the town and sadly we had very little time. It will be another return trip to have a much better look around.
We continued south out of Jeparit in the Dimboola-Rainbow Road and then turned right onto Flavel Road. We soon reached the Ni Ni Flora & Fauna Reserve. The park is also referred to on maps as the Ni Ni Nature Conservation Reserve. Interestingly Protected Planet also has it as the Babatchio Bushland Reserve.
The park is about 10 acres in size and was established in 1990. It is surrounded by cleared farming land and is located on the southwestern corner of Flavel Road and Pumpa Road.
A short distance from the park you can view the cairn marking the location of the Allanby State School (Hindmarsh South) which operated from 1889-1926.
We parked the car on Flavel Road and climbed the fence and set up in the north-eastern corner of the park.
I called CQ on 7.140 and first in the log was park regular (both activator and hunter) Rob VK2VH, followed by two other regulars, Grant VK2LX, and Adrian VK5FANA. Within five minutes I had ten contacts in the log and the park qualified for VKFF. QSO number ten was with Steve VK3MPR.
Two contacts later I was very surprised to be called by Theo OT4A in Belgium, in amongst the VK stations that were calling. Theo was 5/8 and gave me a 5/5 signal report into Europe.
I logged a total of 26 stations on 40m before swapping the mic with Marija.
Marija’s first contact was with Rob VK2VH, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, and then Adrian VK5FANA. It took Marija just 5 minutes to qualify the park for VKFF. Her tenth contact was with Scott VK3MCL/p.
Although we were pushed very much for time, Marija encouraged me to get back on the mic to see if I could get my 44 contacts. I logged a further 6 stations on 40m from VK3, VK5, and New Zealand, before callers completely dried up. I now had 32 contacts in the log and was 12 short of the target.
I moved to 20m where I picked up a further 14 stations which got me to 43 contacts, just one short of the 44 QSO threshold. Contacts on 20m were into VK4, VK6, and France.
I headed off the 80m band where I logged 3 stations from VK4 and VK5. Contact number 44 was with Adrian VK5FANA.
It was now about 6.00 p.m. local time and we still had about 3 & 1/2 hours to get home. We packed up and hit the road, stopping at Nhill in western Victoria for a bite to eat.
On the way home I joined the 7130 DX Net from the mobile and logged 10 stations. This included Gary ZL3SV in New Zealand who gave me a 10/9 signal. The highlight of the net was working David HC5DX in Ecuador in South America. Even Dave was surprised that I was mobile. The Codan 9350 works very well.
THANKYOU to everyone who called us on our 3 day trip to Victoria. We activated eleven parks, with many of those being first-time activations. We made a total of 635 QSOs which included 78 Park to Park contacts.
Aussie Towns, 2019, <https://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/jeparit-vic>, viewed 14th November 2019
Protected Planet, 2019, <https://www.protectedplanet.net/ni-ni-f-r-nature-conservation-reserve>, viewed 14th November 2019