Sheepwash Flora Reserve VKFF-2436

Marija and I made a bright and early start on Friday morning (29th November 2019).  We were on the road by 6.30 a.m. local time and commenced our journey east to the town of Dimboola where we had booked in to stay for 3 nights.  We had a 358 km road trip ahead of us to get to Dimboola.

Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 8.50.07 am.png

Above:- Map showing our route to Dimboola in western Victoria.  Map courtesy of Google maps.

Our first stop of the day was at Coonalpyn where we stopped at the Silo Cafe for a coffee and a bacon & egg roll.  We continued along the Dukes Highway (the main road between Adelaide and Melbourne), passing through the towns of Culburra, Tintinara, Keith and Bordertown, and then reached the state border of South Australia and Victoria.  This is where the Dukes Highway becomes the Western Highway.

We then passed through the Victorian towns of Lillimur and Kaniva and then Nhill.  As we were travelling along Marija and I booked into the 10m Net on 7.097 which was being run by Ron VK3AHR.

At Nhill we took Winiam East Road and headed towards our first park for the day, the Sheepwash Flora Reserve VKFF-2436.  This was to be the first time that the park had been activated for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 8.57.59 pm.png

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

The Sheepwash Flora Reserve is also known as the Winiam Flora Reserve.  The park sign which has the Parks Victoria logo on it, has the park name as Winiam Flora Reserve.  Google maps shows the park as Sheepwash Nature Conservation Reserve, while Protected Planet shows the park name as Sheepwash Flora Reserve.

Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 9.11.27 am.png

Above:- An aerial view of the Sheepwash Flora Reserve, looking north towards the town of Nhill.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The park is about 66 acres in size and is a small piece of remnant scrub surrounded by cleared farming land.  It is located just to the north of the Little Desert National Park.  It is not to be confused with the Sheepwash/Charam Wildlife Reserve which is also located in western Victoria.

During our visit to the park, we observed a large number of Red-rumped parrots and White-plumed Honeyeaters.  I snapped the photos below.

We pulled off a dirt track in the park and set up our station, the Yaesu FT-857d, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 8.57.42 pm.png

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

I kicked off the activation by logging Ron VK3AHR on the 10am Net, informing the group that we were going to head up to 7.144.  I then headed there, while Marija placed up a spot on parksnpeaks.  First in the log on 7.144 was Mike Vk5FMWW mobile, followed by Peter VK3PF/p who was activating a park, the Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465.  Marija also logged Peter for the Park to Park contact.

Within 10 minutes I had ten contacts in the log, and the park was qualified for VKFF.  Contact ten was with regular park hunter John VK4TJ.

I went on to log a total of 21 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5, before swapping the mic with Marija.

DSC_6359

Marija logged Adrian VK5FANA, Ken VK3UH, and then Les VK7OT, all who had strong signals into western Victoria.  As Marija was running 10 watts PEP, it took her a little longer to get her ten contacts in the log.  QSO number ten was with Allen VK3ARH.  It was pleasing to see that 40m was open around VK3.  In recent times the 40m band hasn’t been performing well for the close-in contacts.

With Marija having qualified the park for VKFF, I jumped back into the operator’s chair hoping to get my 44 QSOs to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

I called CQ and this was answered by Deryck VK4FDJL/5, followed by Peter VK3PF/p who was now in the Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464 for another Park to Park contact.  Marija also logged Peter for the Park to Park contact.

I logged a further 25 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  Contact number 44 came about 45 minutes into the activation and was with Robert VK2YMU.

I then moved to the 20m band and started calling CQ on 14.310 while Marija spotted me on parksnpeaks.  Much to my surprise by first caller was Greg VK5GJ in the Adelaide Hills with a strong 5/8 signal.  This was followed by Nev VK5WG with a 5/9 signal from the Mid North of South Australia.  The 20m band was open for relatively close-in contacts.

I then logged Shane VK2LUV in New South Wales and then Ron VK5AKR in the Barossa Valley about 350 km away with 5/9 signal reports exchanged.  Next was Geoff VK3SQ in Beechworth, and then Ivan VK5HS in the Riverland about 350 km away, with 5/9 signal reports exchanged.  The 20m band was certainly behaving strangely.

I logged a total of 10 contacts on 20m into VK2, VK4, and VK5.

I then headed down to the 80m band where I logged a total of 4 stations from VK3 and VK5.

To conclude the activation I put out a CQ call on 28.480 and this was answered by John VK4TJ (5/3 both ways), followed by Rob VK7VZ (5/8 sent and 5/7 received), Clem VK4XCS (5/8 sent and 5/7 received), and then Peter VK3PF/p who was in the Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287 (5/7 both ways).  It was terrific to be able to get some contacts on 10m.

DSC_6361.jpg

We had both qualified the park for VKFF, and I had been lucky during a weekday to get my 44, and it was time to head off to DImboola.  Between us, we had 85 QSOs in the log, including 6 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK3UH
  4. VK7OT
  5. Vk2LUV
  6. VK3SQ
  7. VK5HS
  8. VK5NNT
  9. VK2VW
  10. VK3ARH
  11. VK4TJ
  12. VK4/AC8WN
  13. VK4/VE6XT
  14. VK4SSN
  15. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  16. VK3PF/p (Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3AHR
  2. VK5FMWW/m
  3. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)
  4. VK5AYL
  5. VK3ZMD
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK3BCM
  9. VK3ARH
  10. VK4TJ
  11. VK4/AC8WN
  12. VK4/VE6XT
  13. VK4SSN
  14. VK3HRA
  15. VK3FCMC
  16. VK2IO
  17. VK3CBP
  18. VK5HS
  19. VK3EIR
  20. VK3UH
  21. VK2VW
  22. VK4FDJL/5
  23. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  24. VK7OT
  25. VK3KRH
  26. VK5NJ
  27. VK5GJ
  28. VK5MRD
  29. VK3MCK
  30. VK4NH
  31. VK4DXA
  32. ZL4TY/VK4
  33. VK7ME
  34. VK2PKT
  35. VK2VK
  36. VK2HHA
  37. VK5AKR
  38. VK3BGE
  39. VK7FRJG
  40. VK2XSE/m
  41. VK5WG
  42. VK3MKE
  43. VK5AUS
  44. VK2YMU
  45. VK2KNV/m
  46. VK3BEB
  47. VK3JP
  48. VK5JP

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK5GJ
  2. VK5WG
  3. VK2LUV/p
  4. VK5AKR
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK5HS
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4/AC8WN
  9. VK4/VE6XT
  10. VK4SSN

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5GJ
  2. VK5HS
  3. VK3JP
  4. VK3CA

I worked the following stations on 10m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK4/AC8WN
  3. VK4/VE6XT
  4. VK4SSN
  5. VK7VZ
  6. VK4XCS
  7. VK3PF/p (Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287)

 

 

References.

Protected Planet, 2019, <https://www.protectedplanet.net/sheepwash-f-r-nature-conservation-reserve>, viewed 4th December 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s