After packing up at the Verandah Swamp Wildlife Reserve, Marija and I headed back into Dimboola and went to the Victoria Hotel for a meal. The hotel is a very impressive building and was built in 1924.
After tea, we had a quick drive around DImboola which has a number of historic buildings. This includes the old National Bank of Australia building which was built in 1909 in flamboyant Art Nouveau style and the former Victoria Coffee Palace.
We then decided to head out to the Little Desert National Park VKFF-0291. Marija had never activated this park, so the activation was focussed around Marija getting 10 contacts to qualify the park for VKFF in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.
We chose the Horseshoe Bend campground as our operating spot. This is a beautiful spot on the banks of the Wimmera River.
The campground was alive with birdlife including White-plumed honeyeaters, Red-rumped parrots, Eastern Rosellas, Yellow tailed Black Cockatoos.
There were also plenty of Western Grey kangaroos out for an evening graze.
We found 7.130 clear and I placed up a spot for Marija on parksnpeaks. It didn’t take long and Marija had a mini pile-up going. First in the log was Ken VK3UH, followed by Scott VK4CZ, and then George VK4GSF. Contact number ten, qualifying the park for VKFF, came just 6 minutes into the activation, with a QSO with Ross VK7ALH.
A few QSOs later and Marija had her first Park to Park in the log for this activation, a contact with Peter VK3ZPF/p who was activating the Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971.
It took Marija just 40 minutes to qualify the park for the global WWFF program. Contact number 44 was with Danny VK5DW.
Marija also spoke with young Alicia, the daughter of VK2EZT.
With Marija having qualified the park, and it being a beautiful balmy evening, we decided that I would put out some CQ calls. The 40m band was in brilliant shape, and in just 20 minutes I had 21 contacts in the log. Some of the biggest signals were from Peter VK2UXO (I was 5/9 to Peter) and Brad VK2BY (I was 30/9 to Brad).
To complete the activation I moved down to the 80m band and logged a total of 12 stations from VK3 and Vk5.
After a very fun time in the park, we packed up and headed back to the motel room.
Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
- VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 80m SSB;-