Kiata Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2347

Our final park for our trip away was the Kiata Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2347.  The park is located about 361 km northwest of the city of Melbourne and 14km east of the town of Nhill.

Again this was to be another unique park activation for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

 

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

 

The park is located just south of the town of Kiata.  The name Kiata is believed to have derived from an Aboriginal word describing summer heat.  Much of the Kiata area was taken up for farm selections during the early 1870s.  The township of Kiata was surveyed in 1876.  In 1879 the Kiata West school was opened, and in 1881 the Kiata East school was opened.  In 1884 an Anglican church was opened.  The railway line was opened in 1887, and later there was a hotel, a store and a blacksmith.

In 1903 Kiata was described in the Australian handbook:

Today Kiata is just a small settlement.  The former Little Desert Hotel is now closed, while the school closed way back in 1968.

The park can be located just to the south of the town of Kiata on the southern side of the Western Highway, the main highway between Adelaide and Melbourne.

 

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

 

The park is about 197 acres in size and conserves a small area of remnant bushland which was previously widespread in western Victoria prior to the area being cleared for farming by European settlers.

The park was alive with Rainbow Bee Eaters during our visit.  A number were quite happy to sit up on branches just a short distance from where we were operating.

We accessed the park via Kiata South Road.  We took a 4WD dirt track near the cemetery.  We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

 

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Above:- AN aerial view of the Kiata Flora & Fauna Reserve showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google Earth.

 

We only had a short time in Kiata, so I was hoping to whiz through the contacts as quickly as possible.  I called CQ on 7.140 and this was answered by Peter VK3PF who gave me his other two calls so I could reach the 10 and 44 QSOs quicker.  This was followed by Ivan VK5HS, Rob VK2VH, and then Ron VK3AHR.

Contact number ten came in just 5 minutes with a contact with John VK5NJ.  I logged a total of 28 contacts on 40m before Marija jumped into the operator’s chair.

DSC_7086

Marija’s first contact was with Adrian VK5FANA, followed by Ian VK5CZ/m, John VK5NJ, and then Ray VK4NH.  Marija’s tenth contact was with Peter VK3KAI.  Marija logged 15 contacts and had qualified the park for VKFF, so took control of the mic once again.

I logged a further 12 contacts on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7.  I now had 40 contacts in the log and was just 4 QSOs short of the target of 44.  I moved to the 20m band and logged 5 stations from VK2 and VK7.  My 44th contact was with Adam VK6GA/2.

DSC_7092

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5CZ/m
  3. VK5NJ
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK2LX
  8. VK3GJC
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK3KAI
  11. VK3GV
  12. VK5PL
  13. VK2IO
  14. VK2VH
  15. VK4AAC/2

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3KAI
  3. VK3GV
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK2VH
  6. VK4AAC/2
  7. VK3AHR
  8. VK2VW
  9. VK5FANA
  10. VK5NJ
  11. VK5WG
  12. VK2LX
  13. VK4NH
  14. VK4DXA
  15. ZL4TY/VK4
  16. VK5PL
  17. VK4TJ
  18. VK4/AC8WN
  19. VK4/VE6XT
  20. VK4SSN
  21. VK3PAT
  22. VK3SQ
  23. VK3ATO
  24. VK5KLV
  25. VK3AXF
  26. VK5WU
  27. VK5LA
  28. VK5CZ/m
  29. VK5JN
  30. VK2NJ/5
  31. VK2UXO
  32. VK5YX
  33. VK7LG
  34. VK7PSJ
  35. VK3FKL
  36. VK2PKT
  37. VK5ZLG
  38. VK3PWG
  39. VK2YK
  40. VK4FDJL/5

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2LX
  2. VK2YK
  3. VK7LG
  4. VK6GA/2
  5. VK2IO

We packed up and headed into the town of Nhill and went to the Australian Pinball Museum.

DSC_7098

The museum features pinball machines from a wide range of eras.

Some of the classic machines include Kiss (1979), Playboy (2002), and Star Wars (2017).

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The museum also features original pinball advertising memorabilia such as original advertising flyers, posters, and promotional products.

Below are a few videos I took in the museum.

We continued west and into the little town of Keith.  It was just a little before 6.00 p.m. local time and we planned on having a meal at the local pub, so we had a bit of time to have a look around the town.  One of the interesting sights in a landrover on a pole.

During the 1940s, the CSIRO found prosperity in the area. With the addition of trace elements, the area became a very productive area. The AMP Society funded the clearing of land to set up farming establishments.  There is also a display telling the story of the AMP Land Development Scheme.

We had a look at Pilmore Park where you can find a memorial for Andy Caldecott who was an off-road motorcycle racer.  He was born in Keith in 1964 and died in 2006 from a neck injury sustained in a crash in the Dakar Rally.

In the park, you can also see a Centurion army tank which spent the majority of its working life in the 1st Armoured Regiment and also saw service in Vietnam from late 1969.

We enjoyed a beautiful meal at the Keith Hotel.  I had kangaroo which was cooked to perfection, while Marija had salmon.

We continued west and stopped briefly at Culburra which was once a thriving self-supporting township.  Today very little remains, but there is a very interesting information board in the town which tells the story of the town.

We arrived home at around 9.00 p.m.

THANK YOU to everyone who called us during our 4 days away.  We had a lot of fun.

 

 

References.

Victorian Places, 2019, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/kiata>, viewed 10th December 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Caldecott>, viewed 10th December 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith,_South_Australia>, viewed 10th December 2019

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