Myponga Conservation Park 5CP-157 and VKFF-0921

Our first park for day two of the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend was the Myponga Conservation Park 5CP-157 & VKFF-0921. The park is located about 60 km south of Adelaide, and about 10 km south of the town of Myponga on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Myponga Conservation Park. Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Myponga Conservation Park is 167 hectares in size. It was formerly known as the Myponga National Park and was proclaimed on the 24th February 1972. On the 27th April 1972, the national park was reconstituted under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 as the Myponga Conservation Park. 

The park is situated in hilly terrain and is substantially undisturbed. It is one of my favourite parks. The famous Heysen Trail passes through the park. The Heysen Trail is a 1,200 km long hiking trail which extends from Cape Jervis on the southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, up to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges.

Above:- An aerial view of the Myponga Conservation Park. Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

Myponga Conservation Park is located in close proximity to the little town of Myponga which has a small population of about 750 people. The area surrounding Myponga is rich grazing and dairy country. The town of Myponga was officially laid out in 1939, fairly recent times. However, European settlement in the area dates back to the 1850s.

The Kaurna aboriginal name for the area is ‘Miapungga’ meaning high cliffs. The town of Myponga backs onto the Myponga Reservoir which has a capacity of 27.6 gigalitres.

Above:- An aerial view of the Myponga Conservation Park, looking north back towards Adelaide. Image courtesy of Google maps

There are several vegetation habitats in the park. Plant species include Messmate Stringybark, Cup Gum, Prickly tea-tree, Heath tea-tree, Pink Gum, Cranberry heath, and Common fringe-myrtle.

Various native mammals can be found in the park including the locally endangered Short-nosed bandicoot. 

Birds SA have recorded a total of 68 species of bird in the park including Crescent Honeyeater, New Holland Honeyeater, Australian Golden Whistler, Scarlet Robin, Grey Shrikethrush, Red Wattlebird, Magpielark, Jacky Winter, and Hooded Robin.

The only way to access the park (by vehicle) is via James Track. Keep an eye out for the gate which has the name of the park next to it. This track takes you to the park. Please remember to shut the gate. This is a shared track for pedestrians and is part of the Heysen Trail, so please drive carefully.

The track is okay to get you to the park. If however you want to get to the end of the track and enjoy some of the views, I would recommend a 4WD.

There are some magnificent views to be enjoyed of the surrounding countryside as you travel along the track.

And some equally beautiful views of the park itself and its deep gorges.

We set up in close proximity to the park sign. We made sure that we were set up off the track. There was plenty of room to stretch out the 20/40/80m linked dipole. We ran the Yaesu FT-857d for this activation.

I kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.120. We could not get a frequency higher up the band as the Sunday morning broadcasts for the Wireless Institute of Australia were in full swing. It took about 5 minutes of CQ calls before my first taker, Rex VK3OF.

This was followed by a Park to Park with Gerard VK2IO/p in the Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096. This was followed by Rob VK2VH/VK4AAC, and then Brian VK2CCP.

But we then had a gap of about 5 minutes without any callers. The 40m band appeared to be in very poor condition.

I had just 5 contacts in the log and decided to get Marija on the mic. Marija’s first taker to her CQ call was Rob VK2VH/VK4AAC, followed by Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465.

It was really slow going and Marija and I had doubts that we would get 10 contacts, yet alone 44 to qualify the park for the global World Wide Flora Fauna program. We decided that we would get our 10 contacts and qualify the park for VKFF and then move on to another park.

But fortunately for us we were called by a number of other stations to get us both over the line with 10 QSOs. The UTC rollover helped us, with some stations calling back for a contact with us for a new UTC day. We logged a total of 30 stations on 40m including a further three Park to Park contacts…..

  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096
  • Malcolm VK3OAK/p – Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465

Marija and saw a spot on parksnpeaks for Ian VK5CZ/p in a park on 80m. So we lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for the 80m band. We logged Ian VK5CZ/p, Gordon VK5GY/p, Hugh VK5NHG/p, John VK5MJC/p, and Ian VK5IS/p who were all in the Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252 with a big signal.

After working Ian and the crew, we moved down the band to 3.610 where we logged a total of 6 further stations including 2 further Park to Park contacts with…..

  • Malcolm VK3OAK/p – Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779

Things were starting to look up and we decided to stay and try to press on and get our 44 contacts. We quickly moved back to 40m to get another Park to Park contact in the log, this time with Peter VK3TKK/p who was activating the Mount Fyans Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2398. We then moved back to 80m and logged a further 2 stations, Sue VK5AYL and John VK5BJE.

I then tried the 20m band and had some success there with 12 contacts into VK2, VK3, VK4, including the following Park to Park contacts…..

  • Peter VK3PF/p – Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779

The 20m band was open to Victoria (VK3) with four VK3 stations logged, which made me think that the 15m band may be open.

We then moved back to 40m where we logged a further including the following Park to Park contacts……

  • Bryan VK3LF/p -Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2200
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779
  • Mike VK6MB/p – Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788
  • Brett VK3MCA/p – Walmer South Nature Conservation ReserveVKFF-2221

We then took down the linked dipole and put up the 15m dipole and we are so pleased that we did. The 15m band was fantastic with 27 contacts made there into VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 VK6, and VK8. This included a contact with Stuart VK8NSB in Darwin and the following Park to Park contacts……

  • Mike VK6MB/p – Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788
  • Allen VK3ARH/p – Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785
  • Tony VK3YV/p – Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055

To finish off the activation we moved back to the 40m band and logged a further 21 stations including the following Park to Park contacts……

  • Allen VK3ARH/p – Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785
  • Allen VK3HRA/p – Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785
  • Peter VK3TKK/p – Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2294
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159

It was now just past 1.30 p.m. local time and we decided to pack up and head to our next park, the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park.

We had both qualified the park for VKFF and WWFF, with a total of 126 contacts in the log including 53 Park to Park contacts.

I had made a total of 77 contacts and Marija hd made 49 contacts.

This activation proved to us that patience and perseverance in park activating in crucial. And it also pays to be band agile. Don’t call it quits if the band isn’t great for 10 minutes and give as many bands a go as possible. You might be pleasantly surprised. We certainly were.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover……

  1. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  2. VK2VH
  3. VK4AAC
  4. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)
  5. VK2DG

Marija worked the following stations on 40m after the UTC rollover……

  1. VK4FDJL
  2. VK2VH
  3. VK4AAC
  4. VK2EXA
  5. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  6. VK2LX
  7. VK3OAK/p (Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353)
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK3PT
  10. VK3TKK/p (Mount Fyans Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2398)
  11. VK3LF/p (Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2200)
  12. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)
  13. VK6MB/p (Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788)
  14. VK3MCA/p (Walmer South Nature Conservation ReserveVKFF-2221)
  15. VK3ARH/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  16. VK3HRA/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  17. VK3TKK/p (Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2294)
  18. VK2IO/p (Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045)
  19. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  20. VK7RG
  21. VK5DW
  22. VK5AYL
  23. VK2YK/5 (Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159)
  24. VK5KLV
  25. VK3IO
  26. VK5PET
  27. VK5FAAH
  28. VK5FBIC
  29. VK5KVA

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5IS/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  2. VK5CZ/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  3. VK5MJC/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  4. VK5GY/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  5. VK3OAK/p (Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353)
  6. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/p (Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788)
  2. VK3ARH/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  3. VK4VCE
  4. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  5. VK2FGZA
  6. VK8NSB
  7. VK4FDJL
  8. VK4SMA
  9. VK6TDF

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover……

  1. VK3OF
  2. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  3. VK2VH
  4. VK4AAC
  5. VK2CCP
  6. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB after the UTC rollover…….

  1. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  2. VK3OAK/p (Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353)
  3. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)
  4. VK3PT
  5. VK2VH
  6. VK4AAC
  7. VK3MPR
  8. VK5KLV
  9. VK2DG
  10. VK2MOP
  11. VK3TKK/p (Mount Fyans Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2398)
  12. VK3LF/p (Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2200)
  13. VK2VW
  14. VK2HFI
  15. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)
  16. VK5VGC
  17. VK3ARH
  18. VK6MB/p (Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788)
  19. VK5DW
  20. VK5LA
  21. VK5FBIC
  22. VK3UCD
  23. VK5FLKJ
  24. VK3MCA/p (Walmer South Nature Conservation ReserveVKFF-2221)
  25. VK5VBR
  26. VK3HRA/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  27. VK3ARH/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  28. VK3TKK/p (Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2294)
  29. VK2IO/p (Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045)
  30. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  31. VK2YK/5 (Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  2. VK5GY/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  3. VK5NHG/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  4. VK5MJC/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  5. VK5IS/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  6. VK5BJF
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK3OAK/p (Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353)
  9. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)
  10. VK5AYL
  11. VK5BJE

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)
  2. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  3. VK4NH
  4. VK4DXA
  5. ZL4TY/VK4
  6. VK2KYO
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK3EJ
  9. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)
  10. VK3IDM
  11. VK4BXX
  12. VK4/NN3Z

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/p (Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788)
  2. VK2FGZA
  3. VK4NH
  4. VK4DXA
  5. ZL4TY/VK4
  6. VK4BXX
  7. VK4/NN3Z
  8. VK4SMA
  9. VK4FDJL
  10. VK6FNLW
  11. VK2PAA
  12. VK3ARH/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  13. VK4HAT
  14. VK4VCE
  15. VK5STU
  16. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  17. VK8NSB

References.

Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/myponga-conservation-park/>, viewed 1st December 2020.

Friends of Heysen, 2020, <https://heysentrail.asn.au/>, viewed 1st December 2020

SA Water, 2020, <https://www.sawater.com.au/water-and-the-environment/south-australias-water-sources/reservoir-data/myponga-reservoir>, viewed 1st December 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myponga,_South_Australia>, viewed 1st December 2020.

2 thoughts on “Myponga Conservation Park 5CP-157 and VKFF-0921

    • Hi Chris,

      Marija and I have found in the past that persistence pays off. The bands move around so much nowadays, that one minute they are incredibly poor and 30 minutes later they are wide open.

      Cheers,

      Paul VK5PAS

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