Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 and VKFF-0877

Our final park for Boxing Day 2020 was the Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 & VKFF-0877. The park is located about 100 km south of the city of Adelaide. Both Marija and I have activated this park previously on a number of occasions.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Eric Bonython Conservation Park. Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Eric Bonython Conservation Park is only a small park, consisting of about 6 hectares of native scrub on the northern side of Rymill Road, Tunkalilla, on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Tunkalilla is a Kaurna aboriginal word meaning ‘place of many smells’. This was due to the whale carcasses that washed up on the 7 km sandy shore of Tunkalilla beach.

Above:- The Eric Bonython Conservation Park. Image c/o Location SA Map Viewer.

On the 9th day of November 1967, the park was proclaimed under the National Parks Act 1966 as the Eric Bonython National Parks Reserve. It was re-proclaimed on the 27th April 1972 as the Eric Bonython Conservation Park.

Above:- SA Govt Gazette re the Eric Bonython National Parks Reserve.

The park is named after Eric Glenie Bonython (b. 1910. d. 1971) who was an author, explorer, and conservationist. Bonython’s chief occupation was in landholding and grazing, however he had a very wide interest in history, geography and anthropology.  He became a well known explorer of the Lake Eyre Basin, at that time one of the most mysterious geological areas on earth.

Bonython died in 1971, aged just 60 years old. At the time he was living at his 1,600 acre property at Illawong on the Fleurieu Peninsula, close to the park. He is buried at the West terrace cemetery (images below c/o Find a grave).

Access to the park is via Rymill Road which runs off Tunkalilla Road. There are no amenities in the park and limited parking spots.

Above:- An aerial view of the Eric Bonython Conservation Park. Image c/o Google maps.

The park consists of Low Open Forest of Swamp Gum, Pink Gum, Cup Gum, Messmate Stringybark, and Brown Stringybark. The understorey plants include Tea-trees and Hakeas.

Birds SA have recorded a total of 43 native birds in the park including Adelaide Rosella, New Holland Honeyeater, Striated Thornbill, Grey Fantail, Australian Golden Whistler, Grey Shrikethrush, Brush Bronzewing, Pallid Cuckoo, Elegant Parrot, Dusky Woodswallow, and Red-browed Finch.

There are some sensational views to be enjoyed from the park of The Pages Conservation Park, the Southern Ocean, and Kangaroo Island.

Marija and I went to our normal operating spot in the park, a small clearing in amongst the scrub. As it was a very hot afternoon and there was very little shade on offer, we huddled against the side of the 4WD.

Once again we decided to kick off the activation on the 15m band and I am so pleased that I did. First in the log on 15m was Fred VK3DAC & VK4FE/3, followed by Deryck VK4FDJL, and then Ray VK4NH. It only took me 6 minutes and I had qualified the park for VKFF on 15m with 10 contacts.

Band conditions on 15m were excellent, and I ended up making a total of 38 contacts, almost qualifying the park exclusively on the 15m band. Contacts were made into VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK7, and New Zealand.

Marija also qualified the park for VKFF exclusively on 15m with a total of 15 contacts in the log into VK2, VK3, and VK4. This included Park to Park contacts with Gerard VK2IO/p in two different parks: Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049 and Cockle Bay Nature Reserve VKFF-1908.

To finish off the activation I called CQ on 7.144 on 40m and logged a total of 22 stations. Contact number 44 was with Robbie VK5MRS at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills.

We were getting tired and hot and hungry, so we decided to call if quits. I suspect if we had kept going, we would have had a lot more callers on 40m. That band was in great shape. Unfortunately we did not get to try 80m or 20m. We will save that for another day.

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  2. VK2BDS
  3. VK4CZ
  4. VK4FDJL
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3DAC
  9. VK4FE/3
  10. VK3CU
  11. VK2LX
  12. VK2DWP
  13. VK4SMA
  14. VK4MGL
  15. VK2IO/p (Cockle Bay Nature Reserve VKFF-1908)

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3DAC
  2. VK4FE/3
  3. VK4FDJL
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK2HRX
  8. VK3ZPF
  9. VK3MCK
  10. ZL1TM
  11. VK4KC
  12. VK4SMA
  13. VK3PI
  14. VK3ANL
  15. VK3BCM/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-037)
  16. VK2LX
  17. VK2VW
  18. VK2HFI
  19. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  20. VK4CZ
  21. VK2JCC
  22. VK2PKT
  23. VK2HHS
  24. VK4MGL
  25. VK3MDC
  26. VK1XP/m
  27. VK2IO/p (Cockle Bay Nature Reserve VKFF-1908)
  28. VK2TEV
  29. VK2CRF
  30. VK4DX
  31. VK3XXY
  32. VK7RG
  33. VK1CT
  34. VK7DY
  35. VK5MWW
  36. VK3NBP
  37. VK3MCO
  38. VK2GOD

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ
  2. VK5AYL
  3. VK5GY
  4. VK5EMI
  5. VK5HYZ
  6. VK5MRS
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK2FPAR
  9. VK2YK/5
  10. VK5GA
  11. VK2HHA
  12. VK5FANA
  13. VK5MRD
  14. VK4FDJL
  15. VK3YV
  16. VK3FIMD
  17. VK3ZPF
  18. VK5VST
  19. VK3HJJ
  20. VK5DW
  21. VK5MWW
  22. VK2XB/m

After packing up we stopped off briefly at Parawa on Range Road to enjoy the views.

We then headed into Victor Harbor, detouring slightly up to the Crows Nest Lookout where we enjoyed some beautiful views of Middleton, Goolwa, Currency Creek, the Murray Mouth, and the Coorong.

References.

Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/eric-bonython-conservation-park/>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Coast Lines, 2020, <https://www.coastlines.com.au/news/the-texel-ranger>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Terroir Selections, 2020, <https://www.terroir-selections.com.au/producers/tunkalilla-vineyard>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Bonython_Conservation_Park>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Springs Road Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2895

Our second park for Boxing Day 2020 (26th December) was the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2895 which is located about 100 km south of the city of Adelaide.

I have activated this park once before, but this was to be a unique park for Marija as an activator in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve. Map courtesy of Google maps.

Springs Road Native Forest Reserve is part of the Second Valley Forest Reserve and is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The reserve adjoins a pine planation and there is also a large area of privately owned scrub (Heritage Agreement) to the north and west of the Reserve.

Above:- An aerial view of the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve. Image courtesy of Google maps.

The land on which the Reserve is located was originally land granted to Edward Stephens in July 1854. In April 1912 the land was transferred to the Crown. On the 29th day of May 1975 it was transferred to the Woods and Forests Department as a Forest reserve.

The Reserve is about 89.6 hectares in size and is located about 2 km north-west of the Range Road and Springs Road intersection. The Reserve consists of native vegetation which once covered the Fleurieu Peninsula. Just 15% of that now remains.

The Springs Road Native Forest Reserve forms one of the headwaters of the Anacotilla River which flows to the north-west into the Gulf St Vincent.

In 1904 an early survey by the Department of Lands described the area as:-

“hilly country heavily timbered with large stringybark and thick undergrowth of yaccas and ferns.
The gullies were low tea tree swamp with light, sandy soils”.

The nationally endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot has been recorded in the park, as has the endangered Southern Emu-Wren.

Above:- Cleared farming land alongside of the Reserve.

The park is well signposted. We parked at the gate on Springs Road and walked a shot distance into the park to the shade of some gum trees. It was particularly warm afternoon, with the temperature now reaching 32 deg C. We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 15m dipole & 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

Marija and I decided to kick off the activation on the 15m band. Marija spotted me on parksnpeaks and I called CQ on 21.244. First in the log was Peter VK3ZPF, followed by Fred VK3DAC and then Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand. I logged a total of 12 stations on 15m including Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049.

I had qualified the park for VKFF with 10 contacts, so I swapped the mic with Marija who very quickly qualified the park on 15m.

We then lowered the squid pole and took down the 15m dipole and placed up the 20/40/80m linked dipole. I then called CQ on 7.144 with Geoff VK3SQ being the first caller. Band conditions on 40m were still poor, and I logged just 12 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5. The South Australian (VK5) stations from the Riverland, Port Augusta, the Yorke Peninsula, and the Clare Valley were very strong.

I then moved to the 20m band and much to my surprise, my first caller was Ivan VK5HS in the Riverland with a 5/9 signal. This was followed by Ian VK5CZ in the Clare Valley who was also 5/9, and then Les VK5KLV at Port Augusta who was also 5/9. I then logged Peter VK3PF/p who was on SOTA peak VK3/ VE-113.

I logged a total of 16 stations on 20m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and New Zealand. I now had 40 contacts in the log and needed just 4 more QSOs to qualify the park for the global WWFF program with 44 QSOs. I moved down to the 80m band where I logged 4 stations, with Mike VK4MWW being the 44th contact.

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  2. VK7RG
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK4SMA
  8. VK3DAC
  9. VK4MAP
  10. VK4KC
  11. VK3ZPF

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF
  2. VK3DAC
  3. ZL1TM
  4. VK4CZ
  5. VK4KC
  6. VK3DET
  7. VK3PI
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK4SMA
  12. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK2JDS
  3. VK4FDJL
  4. VK3BBB
  5. VK2CCP
  6. VK5CZ
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK5DW
  9. VK5KLV
  10. VK5HS
  11. VK3VET
  12. VK3CU

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK5CZ
  3. VK5KLV
  4. VK3PF/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-113)
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK3VET
  7. VK3GH
  8. VK5DW
  9. VK2LX
  10. VK4NH
  11. VK4DXA
  12. ZL4TY/VK4
  13. VK3DAC
  14. VK4FE/3
  15. VK4KC
  16. ZL1TM

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ
  2. VK5HS
  3. VK5FILL
  4. VK5MWW

References.

Forestry SA, 2016, ‘Second Valley Forest Reserve Management Plan’.

Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2896

On Boxing Day (26th December 2020) I headed down to the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide to activate some parks. They were all to be parks that I had activated previously, but would go towards my 2020 VKFF Activator tally.

My first park was the Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve (NFR) VKFF-2896 which is located about 100 km south of Adelaide.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve. Map courtesy of Google maps.

The Congeratinga, Kalmunda, and Springs Road Native Forest Reserves form part of the Second Valley Forest Reserve in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges which are managed by Forestry SA. The Reserves, including Congeratinga are located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide. In 1802 French explorer Nicolas Baudin named the peninsula after Charles Pierre Claret de Fleurieu who was a French explorer and hydrographer.

Above:- An aerial shot of the Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve, looking south towards Kangaroo Island. Image c/o Google maps.

The Congeratinga NFR is about 77.3 hectares in size and is located about 2km south-west of the Range
Road and Springs Road intersection. Commercial pine plantations can be located on the western boundary of the reserve. All other boundaries of the reserve are adjacent private property.

Congeratinga NFR conserves remnant native vegetation which was once found widely across the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is estimated that just 15% of the original vegetation remains today. The reserve also conserves areas of Fleurieu Peninsula Swamp which is a Threatened Ecological Community. It is also suspected that the nationally endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot can be found in the reserve. Also found in the reserve is the endangered Southern Emu-Wren.

The reserve is located at the headwaters of the Congeratinga River which flows to the north towards Gulf St Vincent. The mouth of the Congeratinga, known in the 19th century as ‘Cutter Flat’ is now the site of the Marina St Vincent.

Congeratinga comes from the aboriginal Kaurna language. It is believed to mean ‘place of human birthing blood’. The first European record of the word Congeratinga was the River Congeratinga marked on the first maps of the surveyors of the district. In June and August 1840 the first survey of the area was carried out under the leadership of Nathaniel Kentish, James Poole, and G. Bryan. The European surveyors used aboriginal guides who no doubt gave the name.

I travelled south from home along Bull Creek Road and then onto Deep Creek Road, then south on the Goolwa Road and onto Flagstaff Hill Road. I stopped briefly to enjoy the superb views of the Finniss River, Currency Creek, Goolwa, and down to the Coorong.

I continued on to the beautiful seaside town of Victor Harbor, stopping briefly at the George Fisher Lookout on Waitpinga Road to enjoy the view of Victor Harbor, Granite Island, and The Bluff.

I then headed west along Range Road where there are brilliant views of Back Valley, Torrens Vale, and the Southern Ocean. As I headed to the park I logged John VK5BJE/p who was activating the Mount Billy Conservation Park VKFF-0912. We were able to make contact despite my VSWR being high as I was unable to tune the Codan 9350 antenna due to an issue with the interface.

I soon reached the park which is well signposted. I have activated Congeratinga once before back in 2019. This time I parked my 4WD at the gate near the south-eastern corner of the reserve and walked a short distance along the fire track and set up my station.

I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and a 20/40/80m linked dipole, and a 15m dipole for this activation. Unfortunately I had forgotten by clock, so I made a phone call to my wife Marija VK5MAZ, who made the decision to come down and join me for the activations.

First in the log was John VK5BJE in Mount Billy VKFF-0912. John had a very nice 5/7 signal and was kind enough to hand over the frequency 7.150 to me. Next in the log was Adrian VK5FANA who was a strong 5/9, followed by Brian VK3BBB.

Contact number 6 was with Peter VK3PF/p who was activating SOTA summit VK3/ VE-097. Two QSOs later and I had another Park to Park contact in the log with a QSO with Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049. Contact number 10, qualifying the park for the VKFF program, was a QSO with Allen VK3ARH.

Band conditions on 40m were very poor and I struggled to get any further contacts with Allen, so I lowered down the squid pole and inserted the links on the dipole for the 80m band, hoping to get some contacts on that band. Sadly I was very disappointed, with just 2 contacts logged there with Adrian VK5FANA and Grant VK5GR. Both Adrian and Grant were struggling to hear me. This was not a good sign. I strongly suspected that I wouldn’t make the 44 QSO mark to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

I then moved to the 20m band and started calling CQ on 14.310. First in the log on that band was Scott VK4CZ with a big 5/9 signal. He reciprocated with a 5/9 for me. This was followed by Hans VK6XN who was 5/8 (5/7 received). This was promising. The 20m band seemed to be in good shape.

I ended up logging a total of 21 stations on 20m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and New Zealand. This included another Park to Park with Gerard in the Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049 and a contact with Peter VK3PF/p on SOTA summit VK3/ VE-104.

I now had 33 contacts in the log and Marija had arrived at the park. Marija was keen to qualify the park for VKFF, so she jumped into the operators seat and started calling CQ on 7.144. First in the log was Ian VK5CZ from the Clare Valley with a big 5/9 signal. This was followed by David VK5PL in the southern Barossa Valley who was also 5/9, and then Allen VK3ARH.

Marija logged a total of 14 stations from VK1, VK3, and VK5. This included a Park to Park contact with Ian VK1DI/p who was activating the Undoo Nature Reserve VKFF-2751.

I had just 11 contacts to get to reach my target of 44. I also logged Ian VK1DI/p for a Park to Park contact and then called CQ on 7.144. Unfortunately there were no takers, so Marija and I took down the linked dipole and put up a 15m dipole. Marija spotted me on parksnpeaks and I called CQ on 21.244.

First in the log on 15m was Rod VK7RG, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, and then Scott VK4CZ. Contact number 44 was a QSO with Grant VK2LX.

I logged a total of 15 stations on 15m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK7, and New Zealand.

It was time to pack up and head off to our next park, the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve.

I was really pleased to see the 15m band open again. I had used 15m with quite a bit of success during the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend.

Above:- Graph showing my QSOs per band.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ
  2. VK5PL
  3. VK3ARH
  4. VK5TR
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK5KKT
  7. VK3DAC
  8. VK3CU
  9. VK5YL
  10. VK1DI/p (Undoo Nature Reserve VKFF-2751)
  11. VK3ZPF
  12. VK5FANA
  13. VK5LB
  14. VK5NFT/m

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE/p (Mount Billy Conservation Park VKFF-0912)
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK3BBB
  4. VK2CCP
  5. VK5OHR
  6. VK3PF/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-097)
  7. VK5AYL
  8. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  9. VK5JOB
  10. VK3ARH
  11. VK1DI/p (Undoo Nature Reserve VKFF-2751)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5GR

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4CZ
  2. VK6XN
  3. VK3DAC
  4. VK4KC
  5. VK4HNS
  6. VK5AYL
  7. VK2MG
  8. VK3MCK
  9. VK3TKK
  10. VK4SMA
  11. VK4NH
  12. VK4DXA
  13. ZL4TY/VK4
  14. VK6GLX
  15. VK3CU
  16. VK5CZ
  17. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  18. VK3SQ
  19. VK2TER
  20. ZL1TM
  21. VK3PF/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-104)

I logged the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK7RG
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK4CZ
  4. VK3CWF
  5. VK7RV
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. VK4HNS
  10. VK2LX
  11. VK3DAC
  12. ZL1TM
  13. VK4KC
  14. VK4SMA
  15. VK3ARH

References.

Foresty SA, 2016, ‘Second Valley Forest Reserve Management Plan’

The Southern Kaurna Place Names Project, 2019, <https://www.adelaide.edu.au/kwp/placenames/research-publ/5-02-02-03Kangkar.pdf>

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleurieu_Peninsula>, viewed 28th December 2020.