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.

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