Day two – Cooltong Conservation Park 5CP-046 and VKFF-0823

The repairs on the interface for the antenna took a little longer than expected. Many thanks to Ivan for all his hard work. Upon leaving Ivan’s house we headed to our ‘planned’ park activation for the day, the Cooltong Conservation Park 5CP-046 & VKFF-0823.

Cooltong Conservation Park is located about 262 km northeast of Adelaide and about 11 km west of the town of Renmark.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Cooltong Conservation Park in the Riverland region of S.A. Map c/o Location SA Map Viewer.

This was another park that Marija and I had previously activated and qualified for both the World Wide Flora & Fauna (WWFF) program and the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award.

Cooltong Conservation Park is about 3,710 hectares in size and was proclaimed on the 8th day of April 1983. Cooltong is an aboriginal word meaning ‘short cut’. The park was dedicated to preserve mallee vegetation and habitat for various Mallee birdlife of the area including the Mallee Fowl.

Above:- The boundaries of the Cooltong Conservation Park. Image c/o Location SA Map Viewer.

The Cooltong Conservation Park is dominated by mallee vegetation. It has undulating dunes and shales. Mallee refers to various low-growing shrubby Australian eucalypts. Some of the mallee species found in Cooltong include Blue-leaf Mallee, White Mallee, Narrow-leaf Read Mallee, and Red Mallee.

Above:- An aerial view of the Cooltong Conservation Park, showing the Murray River and the town of Renmark. Image c/o Google maps

Birds SA have recorded about 109 species of bird in the park including Malleefowl, Mulga Parrot, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Purple-backed Fairywren (Variegated Fairywren), Southern Whiteface, Weebill, Grey Butcherbird, Chestnut Quailthrush, Spotted Nightjar, Black-eared Cuckoo, Black-backed Fairywren (Splendid Fairywren), Striated Grasswren, Redthroat, and White-backed Swallow.

Sadly the park has been used as a dumping ground in recent years by people who are just too lazy to take their rubbish to the appropriate places. See the story below on the ABC website…….

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-30/massive-illegal-dump-in-sa-national-park/12403946

The park is well signposted. We accessed the park via the Sturt Highway and then Santos Road.

We took a little 4WD track off Santos Road and found a clearing in amongst the scrub. As we normally do, we ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

First in the log was a Park to Park with Marty VK4KC/p who was activating the Bouldercombe Gorge Conservation Park VKFF-1483. Marty was a strong 5/8 and gave us 5/5 from his park in Queensland.

We then moved down to 7.150 and logged another Park to Park QSO, this time with Peter VK3TKK/p who was in the Upotipotpon Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2218.

I then started calling CQ and within 30 minutes I had 38 QSOs in the log from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7.

I then swapped the mic with Marija and it didn’t take long for Marija to accrue a mini pile-up. It only took Marija about 35 minutes to reach the 44 QSO mark, thus qualifying the park for the global WWFF program. Contact number 44 was with Gavin VK3MLU.

We also logged another Park to Park, this time with Hans VK6XN/p who was in the Leuwin-​Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283.

I then jumped back into the operator’s chair and logged a further 21 stations on 40m. Contact number 44 for me was Ian VK5CZ in the Clare Valley.

We were running short of time as we had a dinner commitment that night, so we apologise to those that were still calling on 40m. We wrapped up the activation with a quick 5 minutes on 80m where I logged 9 stations from VK2, VK3, and VK5.

Marija logged the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4KC/p (Bouldercombe Gorge Conservation Park VKFF-1483)
  2. VK3TKK/p (Upotipotpon Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2218)
  3. VK3SRC
  4. VK3FOWL
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK4HMI
  9. VK3HJJ/2
  10. VK2HHA
  11. VK2LEE
  12. VK4FDJL
  13. VK5HS
  14. VK5CZ
  15. VK3GB/p
  16. VK1DA
  17. VK2PBC
  18. VK5FANA
  19. VK3ATO
  20. ZL1TM
  21. VK3CWF
  22. VK5HAA
  23. VK2DG
  24. VK2KMI
  25. VK2FA/m
  26. VK3PF
  27. VK1DI
  28. VK2PKT
  29. VK3ARH
  30. VK4HNS
  31. VK6XN/p (Leuwin-​Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283)
  32. VK2YK
  33. VK5GA
  34. VK2VH
  35. VK4AAC/2
  36. VK5CIA
  37. VK4SMA
  38. VK2IO
  39. VK3VDX
  40. VK5XB
  41. VK2NZ
  42. VK5PE
  43. VK6FBOS
  44. VK3MLU
  45. VK3ALF

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4KC/p (Bouldercombe Gorge Conservation Park VKFF-1483)
  2. VK3TKK/p (Upotipotpon Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2218)
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK2HHA
  6. VK2IO
  7. VK4NH
  8. VK4DXA
  9. ZL4TY/VK4
  10. VK3SRC
  11. VK3FOWL
  12. VK3YSP
  13. VK3MCK
  14. VK3MPR
  15. VK2XOR
  16. VK3CMC
  17. VK2KYO
  18. VK4BXX
  19. VK4/NN3Z
  20. VK4FDJL
  21. VK2EAC
  22. VK5HS
  23. VK4HNS
  24. VK2HRX
  25. VK2YES
  26. VK4HAT
  27. VK5PE
  28. VK3CWF
  29. VK3ARH
  30. VK3ATO
  31. VK3LF
  32. VK5ATJ
  33. VK2FPAR
  34. VK2FAPC
  35. VK1NV
  36. VK3ABI
  37. VK4HMI
  38. VK2AGB
  39. VK6XN/p (Leuwin-​Naturaliste National Park VKFF-0283)
  40. VK5PL
  41. VK5XB
  42. VK5KKS
  43. VK7ALH
  44. VK5CZ
  45. VK2VH
  46. VK4AAC/2
  47. VK6YR
  48. VK5KLV
  49. VK2KMI
  50. VK3AJA/5
  51. VK3MLU
  52. VK3BBB
  53. VK2CCP
  54. VK4SMA
  55. VK5SCR
  56. VK3CRG
  57. VK5KHZ
  58. VK4PDX
  59. VK4LJB

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK4PDX
  3. VK5KHZ
  4. VK5XB
  5. VK3CRG
  6. VK3BBB
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK2HHA
  9. VK5LTD

Marija and I hurriedly packed up and headed back into Renmark to our motel. We had a quick shower and then headed out for dinner at Ashleys Restaurant at our motel with Ivan VK5HS and his wife Cheryl, Peter VK5PE, Danny VK5DW, and Di the wife of Larry VK5LY (SK). Larry was a very keen park activator and hunter and is sorely missed by all. It was an absolutely brilliant night out with plenty of ‘war stories’ and laughs with great people.

References.

  1. Birds SA, 2021, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/cooltong-conservation-park/>, viewed 26th April 2021
  2. A compendium of Place Names of South Australia, 20201, <https://published.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/placenamesofsouthaustralia/>, viewed 26th April 2021

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