Day six and the Hattah Kulkyne National Park VKFF-0231

Day six of our trip (Sunday 11th April 2021) had rolled around very quickly. Today we planned to activate the Hattah Kulkyne National Park VKFF-0231 for day two of the Activation Weekend for the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award (KRMNPA).

We have activated Hattah Kulkyne previously for both KRMNPA and the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program. The park is located about 50 km south of Mildura and about 493 km north-west of the city of Melbourne.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Hattah Kulkyne National Park in north-western Victoria. Map c/o Protected Planet.

Before heading out to the park, we visited the Langtree Cafe in Mildura once again for a terrific cooked meal. We can highly recommend this cafe. Good service, prompt delivery of your meal, and well priced good tucker.

We then headed south out of Mildura on the Calder Highway which was named after William Calder, who was the Chairman of the Country Roads Board (now VicRoads) from 1913 to 1928. We then turned left onto the Hattah-Robinvale Road and entered the park via the main entrance. The park was well signposted.

The Hattah-Kulkyne National Park is 48,000-hectare (120,000-acre) in size and was proclaimed on the 7th day of June 1960. It is the oldest National Park in the region.

Above:- An aerial view showing the boundaries of the Hattah Kulkyne National Park. Image c/o Protected Planet.

The area was once part of the Kulkyne Station, a 3,000,000 acre squatter run. It subsequently became a State Forest and was logged heavily. During the 1930s Mildura resident Les Chandler initiated campaigns which subsequently led to the creation of the Hattah Kulkyne National Park.

Leslie Gordon Chandler (1888-1980) was an ornitholgist and photographer. He attended school in the Dandenong Ranges and used the walk to school to observe nature. At age 18 he commenced to give talks to schools and by 1907 he became one of Australia’s earliest photographers or birds. In that same year he joined the Bird Observer’s Club, the Royal Australasian Ornithologists’ Union in 1910, and then in 1914 he joined the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria. In 1912 he took part in Australia’s first bird-banding scheme. From 1909 he published more than 100 articles on nature.

More information on this very interesting man can be found at……

https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/chandler-leslie-gordon-les-9725

Above:- Les Chandler atop a tree fixing a camera to take photos of Wedge-tailed eagles. Image c/o Mildura Arts Centre Facebook page

Hattah Kulkyne National Park and the adjoining Murray Kulkyne Park were declared a biosphere reserve in 1981 under UNESCO’s Mand and the Biosphere program which aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

Above:- An aerial view of the park looking north towards Mildura and Wentworth. The Murray River can be seen on the right of the image. Image c/o Google maps

The park lies in lies in typical mallee country with extensive low scrub and open native pine woodland. The lakes within the park and the surrounding floodplain contain 10 different vegetation communities with 115 significant flora species. The area supports about 308 different native fauna species, of which 57 are considered threatened in Victoria or nationally.

Over 1,000 aboriginal cultural sites have been recorded.

During the Second World War an internment camp for Italian Prisoners of War was located at Hattah Kulkyne. Some of the foundation posts of the two main buildings remain, along with the remains of fireplaces. ‘1942’ is inscribed in one of the bricks. There is no documentary evidence of prisoners here, however local sources indicate that there was a camp and that they possibly worked for the Forestry Commission.

There are eighteen lakes in the park, the largest being Lake Hattah. Others include Lake Bulla, Lake Arawak, Marramook Lake, Lake Brockie, Lake Roonki, and Lake Brockie. Most of these lakes and their streams are completely empty during the dry season. They are seasonally filled and support food and shelter for various waterbirds and fish.

The Hattah Kulkyne Lakes are listed under the Ramsar Convention. The signing of the convention took place in 1971 at the small Iranian town of Ramsar and is the first modern treaty between nations aimed at conserving natural resources.

Native mammals found in the park include Western Grey Kangaroos, Red Kangaroos, Eastern Grey kangaroos and Koalas. Over 200 bird species have been recorded in the Hattah Kulyne National Park, which is overlapped by the Murray-Sunset, Hattah and Annuello Important Bird Area (IBA). It was identified by BirdLife International as an IBA as it contains mallee habitat which supports numerous threatened mallee birds including the Malleefowl, the Black-eared Miner, and the Mallee emu-wren. 

We headed to the main campground area and to our pleasure we found it almost empty. There were just two caravans, so we had plenty of places to choose from to shade ourselves from the sun and string out the linked dipole.

I kicked off the activation. Our first contact was with Chris VK3MCO/p, followed by a Park to Park contact with Bryan VK3LF/p who was activating the Morwell National Park VKFF-0626.

I did not get the rush of callers I expected and after logging 22 stations on 40m we decided to try our luck on the 80m band. Contacts on 40m were logged from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK5. This included the following Park to Park QSOs:-

  • Bryan VK3LF/p – Morwell National Park VKFF-0626
  • Joe VK3SRC/p – Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627

On 80m between the two of us we logged a total of 21 stations from VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7. That included the following Park to Park QSOs:-

  • Allen VK3ARH/p – Barmah National Park VKFF-0739
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627

We moved back to the 40m band where we logged a total of 95 QSOs from VK1, VK3, and VK7. It included the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Tony VK3YV/p – Wilsons Promontory National Park VKFF-0539
  • Tim VK5AV/3 – Cobboboonee National Park VKFF-0728
  • Peter VK2FPAR/p – William Howe Regional Park VKFF-2786
  • Joe VK3SRC/p – Churchill National Park VKFF-0621
  • Julie VK3FOWL – Churchill National Park VKFF-0621
  • Joe VK3YSP/p – Churchill National Park VKFF-0621
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Shepherds Hill Recreation Park VKFF-1744
  • Tim VK5AV/3 – Budj Bim (formerly Mount Eccles) National Park VKFF-0345
  • Brett VK3MCA – Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Cockle Bay Nature Reserve VKFF-1908

I then moved to the 20m band where I logged 5 stations, all from Queensland.

It was then back to the 40m band where a further 38 stations were logged including the following Park to Park QSOs:-

  • Tony VK3XV/p – Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Onkaparinga River Recreation Park VKFF-1738
  • Alan VK2MG – Wyrrabalong National Park VKFF-0550
  • James VK3JBM/p – Grampians National Park VKFF-0213
  • David VK3GP/p – Grampians National Park VKFF-0213
  • John VK5HAA/p – Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park VKFF-0926
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132

We were told by a couple of the park hunters that Paul VK0PD at Casey Station Antarctica VKFF-0571 was on 20m, so we quickly lowered the squid pole and removed the links for the 20m section of the antenna and headed to 14.235.

I was extremely pleased to get the Park to Park with Paul with 5/8 sent and 5/7 received.

I then moved up to 14.310 and called CQ and logged four stations, Neil VK4HNS Lew VK4KLA, John VK6NU, and Linda VK7QP.

To conclude the activation we moved back to the 40m band and called CQ on 7.100 where a further 22 stations including the following Park to Park contacts were logged:-

  • Allen VK3ARH/p – Hepburn Regional Park VKFF-0968
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Saratoga Island Nature Reserve VKFF-2713
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Onkaparinga River National Park VKFF-0402
  • Tim VK5AV/3 – Mount Richmond National Park VKFF-0361

It was getting a little late in the afternoon and as we had a dinner commitment and a lecture that night, we packed up, feeling very pleased with a total of 217 QSOs in the log. This included 53 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3LF/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  2. VK3SRC (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)
  3. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  4. VK3PF/p (Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627)
  5. VK3YV/p (Wilsons Promontory National Park VKFF-0539)
  6. VK5AV/3 (Cobboboonee National Park VKFF-0728)
  7. VK2FPAR/p (William Howe Regional Park VKFF-2786)
  8. VK5DJ
  9. VK5BMC
  10. VK5FANA
  11. VK1RB
  12. VK7QP
  13. VK5MAS
  14. VK7EE
  15. VK3BOT
  16. VK2XSE
  17. VK2HHA
  18. VK3SRC/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  19. VK3FOWL/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  20. VK3PF/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  21. VK5CZ
  22. VK3HSB
  23. VK5GY
  24. VK7ME
  25. VK3CWF
  26. VK3PMC
  27. VK4HNS
  28. VK2IO/p (Cockle Bay Nature Reserve VKFF-1908)
  29. VK3BT
  30. VK2QK
  31. VK5WG
  32. VK5FUSE
  33. VK3FXBR
  34. VK4KC
  35. VK4MAD
  36. VK4DOG
  37. VK8PLT/5
  38. VK5NMG
  39. VK2OQ
  40. VK3MLD
  41. VK7LG
  42. VK2YK/5 (Shepherds Hill Recreation Park VKFF-1744)
  43. VK1DA
  44. VK3SQ
  45. VK3AG/p
  46. VK4SMA
  47. VK5AV/3 (Budj Bim (formerly Mount Eccles) National Park VKFF-0345)
  48. VK3XV/p (Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)
  49. VK2YK/5 (Onkaparinga River Recreation Park VKFF-1738)
  50. VK2MG/p (Wyrrabalong National Park VKFF-0550)
  51. VK3GP/p (Grampians National Park VKFF-0213)
  52. VK3JBM/p (Grampians National Park VKFF-0213)
  53. VK5HAA/p (Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park VKFF-0926)
  54. VK3PF/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  55. VK3ARH/p (Hepburn Regional Park VKFF-0968)
  56. VK2IO/p (Saratoga Island Nature Reserve VKFF-2713)
  57. VK2YK/5 (Onkaparinga River National Park VKFF-0402)
  58. VK5AV/p (Mount Richmond National Park VKFF-0361)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2VH
  2. VK4AAC/2
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK3ARH/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  5. VK2YK
  6. VK5GA
  7. VK2DG
  8. VK3PF/p (Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627)
  9. VK3OHM
  10. VK3BBB
  11. VK2CCP
  12. VK7QP

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3MCO/m
  2. VK3LF/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  3. VK2PKT
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK3SRC/p (Mornington Peninsula National Park VKFF-0333)
  6. VK4SMA
  7. VK4SYD
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK2YES
  12. VK4KC
  13. VK4MAD
  14. VK4DOG
  15. VK4HNS
  16. VK4FDJL
  17. VK5IS
  18. VK6YTS
  19. VK3OHM
  20. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  21. VK3ZPF
  22. VK3PF/p (Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627)
  23. VK3YV/p (Wilsons Promontory National Park VKFF-0539)
  24. VK1CT
  25. VK7QP
  26. VK5AV/3 (Cobboboonee National Park VKFF-0728)
  27. VK2FADV
  28. VK5FANA
  29. VK2FPAR/p (William Howe Regional Park VKFF-2786)
  30. VK3SQ
  31. VK3MPR
  32. VK3CAT
  33. VK3EJ
  34. Vk4CZ
  35. VK3DAC
  36. VK3CWF
  37. VK3NCR
  38. VK2NZ
  39. VK5PL
  40. VK7FAMP
  41. VK7LTD
  42. VK5PET
  43. VK3TKK/m
  44. VK5WG
  45. VK7AN
  46. VK5KLV
  47. VK1DI
  48. VK3ZL/m
  49. VK3SRC/m
  50. VK2JNA/m
  51. VK2XSE
  52. VK3ALF
  53. VK7EE
  54. VK3BVQ
  55. VK3VKT
  56. VK3HJV
  57. VK5BMC
  58. VK5DJ
  59. VK5TT
  60. VK2UXO
  61. VK3SRC/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  62. VK3FOWL/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  63. VK3PF/p (Churchill National Park VKFF-0621)
  64. VK2YK/5 (Shepherds Hill Recreation Park VKFF-1744)
  65. VK2HHA
  66. VK3PT
  67. VK3AXH
  68. VK3BT
  69. VK5GY
  70. VK7FCIA
  71. VK5AV/3 (Budj Bim (formerly Mount Eccles) National Park VKFF-0345)
  72. VK5IS/m
  73. VK2DG
  74. VK3MCA/p (Kara Kara National Park VKFF-0629)
  75. VK3ACZ
  76. VK5CZ
  77. VK3HBG
  78. VK8PLT/5
  79. VK3HSB
  80. VK3XV/p (Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)
  81. VK4EPS/m
  82. VK4ACX
  83. VK3ZMD
  84. VK2YK/5 (Onkaparinga River Recreation Park VKFF-1738)
  85. VK2MG/p (Wyrrabalong National Park VKFF-0550)
  86. VK3JBM/p (Grampians National Park VKFF-0213)
  87. VK3GP/p (Grampians National Park VKFF-0213)
  88. VK3MKE
  89. VK2HRX
  90. ZL1TM
  91. VK3AWA
  92. VK3ZM
  93. VK5NPP
  94. VK3GOW
  95. VK3AHR
  96. VK3PWG
  97. VK3VRA
  98. VK5PE
  99. VK5ZTS
  100. VK7DON
  101. VK5HAA/p (Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park VKFF-0926)
  102. VK3PF/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  103. VK3DA
  104. VK5TOM
  105. VK5FR
  106. VK3CRG
  107. VK5UW
  108. VK5BW
  109. VK5JP
  110. VK3HAL
  111. VK2FF
  112. VK3ALA
  113. VK5AYL
  114. VK3ARH/p (Hepburn Regional Park VKFF-0968)
  115. ZL1TM
  116. VK2IO/p (Saratoga Island Nature Reserve VKFF-2713)
  117. VK5LA
  118. VK7HOB
  119. VK2ZG
  120. VK2YK/5 (Onkaparinga River National Park VKFF-0402)
  121. VK2AKA/m
  122. VK7PAL
  123. VK4HMI
  124. VK5XB
  125. VK2GMC
  126. VK2VK
  127. VK5AV/3 (Mount Richmond National Park VKFF-0361)
  128. VK5LG

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ARH/p (Barmah National Park VKFF-0739)
  2. VK3PF/p (Organ Pipes National Park VKFF-0627)
  3. VK2VH
  4. VK4AAC/2
  5. VK5FANA
  6. VK2DG
  7. VK5VRT
  8. VK5AYL
  9. VK5MRT

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4KC
  2. VK4MAD
  3. VK4DOG
  4. VK4CZ
  5. VK4NZ
  6. VK0PD (Casey Station Antarctica VKFF-0571)
  7. VK4HNS
  8. VK4KLA
  9. VK6NU
  10. VK7QP

References.

Australian Government, 2021, <http://www.environment.gov.au/water/wetlands/ramsar>, viewed 5th May 2021.

Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2021, <https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/chandler-leslie-gordon-les-9725>, viewed 5th May 2021

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park and Murray Kulkyne Park Visitor Guide, 2014.

Parks Victoria, 2021, <https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/hattah—kulkyne-national-park>, viewed 5th May 2021

Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 2021, <https://www.historyvictoria.org.au/product/returning-the-kulkyne-by-john-burch/>, viewed 5th May 2021

State Government Victoria, 2021, Victorian Heritage Database place details.

Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calder_Highway>, viewed 5th May 2021.

Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hattah-Kulkyne_National_Park>, viewed 5th May 2021.

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