Day 6 – Rottnest Island, Freeo, and Alfred Cove Nature Reserve VKFF-1844

This was our last day (24th October 2022) before heading home. Marija and I headed to Freemantle and then caught the ferry over to Rottnest Island.

We were going to take some amateur radio gear over to Rottnest Island, but decided to spend the day sightseeing over there instead. Rottnest Island is a 19-square-kilometre island about 18 km west of Freemantle. The island is a popular recreational and tourist destination.

Marija and I caught the ferry back to Fremantle and whilst waiting for Hans VK6XN to pick us, we wandered around the streets of Freemantle. There are some magnificent historic buildings in ‘Freeo’.

Hans VK6XN then picked us up and we headed to the Alfred Cove Nature Reserve VKFF-1844 for an activation for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Alfred Cove Nature Reserve. Map c/o Google maps.

The park is named after the adjacent sheltered cove, Alfred Cove, in the Swan River. It was named after Alfred Waylen (b. 1805. d. 1856), an early settler, who was granted Swan Location 74, covering most of the present day Alfred Cove and Myaree. His son, Alfred Waylen was the first person born in the colony of Western Australia to qualify as a doctor.

Above:- Dr. Alfred Waylen. c/o Swan Guildford Historical Society.

The park is popular for caonoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The park contains mudflats, seagrass beds and intertidal vegetation, which provide many different habitats for a variety of animals and birds. Of these the most important are the migratory wading birds due to their international significance. These birds come to Alfred Cove from thousands of kilometres away from places as far away as Asia, Mongolia and Siberia.

The marshland is the breeding area of about 31 species of bird including the Buff-banded Rail, Spotless Crake, and Black-winged Stilt. A total of 48 species of bird have been recorded in the mud flats. The treed area of the park is home to about 36 species of bird including Galah, Striated Pardalote, and Tree Martin. Numerous raptors also call the park home including Ospreys.

Below is a view of the CBD of Perth, not far from where we were operating from.

We found a nice comfortable bench and table and ran Han’s Yaesu FT857 and end fed antenna for this activation. Both Marija and I qualified the park for the VKFF program with 10 contacts each, all on the 40m band. We had no luck this time with DX on the 20m band. It was quite a surprise to work Danny ON4ON on 40m.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5HS
  4. VK5BJE
  5. VK5CZ
  6. VK3BBB
  7. VK2CCP
  8. VK6JQ
  9. VK6GUY
  10. VK6NU
  11. VK2IO

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5HS
  4. VK5BJE
  5. VK6JQ
  6. VK6GUY
  7. VK6NU
  8. VK2IO
  9. VK6GC
  10. VK3APJ
  11. VK4SMA
  12. VK4TJ
  13. ON4ON


  1. BirdLife Western Australia, Birdwatching around Melville brouchure
  2. Parks WA, 2022, <>, viewed 24th November 2022.
  3. Wikipedia, 2022, <>, viewed 24th November 2022.
  4. Wikipedia, 2022, <,_Western_Australia>, viewed 24th November 2022.

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