It was now day four (31st October 2022) of our Tasmania trip. Marija and I had planned to meet a number of amateur radio operators for breakfast and coffee in Launceston. We headed to the cafe at Glebe Gardens where we caught up with John VK7XX, Andrew VK7DW, and a number of other amateurs. It was a really enjoyable morning.
It had belted down with rain whilst we were at Glebe Gardens, but the weather had cleared a little so we decided to head to Cataract Gorge, a river gorge which is located at the lower section of the South Esk River. It is a premier tourist attraction in Launceston.
Due to all of the recent heavy rain in Tasmania, the Gorge was in flood during our visit, with an enormous amount of water flowing down the South Esk River.
We took the chairlift across the First Basin. The chairlifet which was built in 1972, is the longest single-span chairlift in the world. It has a total span of 457 metres. Its longest span is 30 metres.
The Cataract Gorge gardens are home to numerous peacocks.
We also viewed numerous other birds at Cataract Gorge including both native species and introduced species including sparr ows and blackbirds.
We then visited Franklin House, a Georgian style house which was built in 1836 for former convict Britton Jones, a Launceston brewer and innkeeper. Between 1842 and 1866 it was a school for boys whilst leased to schoolmaster William Keeler Hawkes. In 1960 Franklin House became the first heritage property taken over by the National Trust in Tasmania.
We then wandered over the road to have a look at St James Anglican Church. It was originally known as Franklin Village Chapel and was built in 1845.
We then headed to the Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area VKFF-1141 for a park activation for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.
Above:- Map of Tasmania showing the location of the Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area. Map c/o Google maps
The park is located just outside of Launceston. There are three access points to the park: through the Silverdome complex; an entrance on the Bass Highway side of the reserve; or via the Kings Meadows connector on the Midland Highway.
Above:- An aerial view of the Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area. Image c/o Google maps.
Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area is named in honour of Kate Reed, the wife of Henry Reed (b. 1806. d. 1880) who owned Mount Pleasant Estate. Reed was a landowner, shipowner, merchant and philanthropist. In 1874 he purchased Mount Pleasant from the bankrupt estate of a friend John Crookes. He renovated the house making it the finest house in northern Tasmania. The estate once included the land that today makes up Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area.
Above:- Mrs. Kate Reed and family. Image c/o Libraries Tasmania.
The reserve contains approximately 120ha of remnant native vegetation. It is the home to numerous threatened plant species including Trailing Speedwell.
The reserve contains a network of mountain biking trails and walking trails.
We accessed the park via the Silverdome complex and operated in the north eastern corner of the park.
Above:- Aerial view of the park showing our operating spot. Image c/o Google Earth.
We ran the Yaesu FT857, 40 watts output, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.
Band conditions on 40m were really poor and there were long periods of calling CQ with no takers. But persistence paid off and we both qualified the park for the Australian chapter of WWFF (VKFF) and I went on to get 44 QSOs for the global program.
There was a nice little opening on 20m into Europe on the long path with Malta, Italy, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, France, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Slovak Republic logged.
Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
- V K4AAC
I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-
After packing up we headed back to our hotel and enjoyed a very nice meal and of course some dessert.
- St James, 2022, <https://stjfv.org.au/>, viewed 13th December 2022.
- Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service, 2022, <https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/kate-reed-nature-recreation-area>, viewed 13th December 2022.
- Wikipedia, 2022, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataract_Gorge>, viewed 13th December 2022.
- Wikipedia, 2022, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_House_(Launceston)>, viewed 13th December 2022.
Great work on the park…persistence!
Also great to see the gorge after we were there in July, such a difference!
We were told that the gorge had subsided quite a bit compared to what it was like a few weeks before our visit.
It was quite amazing to see the grounds in flood and the amount of water flowing down the gorge.