Mole Creek Karst National Park VKFF-0322

After packing up at Mount Roland (16th November 2022) Marija and I headed to our next park for the day, the Mole Creek Karst National Park VKFF-0322.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Mole Creek Karst National Park. Map c/o Google maps.

Our first stop along the way was the Mersey Valley/Olivers Road Scenic lookout which offered spectacular views of the Great Western Tiers.

We soon reached the Mole Creek Karst National Park. This is one of those unusual parks in that it is made up of a number of different sections. In fact there are a total of twelve (12) separate blocks comprising an area of 13.45 km2.

Above:- Aerial view showing the various sections of the Mole Creek Karst National Park. Image c/o Google Earth.

Mole Creek Karst National Park is the only Tasmanian National Park specifically created to protect karst (sinkholes and caves) landforms. It is is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site. The park contains numerous caves (a total of 470) with the two best known being the King Solomon Cave and the Marakoopa cave.

Unfortunately the caves were all shut during our time in Tasmania due to flooding and the very heavy rain that Tasmania had experienced prior to our arrival. We were very disappointed, but we will be back.

The park takes its name from the streams in the area which appear to disappear into the ground.

The Mole Creek Karst National Park has numerous animal species which are unique to the Karst system and are listed as protected cave species. Glow worms Arachnocampus tasmaniensis inhabit many of the caves and are a big tourist attraction. Other protected cave species include particular crickets and beetles. The Mole Creek Pseudoscorpion Pseudotyrannochthonius typhlus is a very rare creature which is very rarely sighted.

Endangered mammals found in the park include the Eastern Barred Bandicoot which is listed as vulnerable. Endangered birds include the Grey Goshawk and the Wedge-Tailed Eagle. The Giant Freshwater Crayfish species is also considered vulnerable.

We set up in the Mersey River campgrounds alongside of the Mersey River. It was an idyllic location.

The Mersey River flows a distance of 147 km from Lake Meston onwards to Devonport. Ther Mersey was originally known as the Second Western River. In 1826 it was named the Mersey River after the Mersey River in the UK, by the Van Diemen’s Land Company’s agricultural adviser, Alexander Goldie, and surveyor Joseph Fossey.

Above:- Aerial shot showing our operating spot at the Mersey River campgrounds. Image c/o Google Maps

There was a nice wooden table and bench right alongside of the river and although it was a cool day, there was no rain. We ran the Yaesu FT857, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation .

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3VRA
  3. VK7JFD
  4. VK2MET
  5. VK1AO
  6. VK3ZSC
  7. VK3VIN
  8. VK3MDC
  9. VK3SRC
  10. VK3FOWL
  11. VK3BEL
  12. VK2HHA

Marija worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. VK4TJ
  4. VK2IO
  5. VK2MET
  6. VK1AO

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3VRA
  3. VK7JFD
  4. VK2MET
  5. VK1AO
  6. VK3ZSC
  7. VK3VIN
  8. VK3MDC
  9. VK3SRC
  10. VK3FOWL
  11. VK3BEL
  12. VK2HHA
  13. VK2EXA
  14. VK3AMO
  15. VK5BJE
  16. VK3GH
  17. VK3CAT

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB :-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK4NH
  3. VK4DXA
  4. VK2MET
  5. VK1AO
  6. VK4HAT

Although we didn’t get to 44, we did qualify the park for the VKFF chapter of the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program. We decided to move on as Joe VK3YSP convinced us to visit the hotel at Mole Creek as they had an incredible collection of material relating to the Thylacine ‘Tasmanian Tiger’. And we were hungry, so we didn’t need much convincing.

Thank you to everyone who spotted us on parksnpeaks as we had no internet coverage.

References.

  1. Our Tasmania, 2023, <https://www.ourtasmania.com.au/northwest/devonport-history.html>, viewed 5th January 2023.
  2. Where in Tasmania?, Dennis, C.J., July 2003.
  3. Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_Creek_Karst_National_Park>, viewed 5th January 2023.
  4. Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mersey_River_(Tasmania)>, viewed 5th January 2023.

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