Cocoparra National Park VKFF-0104

After leaving the Livingstone National Park, I headed back into Wagga Wagga and then travelled west out along the Sturt Highway towards Narrandera.  As I was leaving the park I spoke with Ian VK1DI on 7.095 who was portable on SOTA peak Mount Coree VK1/ AC-023 and Brindabella National Park (5/3 both ways).  And then as I was about to turn on to the Holbrook Road, I spoke with Peter VK3PF who was portable on Mount Flakney VK2/ RI-025 (5/9 both ways).

Once I had reached the Sturt Highway I tuned across the 40m band and found Andrew VK1MBE calling CQ on 7.105 from SOTA peak, Mount Gillamatong, VK2/ ST-034 (5/7 sent and 5/6 received).

After reaching Narrandera I headed north on Irrigation Way through Yanco and Leeton, and then headed out on the Griffith Road to Peter VK2NEO’s property.  It was great to meet Peter for the first time.  I had spoken with Peter many times on 40m and he always has an exceptionally good signal.  I had a bite to eat at Peter’s and a cool drink.  We discussed the possibility of me activating the Cocoparra National Park, VKFF-0104, to the north of Peter’s property.  Out came Peter’s atlas and we did our sums to see if I could fit in an activation at Cocoparra.

After leaving Peter’s place I made a last minute decision to head north to activate the Cocoparra National Park.  I headed to the little town of Whitton and then travelled north along the road towards Yenda.  This appears on maps as Griffith Road and then becomes Stock Route Road.

Cocoparra National Park is 8,357 hectares (20,650 acres) in size and was established back in December 1969.  The park is 457 km southwest of Sydney and about 25 km northeast of Griffith.  The park contains a prominent range of hils, including Bingar Mountain at 455 metres and Mount Brogden at 390 metres, which is one of two SOTA summits located in the park.

The park adjoins the Binya State Forest and the Cocoparra Nature Reserve.  Make sure you are in the National Park and not in the State Forest or the Nature Reserve.  Cocoparra consists of wattles, orchids, ironbark, and blue-tinged cypress pines.  Over 140 species of birds can be found in the park, which has been classified by Bird Life International as an Important Bird Area due its relatively large population (up to 50 individuals) of the near threatened Painted Honeyeater, and also the Diamond Firetail finch.  Over 450 plants have been recorded in the park.

Above:- Diamond Firetail finch, and Painted honeyeater.  Images courtesy of wikipedia.

The park is part of the traditional lands of the Wiraduri aboriginal people.  The word Cocoparra is allied to the aboriginal word ‘cocupara’ describing the kookaburra.  Nearly 60 aboriginal sites have been found in the park.  The first Europeans to visit the Cocoparra Range were John Oxley and members of his 1817 expedition exploring the Lachlan Country.

Unfortunately I did not get time to explore this park, but I will be back, as it appears to contains some great scenery and a number of walking trails to various waterfalls located in the park.

Screenshot 2015-10-31 09.55.57

I accessed the park via Whitton Stock Route Road and then followed the dirt track to the Spring Hill Picnic area.  The road is easily passable in a conventional vehicle.  There was a nice picnic area here with plenty of room to stretch out the linked dipole and lots of shade, which was definitely required as it was a very hot afternoon.

Screenshot 2015-11-05 11.11.35

I was set up and ready to go by 0415 UTC (3.15 p.m. NSW local time).  I still had a 300 km drive to get to Balaranald, so this was going to be a quick activation.  Prior to calling CQ I had a tune across the 40m band to see what the conditions were like and how active the band was.  I found Brendon VK5FSCC operating portable from the Deep Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-0780, with a nice 5/6 signal.

I then headed up the band to 7.085 and started calling CQ.  This was immediately answered by Peter VK2NEO with a booming 5/9 plus signal.  Peter and I had a bit of a chuckle with each other about me being in the park.  Six QSOs into the activation I was called by Heath VK3TWO who was activating SOTA peak Mount Buninyong, VK3/ VC-018 (5/7 both ways).  I was then called by Sergio VK3SFG who was operating portable from the Pykes Creek Reservoir Park, about 72 km north west of Melbourne.  Another portable station then called in.  This time it was Rob VK2MT who was operating portable from Hill End Historic Site in New South Wales.  And the portable trend continued, with the next calls being from John VK3TUL and then John VK3JO, who were both with VK3SFG at the Pykes Creek Reservoir Park.

Next up was Hans VK5YX who was operating from the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Club shack with the special call of VK100ANZAC.

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A steady flow of callers followed from all across Australia.  I worked a further two SOTA activators before going QRT.  They being Allen VK3HRA/2 who was portable on Mount Flakney VK2/ RI-025, and Monique VK6FMON/3 who was with Heath, operating from Mount Buninyong.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to give 20m a go, as I still had  along drive to Balranald, and the kangaroos are unforgiving when you hit them.  This was a spur of the moment activation, but I was more than happy with the 50 QSOs, as this meant it was another unique and successful activation for the World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) program.

And on the way back to Balranald I worked a number European stations from the mobile, as part of the CQ World Wide Contest.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5FSSC/p (Deep Creek Conservation Park)
  2. VK2NEO
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK3DAC
  5. VK2VW
  6. VK3TWO/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-018)
  7. VK3SFG/p
  8. VK2MT/p
  9. VK3TUL/p
  10. VK3JO/p
  11. VK1000ANZAC
  12. VK5YX/p
  13. VK5NRG
  14. VK3YSP/m
  15. VK3FOWL/m
  16. VK2GSP
  17. VK5BJE
  18. VK3PMG
  19. VK3PI
  20. VK2YK
  21. VK2YW
  22. VK4RF
  23. VK4HA
  24. VK2IO
  25. VK7CW
  26. VK2HBG
  27. VK3TKK
  28. VK2HEW
  29. VK2JAZ
  30. VK2HJ
  31. VK3BSG/m
  32. VK1AT
  33. VK5TT
  34. VK5BW
  35. VK3CAT
  36. VK3DBP
  37. VK7MK
  38. VK3FTAD
  39. VK7NWT
  40. VK1HW
  41. VK3VEK
  42. VK7FRUS
  43. VK3AFW
  44. VK2FE
  45. VK5FAKV
  46. VK3HRA/2 (SOTA VK2/ RI-025)
  47. VK3BBB/m
  48. VK3FAPH
  49. VK2FABE
  50. VK6FMON (SOTA VK3/ VG-018)

References.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, March 1996, ‘Cocoparra National Park and Cocoparra Nature Reserve Plan of Management’.

Wikipedia, 2015, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocoparra_National_Park&gt;, viewed 5th November 2015

Livingstone National Park VKFF-0292

On Sunday morning (25th October 2015) I had a little bit of a sleep in, as my intended park activation of the Livingstone National Park, VKFF-0292, was only 30 km south of Wagga Wagga.  Nether less I was still on the road by 7.00 a.m. NSW local time.  This was my last night in Wagga Wagga.  I had stayed at the International Hotel at Wagga Wagga which I can highly recommend.

DSC_0302

I briefly drove around Wagga Wagga for a final look, before heading out to the park.  I stopped off at Geoff Lawson Oval, named after the former Australian cricketer, and also made a brief photo stop on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.

I then headed south out out of Wagga Wagga on the Holbrook Road, and then turned left onto O’Briens Creek Road, and then right onto Wrigleys Road which takes you into the park.

Screenshot 2015-10-31 09.53.02

The park is well signposted along the way.  Not the normal big brown park signs we have in South Australia.  But keep an eye out for the blue coloured signs with the NSW NPWS emblem on them.  The park was clearly visible as I travelled along O’Briens Creek Road, as was Mount Flakney which I had activated the day before.

I entered the park via Wrigleys Road and followed the dirt track up to Pine Ridge Track.  This looked like a nice elevated position to operate from.

I found a small clearing on the northern side of Pine Ridge Track where people had obviously been camping, as there was a little campfire.  I parked the 4WD and started setting up the gear.

Screenshot 2015-10-11 18.43.14

Livingstone National Park was established in January 2001 and is about 1,920 hectares in size.  The park was originally proclaimed as a State Forest in 1915 for timber located within the forest which was to be preserved for the town of Junee.  At one stage there was a railway line located next to the forest, used to carry timber.  In fact the park is still marked on Google maps as a State Forest (a good example of why I don’t rely on Google Maps).   In 1976 the Wagga Wildlife and Conservation Society requested that the state forest be gazetted as a national park after it was under threat, however the request was denied.  It wasn’t until January 2001 that the State Forest was gazetted as a National Park.

The park consists of four different types of vegetation, including grass trees, mallee, kangaroo grass, and open forest.  The park has been identified as having one of two colonies of squirrel gliders, located in southern New South Wales.  Over 100 species of native birds call the park home.  Livingstone National Park has been identified by BirdLife International due to its importance for the conservation of Swift Parrots and Superb Parrots.

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After setting up I headed to 7.144, the frequency I had nominated on parksnpeaks.  Unfortunately the CQ World Wide contest was on and there were some very strong signals across the entire 40m band, including A71CV from Qatar on 7.144.  So I headed down the band and found that 7.085 was clear.  I started calling CQ and my first park hunter for this activation was Col VK5HCF in Mount Gambier with a good strong 5/8 signal.  This was followed by John VK5BJE, Peter VK5FLEX, and then John VK5NJ.  All with good strong 5/9 signals.

My next caller was Rob VK4FFAB who was portable in Aramoor National Park, VKFF-0662 with a very respectable 5/9 signal to Livingstone.

I went on to work a further 16 stations around Australia, including Peter VK2NEO who I arranged to catch up with later in the day.  It was at this time that I heard some rustling in the undergrowth.  As the two fugutives, the Stoccos, were still at large in the general area, my ears pricked up.  Fortunately, up over a ridgeline came some mountain bikers, who saw my 4WD and appeared a bit concerned as well.  I had a chat to the 2 lads who were locals, about their hobby and mine.  We also shared the view that we would high tail it out of the area if we saw the Stocco’s vehicle.

After the lads rode off into the bush, I hopped back on the radio and called CQ again.  This was answered by Ian VK5CZ/2 who was mobile out of Wagga Wagga to a summit for an activation as part of the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program.   After my contact with Ian, I had a steady flow of callers from across Australia.  Unfortunately I had a VK7 Foundation station calling and calling and calling, but not responding to my calls back to him.  So this made it a bit hard to pull out some of the weaker stations that were calling me.  Sorry if I missed anyone.

I was just about to scout around the bands to find the Wagga SOTA & Parks symposium attendees, who I knew were going to be out undertaking some SOTA activations, when Peter VK3PF/2 called me with a 5/9 plus signal from nearby Mount Flakney.  Peter was on the summit with John VK2YW/p, Warren VK3BYD/2, and Knud VK2KJJ, all of whom gave me a call.

A local VK3 net was about to commence on 7.085 so I headed off to have a look around the 40m band.  I found Dave, VK2JDC activating the Nangar National Park, calling CQ on 7.113 with a strong 5/8 signal.

I then headed over to 20m and struggled to find a clear frequency due to the contest.  I called CQ on 14.308 and this was answered by Rick VK4RF, followed by Mike VK6MB, and then Peter VK6RZ.  Unfortunately another VK6 came up just below us and started calling CQ contest, so that put a quick halt to my activity on 20m.

I headed back to 40m, hoping to find Marcus VK3TST and Dave VK4DD who were also going to be out and about activating a local summit.  It wasn’t long before I found them on 7.090 calling CQ from a great summit called Wheel of Fortune, VK2/ RI-031.

My last contact before going QRT was with Ian VK5CZ/2 who was on top of Mount Flakney, VK2/ RI-025.

It was now just after 10.00 a.m. NSW local time, and I needed to pack up and head off to Leeton to catch up with Peter VK2NEO.  I had a total of 51 contacts in the log.  Another new park for me and with over 44 contacts I had qualified the park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5HCF
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5FLEX
  4. VK5NJ
  5. VK4FFAB/p (Aramoor National Park)
  6. VK5FMID
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK5FTRG
  9. VK5FTVR
  10. VK5AV
  11. VK5HS
  12. VK7NWT
  13. VK2YK
  14. VK5EE
  15. VK7ZM
  16. VK5JK/p
  17. VK4HNS/p
  18. VK3PMG
  19. VK7MK
  20. VK3VTH
  21. VK2NEO
  22. VK5CZ/2
  23. VK2VW
  24. VK3ZZS/4
  25. VK4RF
  26. VK4HA
  27. VK3AP/2
  28. VK4AAC/5
  29. VK2KF
  30. VK5MBD
  31. VK5FMJC
  32. VK2GGA
  33. VK3FCAS/p
  34. VK2LGW
  35. VK5FUZZ
  36. VK5ATQ
  37. VK2FPQ
  38. VK3PF/2 (SOTA VK2/ RI-025)
  39. VK2YW/p (SOTA VK2/ RI-025)
  40. VK3BYD/2 (SOTA VK2/ RI-025)
  41. VK2KJJ/p (SOTA VK2/ RI-025)
  42. VK2AAA
  43. VK2IO
  44. VK2JDC/p (Nangar National Park)
  45. VK3TST/2 (SOTA VK2/ RI-031)
  46. VK4DD/2 (SOTA VK2/ RI-031)
  47. VK5CZ/2 (SOTA VK2/ RI-025)

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK6MB
  4. VK6RZ

 

References.

Wikipedia, 2015, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livingstone_National_Park&gt;, viewed 5th November 2015.

Yanga National Park VKFF-0554

After leaving Wyperfield National Park I hit the road again and continued my journey east along the Mallee Highway, through the towns of Ouyen, Kulwin, Manangatang, and then Piangil, heading for the Yanga National Park (NP) VKFF-0554, near my intended overnight stop at Balranald in the far southwest of New South Wales (NSW).

Screenshot 2015-10-31 09.02.31

Above:- Map showing the location of Yanga National Park in New South Wales.  Image courtesy of google maps

After reaching the junction of the Mallee Highway and the Murray Valley Highway I turned left and headed into the little town of Tooleybuc.  This is where you cross over the mighty Murray River which forms the border between the States of Victoria and New South Wales.  Tooleybuc is the home to a historic bridge which was constructed in 1907.  The bridge was designed to rise to allow paddle steamers to pass through.  I stopped briefly here for a photo stop and some lunch, and then made a shot detour into the Tooleybuc cemetery to take some photographs of some headstones, as family history is another hobby of mine.

I then continued north on the Mallee Highway, passing through the little town of Kyalite, and on to Balranald.  I booked in to the caravan park, and offloaded some of my gear, and I then headed back out to the Yanga National Park.  If you are passing through this area, I would highly recommend the caravan park here at Balranald.  It is situated on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, which is Australia’s second longest river and is a major tributary of the Murray River.  I stayed in a self contained cabin which was very clean and contained all the required essentials.

http://www.balranaldcaravanpark.com.au/

I accessed Yanga National Park via Woolshed Road, which runs off Windomal Road to the south west of Balranald.  This part of the park is very well sign posted.  You can also access the park off the Sturt Highway.

Yanga National Park was established in February 2007 and is a large park, comprising 667,334 hectares.  It has a 170 km frontage on the Murrumbidgee River.  The park was formerly an important pastoral station which was established in the 1830’s, by explorer, William WENTWORTH.  Yanga Station was in its time, the largest privately owned station in the southern hemispherem covering 210,000 acres including the historic Yanga homestead which was built in around 1870.  In July 2005, the NSW Government announced that it had purchased the station with the intention of creating a National Park.  About 2 years later, on the 28th February 2007 the park was gazetted as a National Park.

William_Wentworth

Above:- William WENTWORTH.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Over 300 plant species have been documented in the Yanga National Park.  The park comprises River red gum forest and woodland, black box woodland, and lignum/nitre goosefoot shrubland, and spike rush dominated sedgeland.  Yanga NP incorporates a number of wetlands and as a result, a large amount of native wildlife can be found in the park.  A total of 24 reptile species including geckos, goanna, dragons, skinks, snakes and turtles can be found in the park.  A total of 18 fish species also call the park home.  And around 33 mammal species and about 150 species of birds can also be found in the park.  The number of bird species varies dependant on the amount of water in the wetlands.

Prior to activating the park I stopped off at the historic Yanga woolshed, which when constructed, was once the Riverina region’s largest.  The wooldshed was built during the late 1800’s and housed 3,000 sheep and provided work for up to 40 shearers at a time.  Yanga was a working woolshed up until 2005.  There are a number of interpretive displays in the shed which give you a great insight into the history of the woolshed.  If you visit the park, this is a must see.

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After visiting the woolshed I headed to the Mamanga campground area, and followed the dirt tracks to a nice quiet spot alongside the Murrumbidgee River.  There were plenty of options, with a number of campspots alongside of the river.  Should you decide to camp here, there are great facilities including picnic tables, wood barbecues, and toilets.

Screenshot 2015-10-31 08.48.06

Above:- Map of Yanga National Park, showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of

For this activation I again ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20m/40m linked dipole, supported on the top of the 7 metre telescopic squid pole.  There was a strategically placed wooden table and benches in the camp ground I chose, so I secured the squid pole to the table with the help of a long octopus strap.  As it was a nice sunny day, I also had the solar panels out to top up the battery.

I was on air and ready to go by just after 0500 UTC (4.00 p.m. New South Wales local time).  I headed for my nominated operating frequency of 7.144 and started calling CQ.  My CQ call was answered by the ever reliable John VK5BJE who was a very nice 5/9 signal to Yanga.  This was followed by another park devotee, Mick VK3PMG, and then Rob VK4AAC who was portable in the Kelvin Powrie Conservation Park, VKFF-0899.

After working a total of 31 stations on 40m in VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7, I lowered the squid pole and removed the links in the dipole and headed for my nominated operating frequency of 14.310.  Once I got there I found that the frequency was already occupied by another WWFF park activator, YP1WFF in Romania.  Unfortunately they were a little low down for me and had a very big pile up from Europe.  I gave half a dozen calls but soon realised that it was going to be very very difficult to break through.  So I headed up to 14.315 and started calling CQ.  Sadly I had no takers there, so I decided to head down a little lower and started calling CQ on 14.299.

This was answed by Mike VK6MB in Perth in Western Australia with a good 5/5 signal to New South Wales.  Not bad considering that is a distance of about 3,000 km.  We call that a local contact down here in Australia.  There are many other parts of the world where that would be DX, with multiple countries in between.  My next caller was Jozsef HA6NF in Hungary, followed by Luciano I5FLN in Italy, and then Max IK1GPG in Italy.

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The 20m band on the long path into Europe seemed to be in reasonable condition, and I had a good steady flow of callers from Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Russia, Israel, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Pol;and, and Estonia.  Many of the callers were the regular European WWFF park hunters, but there was a scattering of new callers.  But the European run did not last for long and after working 19 stations on 14.299, things went very quiet.  So I took the opportunity of having a look across the band.  I found special event station LZ130SAK in Bulgaria calling CQ on 14.213 with a good 5/9 signal.  After a few calls I got through.  I then found FM/VE8DX with a massive pile up on 14.188.  It would have been a real thrill to get Martinique Island in the log, but the pile up was huge from Europe and it just wasn’t worth a shot.  I also heard PJ2/IK7YTT on 14.216 in Curacao, but again the pile up was enormous.

I then found a clear frequency on 14.275 and called CQ and this was answered by WWFF parks activator and hunter, Swa ON5SWA with a 5/7 signal from Belgium.  Two more Belgium stations followed, Gilbert ON4GI and then Luk ON4BB.  I worked a further 43 stations from Belgium, Russia, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Ukraine, Austria, Sweden, Germany, France, Poland, England, Luxembourg, and Estonia.

After things had slowed down on 20m I headed back to 40m to see if I could get some of the park desperados in the log.  Unfortunately I could not get back onto 7.144 as the frequency was occupied by some European stations.  And I did find it hard to get a clear frequency as there were some very good signals coming in from Europe.  I called CQ about 7 or 8 times on 7.150, but unfortunately had no takers.  It was 6.30 p.m. local time and I was starting to get hungry.  So I packed up the gear and headed in to Balranald to the local pub for a few cans of Bundy rum and coke, and a nice feed.  I was very happy with this activation, with a total of 94 contacts in the log.

But there was a hitch with this activation.  John VK5BJE and a few others pointed out that they believed Yanga National Park was in fact now known as Murrumbidgee Valley National Park.  It was also pointed out that on the WWFF Australia website, both Yanga and Murrumbidgee Valley had the same VKFF reference number.  I now vaguely remember reading about these 2 parks when I become the VKFF co-ordinator.  However, all of the park signs referred to Yanga National Park.  The NSW National Parks website states ‘…Also known as Murrumbidgee Valley National Park….”.  I am now awaiting official word back from NSW National Parks and Wildlife and hope to sort out this issue.

The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK3PMG
  3. VK4AAC/5 (Kelvin Powrie CP, VKFF-0899)
  4. VK2VW
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK2IO
  8. VK3NBL
  9. VK4RF
  10. VK4HA
  11. VK3FQSO
  12. VK3TKK
  13. VK3MEG
  14. VK3FINE
  15. VK2HHA
  16. VK2HEW
  17. VK5EE
  18. VK5HCF
  19. VK3DBP
  20. VK7MK
  21. VK2PKT
  22. VK5PET
  23. VK5MAS
  24. VK7LTD
  25. VK3DPG
  26. VK3MCK
  27. VK2WLS
  28. VK3VT
  29. VK7CW
  30. VK5KLV
  31. VK3CWM

The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB
  2. HA6NF
  3. I5FLN
  4. IK1GPG
  5. S52KM
  6. HA6OB
  7. DK4RM
  8. RV3LO
  9. IZ2GTO
  10. RK9DM
  11. DL3HXX
  12. 4X4JU
  13. OM4AB
  14. HB9RDE
  15. IZ2SDK
  16. S58MU
  17. SP6GF
  18. ES5GP
  19. IK2AHU
  20. LZ130SAK
  21. ON5SWA
  22. ON4GI
  23. ON4BB
  24. RN3QN
  25. IW2NXI
  26. OK1EP
  27. EA3GHZ
  28. UT5PI
  29. OE3WMA
  30. EA4DTV
  31. SM6CNX
  32. IZ5YHD
  33. DL5EBG
  34. SM4CTT
  35. F8DRA
  36. SQ5Q
  37. OE8TLK
  38. DL2ND
  39. ON4VT
  40. OK2TS
  41. SP5UUD
  42. F6CXJ
  43. IK2VUC
  44. IZ8FFA
  45. IK8FIQ
  46. ON8DNY
  47. ON1JU
  48. G0RPA
  49. SP1MVG
  50. DJ1SD
  51. DF1YQ
  52. UY0MM
  53. G0RQL
  54. DL3KZA
  55. IZ5JNO
  56. DL3BUA
  57. IZ8EFD
  58. M0YMM/m
  59. LX1KF
  60. EA8TL
  61. ES1IP
  62. SP2ORL
  63. F6HIA

References.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2015, <http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/Yanga-Woolshed&gt;, viewed 3rd November 2015.

Wikipedia, 2015, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooleybuc&gt;, viewed 3rd November 2015.

Wikipedia, 2015, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yanga_National_Park&gt;, viewed 3rd November 2015

An update on SA Parks

As a result of the proposed addition of some more South Australian parks for the World Wide Flora and Fauna (WWFF) program, I decided to review my list and compare it with official information.  This is a follow up to an old post back in June 2014.

https://vk5pas.org/2014/06/27/parks-in-south-australia/

The State of South Australia (S.A.) has a total of 21 National Parks and 271 Conservation Parks.  These parks are managed by the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).  SA is currently divided into 8 different Natural Resource Management regions (NRM).  They are as follows:

  1. Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
  2. Alinytjara Wilurara
  3. Eyre Peninusla
  4. Kangaroo Island
  5. Northern and Yorke
  6. South Australian Arid Lands
  7. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
  8. South East

This is a relatively new group of regions which commenced in about July, 2013.  The seven old regions were as follows:

  1. Adelaide
  2. Kangaroo Island
  3. Murraylands
  4. Northern and Yorke
  5. Outback
  6. South East
  7. West

soesa-02-fig2-3-0423july-01_fmt

Above:- Map showing the eight DEWNR Regions.  Courtesy of http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au

Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges.

This region’s total area is approximately 11,200 square kilometres.  Around 59% of that is land and 41% marine waters.  It supports around 1.3 million people which equates to 80 % of South Australia’s population.  The region includes metropolitanAdelaide and the western side of the Mount Lofty Ranges, extending from Mallala and the Barossa in the north, to the Fleurieu Peninsula in the south.  The region also extends up to 30km into the marine environment.  The region supports remnant busland, agriculture and horticulture, urban areas, beaches, spectacular coastal scenery and marine environments.

 

Screenshot 2015-07-30 13.43.52

Above:- Map showing the Adelaide & Mt Lofty boundaries.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

The Region is divided into seven subregions as follows:

  1. Metropolitan Adelaide
  2. Northern Coast and Plains
  3. Northern Hills
  4. Central Hills
  5. Willunga Basin
  6. Fleurieu Peninsula
  7. Marine

Screenshot 2015-07-30 14.03.43

Above:- Map showing the subregions of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

There are a total of 46 parks in this region, comprising of 2 National Parks, and 44 Conservation Parks.  Parks in this region comprise nearly 17% of all parks in the State.  The parks in this Region are as follows:

  1. Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park
  2. Angove Conservation Park
  3. Belair National Park.
  4. Black Hill Conservation Park
  5. Charleston Conservation Park
  6. Cleland Conservation Park
  7. Cromer Conservation Park
  8. Cudlee Creek Conservation Park
  9. Deep Creek Conservation Park
  10. Eric Bonython Conservation Park
  11. Eurilia Conservation Park
  12. Ferguson Conservation Park
  13. Fort Glanville Conservation Park
  14. Giles Conservation Park
  15. Gum Tree Gully Conservation Park
  16. Hale Conservation Park
  17. Hallett Cove Conservation Park
  18. Horsnell Gully Conservation Park
  19. Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park
  20. Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park
  21. Marino Conservation Park
  22. Mark Oliphant Conservation Park
  23. Moana Sands Conservation Park
  24. Montacute Conservation Park
  25. Morialta Conservation Park
  26. Mount Billy Conservation Park
  27. Mount George Conservation Park
  28. Mylor Conservation Park
  29. Myponga Conservation Park
  30. Newland Head Conservation Park
  31. Nixon Skinner Conservation Park
  32. Onkaparinga River National Park.
  33. Port Gawler Conservation Park
  34. Porter Scrub Conservation Park.
  35. Pullen Island Conservation Park
  36. Sandy Creek Conservation Park
  37. Scott Creek Conservation Park
  38. Spring Mount Conservation Park
  39. Stipturus Conservation Park
  40. Talisker Conservation Park
  41. The Knoll Conservation Park
  42. Torrens Island Conservation Park (administered by the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary)
  43. Waitpinga Conservation Park
  44. Warren Conservation Park
  45. West Island Conservation Park
  46. Yulte Conservation Park

Screenshot 2015-07-30 13.55.57

Above:- Map showing the vegetation types in the Region.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

For more information please see…..

http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/adelaidemtloftyranges/home

 

Alinytjara Wilurara

The Alinytjara Wilurara (AW) natural resource management (NRM) region covers the north west third of South Australia. In Pitjantjatjara, ‘alinytjara’ means ‘north’ and ‘wilurara’ means ‘west’.  The AW NRM region covers more than 250,000 square kilometres, stretching from the Northern Territory and West Australian borders south to the Great Australian Bight. The regional boundary extends to the edge of the State Waters (three nautical miles off-shore) in the Great Australian Bight and includes the South Australian part of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park. The land and its 340 kilometres of coastline are mostly dedicated to conservation and traditional Aboriginal use and occupation. The homelands and community townships are inhabited by approximately 4,000 people.

screenshot-2014-06-19-13-14-02

 

Above:- Map showing the Alinytjara Wilurara NRM Region.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

There are a total of 5 parks in this region, comprising of 1 National Park, and 4 Conservation Parks in this region. They are as follows:

  1. Mamungari Conservation Park
  2. Nullabor National Park
  3. Pureba Conservation Park
  4. Tallaringa Conservation Park
  5. Yumbarra Conservation Park

For more information please see….

http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/alinytjara-wilurara/home

 

Eyre Peninsula.

The Eyre Peninsula region covers a significant area of South Australia (80,000 square km / 8 million ha) and includes part of the upper Spencer Gulf, the City of Whyalla, across the southern boundaries of the Gawler Ranges, past Ceduna to the edge of the Nullarbor Plain and south to the fishing hub of Port Lincoln. Native vegetation covers about 44% of the land mass.  The coastline in this region stretches for about 2,475 km in length.  The region supports a population of about 55,000 people.

epnrm-region-map

Above:- Map showing the Eyre Peninsula NRM Region.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

There are a total of 75 parks in this region, which comprises about 27 % of all of the parks in South Australia.  Here are the parks in the Eyre Peninsula Region:

  1. Acraman Creek CP
  2. Avoid Bay Islands CP
  3. Baird Bay Islands CP
  4. Barwell CP
  5. Bascombe Well CP
  6. Boondinna CP
  7. Calpatanna Waterhole CP
  8. Cap Island CP
  9. Cape Blanche CP
  10. Caralue Bluff CP
  11. Carapee Hill CP
  12. Chadinga CP
  13. Cocata CP
  14. Coffin Bay NP
  15. Corrobinnie Hill CP
  16. Darke Range CP
  17. Eba Island CP
  18. Fowlers Bay CP
  19. Franklin Harbor CP
  20. Gambier Islands CP
  21. Gawler Ranges CP
  22. Great Australian Bight National Park
  23. Greenly Island CP
  24. Heggarton CP
  25. Hincks CP
  26. Ironstone Hill Conservation Park
  27. Kathai CP
  28. Kellidie Bay CP
  29. Kulliparu CP
  30. Lake Gilles CP
  31. Lake Newland CP
  32. Laura Bay CP
  33. Lincoln NP
  34. Lincoln CP
  35. Lipson Island CP
  36. Malgra CP
  37. Middlecamp Hills CP
  38. Moody Tank CP
  39. Mount Dutton Bay CP
  40. Munyaroo CP
  41. Murrunatta CP
  42. Neptune Islands CP
  43. Nicholas Baudin Island CP
  44. Nuyts Archipelago CP
  45. Nuyts Reef CP
  46. Olive Island CP
  47. Peachna CP
  48. Pigface Island CP
  49. Pinkawillinie CP
  50. Point Bell CP
  51. Point Labbatt CP
  52. Rocky Island (North) CP
  53. Rocky Island (South) CP
  54. Ruddall CP
  55. Sceale Bay CP
  56. Searcy Bay CP
  57. Shannon CP
  58. Sheoak Hill CP
  59. Sinclair Island CP
  60. Sir Joseph Banks Group CP
  61. Sleaford Mere CP
  62. The Plug Range CP
  63. Tucknott Scrub CP
  64. Tumby Island CP
  65. Venus Bay CP
  66. Verran Tanks CP
  67. Wahgunyah CP
  68. Waldegrave Islands CP
  69. Wanilla CP
  70. Wanilla Land Settlement CP
  71. Wharminda CP
  72. Whidbey Isles CP
  73. Whyalla CP
  74. Wittelbee CP
  75. Yeldulknie Conservation Park

Screenshot 2015-07-30 17.36.45

Above:- Parks on the Eyre Peninsula.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

For more information please see….

http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/eyrepeninsula/home

 

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island (KI) lies approximately 15 kilometres off the Fleurieu Peninsula in southern South Australia. The island covers an area of 4,370 square kilometres and is home to approximately 4,400 people who reside primarily in the four townships, the largest being Kingscote. The island welcomes more than 160,000 visitors each year, one third of whom are international guests.

KI contains the highest proportion of remnant vegetation of all South Australian agricultural regions. Around 40% of the island is covered by native vegetation, maintaining significant areas of relatively intact ecosystems.

The region is noted for its abundant wildlife, thanks to relatively few predators and extensive native habitats. Kangaroo Island and its marine waters are home to:

  • 18 species of terrestrial mammals
  • 255 recorded bird species
  • 18 reptile species
  • 6 frog species
  • 231 recorded fish species
  • 5 kinds of seagrass
  • up to 600 species of marine algae.

screenshot-2014-06-18-23-05-02

Above:- Map showing Kangaroo Island Rehion boundaries.  Image courtesy of Kangaroo Island NRM Plan 2009 

Kangaroo Island has a total of 22 parks, consisting of 1 National Park, and 21 Conservation Parks.

  1. Baudin CP
  2. Beatrice Islet CP
  3. Beyeria CP
  4. Busby Islet CP
  5. Cape Gantheaume CP
  6. Cape Willoughby CP
  7. Cygnet Estuary CP
  8. Dudley CP
  9. Flinders Chase NP
  10. Kelly Hill CP
  11. Lashmar CP
  12. Lathami CP
  13. Lesueur CP
  14. Mount Taylor CP
  15. Nepean Bay CP
  16. Parndana CP
  17. Pelican Lagoon CP
  18. Seal Bay CP
  19. Seddon CP
  20. Simpson CP
  21. The Pages CP
  22. Vivonne Bay CP

 

Northern and Yorke.

The Northern and Yorke (NY) natural resources management region extends for 34,500 square kilometres, or more than three million hectares. It is a varied and productive portion of South Australia and includes 1,350km of coastline and adjacent marine areas.

The region encompasses the Yorke Peninsula, the northern Mount Lofty Ranges, the southern Flinders Ranges and significant areas of Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent.

The region supports a population of approximately 95,000 people who reside in agricultural, coastal and urban communities. It welcomes a large number of visitors each year to destinations that include Innes National Park, the Clare Valley and the Southern Flinders Ranges.

The region includes traditional Aboriginal lands of the Kaurna, Narrunga, Nukunu, Ngadjuri, Meru, Danggali, Barngala and Adnyamathanha people.

The major urban centres are the cities of Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Clare, Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo.

Natural resources underpin a range of industries. Approximately 80% of the region is under agricultural cropping and grazing production contributing a quarter of the South Australia’s agricultural earnings. The region embraces the major Clare Valley wine growing area, and supports significant mining and mineral processing activities, fishing, aquaculture, forestry, horticulture and tourism.

Northern and Yorke and its marine waters are home to:

  • 1,299 native species of vascular terrestrial plants
  • 33 native species of terrestrial mammals
  • 304 recorded native bird species
  • 91 native reptile species
  • 9 frog species.

screenshot-2014-06-18-23-08-44

Above:- Map of the Northern & Yorke NRM Region.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

This region is divided into three districts as follows:

  • Upper North
  • Lower North
  • Yorke Peninsula

There are a total of 24 parks in this region, comprising of 2 National Parks, and 22 Conservation Parks. They are as follows:

  1. Althorpe Islands CP
  2. Bird Islands CP
  3. Black Rock CP
  4. Carribie CP
  5. Clements Gap CP
  6. Clinton CP
  7. Goose Island CP
  8. Innes NP
  9. Leven Beach CP
  10. Martindale Hall CP
  11. Minlacowie CP
  12. Mount Brown CP
  13. Mount Remarkable NP.
  14. Mount Brown CP
  15. Point Davenport CP
  16. Ramsay CP
  17. Spring Gully CP
  18. Telowie Gorge CP
  19. The Dutchmans Stern CP
  20. Troubridge Island CP
  21. Warrenben CP
  22. Wills Creek CP
  23. Winninowie CP
  24. Yalpara CP

For more information please see…..

http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/northernandyorke/home

 

South Australian Arid Lands.

The SA Arid Lands region cover over half of South Australia, taking up the state’s north-east corner to its borders with New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory. The region’s environmental processes are determined by irregular rainfall and other episodic weather events that rarely follow predictable annual cycles. The region includes some of the driest parts of South Australia and has the largest percentage of intact ecosystems and natural biodiversity in the state. These iconic terrestrial ecosystems – including sandy deserts, stony plains, and the Gawler, Flinders and Olary ranges – are home to a range of unique plants and animals, many of which are only found within the region.

The human population in this semi arid region is small (less than 2% of the state) and geographically dispersed. The largest towns, Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs, are both associated with mining and are home to less than 5000 people, while the remaining scattered towns all have less than 1000 occupants.

Pastoralism is the most dominant land use, with over 400,000 square kilometres taken up by sheep and cattle stations. Large mining and petroleum companies also operate in the arid lands. Aboriginal land holdings are diverse and include pastoral leases, community managed land, indigenous protected areas and co-managed parks.

The region contains some of the state’s most environmentally significant natural resources including conservation reserves and National Parks, as well as two great inland water systems: Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre and the Great Artesian Basin.

Screenshot 2015-07-30 14.30.36

Above:- Map showing the SA Arid Lands NRM Region.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

This region is divided into the following 6 districts:

  • Gawler Ranges
  • Kingoonya
  • Marla-Oodnadatta
  • Marree-Innamincka
  • North Flinders
  • North East

There are a total of 16 parks in this region, comprising of 7 National Parks, and 8 Conservation Parks in this region. They are as follows:

  1. Bimbowrie CP
  2. Breakaways CP
  3. Ediacara CP
  4. Elliott Price CP
  5. Flinders Ranges NP.
  6. Gawler Ranges National Park
  7. Ironstone Hill CP
  8. Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre NP
  9. Lake Gairdner NP
  10. Lake Torrens NP
  11. Malkumba-Coongie Lakes NP.
  12. Pualco Range CP
  13. Simpson Desert CP
  14. Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges NP
  15. Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs CP
  16. Witjira NP

For more information please see…..

http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/aridlands/home

 

South Australia Murray Darling Basin

The SA Murray-Darling Basin region extends from where the River Murray crosses the border from Victoria into South Australia, down to where it meets the sea at the Coorong. It covers 70,000 square kilometres and includes six distinct ecological areas:

  • River Murray
  • Coorong and Lower Lakes
  • Murray Mallee
  • Murray Plains
  • Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges
  • South Olary Plains.

The region’s natural resources support a wide range of human activities. The River Murray supplies the majority of the water needs for the capital city of Adelaide as well as other towns in the state. The natural resources also support tourism, recreation and manufacturing, as well as one of the most productive agricultural areas in South Australia. About 82% of the land in the region is used for primary production, including pastoral lands, dryland cropping, grazing, horticulture, irrigation and dairy farming.

Within the region, there are ecosystems that are of state, national and international significance, including the Ramsar-listed Chowilla Floodplain and the Coorong and Lower Lakes. As a result, there are large areas of National Parks dedicated to nature conservation.

The region is also home to a diverse range of native plants and animals, many of them under threat:

  • 95 species of native mammal, of which 45 are under threat
  • 110 species of native reptiles, of which two are endangered and five are vulnerable
  • 13 species of native frogs, with the Golden Bell Frog considered nationally vulnerable
  • 31 species of native freshwater fish, with four listed as threatened
  • 3 species of threatened native estuarine fish.

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Above:- Map of the Region.  Image courtesy of http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

The region is divided into the following 4 districts:

  • Rangelands
  • Ranges to River
  • Riverland
  • Mallee & Coorong

There are a total of 47 parks in this region, comprising 2 National Parks, and 44 Conservation Parks.  This consists of nearly 17% of the parks located in South Australia.  The region’s parks are as follows:

  1. Bakara CP
  2. Bandon CP
  3. Billiatt CP
  4. Brookfield CP
  5. Bullock Hill CP
  6. Carcuma CP
  7. Caroona Creek CP
  8. Cooltong CP
  9. Coorong NP
  10. Cox Scrub CP
  11. Danggali CP
  12. Ettrick CP
  13. Ferries McDonald CP
  14. Finnis CP
  15. Hesperilla CP
  16. Hogwash Bend CP
  17. Hopkins Creek CP
  18. Kapunda Island CP
  19. Karte CP
  20. Kyeema CP
  21. Lowan CP
  22. Maize Island CP
  23. Marne Valley CP
  24. Media Island CP
  25. Mimbara Conservation Park
  26. Mokota CP
  27. Monarto CP
  28. Morgan CP
  29. Mount Magnificent CP
  30. Mowantjie Willauwar CP
  31. Murray River NP
  32. Ngarkat CP
  33. Ngaut Ngaut CP
  34. Pandappa CP
  35. Peebinga CP
  36. Pike River CP
  37. Pooginook CP
  38. Poonthie Ruwe CP
  39. Ramco Point CP
  40. Red Banks CP
  41. Ridley CP
  42. Rilli Island CP
  43. Roonka CP
  44. Salt Lagoon Islands CP
  45. Scott CP
  46. Swan Reach CP
  47. White Dam CP

For more information please see…..

http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/samurraydarlingbasin/home

South East

The South East Natural Resources Management (SE NRM) region covers an area of approximately 28,000 square kilometres and is bounded by the Victorian border to the east, the Southern Ocean to the south and the Coorong to the west. This area of South Australia is commonly referred to as the Limestone Coast due to its proximity to the coast and the abundance of limestone located under the soil, which acts as a filter to produce high quality water.

The climate of the region is characterised by cool wet winters and mild to hot, dry summers. Average annual rainfall varies considerably within the region, from approximately 850mm in the south to 450mm in the north of the region. With a favourable climate, suitable soils and underground water, the South East has a strong history as a highly productive area that supports a diverse and profitable industry base. The region contributes about $5 billion per annum towards the South Australian GDP with more than 30% of the State’s GDP produced by the South East’s agricultural sector. The key economic activities in the region supported by natural resources include plantation forestry, wine/viticulture, agriculture, dairy, potatoes, fishing/aquaculture and their associated industries.

The region is distinguished by a series of stranded dunes that rise between 20-50 metres above interdunal plains. These plains can be inundated over winter and host a variety of internationally-recognised wetland systems, including the Ramsar-listed Bool and Hacks lagoons and part of the Coorong and Lower Lakes Wetlands. The region also hosts and extensive network of limestone sink holes and caves, which include the World Heritage Listed Naracoorte Caves.

Screenshot 2015-07-30 13.16.41

Above:- Map showing the South East boundaries.  Image courtesy of http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au

The South East Region is divided into three SENRM groups:

  • Northern
  • Central
  • Southern

screenshot-2014-06-18-23-24-30

Above:- Map showing the South East NRM Groups; Northern, Central & Southern.  Image courtesy of http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au

There are a total of 57 parks in the South East region, comprising 2 National Parks, and 55 Conservation Parks. This is about 21% of the total parks in South Australia.  The parks are as follows:

  1. Aberdour Conservation Park
  2. Bangham Conservation Park
  3. Baudin Rocks Conservation Park
  4. Beachport Conservation Park
  5. Belt Hill Conservation Park
  6. Big Heath Conservation Park
  7. Butcher Gap Conservation Park
  8. Calectasia Conservation Park
  9. Canunda National Park
  10. Carpenter Rocks Conservation Park
  11. Christmas Rocks Conservation Park
  12. Custon Conservation Park
  13. Desert Camp Conservation Park
  14. Dingley Dell Conservation Park
  15. Douglas Point Conservation Park
  16. Ewens Ponds Conservation Park
  17. Fairview Conservation Park
  18. Furner Conservation Park
  19. Geegeela Conservation Park
  20. Glen Roy Conservation Park
  21. Gower Conservation Park
  22. Grass Tree Conservation Park
  23. Guichen Bay Conservation Park
  24. Gum Lagoon Conservation Park
  25. Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park
  26. Hanson Scrub Conservation Park
  27. Jip Jip Conservation Park
  28. Kelvin Powrie Conservation Park
  29. Kungari Conservation Park
  30. Lake Frome Conservation Park
  31. Lake Hawdon South Conservation Park
  32. Lake St Clair Conservation Park
  33. Little Dip Conservation Park
  34. Lower Glenelg River Conservation Park
  35. Martin Washpool Conservation Park
  36. Mary Seymour Conservation Park
  37. Messent Conservation Park
  38. Mount Boothby Conservation Park
  39. Mount Monster Conservation Park
  40. Mount Scott Conservation Park
  41. Mullinger Swamp Conservation Park
  42. Narracoorte Caves National Park
  43. Nene Valley Conservation Park
  44. Padthaway Conservation Park
  45. Penambol Conservation Park
  46. Penguin Island Conservation Park
  47. Penola Conservation Park
  48. Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
  49. Pine Hill Soak Conservation Park
  50. Reedy Creek Conservation Park
  51. Talapar Conservation Park
  52. Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park
  53. Telford Scrub Conservation Park
  54. Tilley Swamp Conservation Park
  55. Vivigani Ardune Conservation Park
  56. Woakwine Conservation Park
  57. Wolsley Common Conservation Park

For more information please see……

http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/southeast/home

 

Resources.

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Home Natural Resources,

Lake Torrens National Park VKFF-278

On Sunday morning, 21st June, 2015, we all awoke to a beautiful sunny, but crisp morning.  And we were all hoping that we would get the okay from the owners of Merna Mora, for us to travel out along one of their 4WD tracks to the Lake Torrens National Park, VKFF-278.  We had planned to activate Lake Torrens on Saturday, but there had been a lot of rain here in the north, so the 4WD tracks on Merna Mora property had been closed.

So we patiently waited and were then given the thumbs up by Philip and Sonya, the owners of Merna Mora.  To say I was excited was an understatement.  The rain had affected our trip quite a lot, and I was very keen to do a bit of 4WDing out to Lake Torrens, and of course activate a unique park.

Lake Torrens National Park is a very remote park, situated about 350 km north of Adelaide.  It consists of stark wilderness and the salt lake that stretches 250km in length.  Lake Torrens is normally a dry salt flat and has only been filled with water once in the past 150 years.  Thunderstorms occasionally provide a small amount of water in the lake and when this occurs, a variety of birdlife is attracted to the area.

Screenshot 2015-06-29 13.13.34

Above:- Map showing the location of the park.  Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

By 10.15 a.m. we were on the road.  The 4WD track out to the lake is about a 110km round trip, taking you through some amazing country.

On our way out to the park I spoke with Mick VK3PMG on 7.105.  Mick was kind enough to post a message on the WWFF Australia Yahoo group and the VK5 Parks Yahoo group that we were enroute to the park, and also put up an alert on parksnpeaks for us.  Many thanks Mick

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We activated the park from very close to the shore of the lake itself, just off the 4WD track.

Screenshot 2015-06-29 13.20.49

Above:- Map showing our operating spot.  Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

After arriving at the lake, John VK5BJE and I were quick to set up our stations.  John wanted to give 30m a crack again, so I started out on 40m, calling CQ on 7.095.  Quite appropriately, after his earlier help, my first contact was with Mick VK3PMG.  This was followed by Les VK5KLB, David VK5HYZ, and then Peter VK5FLEX.  Band conditions on 40m appeared to be very good.  It was very pleasing to have a steady flow of callers from VK2, VK3, VK5, and VK7, all with good signals.

After working a total of 22 stations I took a break, as I was getting a bit of interference from John VK5BJE.  We had set up a little bit too close to each other.  I had some lunch and enjoyed the sunshine, and admired the amazing view of Lake Torrens.

After lunch I put out a few calls on 15m, but sadly there were no takers.  And because we had no mobile phone coverage in this remote part of South Australia, we were not able to spot ourselves on parksnpeaks.  So I put a few CQ calls out on 14.310 and spoke with VK2ID portable on the beach, Alan VK4ALA, Fred VK4FE, Craig VK2PAW, and then Marc operating a military transceiver and running just 25 watts.

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I then called CQ on 40m and my first contact there was with Cliff VK2NP, followed by Gerard VK2IO who was operating from SOTA summit, Mount Canobolas, VK2/ CT-001, near Orange.  This was followed by a call from Karl VK2GKA activating STA peak, Mount Alexandra VK2/ IL-005 near Mittagong.  A few contacts later, Peter VK3YE gave me a shout, whilst operating portable from Chelsea Beach in Melbourne, with a home brew transceiver.  I also had a contact with Ian VK1DI who was activating O’Connor Ridge Nature Reserve VKFF-857.  For more info on Ian’s activation, have a look at Ian’s blog at…..

http://vk1di.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/oconnor-ridge-vkff-857.html

I managed to push on and go past the required 44 contacts for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.  After 2 hours in the park I had a total of 47 contacts in the log.  We headed back to Merna Mora along the 4WD track, admiring the views of the Flinders Ranges and viewed a large amount of wildlife, including Western Grey kangaroos, Red Kangaroos, Emus, and Wedge Tailed eagles.  Also avoiding the occasional stock that we encountered along the way.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PMG
  2. VK5KLV
  3. VK5HYZ
  4. VK5FLEX
  5. VK3VTH
  6. VK5NQP
  7. VK5WG
  8. VK5KFB
  9. VK3ZPF
  10. VK2YK
  11. VK5FANA
  12. VK7AN/p
  13. VK4AAC/5
  14. VK5ZAR
  15. VK3TKK
  16. VK3CRG
  17. VK3OF
  18. VK3TJK
  19. VK5KAT
  20. VK5VBR
  21. VK3FTWO
  22. VK3ANL
  23. VK2NP
  24. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-001)
  25. VK2GKA/p (SOTA VK2/ IL-005)
  26. VK5SFA
  27. VK5FO/m
  28. VK3IO
  29. VK3YE/p
  30. VK5KKS
  31. VK5FMID
  32. VK3AWG
  33. VK1DI/p )VKFF-857)
  34. VK5ALZ
  35. VK2RD
  36. VK5ZRY
  37. VK2NEO
  38. VK4FTWO
  39. VK4IL
  40. VK1AT
  41. VK7NWT
  42. VK3XBC

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2ID/p
  2. VK4ALA
  3. VK4FE
  4. VK2PAW
  5. VK6HAO

After returning to Merna Mora, we stoked up the outdoor fire and cooked some potatos in jackets in alfoil, as part of our tea, which we all enjoyed together again in the indoor kitchen area.
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Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-176 Wilpena Pound

After leaving the Aroona ruins, we headed a bit further east on the Brachina Gorge Road and stopped for lunch.  Whilst there I spoke with Joe VK3YSP and Julie VK3YSP who were operating portable at the Melbourne Museum as part of Museums Weekend.  Both Joe and Julie had a terrific 5/9 signal into my mobile station.

After lunch we continued east on the Brachina Gorge Road through the park until we hit the bitumen of the Flinders Ranges Way.  We travelled a bit further south and went to the top of the Stokes Hill lookout, which offers some amazing views of the Flinders Ranges.  Sadly, the summit does not qualify for the Summits on the Air program.

After leaving Stokes Hill lookout we continued south on the Flinders Ranges Way and then turned right into Wilpena Pound Road and on to the Wilpena Pound resort.  It was here that we refueled and grabbed a cup of coffee.

I headed over to a cleared area on the northern side of the main carpark and set up my station, the Yaesu FT-857d, and the 40m/20m linked dipole.  John VK5BJE headed a bit further over to the south and operated from a spot where he had activated from previously.  John was going to call on 40m and I decided to stick to 20m.

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Above:- Map showing my operating spot.  Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

I started calling CQ on 14.244, which is the nominated calling frequency for the WWFF program.  My first taker there was Jim VK2QA, followed by David VK4HAX (I was David’s first ever 20m contact), and then Caleb ZL2ML.  Unfortunately there was a lot of QRM from a nearby Italian station, so I QSY’d down to 14.200 and called CQ again.  This time my CQ call was answered by Karl VK2GKA, followed by James VK1DR and Bruce VK4YS.   My first DX contact was 6 calls later and it was no less than my very good friend, Marnix, OP7M in Belgium.  Marnix was 5/7 and he gave me a 5/5.  It was great to get Marnix in the log.  I went on to work a further 12 stations in VK2, Italy, Poland, Germany, England, Canada, and Switzerland, until I was called away from the radio.

It was one of the DEWNR ranges who was a little bit stand offish.  Fortunately in over 200 activations, I have only had one previous ‘bad’ contact with a DEWNR ranger who told me off for tying off one of the ends of my dipole to a gum tree.  And this fella, also did not have a lot of personal skills, I am sorry to say.  I was advised to seek permission first in future as people would ask questions about what I was doing?????  Secondly I should seek permission before driving the squid pole holder into the ground.  I bit my tongue for a while and when I questioned him about this, and asked how was it any different to a tent peg or a totem tennis pole.  I never got a sensible reply.  Oh well, it was bound to happen again, a poor interaction with somebody from DEWNR.

In any event, ‘permission’ was granted for me to continue, but by this time everyone had given up on waiting for me on 14.200.  I worked Lee, AK4QA in Alabama in the USA, Albert S58AL in Slovenia and then Gyula in Hungary.

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My last contact for this activation was with Rob VK4FFAB who was portable in the Conondale National Park VKFF-109, which is located south west of Noosa Heads in Queensland.  Rob had a nice 5/7 signal and he reciprocated with a 5/4 for me.

It was time to pack up and head back home to Merna Mora.  David and Joy had already headed off, which left just radio die hards John and myself, and our patient wives Marija and Jenny.  We had a very enjoyable drive back to Merna Mora along the 30km long Moralana Track through Arkaba Station and Merna Mora Station.  We enjoyed the most amazing sunset and as Marija said, the most number of kangaroos we had ever seen.

And along Moralana Track I fired up the IC-7000 in the car and spoke with Rob VK4FFAB portable, Peter Vk2NEO, Jim VK5TR, Colin VK4FAAS, Perrin Vk3XPT, and Ivan VK5HS.

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2QA
  2. VK4HAX
  3. ZL2ML
  4. VK2GKA
  5. VK1DR
  6. VK4YS
  7. VK2JF/m
  8. VK6NTE
  9. VK2HOT
  10. VK4WJW/6
  11. VK2LX
  12. OP7M
  13. VK2MI
  14. VK4OZI
  15. VK2IO/m
  16. I5FLN
  17. Sp5INQ
  18. DL7UXG
  19. G0TSQ
  20. VE7CV
  21. DJ7ZZ
  22. DL2ND
  23. M0BKV
  24. HB9FBG
  25. AK4QA
  26. S58AL
  27. HA6OB

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE/p
  2. VK4FFAB/p (Conondale National Park VKFF-109)

After gettng back to Merna Mora, and freshening up a bit, we had a very enjoyable dinner together and the obligatory few bottles of red wine.  That guy John VK5BJE is a very bad influence!

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Flinders Ranges National Park VKFF-176 Aroona ruins

We all enjoyed a good feed and a few more bottles of red on Friday evening at Merna Mora Station, where we stayed for 3 nights (Fri-Sun).  Merna Mora is part of a 230 sq mile sheep and cattle station located about 425 km north of Adelaide, and about 46 km north of Hawker.  About 2,500 sheep and 800 cattle are run on the property.  Merna Mora has facilities to accomodate up to 50 people.  For more information on Merna Mora, please visit their website at…..

http://www.mernamora.com.au/

Saturday morning, 20th June 2015, was a beautiful sunny morning.  After a cooked breakfast an enjoying a coffee in the sunshine watching the Miner birds and Honeyeaters in the flowering native plants out the front of our accomodation, we hit the road for the Flinders Ranges National Park, VKFF-176. 

The Flinders Ranges National Park is situated about 450 km north of Adelaide and is located in the central Flinders Ranges.  The park is about 95,000 hectares and includes the Heysen Range, Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges and the amazing Wilpena Pound.  The Adnyamathanha people (meaning hills or rock people) are the traditional custodians of the Flinders Ranges.
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Above:- Map showing the location of the Flinders Ranges National Park.  Map courtesy of mapcarta.com

We drove north along The Outback Highway and turned right on the Brachina Gorge Road and headed east towards the park.  We briefly stopped at the interpretive signs and lookout, before venturing into the park through Brachina Gorge. Rocks exposed along the gorge are between 500 and 650 million years old and were deposited as sediments in an elongate depression known as the Adelaide Geosyncine.  This area was flooded by the sea for much of the 150 million year period, during which the sea level rose and fell many times.  Sediments were transported by rivers, and at times by glaciers, and deposited on the sea floor.  Rock strata along the gorge provide one of the most complete sedimentary records in the world for this time period.  It is truly and amazing and very spectacular drive through Brachina Gorge, with many interpretayive signs along the way.

We were fortunate enough to encounter a handful of the rare Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies as we drove through the gorge.  Sadly this little wallaby was once killed in large numbers for its pelt.  They scale cliffs and climb rocks with superb agility and can leap sizable chasms.  It was a real treat to be able to see them up close.

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We continued on to the Aroona Valley, where we set up at the end of the Aroona Valley Road, at the Aroona Ruins.  The Arrona hut was built in 1925, as an outstation for Eddie Pumps.  It consisted of a four roomed dwelling with a stone fire place and a verandah running along three sides.  The house is a typical pug and pine construction.  Slabs of native pine from this area were cut and erected vertically side by side.  Chicken wire was nailed to the framework and mud or pug was flushed to fill the gaps.  The floor was rammed earth and the roof was corrugated galvanized iron sheets.  The famous Australian artists, Sir Hans Heysen stayed here in 1927 and started the first of many sketches and paintings of the Flinders Ranges.

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Above:- Map showing our operating spot in the park.  Map courtesy of DEWNR

John VK5BJE was keen to try his luck again on 30m and set up near the carpark.  I set up in close proximity, a little further up the hill and started off on 20m.  David VK5KC headed a bit further to the east and worked 40m.

My first contact on 20m was with Fred VK4FE who was operating from Mowbray National Park, VKFF-367 in Queensland.  Fred was calling CQ on 14.310 and was a good 5/7 signal.  I then headed down to 14.305 and called CQ and this was answered by Michael VK6MMB who was portable in Goongarrie National Park, VKFF-209.  Michael and his off side Mike VK6MB were half way through a marathon parks trip in Western Australia.  This was followed by a call from Gerard VK2IO who was mobile on his way to a SOTA summit in the Blue Mountains.  I was then called by Adam VK2YK with a strong 5/9 signal and then Mark VK4MON with a 5/8 signal, operating portable from his back yard.

I then moved up to 40m and called CQ on 7.095 and this was answered by Larry VK5LY in the Riverland with his typical strong 5/9 plus signal.  I went on to work a total of 34 stations on 40, including Fred VK4FE in Mowbray National Park and Dale VK5DC mobile near the Northern Territory/Queensland/South Australian border.

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I then decided to give 15m a go, and managed to work Cliff VK2NP, Fred VK4FAAP and Ian VK1DI.  Prior to packing up, I worked Rob VK4AAC who was portable in the Vivonne Bay Conservation Park, VKFF-811, on Kangaroo Island.

After 90 minutes at Arrona Ruins, it was time to pack up and head off a bit further up the Brachina Gorge Road for a bite to eat.  I had a total of 43 contacts in the log.  We were planning on activating the Flinders Ranges National Park again, later in the afternoon, so I was assured of picking up 1 more QSO to qualify the park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4FE/p (Mowbray National Park VKFF-367)
  2. VK6MMB/p (Goongarrie National Park VKFF-209)
  3. VK2IO/m
  4. VK2YK
  5. VK4MON

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5LY
  2. VK3CWM
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5DC/m
  5. VK5FAJS
  6. VK3PMG
  7. VK5NQP
  8. VK5FMID
  9. VK5ZAI
  10. VK3NBV
  11. VK5ZGY
  12. VK3APC
  13. VK3FLCS
  14. VK1AT
  15. VK5IS
  16. VK5NWE
  17. VK3FEUG
  18. VK5NIG/p
  19. VK3DBP
  20. VK3PRF
  21. VK5STU/p
  22. VK2GKA
  23. VK5TW
  24. VK5FTRG
  25. VK1DI
  26. VK4FE/p (VKFF-367)
  27. VK5WG
  28. VK2NP
  29. VK5JP
  30. VK5ZX/m
  31. VK5FLEX
  32. VK2IAN
  33. VK2SL
  34. VK3TKK
  35. VK4AAC/5 (Vivonne Bay Conservation Park VKFF-811)

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2NP
  2. VK4FAAP
  3. VK1DI

 

References.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2011, Flinders Ranges National Park