Myponga Conservation Park 5CP-157 and VKFF-0921

Our first park for day two of the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend was the Myponga Conservation Park 5CP-157 & VKFF-0921. The park is located about 60 km south of Adelaide, and about 10 km south of the town of Myponga on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Myponga Conservation Park. Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Myponga Conservation Park is 167 hectares in size. It was formerly known as the Myponga National Park and was proclaimed on the 24th February 1972. On the 27th April 1972, the national park was reconstituted under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 as the Myponga Conservation Park. 

The park is situated in hilly terrain and is substantially undisturbed. It is one of my favourite parks. The famous Heysen Trail passes through the park. The Heysen Trail is a 1,200 km long hiking trail which extends from Cape Jervis on the southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, up to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges.

Above:- An aerial view of the Myponga Conservation Park. Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

Myponga Conservation Park is located in close proximity to the little town of Myponga which has a small population of about 750 people. The area surrounding Myponga is rich grazing and dairy country. The town of Myponga was officially laid out in 1939, fairly recent times. However, European settlement in the area dates back to the 1850s.

The Kaurna aboriginal name for the area is ‘Miapungga’ meaning high cliffs. The town of Myponga backs onto the Myponga Reservoir which has a capacity of 27.6 gigalitres.

Above:- An aerial view of the Myponga Conservation Park, looking north back towards Adelaide. Image courtesy of Google maps

There are several vegetation habitats in the park. Plant species include Messmate Stringybark, Cup Gum, Prickly tea-tree, Heath tea-tree, Pink Gum, Cranberry heath, and Common fringe-myrtle.

Various native mammals can be found in the park including the locally endangered Short-nosed bandicoot. 

Birds SA have recorded a total of 68 species of bird in the park including Crescent Honeyeater, New Holland Honeyeater, Australian Golden Whistler, Scarlet Robin, Grey Shrikethrush, Red Wattlebird, Magpielark, Jacky Winter, and Hooded Robin.

The only way to access the park (by vehicle) is via James Track. Keep an eye out for the gate which has the name of the park next to it. This track takes you to the park. Please remember to shut the gate. This is a shared track for pedestrians and is part of the Heysen Trail, so please drive carefully.

The track is okay to get you to the park. If however you want to get to the end of the track and enjoy some of the views, I would recommend a 4WD.

There are some magnificent views to be enjoyed of the surrounding countryside as you travel along the track.

And some equally beautiful views of the park itself and its deep gorges.

We set up in close proximity to the park sign. We made sure that we were set up off the track. There was plenty of room to stretch out the 20/40/80m linked dipole. We ran the Yaesu FT-857d for this activation.

I kicked off the activation, calling CQ on 7.120. We could not get a frequency higher up the band as the Sunday morning broadcasts for the Wireless Institute of Australia were in full swing. It took about 5 minutes of CQ calls before my first taker, Rex VK3OF.

This was followed by a Park to Park with Gerard VK2IO/p in the Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096. This was followed by Rob VK2VH/VK4AAC, and then Brian VK2CCP.

But we then had a gap of about 5 minutes without any callers. The 40m band appeared to be in very poor condition.

I had just 5 contacts in the log and decided to get Marija on the mic. Marija’s first taker to her CQ call was Rob VK2VH/VK4AAC, followed by Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465.

It was really slow going and Marija and I had doubts that we would get 10 contacts, yet alone 44 to qualify the park for the global World Wide Flora Fauna program. We decided that we would get our 10 contacts and qualify the park for VKFF and then move on to another park.

But fortunately for us we were called by a number of other stations to get us both over the line with 10 QSOs. The UTC rollover helped us, with some stations calling back for a contact with us for a new UTC day. We logged a total of 30 stations on 40m including a further three Park to Park contacts…..

  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096
  • Malcolm VK3OAK/p – Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465

Marija and saw a spot on parksnpeaks for Ian VK5CZ/p in a park on 80m. So we lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for the 80m band. We logged Ian VK5CZ/p, Gordon VK5GY/p, Hugh VK5NHG/p, John VK5MJC/p, and Ian VK5IS/p who were all in the Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252 with a big signal.

After working Ian and the crew, we moved down the band to 3.610 where we logged a total of 6 further stations including 2 further Park to Park contacts with…..

  • Malcolm VK3OAK/p – Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779

Things were starting to look up and we decided to stay and try to press on and get our 44 contacts. We quickly moved back to 40m to get another Park to Park contact in the log, this time with Peter VK3TKK/p who was activating the Mount Fyans Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2398. We then moved back to 80m and logged a further 2 stations, Sue VK5AYL and John VK5BJE.

I then tried the 20m band and had some success there with 12 contacts into VK2, VK3, VK4, including the following Park to Park contacts…..

  • Peter VK3PF/p – Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779

The 20m band was open to Victoria (VK3) with four VK3 stations logged, which made me think that the 15m band may be open.

We then moved back to 40m where we logged a further including the following Park to Park contacts……

  • Bryan VK3LF/p -Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2200
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779
  • Mike VK6MB/p – Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788
  • Brett VK3MCA/p – Walmer South Nature Conservation ReserveVKFF-2221

We then took down the linked dipole and put up the 15m dipole and we are so pleased that we did. The 15m band was fantastic with 27 contacts made there into VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 VK6, and VK8. This included a contact with Stuart VK8NSB in Darwin and the following Park to Park contacts……

  • Mike VK6MB/p – Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788
  • Allen VK3ARH/p – Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785
  • Tony VK3YV/p – Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055

To finish off the activation we moved back to the 40m band and logged a further 21 stations including the following Park to Park contacts……

  • Allen VK3ARH/p – Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785
  • Allen VK3HRA/p – Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785
  • Peter VK3TKK/p – Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2294
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159

It was now just past 1.30 p.m. local time and we decided to pack up and head to our next park, the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park.

We had both qualified the park for VKFF and WWFF, with a total of 126 contacts in the log including 53 Park to Park contacts.

I had made a total of 77 contacts and Marija hd made 49 contacts.

This activation proved to us that patience and perseverance in park activating in crucial. And it also pays to be band agile. Don’t call it quits if the band isn’t great for 10 minutes and give as many bands a go as possible. You might be pleasantly surprised. We certainly were.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover……

  1. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  2. VK2VH
  3. VK4AAC
  4. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)
  5. VK2DG

Marija worked the following stations on 40m after the UTC rollover……

  1. VK4FDJL
  2. VK2VH
  3. VK4AAC
  4. VK2EXA
  5. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  6. VK2LX
  7. VK3OAK/p (Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353)
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK3PT
  10. VK3TKK/p (Mount Fyans Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2398)
  11. VK3LF/p (Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2200)
  12. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)
  13. VK6MB/p (Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788)
  14. VK3MCA/p (Walmer South Nature Conservation ReserveVKFF-2221)
  15. VK3ARH/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  16. VK3HRA/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  17. VK3TKK/p (Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2294)
  18. VK2IO/p (Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045)
  19. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  20. VK7RG
  21. VK5DW
  22. VK5AYL
  23. VK2YK/5 (Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159)
  24. VK5KLV
  25. VK3IO
  26. VK5PET
  27. VK5FAAH
  28. VK5FBIC
  29. VK5KVA

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5IS/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  2. VK5CZ/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  3. VK5MJC/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  4. VK5GY/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  5. VK3OAK/p (Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353)
  6. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/p (Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788)
  2. VK3ARH/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  3. VK4VCE
  4. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  5. VK2FGZA
  6. VK8NSB
  7. VK4FDJL
  8. VK4SMA
  9. VK6TDF

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover……

  1. VK3OF
  2. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  3. VK2VH
  4. VK4AAC
  5. VK2CCP
  6. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB after the UTC rollover…….

  1. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  2. VK3OAK/p (Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353)
  3. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)
  4. VK3PT
  5. VK2VH
  6. VK4AAC
  7. VK3MPR
  8. VK5KLV
  9. VK2DG
  10. VK2MOP
  11. VK3TKK/p (Mount Fyans Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2398)
  12. VK3LF/p (Sweetwater Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2200)
  13. VK2VW
  14. VK2HFI
  15. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)
  16. VK5VGC
  17. VK3ARH
  18. VK6MB/p (Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788)
  19. VK5DW
  20. VK5LA
  21. VK5FBIC
  22. VK3UCD
  23. VK5FLKJ
  24. VK3MCA/p (Walmer South Nature Conservation ReserveVKFF-2221)
  25. VK5VBR
  26. VK3HRA/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  27. VK3ARH/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  28. VK3TKK/p (Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2294)
  29. VK2IO/p (Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045)
  30. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  31. VK2YK/5 (Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  2. VK5GY/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  3. VK5NHG/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  4. VK5MJC/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  5. VK5IS/p (Wirrabara Range Conservation Park VKFF-2252)
  6. VK5BJF
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK3OAK/p (Kulwin Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2353)
  9. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)
  10. VK5AYL
  11. VK5BJE

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465)
  2. VK2IO/p (Snow Gum Flora Reserve VKFF-3096)
  3. VK4NH
  4. VK4DXA
  5. ZL4TY/VK4
  6. VK2KYO
  7. VK3SQ
  8. VK3EJ
  9. VK2YK/5 (Cromer Conservation Park VKFF-0779)
  10. VK3IDM
  11. VK4BXX
  12. VK4/NN3Z

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/p (Bartram Nature Reserve VKFF-2788)
  2. VK2FGZA
  3. VK4NH
  4. VK4DXA
  5. ZL4TY/VK4
  6. VK4BXX
  7. VK4/NN3Z
  8. VK4SMA
  9. VK4FDJL
  10. VK6FNLW
  11. VK2PAA
  12. VK3ARH/p (Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785)
  13. VK4HAT
  14. VK4VCE
  15. VK5STU
  16. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  17. VK8NSB

References.

Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/myponga-conservation-park/>, viewed 1st December 2020.

Friends of Heysen, 2020, <https://heysentrail.asn.au/>, viewed 1st December 2020

SA Water, 2020, <https://www.sawater.com.au/water-and-the-environment/south-australias-water-sources/reservoir-data/myponga-reservoir>, viewed 1st December 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myponga,_South_Australia>, viewed 1st December 2020.

Scott Conservation Park 5CP-206 and VKFF-0934

After packing up at the Encounter Marine Park, Marija and I headed to the Scott Conservation Park 5CP-206 & VKFF-0934. The park is located about 80 km south of Adelaide.

This park is not to be confused with the Scott Creek Conservation Park which is located in the Adelaide Hills, or the Mount Scott Conservation Park which is located in the South East region of South Australia.

We drove north out of Goolwa on Alexandrina Road and then turned left onto Gould Road. It wasn’t long until we reached the northern boundary of the park which is well sign posted.

The Scott Conservation Park is about 210 hectares in size and is a small piece of native scrub located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 13 km by road, north of Goolwa.

Above:- An aerial shot showing the Scott Conservation Park, looking south towards the Southern Ocean. Image c/o Google maps

The park was first proclaimed as a National Park on the 20th day of March 1969 and was re-proclaimed as the Scott Conservation Park on the 27th day of April 1972.

As you travel west on Gould Road you will see some thick scrub. This is not the park. These are a number of private properties. You need to continue west to reach the park.

There is also a small piece of scrub in the north western corner of the park. This is a Heritage Agreement. Don’t get this confused for the park. There is also another Heritage Agreement to the south of the park.

Above:- Map showing the Scott Conservation Park and the two adjacent/adjoining heritage agreements. Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Scott Conservation is a beautiful park. It contains Low Woodland comprising Brown Stringybark, Cup Gum, Peppermint Box, Heat Tea-tree and Tate’s Grass-tree. The park also contains Mallee consisting of Pink Gum and Peppermint Box.

Birds SA have recorded a total of 148 birds in the park including Common Bronzewing, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Grey Shrikethrush, Cockatiel, Eastern Rosella, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater,  Restless Flycatcher, Hooded Robin, and Eastern Shriketit.

Various native mammals call the park home including Western Grey Kangaroos, Ringtail Possums and Western Pygmy Possums

There are 2 walks which can be undertaken in the park, the Watercourse Hike and the Orchid Hike. Details of those walks can be found on the Walking SA website at…..

https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/park/scott-conservation-park/

We parked the vehicle in the small carpark near the gate and then walked a short distance down the walking trail. We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

First in the log was Peter VK3PF whose signal was well down compared to usual. Marija and I went on to work a total of 54 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, and VK7. This included the following Park to Park contacts…..

  • Gerard VK2IO – Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041 & VK2/ CT-032
  • Nick VK3ANL/p – St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195
  • Tony VK3YV/p – Tarra Bulga National Park VKFF-0480
  • VK1DI – Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve VKFF-0847
  • Bill VK3CWF – Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763
  • Mike VK6MB/p – Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846
  • Col VK5HCF/p – Ewens Ponds Conservation Park VKFF-0796
  • Bryan VK3LF/m – Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965
  • Tony VK7LTD/p – Echo Sugarloaf State Reserve VKFF-1799
  • Angela VK7FAMP/p – Echo Sugarloaf State Reserve VKFF-1799

I then moved to the 20m band where I logged just 2 stations, Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand, and Mike VK6MB in the Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846.

We then tried the 80m band, but as was the case at Encounter Marine Park, we logged just the one station, Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula with a good strong 5/9 signal.

To finish off the activation we moved back to 40m and logged a further 15 stations including the following Park to Park contacts…..

  • Nik VK3ZK/p – Mt Martha Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2152
  • Peter VK3TKK/p – Blacks Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2049
  • Brett VK3MCA/p – Gobarup Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2095

It was approaching 4.30 p.m. local time and Marija and I decided to pack up and head home. We had a total of 72 contacts in the log including 28 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO (Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041 & VK2/ CT-032)
  2. VK3ANL/p (St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195)
  3. VK3PF
  4. VK5KLV
  5. VK3YV/p (Tarra Bulga National Park VKFF-0480)
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. VK2DG
  10. VK4KC
  11. VK7QP
  12. VK1DI (Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve VKFF-0847)
  13. VK2UXO
  14. VK3MPR
  15. VK3CWF (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  16. VK6MB/p (Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846)
  17. VK5HCF/p (Ewens Ponds Conservation Park VKFF-0796)
  18. VK2VH
  19. VK4AAC
  20. VK2EEM
  21. VK3ZMD
  22. VK3LF/m (Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965)
  23. VK7LTD/p (Echo Sugarloaf State Reserve VKFF-1799)
  24. VK7FAMP/p (Echo Sugarloaf State Reserve VKFF-1799)
  25. VK3ZK/p (Mt Martha Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2152)
  26. VK3TKK/p (Blacks Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2049)
  27. VK3MCA/p (Gobarup Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2095)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK2IO/p (Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041 & VK2/ CT-032)
  3. VK3ANL/p (St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195)
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK3CU
  6. VK2DG
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK2MG/p (Pambalong Nature Reserve VKFF-2697)
  12. VK3ZPF
  13. VK2VH
  14. VK4AAC
  15. VK7QP
  16. VK3SX
  17. VK3YV/p (Tarra Bulga National Park VKFF-0480)
  18. VK1DI/p (Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve VKFF-0847)
  19. VK3CWF/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  20. VK6MB/p (Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846)
  21. VK5HCF/p (Ewens Ponds Conservation Park VKFF-0796)
  22. VK3LF/m (Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965)
  23. VK4KC
  24. VK4FDJL
  25. VK5LB
  26. VK7FAMP/p (Echo Sugarloaf State Reserve VKFF-1799)
  27. VK7LTD/p (Echo Sugarloaf State Reserve VKFF-1799)
  28. VK5HMB
  29. VK4HAT
  30. VK5AYL
  31. VK3ZK/p (Mt Martha Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2152)
  32. VK3TKK/p (Blacks Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2049)
  33. VK1VIC
  34. VK1FLEX
  35. VK3MPR
  36. VK2EXA
  37. VK3DJC
  38. VK4SYD
  39. VK3BWM
  40. VK3OF
  41. VK2KYO
  42. VK3MCA/p (Gobarup Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2095)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. ZL1TM
  2. VK6MB/p (Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846)

I worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA

References.

Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/scott-conservation-park/>, viewed 30th November 2020.

Walking SA, 2020, <https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/watercourse-hike-scott-conservation-park/>, viewed 30th November 2020

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Conservation_Park>, viewed 30th November 2020.

Encounter Marine Park VKFF-1707

The weekend of Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November 2020, was the annual VKFF Activation Weekend for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program. The VKFF Activation Weekend is all about promoting the WWFF program here in Australia, and is an incredibly popular event for Australian park activators and hunters.

Marija VK5MAZ and I had planned to travel to the West Coast of South Australia, but unfortunately some restrictions were implemented by the Government re COVID-19 the day before we were planned to leave. As it turned out those restrictions were lifted about 24 hours later, but we had already cancelled our trip.

As a result we had to reconsider our plans for the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend. The weather was forecast to be 40 deg C on Friday leading up to the weekend, and then 38 deg C on Saturday. This weather was going to present a significant fire danger risk so we decided against an inland activation. As a result of the weather and bushfire risk we decided to do a beach activation at the Encounter Marine Park VKFF-1707.

We left home at around 8.30 a.m. local time and made the short 26 km drive south to the seaside town of Goolwa. Goolwa is a beautiful little town and is a historic river port on the Murray River. I worked at Goolwa back in the mid 1980s. The name “Goolwa” means “elbow” in Ngarrindjeri, the local Aboriginal language.

We drove to the end of Beach Road where there is a large carpark, a cafe, and surf life saving tower. Despite it being quite early in the morning the carpark was a hive of activity. Marija and I deflated the tyres on our Toyota Hi Lux 4WD and we then drove onto the beach at Goolwa. We didn’t even reach the beach proper, before encountering one poor sole who had bogged his 4WD in the sand on the track leading to the beach.

The Encounter Marine Park stretches from Port Noarlunga in the southern suburbs of Adelaide down along the western coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula and across to the eastern part of Kangaroo Island. It continues down along the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, passing the mouth of the Murray River and includes part of the Coorong National Park.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Encounter Marine Park. Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The park includes spectacular snorkelling and diving locations, top fishing spots and has excellent whale watching areas. The park includes the majority of the shoreline of the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula which is a very popular tourist destination. The Fleurieu Peninsula was named by French explorer Nicolas Baudin duing his exploration of the south coast of Australia in 1802, in honour of Charles Pierre Claret de Fleurieu who was also a French explorer and hydrographer.  

Above:- The Encounter Marine Park (shaded in blue). Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The park takes its name from Encounter Bay which in turn was named by explorer Matthew Flinders after his encounter on the 8th April 1802 with French explorer Nicolas Baudin (photos below are courtesy of Wikipedia).

The two videos below will give you a great feel for the Encounter Marine Park.

It was a warm morning with an expected cool changed in the afternoon including some predicted rain. Although the clouds looked threatening, there was no rain during our activation.

The Goolwa beach is separated by sand dunes with the Coorong and Hindmash Island on the other side of the dunes.

We drove about 1 km along the beach and then backed the vehicle up to the dunes and rolled out the awning of the 4WD. We were on the beach and set up by around 9.50 a.m. Although it was still relatively early in the morning, the beach was very busy with 4WDers, swimmers, people searching for the famous Goolwa cockles, and others just enjoying the sunshine. We were lucky though to find a relatively clear spot with plenty of room to string out the 20/40/80m linked dipole which sat up on the top of our 7 metre telescopic squid pole. We pegged off the ends of the legs of the dipole in the sand.

Above:- An aerial view of Goolwa Beach showing our operating spot. Image courtesy of Google maps.

We ran the Yaesu FT-857d for this activation. For a good portion of the activation we ran just 10 watts PEP to comply with Marija’s Foundation licence. Other times I cranked the power up to about 40 watts to work on 20m.

First in the log were Theo VK3AP and Haydon VK3LOC, who were both in the Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620. It was a nice way to start the activation with a Park to Park contact.

Marija and I logged a total of 18 stations on the 40m band before the UTC rollover. This included numerous Park to Park contacts as follows…..

  • Theo VK3AP – Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620
  • Haydon VK3LOC – Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620
  • Mark VK1EM – Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920
  • Tony VK1VIC – Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920
  • Andrew VK2PEZ – Bomaderry Creek Regional Park VKFF-1779
  • Bob VK2BYF – Bomaderry Creek Regional Park VKFF-1779
  • Brett VK3MCA – Crosbie Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2073
  • Nick VK3ANL – St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195
  • Tony VK3YV – Morwell National Park VKFF-0626
  • VK1DI/p – Dunlop Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0839

For the VK5’s propagation on 40m seemed to be out to around the 200km + distance. We were able to log Ian VK5IS in the Beetaloo Valley (5/9 both ways) and John VK5MJC in Crystal Brook (5/9 both ways), both who live in the Mid North of South Australia about 280 km north of Goolwa. We also logged Les VK5KLV in Port Augusta 5/9 both ways) about 380 km north of Goolwa. We also logged Ian VK5CZ in the Clare Valley (5/5 sent & 4/3 received) about 225 km north of Goolwa. Ron VK5MRE at Barmera in the Riverland also featured in our log (5/9 both ways), about 275 km north east of Goolwa. But the winner of the strongest VK5 signal was Sue VK5AYL at nearby Hindmarsh Island who was 5/9 plus.

After the UTC rollover Marija and I logged a further 38 QSOs on 40m. This included the following Park to Park contacts……

  • Tony VK7LTD – Surveyors Bay Conservation Area VKFF-2920
  • Angela VK7FAMP – Surveyors Bay Conservation Area VKFF-2920
  • Tony VK1VIC/ – Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920
  • Mark VK1EM – Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920
  • Tony VK3YV – Morwell National Park VKFF-0626
  • Brett VK3MCA – Crosbie Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2073
  • Liz VK2XSE – Micalong Swamp Flora Reserve VKFF-3067
  • Peter VK2KNV – Micalong Swamp Flora Reserve VKFF-3067
  • Bill VK3CWF – Lerederderg State Park VKFF-0763
  • Nik VK3ANL – St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195
  • Mike VK6MB – Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846

We were very surprised by the strength of Mike VK6MB’s signal all the way over in his park in Western Australia.

When callers slowed down, we lowered the squid pole and removed the links for the 20m section of the antenna and headed to the 20m band. I logged a total of 14 stations on that band including the following Park to Park contacts…..

  • Marty VK4KC/p – Fort Lytton National Park VKFF-0179
  • Mike VK6MB – Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846
  • Tony VK3YV – Morwell National Park VKFF-0626
  • Gerard VK2IO – Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041 & SOTA VK2/ CT-032

We then decided to try our luck on the 80m band as we had not logged many VK5 contacts. Sadly our only contact on 80m was with Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula who had an excellent 5/9 signal.

We then moved back to the 40m band where we logged a further 29 QSOs, including the following Park to Park contacts…..

  • Allen VK3ARH – Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961
  • Peter VK3TKK – Ben Major Flora Reserve VKFF-2266
  • Gerard VK2IO – Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041 & SOTA VK2/ CT-032
  • Alan VK2MG – Pambalong Nature Reserve VKFF-2697
  • Brett VK3MCA – Runnymede Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2184

We also logged David VK3IL, Andrew VK3JBL, and Glenn VK3YY who were activating SOTA summit VK3/ VE-074.

Our only local contacts this time around on 40m were with Rick VK3VCR and John VK5HAA both in the Adelaide Hills, both of whom had low down signals. But it was still working well into the Riverland with Ivan VK5HS being 5/9 plus.

The weather started to cool down and towards the end of the activation the weather had dropped to about 21 deg C. We made some enquiries and found that inland from the beach, the temperature had also dropped. Based on this we decided to pack up and head for the Scott Conservation Park which was just a short drive away.

Between the two of us we had logged a total of 121 QSOs. This included 58 Park to Park contacts. We were incredibly happy with the activation.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK3LOC/p (Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)
  2. VK3AP/p (Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)
  3. VK1VIC/p (Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920)
  4. VK1EM/p (Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920)
  5. VK2BYF/p (Bomaderry Creek Regional Park VKFF-1779)
  6. VK2PEZ/p (Bomaderry Creek Regional Park VKFF-1779)
  7. VK3MCA/p (Crosbie Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2073)
  8. VK3YV/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  9. VK3ANL/p (St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195)
  10. VK1DI/p (Dunlop Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0839)

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB after the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK7FAMP/p (Surveyors Bay Conservation Area VKFF-2920)
  2. VK7LTD (Surveyors Bay Conservation Area VKFF-2920)
  3. VK5MRE
  4. VK5KLV
  5. VK2CCP
  6. VK2VH
  7. VK4AAC
  8. VK1VIC/p (Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920)
  9. VK1EM/p (Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920)
  10. VK3YV/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  11. VK3ARH/m
  12. VK3MCA/p (Crosbie Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2073)
  13. VK7QP
  14. VK3BBB
  15. VK3PF
  16. VK3KAI
  17. VK3FIMD
  18. VK2XSE/p (Micalong Swamp Flora Reserve VKFF-3067)
  19. VK2KNV/p (Micalong Swamp Flora Reserve VKFF-3067)
  20. VK3CWF/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  21. VK3MTV
  22. VK3ZPF
  23. VK3CTM
  24. VK3ANL/p (St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195)
  25. VK6MB/p (Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846)
  26. VK3LF/p (Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965)
  27. VK5HS
  28. VK2DG
  29. VK3ARH/p (Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961)
  30. VK3TKK/p (Ben Major Flora Reserve VKFF-2266)
  31. VK2VW
  32. VK2HFI
  33. VK3SQ
  34. VK3IL/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-074)
  35. VK3JBL/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-074)
  36. VK3YY/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-074)
  37. VK2IO/p (Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041 & SOTA VK2/ CT-032)
  38. VK2MG/p (Pambalong Nature Reserve VKFF-2697)
  39. VK3MCA/p (Runnymede Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2184)

Marija worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK3AP/p (Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)
  2. VK3LOC/p (Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park VKFF-0620)
  3. VK5IS
  4. VK3BBB
  5. VK2CCP
  6. VK2VH
  7. VK4AAC/2
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK3OF
  12. VK3PF
  13. VK1EM/p (Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920)
  14. VK1VIC/p (Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920)
  15. VK2PEZ/p (Bomaderry Creek Regional Park VKFF-1779)
  16. VK2BYF/p (Bomaderry Creek Regional Park VKFF-1779)
  17. VK5MJC
  18. VK5AYL
  19. VK3ARH/m
  20. VK3MCA/p (Crosbie Nature Conservation ReserveVKFF-2073)
  21. VK5KLV
  22. VK3ANL/p (St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195)
  23. VK3YV/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  24. VK3UP
  25. VK5CZ
  26. VK1DI/p (Dunlop Grassland Nature Reserve VKFF-0839)
  27. VK3MPR
  28. VK5MRE

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB after the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK7LTD/p (Surveyors Bay Conservation Area VKFF-2920)
  2. VK7FAMP/p (Surveyors Bay Conservation Area VKFF-2920)
  3. VK3CU
  4. VK1VIC/p (Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920)
  5. VK1EM/p (Cuumbeun Nature Reserve VKFF-1920)
  6. VK3YV/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  7. VK3MCA/p (Crosbie Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2073)
  8. VK2XSE/p (Micalong Swamp Flora Reserve VKFF-3067)
  9. VK2KNV/p (Micalong Swamp Flora Reserve VKFF-3067)
  10. VK3CWF/p (Lerederderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  11. VK3ANL/p (St Andrews Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2195)
  12. VK3CTM
  13. VK3KKP
  14. VK6MB/p (Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846)
  15. VK3LF/p (Crossover Regional Park VKFF-0965)
  16. VK3ARH/p (Cobram Regional Park VKFF-0961)
  17. VK3TKK/p (Ben Major Flora Reserve VKFF-2266)
  18. VK3IL/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-074)
  19. VK3JBL/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-074)
  20. VK3YY/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-074)
  21. VK5VCR
  22. VK4FDJL
  23. VK7QP
  24. VK2IO/p (Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041 & SOTA VK2/ CT-032)
  25. VK3ZPF
  26. VK2MG/p (Pambalong Nature Reserve VKFF-2697)
  27. VK3MCA/p (Runnymede Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2184)
  28. VK5HAA
  29. VK3PF

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4SYD
  2. VK4KC/p (Fort Lytton National Park VKFF-0179)
  3. VK7RG
  4. VK5AYL
  5. VK2VH
  6. VK4AAC
  7. VK6MB/p (Brookton Highway Nature Reserve VKFF-1846)
  8. VK2UXO
  9. VK3DNH
  10. VK7VZ
  11. VK2ETA/p
  12. VK3YV/p (Morwell National Park VKFF-0626)
  13. VK2IO/p (Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041 & SOTA VK2/ CT-032)
  14. VK2PKT

References.

National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2020, <https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Fleurieu_Peninsula/encounter-marine-park>, viewed 30th November 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goolwa,_South_Australia>, viewed 30th November 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleurieu_Peninsula>, viewed 30th November 2020.

Results from the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend

Marija VK5MAZ and I had a terrific time over the weekend (Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th November 2020) for the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend. The weekend is all about promoting the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program here in Australia.

Marija and I activated the following parks over the weekend…..

  • Encounter Marine Park VKFF-1707
  • Scott Conservation Park VKFF-0934
  • Myponga Conservation Park VKFF-0921
  • Nixon Skinner Conservation Park 0923

We made a total of 435 QSOs on 15, 20, 40, & 80m SSB into VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7, VK8, and New Zealand.

This included 173 Park to Park contacts.

Thank you to all of the park activators and park hunters.

VK5SFA presentation – Transmitting Magnetic Loop Antennas (TMLA).

Tonight (Friday 13th November 2020) I attended a virtual presentation via Zoom, which was conducted by Steve VK5SFA on Transmitting Magnetic Loop Antennas. The presentation was courtesy of the Melbourne Electronics and Radio Club (MERC).

Steve is well known for his work with Magnetic Loop Antennas and is the winner of the 2018 QST Antenna Design Competition.

Steve spoke about various aspects including design criteria, the design and construction phase, and the testing phase.

He then showed a number of slides showing the proof in the pudding, with numerous DXCC entities worked on 80m and 160m using the TMLA.

Thanks Steve for a very interesting presentation, and thanks to MERC for the invitation.

More information can be found at……..

http://members.iinet.net.au/~sadler@netspace.net.au/tmla.html

Donations to the VKFF program

I would like to publicly THANK the following people for their kind generosity in recently donating money to the VKFF program

  • Liz VK2XSE
  • Lee VK3FLCS
  • John VK3CU
  • Tony VK3YV
  • Scott VK4CZ
  • Marty VK4KC
  • Neil VK4HNS
  • Mark VK4SMA
  • Marija VK5FMAZ
  • Paul VK5PAS
  • Hans VK6XN
  • Tony VK7LTD
  • Linda VK7QP

It is without people like you that the trophies offered in the VKFF Team Championship would not be possible.


Everyone who donates to the VKFF program receives a Certificate of Appreciation.

So again, on behalf of the VKFF Team (myself, Ian VK1DI, Gerard VK2IO, Peter VK3ZPF, Mark VK4SMA, Hans VK6XN, & Jonathan VK7JON), we say MANY THANKS.


If you feel inclined to make a donation to the VKFF program, all details can be found on the WWFF Australia website at……


https://www.wwffaustralia.com/treasurer-and-bank-account.html

2020 VKFF Team Championship results.

The 2020 VKFF Team Championship was held on Saturday 24th October 2020. Marija and I activated two parks, the Tolderol Game Reserve VKFF-1752 and the Ferries McDonald Conservation Park VKFF-0881.

Each VKFF activator who took part in the event received a Participation certificate which features a photograph I took of a Superb Fairy Wren.

We made a total of 191 QSOs on 40m SSB & 80m SSB. This included a total of 31 Park to Park contacts.

Marija and I ended up winning the 2 ops/single tx/40 & 80m/wire antenna/<100w section. The certificate features another bird photograph of mine, a Crested Pigeon.

THANK YOU to everyone who called us.

Next years 2021 VKFF Team Championship will be held on Saturday 23rd October 2021.

2020 National Bird Week

On Saturday 24th October 2020, Marija VK5FMAZ and I activated two parks: Tolderol Game Reserve VKFF-1752 and the Ferries McDonald Conservation Park VKFF-0881. This coincided with 2020 National Bird Week.

This year National Bird Week was held between 19th to 25th October 2020. The event is hosted by Birdlife Australia and it is a chance to celebrate Australia’s diverse and unique bird species. We are privileged in Australia to be home to more than 800 bird species, with 45% of these found nowhere else in the world.

National Bird Week can trace its origins back to the early 1900s when the 28th October was designated by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union as the first ‘Bird Day’.

As was the case in previous years, the VKFF program had a special certificate on offer to any VKFF activator who headed out into the field that week to activate a VKFF reference.

This year’s certificate features a Striated Pardalote which I photographed in the Bullock Hill Conservation Park. The smaller photos which I took in the Bullock Hill Conservation Park and the Cox Scrub Conservation Park show a Silvereye, a Golden Whistler, a Striated Thornbill, and a New Holland Honeyeater.

Thank you to all the VKFF activators who took part in this special week. I have started emailing out your certificate. I hope you like it.

References.

QORF, 2020, <https://qorf.org.au/whats-on/national-bird-week/>, viewed 3rd November 2020

umwelt, 2020, <https://www.umwelt.com.au/national-bird-week-2020/#:~:text=National%20Bird%20Week%20is%20underway,diverse%20and%20unique%20bird%20species.>, viewed 3rd November 2020.

Ferries McDonald Conservation Park VKFF-0881

Our second park on Saturday 24th October 2020, for the 2020 VKFF Team Championship was the Ferries McDonald Conservation Park VKFF-0881.

The park is located about 75 km south-east of Adelaide, and about 20 km south-west of the town of Murray Bridge.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Ferries McDonald Conservation Park. Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Ferries McDonald Conservation Park is about 880 hectares in size and is dense mallee scrub.

Above:- An aerial shot on the park looking towards Lake Alexandrina and the Southern Ocean. Image courtesy of Google maps

On the 28th day of July 1938 the area was gazetted as a Closed Area for Birds and Animals, creating the first reserve specifically for mallee fauna. The area was named after Robert Sweet McDonald, the donor of much of the land. In 1953 there was an addition to the park with monies from a bequest from James Ferries, thus creating the Ferries-McDonald Reserve.

The area was previously known as Chauncey’s Line Scrub, named after William Snell Chauncey, an English civil engineer responsible for a number of important engineering works including the first steam railway opened in Australia.

Above:- Willian Snell CHAUNCEY. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The park can be accessed either be Ferries McDonald Road (which dissects the park) or Chaunceys Line Road. There is a carpark in the south-eastern corner of the park on Chaunceys Line Road.

There is a walking trail in the park. It is a 2.4 km loop which takes about 45 minutes. More information can be found on the Walking SA website at….

https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/park/ferries-mcdonald-conservation-park/

The park preserves an important piece of mallee and is surrounded by cleared farming land.

Birds SA have recorded a total of 89 different bird species in the park including Galah, Variegated Fairywren, Weebill, Southern Scrub Robin, Australian Magpie, Australian Golden Whistler, Grey Shrikethrush, Spotted Nightjar, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped Hornbill, White-browed Scrubwren, and White-winged Triller.

The endangered Malleefowl can also be found in the park. The Malleefowl is a stocky ground-dwelling Australian bird about the size of a domestic chicken. 

Zoos South Australia have previously been given permission to collect Malleefowl eggs from the park, with a view to producing a breeding population of Malleefowl which can be released to mallee area within the local region.

Above:- Malleefowl. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

We parked our vehicle in the carpark in the south-eastern section of the park and set up in a clearing in amongst the scrub. We ran the Yaesu FT-857nd and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

Above:- An aerial shot of the park showing our operating spot. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Marija and I were saddened to hear strength 9 static crashes when we turned on the radio. They had really picked up from the morning. Our first station in the log was Rob VK2VH – VK4AAC/2, followed by a couple of Park to Park contacts with Ash VK3FASH/p and Peter VK3ZPF/p who were in the Sassafras Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2187 as the team ‘Father and Son’.

Marija and I swapped the mic during this activation, so we decided to stick to the 10 watts PEP due to Marija’s Foundation licence. This made it a little more difficult, with some stations struggling to hear us through the very loud static crashes.

We ended up logging 41 stations on 40m before heading to the 80m band. That included a few more Park to Park contacts:

  • Tony VK3YV/p in the Baw Baw National Park VKFF-0020 – ‘Masked Activators’
  • Bryan VK3LF/p in the Baw Baw National Park VKFF-0020 – ‘Masked Activators’
  • Alan VK2MG/p in the Munmorah State Conservation Area – ‘QRParktivators’
  • Gerard VK2IO/p in the Munmorah State Conservation Area – ‘QRParktivators’

We also logged special event station VI110WIA being run by Gerald VK2HBG.

We were very pleased to hear very little noise on 80m when we moved to that band. First in the log on 80m was Jim VK3UFO, followed by Ian VK5CZ, and then Sue VK5AYL.

Between us, Marija and I logged a total of 48 stations on 80m from VK3 and VK5. This included a Park to Park contact each with Adam VK2YK/5 who was activating the Watts Gully Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2886.

To conclude the activation, we moved back to the 40m band, but sadly the static crashes had become even louder and we logged just 2 stations: Peter VK3ZPF and Nick VK3ANL.

We were about to pack up when I saw a spot on parksnpeaks for Hans VK6XN who was activating a park in Western Australia. We lowered the squid pole and headed to 14.310 where we found Hans calling CQ with a great signal from Kings Park Botanical Gardens VKFF-2980.

Marija and I ended up logging a total of 91 stations on 40m SSB and 80m SSB. This included a total of 43 contacts on 40m and a total of 48 contacts on 80m. In amongst this we logged 14 Park to Park contacts.

I made 1 Park to Park contact on 20, but this did not count towards our tally as it was on 20m and we had entered into the 40 & 80m category of the Team Championship.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2VH
  2. VK4AAC/2
  3. VK3FASH/p (Sassafras Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2187)
  4. VK3ZPF/p (Sassafras Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2187)
  5. VK3YV/p (Baw Baw National Park VKFF-0020)
  6. VK3LF/p (Baw Baw National Park VKFF-0020)
  7. VK2MG/p (Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361)
  8. VK2IO/p (Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361)
  9. VK2PKT
  10. VK2KYO
  11. VK2EXA
  12. VK3MPR
  13. VK3PF
  14. VK2WWV
  15. VK2PEZ
  16. VK3EJ
  17. VK5HAA
  18. VK3ECH
  19. VK3SS

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3UFO
  2. VK5CZ
  3. VK5AYL
  4. VK5UW
  5. VK5LA
  6. VK5IR
  7. VK5ATN
  8. VK5TFN
  9. VK5KKT
  10. VK2YK/p (Watts Gully Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2886)
  11. VK5PET
  12. VK5FANA
  13. VK5YX
  14. VK5NNT
  15. VK5MJC
  16. VK5YL
  17. VK5HS
  18. VK3SX
  19. VK3BBB
  20. VK2CCP/3
  21. VK3HAQ
  22. VK5IS
  23. VK5WE
  24. VK3ARH
  25. VK3HRA

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2VH
  2. VK4AAC/2
  3. VK3FASH/p (Sassafras Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2187)
  4. VK3ZPF/p (Sassafras Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2187)
  5. VK3YV/p (Baw Baw National Park VKFF-0020)
  6. VK3PF
  7. VK2EXA
  8. VK3LF/p (Baw Baw National Park VKFF-0020)
  9. VK2KYO
  10. VK2WWV
  11. VK2PEZ
  12. VK2MG/p (Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361)
  13. VK3MPR
  14. VK2IO/p (Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361)
  15. VK2PKT
  16. VK3SS
  17. VK3GB/m
  18. VK3CM
  19. VK3EJ
  20. VK3ZK
  21. VI110WIA
  22. VK2HBG
  23. VK3ZPF
  24. VK3ANL

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3UFO
  2. VK5CZ
  3. VK5AYL
  4. VK5UW
  5. VK5LA
  6. VK5TR
  7. VK5ATN
  8. VK5TFN
  9. VK5KKT
  10. VK2YK/5 (Watts Gully Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2886)
  11. VK5NNT
  12. VK5YX
  13. VK5FANA
  14. VK5MJC
  15. VK5PET
  16. VK5YL
  17. VK5HS
  18. VK3SX
  19. VK3BBB
  20. VK2CCP/3
  21. VK3HAQ
  22. VK5IS
  23. VK5WE

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6XN/p (Kings Park Botanical Gardens VKFF-2980)

At the end of the activation we headed back home through the historic area of Hartley which was settled from about 1853. The town was named after Reverend Hartley Williams and once boasted a Methodist church, a post office, a school, and a creamery. Very little now remains, however there is a very interesting information board on Chaunceys Line Road.

References.

Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/ferries-mcdonald-conservation-park/>, viewed 2nd November 2020

National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2020, <https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Fleurieu_Peninsula/ferries-mcdonald-conservation-park>, viewed 31st October 2020.

State Library SA, 2020, <https://manning.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/pn/h/h2.htm>, viewed 2nd November 2020

Walking SA, 2020, <https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/park/ferries-mcdonald-conservation-park/>, viewed 2nd November 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Snell_Chauncy>, viewed 2nd November 2020

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartley,_South_Australia>, viewed 2nd November 2020.

Tolderol Game Reserve VKFF-1752 and the 2020 VKFF Team Championship

Last weekend (Saturday 24th October 2020) was the annual VKFF Team Championship.

Marija and I were planning to do a beach activation at the Encounter Marine Park, but we had a large amount of rain overnight on Friday night, and when we got up on Saturday morning it was still raining and was very windy. We decided that sitting on the beach was not a good option.

So we changed our plans and headed to the Tolderol Game Reserve VKFF-1752, as we knew this was a park we could drive into and roll out the awning on the 4WD if the rain continued.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Tolderol Game Reserve, south-east of Adelaide. Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

After a coffee and some breakfast and packing the 4WD we headed off towards the park. We drove into the nearby town of Strathalbyn and then took the Langhorne Creek Road. It wasn’t long before we were driving through the Langhorne Creek wine region which is located between the Adelaide Hills and Lake Alexandrina.

Langhorne Creek takes its name from Alfred ‘The Liar’ Langhorne who was a cattle drover who was renowned for his dishonest dealings.

The Langhorne Creek area has a cool maritime climate which is attributed to what the locals call ‘the Lake Doctor’. This is the wind which comes off Lake Alexandrina, which is a 600 sq km body of freshwater which is located at the end of the Murray Darling River system.

Langhorne Creek has fertile soil which is predominantly deep, alluvial sandy loams. Langhorne Creek is famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon, however, the region also produces Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Merlot.

The town of Langhorne Creek is a quaint little place with a population of about 427 (206 Census). It contains a number of historic buildings which date back to 1850, including the Methodist church, the hotel, and the general store.

We continued along the Langhorne Creek Road and then turned right onto Dog Lake Road and headed south. The park is signposted on Langhorne Creek Road.

There is normally a closed gate towards the end of Dog Lake Road. This gate is kept unlocked. This time we found the gate open. We continued south on Dog Lake Road and took the sharp left hand turn and soon reached the second gate which was closed but unlocked. This is where the Tolderol Game Reserve commences. Just after driving into the park you will find an information board.

The Tolderol Game Reserve is located about 85 km south-east of Adelaide, and is located on the edge of Lake Alexandrina. It is about 428 hectares in size.

Above:- An aerial view of Tolderol Game Reserve on the edge of Lake Alexandrina. Image courtesy of Google maps.

The reserve was proclaimed on 26th February 1970, with further land added on 10th January 1980. It has been modified into a series of 17 ponds or bays of water.

The reserve is located on the edge of Lake Alexandrina which the English settlers named the lake after Princess Alexandrina, the niece, and successor of King William IV of Great Britain and Ireland.

Birds SA have recorded a total of 164 species of bird in the reserve including Golden-headed Cisticola, Pacific Black Duck, Straw-necked Ibis, Spur-winged Plover, Black Swan, Whiskered Tern, Australian Reed Warbler, Baillon’s Crake, Spotless Crake, Ruff, Latham’s Snipe, Long-toed Stint, and White-winged Tern.

Below are some photographs of birds I sighted during our visit to the reserve.

Marija and I set up in the picnic/camping area where there are three concrete tables and benches. We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

Above:- An aerial shot of Tolderol Game Reserve showing our operating spot. Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

Our operating spot was right alongside of Lake Alexandrina, and it was very windy with the squid pole flexing violently in the wind.

Our first contacts in the log were Mark VK4SMA/p and Murray VK4MWB/p who were taking part in the Team Championship as the ‘ VK4WIPeouts’. Mark and Murray were activating the Main Range National Park VKFF-0300.

Marija and I then moved to 7.139 and started calling CQ. We decided to occasionally swap the mic for contacts during this activation, so we operated with 10 watts PEP as per Marija’s Foundation licence. This made contacts a little more difficult and we found band conditions to be very challenging at times with lots of fading. Signals in and out of Victoria (VK3) were well down compared to usual.

There was no local propagation around South Australia (VK5) on the 40m band, with just John VK5HAA in the Adelaide Hills logged on that band.

As always the 80m band proved reliable for VK5 contacts. We also made contact with Bob VK3SX at Gunbower on 80m, and Rob VK2VH/VK4AAC/2 at Mulwala.

Other than Mark and Murray we also logged the following participants in the VKFF Team Championship:-

  1. Linda VK7QP ‘Tigers’ in the South Arm Nature Recreation Area VKFF-2929
  2. Gerard VK2IO/p and Alan VK2MG/p ‘QRParktivators’ in the Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361
  3. Rob VK4SYD/p and Scott VK4CZ/p ‘The VK4midables”, in the (\D’Aguillar National Park VKFF-0129)

We also logged Deryck VK4FDJL/p who was activating the Millstream Falls National Park VKFF-0315, and Brian VK3BCM who was activating SOTA peak VK3/ VG-157.

We were also very happy to log two special event callsigns. The first being VI110WIA celebrating 110 years of the Wireless Institute of Australia, and then VK65PFA to celebrate the eradication of the Polio Virus in Africa.

After 3 hours in the park we packed up and headed to our second park for the day, the Ferries McDonald Conservation Park. We had a total of 99 contacts in the log at Tolderol, including 16 Park to Park contacts. Marija had made 50 contacts and I had logged 49.

We had made a total of 82 contacts on the 40m band and a total of 17 contacts on the 80m band.

Above:- Graph showing our contacts at the Tolderol Game Reserve.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4MWB/p (Main Range National Park VKFF-0600)
  2. VK4SMA/p (Main Range National Park VKFF-0600)
  3. VK2XSE/m
  4. VK2KNV/m
  5. VK3ANL
  6. VK3BCM
  7. VK2KYO
  8. VK7FAMP
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK7LTD
  11. VK3MPR
  12. VK4SYD/p (D’Aguillar National Park VKFF-0129)
  13. VK4CZ/p (D’Aguillar National Park VKFF-0129)
  14. VK3MAB
  15. VK2LHC
  16. VK3FMDC
  17. VK3LBW
  18. VK4FDJL/p (Millstream Falls National Park VKFF-0315)
  19. VK3SQ
  20. VK2LX
  21. VK2VH
  22. VK4AAC/2
  23. VK3MJ
  24. VK2DWP
  25. VK3SX
  26. VK7ME
  27. VK5AYL
  28. VK2WWV
  29. VK7QP/p (South Arm Nature Recreation Area VKFF-2929)
  30. VK5HAA
  31. VK3BCM/p (SOTA VK3/ VG-157)
  32. VK3PIH
  33. VK2ADB
  34. VK3PEF
  35. VK2IO/p (Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361)
  36. VK3HBG
  37. VK2MG/p (Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361)
  38. VK2PEZ
  39. VI110WIA
  40. VK2HBG
  41. VK3NDG
  42. VK65PFA

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3SX
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK2VH
  4. VK4AAC/2
  5. VK5PL
  6. VK5AYL
  7. VK5IS
  8. VK5HAA

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SMA/p (Main Range National Park VKFF-0600)
  2. VK4MWB/p (Main Range National Park VKFF-0600)
  3. VK2KNV/m
  4. VK2XSE/m
  5. VK4CZ/p (D’Aguillar National Park VKFF-0129)
  6. VK4SYD/p (D’Aguillar National Park VKFF-0129)
  7. VK3FLJD
  8. VK3MAB
  9. VK4FDJL/p (Millstream Falls National Park VKFF-0315)
  10. VK3MPR
  11. VK2DWP
  12. VK2VH
  13. VK4AAC/2
  14. VK2KYO
  15. VK5AYL
  16. VK3SX
  17. VK3PT
  18. VK3ARH
  19. VK3ANL
  20. VK3PF
  21. VK3SQ
  22. VK2PWG/m
  23. VK7ME
  24. VK7QP/p (South Arm Nature Recreation Area VKFF-2929)
  25. VK3PIH
  26. VK5HAA
  27. VK2ABS
  28. VK3ZH
  29. VK2ADB
  30. VK3BCM (SOTA VK3/ VG-157)
  31. VK2IO/p (Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361)
  32. VK3HBG
  33. VK2MG/p (Munmorah State Conservation Area VKFF-1361)
  34. VK7LTD
  35. VK2PEZ
  36. VI110WIA
  37. VK2HBG
  38. VK3NDG
  39. VK7FAMP
  40. VK65PFA

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3SX
  2. VK5CZ
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK2VH
  5. VK4AAC/2
  6. VK5PL
  7. VK5AYL
  8. VK5IS
  9. VK5HAA

THANK YOU to everyone who called us.

References.

  1. Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/tolderol-game-reserve/>, viewed 28th October 2020.
  2. Langhorne Creek Wine, 2020, <https://www.langhornecreek.com/about-langhorne-creek>, viewed 28th October 2020
  3. Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langhorne_Creek_wine_region>, viewed 28th October 2020
  4. Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Alexandrina_(South_Australia)>, viewed 28th October 2020