Black Bullock Hill VK5/ SE-016 and an afternoon on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Yesterday (Friday 1st January 2021) Marija VK5MAZ and I headed south to the Fleurieu Peninsula to activate Black Bullock Hill VK5/ SE-016 for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program. It has become quite a tradition for Australian SOTA activators to head out to activate a summit on New Years Day, taking advantage of the UTC rollover and a new calendar year.

Marija and I had not been very active out in the field during 2021. In fact this would be our first SOTA activation in 12 months. A variety of issues including the bushfires, COVID-19, selling our house and moving to a new property, and big commitments to both our workplaces, had conspired against us.

We have both activated Black Bullock Hill previously, but we would pick up 2 points for this activation (1 point for 2020 before the UTC rollover, and another 1 point for 2021 after the UTC rollover).

Above:- Map showing the location of Black Bullock Hill south of Adelaide. Map courtesy of openstreetmap.org.

Black Bullock Hill is 365 metres above sea level and is reported to be the highest point on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is worth 1 point in the Summits on the Air program. There is a trig point located at the summit and this is located on private property. Last time Marija and I were at this summit the trig point was lying on the ground on its side. I telephoned the new land owner the day before and he very kindly agreed that we could access his property. He also advised that the trig point had been taken away to be restored.

The summit is situated near the intersection of Dog Trap Road, Three Bridges Road and Tent Rock Road.

Above:- Aerial showing the location of the summit, just on the eastern side of Tent Rock Road.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

For many years this summit was recorded with SOTA as being an un-named summit. A number of years ago I revealed that the summit was actually called Black Bullock Hill and the summit name was changed on the SOTA database.

Above:- An aerial shot of Black Bullock Hill looking out towards Kangaroo Island. Image courtesy of Google maps.

I suspected that the summit was probably named after a black bullock.  But enquiries with the Yankalilla and District Historical Society confirmed that the summit’s name actually comes from a plant, not an animal, as I had presumed.  And that plant is ‘bull-oak’  Allocasuarina Luchnannii, which is part of the Casuarinaceae family.  The plant is also sometimes referred to as ‘buloke’.  It is reputed to the the hardest wood in the world, with a Janka Hardness of 5,060 lbf.  The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear.

Marija and I were set up and ready to go by about 2230 hrs UTC (9.00 a.m. South Australian local time). We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole and the 15m dipole for this activation. As this is an easy summit to access, we set up the fold up table and deck chairs.

The temperature was tipped to be 26 deg C at nearby Victor Harbor, but it was a chilly morning initially, with a very cold breeze blowing in off the nearby Southern Ocean.

First in the log for both Marija and I was Peter VK3ZPF/p who was activating SOTA summit VK3/ VT-026. After logging Peter on 7.090, we moved down to 7.085 and started calling CQ. As the other SOTA activators called us, I handed over the mic to Marija so she could log the Summit to Summit contacts.

Once I had well and truly qualified the summit with 18 contacts in the log, I handed over the mic to Marija who called CQ on 7.085.

Between the two of us, we logged a total of 38 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, and VK5. Of those, we each made seven Summit to Summit contacts as follows:-

  • Peter VK3ZPF/p – Mount Tooronga Range VK3/ VT-026
  • Andrew VK1AD – Yellow Rabbit Hill VK1/ AC-039
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Mount Baranduda VK3/ VE-189 and Baranduda Regional Park VKFF-0959
  • Nick VK3ANL – Mount Hickey VK3/ VN-015
  • Brian VK3BCM – Archer Lookout VK3/ VC-038 and Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556
  • Tony VK3CAT/p – Mount Mitchell VK3/ VN-012
  • Ron VK3AFW/p – Mount Toolebewong VK3/ VE-033

We then moved to 80m where I logged a total of 7 stations from VK3 and VK5. Conditions seemed to be quite good on that band and I expected more contacts there but that did not eventuate.

We moved back to the 40m band and logged a further 19 contacts before the UTC rollover at 10.30 a.m. South Australian local time. This included a further seven Summit to Summit contacts for each of our logs as follows:-

  • Joel VK2VRO/p – Mount Donna Buang VK3/ VC-002 and Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556
  • Peter VK3TKK/p – Mount Gisborne VK3/ VC-039
  • Col VK3GTV/p – Mount Alexander VK3/ VN-016 and Mount Alexander Regional Park VKFF-0973
  • Allen VK3ARH/p – The Horn VK3/ VE-014 and Mount Buffalo National Park VKFF-0339
  • Andrew VK3ARR/p – The Horn VK3/ VE-014 and Mount Buffalo National Park VKFF-0339
  • Graham VK3GRA/p – Mount Macedon VK3/ VC-007 and Macedon Regional Park VKFF-0972
  • Aaron VK1LAJ/p – Mount Majura VK1/ AC-034 and Mount Majura Nature Reserve VKFF-0851

After the UTC rollover we logged a further 25 QSOs before I headed to the 20m band. This included the following Summit to Summit contacts:-

  • Andrew VK3ARR/p – The Horn VK3/ VE-014 and Mount Buffalo National Park VKFF-0339
  • Allen VK3ARH/p – The Horn VK3/ VE-014 and Mount Buffalo National Park VKFF-0339
  • Graham VK3GRA/p – Mount Macedon VK3/ VC-007 and Macedon Regional Park VKFF-0972
  • Nick VK3ANL – Mount Hickey VK3/ VN-015
  • Tony VK3YV/p – Gentle Annie VK3/ VT-078 and Bunyip State Park VKFF-0753
  • Compton VK2HRX – Mount Trickett VK2/ CT-002 and Kanangra-Boyd National Park VKFF-0256
  • Nik VK3ZK/p – Arthurs Seat VK3/ VC-031
  • Andrew VK1AD – Yellow Rabbit Hill VK1/ AC-039
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Mount Elliot VK2/ HU-093

While Marija spotted me on parksnpeaks I called CQ on 14.310. This was answered by John VK6NU/p who was activating VK6/ SW-031. I also managed two Summit to Summit contacts with New Zealand stations: John ZL3MR/p on Ladbrooks Hills ZL3/ CB-618 who had a good 5/5 signal, and Soren Zl1SKL/p on ZL1/ AK-002 who was a little lower down but was eventually workable.

  • John VK6NU/p – Mount Cooke VK6/ SW-031 and Monadnocks Reserve VKFF-1459
  • Rob VK4SYD/p – Tennison Woods Mountain VK4/ SE-117 and D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129
  • John ZL3MR/p – Ladbrooks Hill ZL3/ CB-618
  • Compton VK2HRX/p – Mount Trickett VK2/ CT-002 and Kanangra-Boyd National Park VKFF-0256
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Mount Baranduda VK3/ VE-189 and Baranduda Regional Park VKFF-0959
  • Steve VK4JSS/p – Tamborine Mountain VK4/ SE-059 and Tamborine National Park VKFF-0475
  • Andrew VK1DA/p – Mount Foxlow VK2/ ST-010 and Yanununbeyan National Park VKFF-0555
  • Aaron VK1LAJ/p – Mount Majura VK1/ AC-034 and Mount Majura Nature Reserve VKFF-0851
  • Soren ZL1SKL/p – Mount Hobson ZL1/ AK-002

With some VK3 stations in my log on 20m, I suspected that the 15m band might be open to that part of Australia. So it was down with the squid pole, and Marija and I removed the linked dipole and we erected the 15m dipole.

I called CQ on 21.250 and my CQ call was answered by Peter VK4PHD on Bribie Island. Deryck VK4FDJL then called, followed by Mark VK4SMA, and then Phil ZL3JD in Auckland in New Zealand. Unfortunately they were my only takers on 15m.

I moved back to 20m and logged a further four stations including the following Summit to Summit contacts:-

  • Matt VK1MA/p – Mount Ginini VK1 AC-008
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Mount Elliot VK2/ HU-093

Marija and I decided to have one last call on 40m before packing up. We logged a total of 15 contacts including the following Summit to Summit contacts:-

  • Matt VK1MA/p – Mount Ginini VK1/ AC-008
  • Peter VK3ZPF/p – Mount Horsfall VK3/ VT-028 and Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-0556
  • John VK5HAA/p – Mount Lofty VK5/ SE-005 and Cleland Conservation Park VKFF-0778

It was now about 12.30 p.m. local time and Marija and I packed up, with a total of 119 QSOs in the log including 64 Summit to Summit contacts.

Marija worked the following stations before the UTC rollover:-

Marija worked the following stations after the UTC rollover:-

I worked the following stations before the UTC rollover:-

I worked the following stations after the UTC rollover:-

After packing up Marija and I decided that we would slowly head home following the western edge of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Above:- The Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide showing our afternoon travels. Map courtesy of plotaroute.

First up we headed to Cape Jervis on the tip of the Fleurieu. This is where travellers to Kangaroo Island catch the ferry. The small fishing town takes its name from the Cape Jervis headland which was named in 1802 by explorer Matthew Flinders after John Jervis the 1st Earl of St Vincent. Marija and I purchased Fish and Chips from the local take away store and we sat at the lookout enjoying our lunch looking out across Backstairs Passage between the South Australian mainland and Kangaroo Island. It was a beautiful way to spend lunch on a sunny afternoon.

We then drove to Morgans Beach, just to the north of Cape Jervis. This is a beautiful beach which is nestled below 50 metre cliffs. The beach is accessed via a dirt road on the northern side of Main South Road. The beach is not signposted at this point. A short distance down this dirt road you either continue on to the lookout (to your right) or turn left to get down onto the beach. Access to the beach is only via 4WD. There are some great views here, including the nearby Starfish Hill Wind Farm.

Our next stop was the very beautiful and historic Uniting Church at Delamere. The church dates back to 1858 and is located on Yoho Road. The church is often referred to as the ‘little white chapel’. In 1858, Joel and Mary Cole donated the land which the church is located on. This is still an active church.

Our next stop was another historic church in Delamere, the St James Anglican church. The foundation stone for St James was laid on the 19th day of September 1870. A hall and a historic cemetery are located adjacent to the church. The church has several items of interest, including a font which is reputedly over 300 years old.

We then stopped in at Rapid Bay. On the 8th day of September 1836, South Australia Colonial Surveyor General Colonel William Light made his first landfall on mainland South Australia at Rapid Bay. The site was named after his ship, the 162 ton brig ‘Rapid’. 

The town of Rapid Bay was constructed by the Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) as an open cut limestone mine. It was in use from around 1942-1981. A large jetty was constructed. Construction of a new jetty was completed in 2009.

As it was a beautiful afternoon, the jetty was alive with fishers and there were lots of people on the beach enjoying a swim and the sunshine.

We then drove into the beautiful little town of Second Valley, which derives its name from being the next valley north of Rapid Bay.

The little village contains a number of historic buildings. The most impressive of those is the historic Leonards Mill. The mill is now a restaurant, but commenced its life in 1858 as a flour mill. It was later used as a Wattlebark mill to process the local species of Wattlebark which had very good tanning properties for tanning leather which was exported to London. It was later used as a shearing shed.

There is a Second Valley Heritage Walk and a pamphlet is available at the Information Board in Second Valley. You can also download a copy from the Walking SA website. A link can be found below…..

One of the interesting things to see is the monument for Colonel William Light to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his landing in 1836 and Fanny Lipson Finniss who was the ‘first white girl born in the colony’ at nearby Rapid Bay on the 2nd January 1837.

There are various other historical points of interest in Second Valley including the Parananacooka bridge which was constructed in 1864, the old blacksmith and wheelwright store dating back to 1874, the Fanny Lipson Finniss statue, the War Memorial, and the old Second Valley General Store which served the district from 1861 to 1973

We then drove down to Second Valley beach. Although this beach is only very small, it has been rated as one of Australia’s top ten beaches. And it was certainly very popular on this day as you can see from the photographs below.

We continued north on Main South Road and stopped in at the Marina St Vincent in Wirrina Cove.

We then had a look at the nearby New Terry Hotel and Golf Resort. This features an 18 hole golf course, swimming pool, spa pool and sauna and a Conference Centre. The local Western Grey kangaroos were certainly enjoying the greens. Where else but Australia would you find kangaroos on a golf course.

We then stopped briefly to have a look at the information board for the HMAS Hobart, a former guided missile destroyer in the Royal Australian Navy. The HMAS Hobart was built in the USA and was commissioned in 1965 in Boston. HMAS Hobart completed three tours of duty off Vietnam. In 1968 the vessel was struck by ‘friendly fire’ resulting in the death of two sailors with seven others being injured. The HMAS Hobart was sunk in November 2002 as an artificial reef and lies in 30 metres of water about 4 kms off shore.

We continued towards Normanville and stopped to have a look at the old Gorge Mill which was in use between 1856 to 1998. William Ferguson established a steam flour mill on the site in 1856 shipping flour from nearby Normanville. In 1872 the mill was purchased by Cornish & Co. Following the death in 1875 of John Cornish Snr, John Jnr added a wattle bark grinding mill nearby. In 1894 Charles Dixon purchased the property and added a chaff mill. By 1918 the owner was Albert Bowyer who was a champion hay stack builder and thatcher. He ran a dairy at the mill. His son’s Melville and Hiram established the successful race horse stud “Beau Neire’ on the site in the 1940s. They produced numerous top class horses including the 1950 Melbourne Cup Winner ‘Comic Count’.

We then stopped at the town of Normanville, affectionately known as ‘Normy’, where Marija and I enjoyed some ice cream on the beachfront. The town was established by South Australia’s first dentist, Robert Norman, in 1849.

We continued on to Carrickalinga, which has a beautiful sandy beach. Carrickalinga is an aboriginal word meaning ‘place of red gum firewood’.

We headed out of Carrickalinga on Forktree Road, stopping briefly at the lookout to enjoy the view and take some photographs.

We then turned off onto Myponga Beach Road and enjoyed some sensational views as we winded our way down from the hills down to the beach.

Myponga Beach is located in a small valley which has been carved by Myponga Creek. Myponga Beach was formerly used as a port and the ruins of the old jetty can still be seen.

We then headed east on the very windy and steep Sampson Road, stopping every now and again to enjoy the views of the coastline and the Myponga Reservoir.

Our final stop for the day was the Myponga Reservoir. The reservoir’s capacity is 5,905 million gallons. It was constructed between 1958-1962 and is fed by the Myponga River and other rivers in the Myponga catchment.

We then made our way home via Pages Flat, Mount Compass, and Tooperang. It had been a great day out with a mixture of amateur radio and sightseeing on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula.

References.

Adelaide Now, 2021, <https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/lifestyle/sa-lifestyle/the-az-of-the-meanings-of-south-australia8217s-town names>, viewed 2nd Janaury 2021.

Leonards Mill, 2021, <https://leonardsmill.com.au/about-us/>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Summits on the Air, 2021, <https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/VK5/SE-016>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Trails SA, 2021, <http://www.southaustraliantrails.com/trails/ex-hmas-hobart/>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Waymarking, 2021, <https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMZ7M3_Uniting_Church_Delamere_SA_Australia>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Western Fleurieu Anglicans, 2021, <https://southernvalesparish.org/st-james-delamere/>, viewed 2nd January 2021

Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Jervis>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_Bay,_South_Australia>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Valley,_South_Australia>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normanville,_South_Australia>, viewed 2nd January 2021.

Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myponga_Reservoir>, viewed 2nd Janaury 2021.

Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 and VKFF-0877

Our final park for Boxing Day 2020 was the Eric Bonython Conservation Park 5CP-062 & VKFF-0877. The park is located about 100 km south of the city of Adelaide. Both Marija and I have activated this park previously on a number of occasions.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Eric Bonython Conservation Park. Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Eric Bonython Conservation Park is only a small park, consisting of about 6 hectares of native scrub on the northern side of Rymill Road, Tunkalilla, on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Tunkalilla is a Kaurna aboriginal word meaning ‘place of many smells’. This was due to the whale carcasses that washed up on the 7 km sandy shore of Tunkalilla beach.

Above:- The Eric Bonython Conservation Park. Image c/o Location SA Map Viewer.

On the 9th day of November 1967, the park was proclaimed under the National Parks Act 1966 as the Eric Bonython National Parks Reserve. It was re-proclaimed on the 27th April 1972 as the Eric Bonython Conservation Park.

Above:- SA Govt Gazette re the Eric Bonython National Parks Reserve.

The park is named after Eric Glenie Bonython (b. 1910. d. 1971) who was an author, explorer, and conservationist. Bonython’s chief occupation was in landholding and grazing, however he had a very wide interest in history, geography and anthropology.  He became a well known explorer of the Lake Eyre Basin, at that time one of the most mysterious geological areas on earth.

Bonython died in 1971, aged just 60 years old. At the time he was living at his 1,600 acre property at Illawong on the Fleurieu Peninsula, close to the park. He is buried at the West terrace cemetery (images below c/o Find a grave).

Access to the park is via Rymill Road which runs off Tunkalilla Road. There are no amenities in the park and limited parking spots.

Above:- An aerial view of the Eric Bonython Conservation Park. Image c/o Google maps.

The park consists of Low Open Forest of Swamp Gum, Pink Gum, Cup Gum, Messmate Stringybark, and Brown Stringybark. The understorey plants include Tea-trees and Hakeas.

Birds SA have recorded a total of 43 native birds in the park including Adelaide Rosella, New Holland Honeyeater, Striated Thornbill, Grey Fantail, Australian Golden Whistler, Grey Shrikethrush, Brush Bronzewing, Pallid Cuckoo, Elegant Parrot, Dusky Woodswallow, and Red-browed Finch.

There are some sensational views to be enjoyed from the park of The Pages Conservation Park, the Southern Ocean, and Kangaroo Island.

Marija and I went to our normal operating spot in the park, a small clearing in amongst the scrub. As it was a very hot afternoon and there was very little shade on offer, we huddled against the side of the 4WD.

Once again we decided to kick off the activation on the 15m band and I am so pleased that I did. First in the log on 15m was Fred VK3DAC & VK4FE/3, followed by Deryck VK4FDJL, and then Ray VK4NH. It only took me 6 minutes and I had qualified the park for VKFF on 15m with 10 contacts.

Band conditions on 15m were excellent, and I ended up making a total of 38 contacts, almost qualifying the park exclusively on the 15m band. Contacts were made into VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK7, and New Zealand.

Marija also qualified the park for VKFF exclusively on 15m with a total of 15 contacts in the log into VK2, VK3, and VK4. This included Park to Park contacts with Gerard VK2IO/p in two different parks: Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049 and Cockle Bay Nature Reserve VKFF-1908.

To finish off the activation I called CQ on 7.144 on 40m and logged a total of 22 stations. Contact number 44 was with Robbie VK5MRS at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills.

We were getting tired and hot and hungry, so we decided to call if quits. I suspect if we had kept going, we would have had a lot more callers on 40m. That band was in great shape. Unfortunately we did not get to try 80m or 20m. We will save that for another day.

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  2. VK2BDS
  3. VK4CZ
  4. VK4FDJL
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3DAC
  9. VK4FE/3
  10. VK3CU
  11. VK2LX
  12. VK2DWP
  13. VK4SMA
  14. VK4MGL
  15. VK2IO/p (Cockle Bay Nature Reserve VKFF-1908)

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3DAC
  2. VK4FE/3
  3. VK4FDJL
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK2HRX
  8. VK3ZPF
  9. VK3MCK
  10. ZL1TM
  11. VK4KC
  12. VK4SMA
  13. VK3PI
  14. VK3ANL
  15. VK3BCM/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-037)
  16. VK2LX
  17. VK2VW
  18. VK2HFI
  19. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  20. VK4CZ
  21. VK2JCC
  22. VK2PKT
  23. VK2HHS
  24. VK4MGL
  25. VK3MDC
  26. VK1XP/m
  27. VK2IO/p (Cockle Bay Nature Reserve VKFF-1908)
  28. VK2TEV
  29. VK2CRF
  30. VK4DX
  31. VK3XXY
  32. VK7RG
  33. VK1CT
  34. VK7DY
  35. VK5MWW
  36. VK3NBP
  37. VK3MCO
  38. VK2GOD

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ
  2. VK5AYL
  3. VK5GY
  4. VK5EMI
  5. VK5HYZ
  6. VK5MRS
  7. VK5KLV
  8. VK2FPAR
  9. VK2YK/5
  10. VK5GA
  11. VK2HHA
  12. VK5FANA
  13. VK5MRD
  14. VK4FDJL
  15. VK3YV
  16. VK3FIMD
  17. VK3ZPF
  18. VK5VST
  19. VK3HJJ
  20. VK5DW
  21. VK5MWW
  22. VK2XB/m

After packing up we stopped off briefly at Parawa on Range Road to enjoy the views.

We then headed into Victor Harbor, detouring slightly up to the Crows Nest Lookout where we enjoyed some beautiful views of Middleton, Goolwa, Currency Creek, the Murray Mouth, and the Coorong.

References.

Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/eric-bonython-conservation-park/>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Coast Lines, 2020, <https://www.coastlines.com.au/news/the-texel-ranger>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Terroir Selections, 2020, <https://www.terroir-selections.com.au/producers/tunkalilla-vineyard>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Bonython_Conservation_Park>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Springs Road Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2895

Our second park for Boxing Day 2020 (26th December) was the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2895 which is located about 100 km south of the city of Adelaide.

I have activated this park once before, but this was to be a unique park for Marija as an activator in the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve. Map courtesy of Google maps.

Springs Road Native Forest Reserve is part of the Second Valley Forest Reserve and is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The reserve adjoins a pine planation and there is also a large area of privately owned scrub (Heritage Agreement) to the north and west of the Reserve.

Above:- An aerial view of the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve. Image courtesy of Google maps.

The land on which the Reserve is located was originally land granted to Edward Stephens in July 1854. In April 1912 the land was transferred to the Crown. On the 29th day of May 1975 it was transferred to the Woods and Forests Department as a Forest reserve.

The Reserve is about 89.6 hectares in size and is located about 2 km north-west of the Range Road and Springs Road intersection. The Reserve consists of native vegetation which once covered the Fleurieu Peninsula. Just 15% of that now remains.

The Springs Road Native Forest Reserve forms one of the headwaters of the Anacotilla River which flows to the north-west into the Gulf St Vincent.

In 1904 an early survey by the Department of Lands described the area as:-

“hilly country heavily timbered with large stringybark and thick undergrowth of yaccas and ferns.
The gullies were low tea tree swamp with light, sandy soils”.

The nationally endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot has been recorded in the park, as has the endangered Southern Emu-Wren.

Above:- Cleared farming land alongside of the Reserve.

The park is well signposted. We parked at the gate on Springs Road and walked a shot distance into the park to the shade of some gum trees. It was particularly warm afternoon, with the temperature now reaching 32 deg C. We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 15m dipole & 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

Marija and I decided to kick off the activation on the 15m band. Marija spotted me on parksnpeaks and I called CQ on 21.244. First in the log was Peter VK3ZPF, followed by Fred VK3DAC and then Andrei ZL1TM in New Zealand. I logged a total of 12 stations on 15m including Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049.

I had qualified the park for VKFF with 10 contacts, so I swapped the mic with Marija who very quickly qualified the park on 15m.

We then lowered the squid pole and took down the 15m dipole and placed up the 20/40/80m linked dipole. I then called CQ on 7.144 with Geoff VK3SQ being the first caller. Band conditions on 40m were still poor, and I logged just 12 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5. The South Australian (VK5) stations from the Riverland, Port Augusta, the Yorke Peninsula, and the Clare Valley were very strong.

I then moved to the 20m band and much to my surprise, my first caller was Ivan VK5HS in the Riverland with a 5/9 signal. This was followed by Ian VK5CZ in the Clare Valley who was also 5/9, and then Les VK5KLV at Port Augusta who was also 5/9. I then logged Peter VK3PF/p who was on SOTA peak VK3/ VE-113.

I logged a total of 16 stations on 20m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and New Zealand. I now had 40 contacts in the log and needed just 4 more QSOs to qualify the park for the global WWFF program with 44 QSOs. I moved down to the 80m band where I logged 4 stations, with Mike VK4MWW being the 44th contact.

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  2. VK7RG
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK4SMA
  8. VK3DAC
  9. VK4MAP
  10. VK4KC
  11. VK3ZPF

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF
  2. VK3DAC
  3. ZL1TM
  4. VK4CZ
  5. VK4KC
  6. VK3DET
  7. VK3PI
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. ZL4TY/VK4
  11. VK4SMA
  12. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK2JDS
  3. VK4FDJL
  4. VK3BBB
  5. VK2CCP
  6. VK5CZ
  7. VK5FANA
  8. VK5DW
  9. VK5KLV
  10. VK5HS
  11. VK3VET
  12. VK3CU

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK5HS
  2. VK5CZ
  3. VK5KLV
  4. VK3PF/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-113)
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK3VET
  7. VK3GH
  8. VK5DW
  9. VK2LX
  10. VK4NH
  11. VK4DXA
  12. ZL4TY/VK4
  13. VK3DAC
  14. VK4FE/3
  15. VK4KC
  16. ZL1TM

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ
  2. VK5HS
  3. VK5FILL
  4. VK5MWW

References.

Forestry SA, 2016, ‘Second Valley Forest Reserve Management Plan’.

Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2896

On Boxing Day (26th December 2020) I headed down to the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide to activate some parks. They were all to be parks that I had activated previously, but would go towards my 2020 VKFF Activator tally.

My first park was the Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve (NFR) VKFF-2896 which is located about 100 km south of Adelaide.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve. Map courtesy of Google maps.

The Congeratinga, Kalmunda, and Springs Road Native Forest Reserves form part of the Second Valley Forest Reserve in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges which are managed by Forestry SA. The Reserves, including Congeratinga are located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide. In 1802 French explorer Nicolas Baudin named the peninsula after Charles Pierre Claret de Fleurieu who was a French explorer and hydrographer.

Above:- An aerial shot of the Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve, looking south towards Kangaroo Island. Image c/o Google maps.

The Congeratinga NFR is about 77.3 hectares in size and is located about 2km south-west of the Range
Road and Springs Road intersection. Commercial pine plantations can be located on the western boundary of the reserve. All other boundaries of the reserve are adjacent private property.

Congeratinga NFR conserves remnant native vegetation which was once found widely across the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is estimated that just 15% of the original vegetation remains today. The reserve also conserves areas of Fleurieu Peninsula Swamp which is a Threatened Ecological Community. It is also suspected that the nationally endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot can be found in the reserve. Also found in the reserve is the endangered Southern Emu-Wren.

The reserve is located at the headwaters of the Congeratinga River which flows to the north towards Gulf St Vincent. The mouth of the Congeratinga, known in the 19th century as ‘Cutter Flat’ is now the site of the Marina St Vincent.

Congeratinga comes from the aboriginal Kaurna language. It is believed to mean ‘place of human birthing blood’. The first European record of the word Congeratinga was the River Congeratinga marked on the first maps of the surveyors of the district. In June and August 1840 the first survey of the area was carried out under the leadership of Nathaniel Kentish, James Poole, and G. Bryan. The European surveyors used aboriginal guides who no doubt gave the name.

I travelled south from home along Bull Creek Road and then onto Deep Creek Road, then south on the Goolwa Road and onto Flagstaff Hill Road. I stopped briefly to enjoy the superb views of the Finniss River, Currency Creek, Goolwa, and down to the Coorong.

I continued on to the beautiful seaside town of Victor Harbor, stopping briefly at the George Fisher Lookout on Waitpinga Road to enjoy the view of Victor Harbor, Granite Island, and The Bluff.

I then headed west along Range Road where there are brilliant views of Back Valley, Torrens Vale, and the Southern Ocean. As I headed to the park I logged John VK5BJE/p who was activating the Mount Billy Conservation Park VKFF-0912. We were able to make contact despite my VSWR being high as I was unable to tune the Codan 9350 antenna due to an issue with the interface.

I soon reached the park which is well signposted. I have activated Congeratinga once before back in 2019. This time I parked my 4WD at the gate near the south-eastern corner of the reserve and walked a short distance along the fire track and set up my station.

I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and a 20/40/80m linked dipole, and a 15m dipole for this activation. Unfortunately I had forgotten by clock, so I made a phone call to my wife Marija VK5MAZ, who made the decision to come down and join me for the activations.

First in the log was John VK5BJE in Mount Billy VKFF-0912. John had a very nice 5/7 signal and was kind enough to hand over the frequency 7.150 to me. Next in the log was Adrian VK5FANA who was a strong 5/9, followed by Brian VK3BBB.

Contact number 6 was with Peter VK3PF/p who was activating SOTA summit VK3/ VE-097. Two QSOs later and I had another Park to Park contact in the log with a QSO with Gerard VK2IO/p who was activating the Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049. Contact number 10, qualifying the park for the VKFF program, was a QSO with Allen VK3ARH.

Band conditions on 40m were very poor and I struggled to get any further contacts with Allen, so I lowered down the squid pole and inserted the links on the dipole for the 80m band, hoping to get some contacts on that band. Sadly I was very disappointed, with just 2 contacts logged there with Adrian VK5FANA and Grant VK5GR. Both Adrian and Grant were struggling to hear me. This was not a good sign. I strongly suspected that I wouldn’t make the 44 QSO mark to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

I then moved to the 20m band and started calling CQ on 14.310. First in the log on that band was Scott VK4CZ with a big 5/9 signal. He reciprocated with a 5/9 for me. This was followed by Hans VK6XN who was 5/8 (5/7 received). This was promising. The 20m band seemed to be in good shape.

I ended up logging a total of 21 stations on 20m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and New Zealand. This included another Park to Park with Gerard in the Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049 and a contact with Peter VK3PF/p on SOTA summit VK3/ VE-104.

I now had 33 contacts in the log and Marija had arrived at the park. Marija was keen to qualify the park for VKFF, so she jumped into the operators seat and started calling CQ on 7.144. First in the log was Ian VK5CZ from the Clare Valley with a big 5/9 signal. This was followed by David VK5PL in the southern Barossa Valley who was also 5/9, and then Allen VK3ARH.

Marija logged a total of 14 stations from VK1, VK3, and VK5. This included a Park to Park contact with Ian VK1DI/p who was activating the Undoo Nature Reserve VKFF-2751.

I had just 11 contacts to get to reach my target of 44. I also logged Ian VK1DI/p for a Park to Park contact and then called CQ on 7.144. Unfortunately there were no takers, so Marija and I took down the linked dipole and put up a 15m dipole. Marija spotted me on parksnpeaks and I called CQ on 21.244.

First in the log on 15m was Rod VK7RG, followed by Geoff VK3SQ, and then Scott VK4CZ. Contact number 44 was a QSO with Grant VK2LX.

I logged a total of 15 stations on 15m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK7, and New Zealand.

It was time to pack up and head off to our next park, the Springs Road Native Forest Reserve.

I was really pleased to see the 15m band open again. I had used 15m with quite a bit of success during the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend.

Above:- Graph showing my QSOs per band.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5CZ
  2. VK5PL
  3. VK3ARH
  4. VK5TR
  5. VK5KLV
  6. VK5KKT
  7. VK3DAC
  8. VK3CU
  9. VK5YL
  10. VK1DI/p (Undoo Nature Reserve VKFF-2751)
  11. VK3ZPF
  12. VK5FANA
  13. VK5LB
  14. VK5NFT/m

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE/p (Mount Billy Conservation Park VKFF-0912)
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK3BBB
  4. VK2CCP
  5. VK5OHR
  6. VK3PF/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-097)
  7. VK5AYL
  8. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  9. VK5JOB
  10. VK3ARH
  11. VK1DI/p (Undoo Nature Reserve VKFF-2751)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5GR

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4CZ
  2. VK6XN
  3. VK3DAC
  4. VK4KC
  5. VK4HNS
  6. VK5AYL
  7. VK2MG
  8. VK3MCK
  9. VK3TKK
  10. VK4SMA
  11. VK4NH
  12. VK4DXA
  13. ZL4TY/VK4
  14. VK6GLX
  15. VK3CU
  16. VK5CZ
  17. VK2IO/p (Bouddi National Park VKFF-0049)
  18. VK3SQ
  19. VK2TER
  20. ZL1TM
  21. VK3PF/p (SOTA VK3/ VE-104)

I logged the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK7RG
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK4CZ
  4. VK3CWF
  5. VK7RV
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. VK4HNS
  10. VK2LX
  11. VK3DAC
  12. ZL1TM
  13. VK4KC
  14. VK4SMA
  15. VK3ARH

References.

Foresty SA, 2016, ‘Second Valley Forest Reserve Management Plan’

The Southern Kaurna Place Names Project, 2019, <https://www.adelaide.edu.au/kwp/placenames/research-publ/5-02-02-03Kangkar.pdf>

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleurieu_Peninsula>, viewed 28th December 2020.

Nixon Skinner Conservation Park 5CP-165 and VKFF-0923

Our fourth and final park for the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend was the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park 5CP-165 & VKFF-0923, which is located about 60 km south of Adelaide and about 4 km south of the town of Myponga.

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

Nixon Skinner Conservation Park is a small park comprising just 8 hectares, but it is a very picturesque park. The park backs onto the Myponga Reservoir and is located adjacent to Main South Road (the main road between Myponga and Yankalilla). There are no signs from the road to indicate the park. There is a small area to park your car, but be careful turning in as Main South Road can be quite busy with the speed limit being 100kph.

Above:- An aerial view of the Nixon Skinner CP looking north towards the city of Adelaide. Image c/o Google maps.

The land which became the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park was donated in 1948 by Mrs. Lucy Page of Wattle Flat, to the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia, for use as a natural history reserve.

Above:- from The Advertiser, Sat 16th October 1948. c/o Trove

Mrs. Lucy Eleanor Page nee Nixon (b. 1870. d. 1960) was a long standing and active member of the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia. Mrs. Page lived in the locality for about 60 years.

Above:- Lucy Eleanor Page nee Nixon. Image c/o Ancestry.com.au

The land was subsequently bestowed to the National Parks and Wildlife Reserves Commission as the Nixon Skinner Reserve. However the actual land transfer did not occur until the 12th day of April 1961 following the death of Mrs. Page on the 22nd June 1960.

Above:- Article from the Victor Harbour Times, Fri 12 Aug 1960. c/o Trove

On the 9th day of November 1967 the park was declared the Nixon Skinner National Parks Reserve. On the 27th day of April 1972 it was re-proclaimed as the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park

Above:- from The South Australian Government Gazette, 9th November 1967.

The park was named in honour of the grandfathers of Mrs. Page; Thomas Skinner (b. 1814. d. 1902) and William Millington Nixon (b. 1814. d. 1893).

Thomas William Skinner was born on 2nd September 1822 in Robertsbridge, Sussex, England. Thomas emigrated to Australia in 1854 aboard the ‘Ostrich’. He died on the 2nd April 1902 in Yankalilla.

William Millington Nixon was born on 1st August 1814 in Birmingham, England. He arrived in Melbourne in 1855 aboard the ‘Champion of the Seas’. He then transferred to the ship ‘Havilah‘ and sailed to Adelaide. He lived in the Yankalilla area in 1866.

Above:- William Millington Nixon. Image c/o State Library of South Australia [B 64201/13].

The land was the first privately donated reserve to be established in South Australia for the preservation in peerpetuity of native plants and animals and for the enjoyment of nature lovers.

In 1980 a plaque was erected in the park by the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia Incorporated. The plaque was unveiled on the 24th day of February 1980, by the Hon. David Wotton, Esq, M.P. Minister of Environment. About 60 people were in attendance, including Mrs. Page’s three surviving daughters.

Above:- The plaque in the park.

At the official unveiling of the plaque, Mr. Wotton said:

“this beautiful Myponga area showed that she (Lucy Page) had a far sighted and truly conservationist attitude’.

Above:- Newspaper article from the Victor Harbour Times, Wed 27th Feb 1980

There is a very easy, but enjoyable walk in the park. It is a distance of about 1.3 km and is about 30 minutes return. The walk concludes at Gate 26 of the reservoir. More information can be found on the Walking SA website at…..

The park consists of Messmate Stringybark, Pink Gum, River Red Gum, Erect Guinea-flower, Heath Tea-tree, Myrtle Wattle, Golden Wattle, South Australian Blue Gum, Silver Banksia, Cross-leaved Honey-myrtle, and Silky Tea-tree.

There are some spectacular views to be enjoyed in the park of the adjoining Myponga Reservoir.

The video below shows the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park and the Myponga Reservoir from the air (via drone).

Birds SA have recorded a total of 81 species of bird in the park including :auhing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, Crescent Honeyeater, Brown Thornbill, Grey Shrikethrush, Scarlet Robin, Musk Lorikeet, Willie Wagtail, Restless Flycatcher, Rufous Whistler, and Black-capped Sittella.

Below you can see some photos I took during my time in the park.

The park is home to a number of native mammals, including numerous Western Grey kangaroos. We certainly saw a lot in the park during our visit.

The park was also alive with butterflies.

Marija and I kicked off the activation by calling CQ on 7.144. Mike VK3ZMD was first in my log, followed by Joseph VK3HJJ, and then Joe VK3YSP. I logged a total of 22 stations before callers slowed down. This included 8 Park to Park contacts who Marija also logged.

  • Tony VK3YV/p – Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464
  • Malcolm VK3OAK/p – Annuello Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2255
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159
  • Bryan VK3LF/p – Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055
  • Brett VK3MCA/p – Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2160
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045

I then swapped the mic with Marija who logged a total of 29 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5. There was a little bit of close in propagation with VK5 stations logged at nearby Willunga, up to Port Augusta about 300 km to the north of us, and down to Millicent about 350 km to the south-east. We were also very pleased to log Adam VK2YK/5 who was activating the Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve.

I then got back into the mic to hopefully get my 44 QSOs to qualify the park for the global WWFF program. I logged a further 19 stations and now had 41 contacts in the log, just 3 short of my 44. I then moved to the 20m band where I logged a total of 8 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and New Zealand. I was very pleased to log Peter ZL1PWM and Andrei ZL1TM. I also logged Tony VK3YV/p who was in the Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055. Contact number 44 for me was a QSO with Geoff VK3SQ at Beechworth in north-east Victoria.

We then took down the linked dipole and put up the 15m dipole. We were hoping for some contacts on that band, which had performed well at our last activation. We were not disappointed, logging a total of 14 stations on 15m from VK2, VK3, VK4. This included another Park to Park contact with Tony VK3YV/p in the Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055.

We headed back to the 40m band to pick up another Park to Park contact, this time with Peter VK3ZPF/p who was in the Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971.

We then saw some spots pop up on parksnpeaks for some of the Western Australian park activators, so it was back to that band where I logged the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Mike VK6MB/p – Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852
  • Hans VK6XN/p – Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980

I had well and truly qualified the park for both WWFF and VKFF, while Marija had 43 contacts in the log. So we moved back to 40m where Marija logged 8 further stations including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Chris VK1CT/p – Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-0841
  • Joseph VK3HJJ/p – Warby Ovens National Park VKFF-0742
  • Mike VK6MB/p -Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852
  • Hans VK6XN/p – Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980

We decided to have a quick listen on 80m and then pack up and go for a walk through the park. We logged 6 stations on 80m including another Park to Park with Peter VK3TKK/p in the Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971.

We were about to pack up when Marija saw a spot on parksnpeaks to advise that Gerard VK2IO would soon be on a SOTA summit. So we decided to wait around for a while with the hope of logging Gerard, which we did, from the top of SOTA VK2/ CT-043.

We then packed up and went for a walk through the park. Between the two of us, we had 117 contacts in our log. Marija had 52 QSOs in the log. I had 65 QSOs in the log. This included 32 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  2. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  3. VK3OAK/p (Annuello Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2255)
  4. VK2YK/5 (Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159)
  5. VK3LF/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  6. VK3MCA/p (Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2160)
  7. VK3ARH/m
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK3DJC
  10. VK4FDJL
  11. VK2VW
  12. VK2HFI
  13. VK4NH
  14. VK4DXA
  15. ZL4TY/VK4
  16. VK3UCD
  17. VK2HRX
  18. VK3PWG
  19. VK2LX
  20. VK3HJJ
  21. VK5KVA
  22. VK5KLV
  23. VK2VH
  24. VK4AAC
  25. VK3CRG
  26. VK5VST
  27. VK3ANL
  28. VK3PT
  29. VK2YK/5 (Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884)
  30. VK2IO/p (Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045)
  31. VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)
  32. VK1CT/p (Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-0841)
  33. VK3HJJ/p (Warby Ovens National Park VKFF-0742)
  34. VK6MB/p (Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852)
  35. VK3PI
  36. VK3MPR
  37. VK4SMA
  38. VK2DG
  39. VK6XN/p (Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980)
  40. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-043)

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  2. VK4NH
  3. VK4DXA
  4. ZL4TY/VK4
  5. VK2OZI
  6. VK2FPAR
  7. VK2FAPC
  8. VK2PAA
  9. VK4SMA
  10. VK3PF
  11. VK3KAI

Marija worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZMD
  2. VK3HJJ
  3. VK3YSP
  4. VK3XV
  5. VK3FOWL
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  10. VK2VW
  11. VK2HFI
  12. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  13. VK3OAK/p (Annuello Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2255)
  14. VK2YK/5 (Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159)
  15. VK3LF/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  16. VK5LB
  17. VK3BBB
  18. VK2CCP
  19. VK3OF
  20. VK2ACR
  21. VK3MCA/p (Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2160)
  22. VK4FDJL
  23. VK2YK/5 (Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884)
  24. VK3EJ
  25. VK3CRG
  26. VK2IO/p (Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045)
  27. VK2VH
  28. Vk4AAC
  29. VK5KLV
  30. VK5LA
  31. VK2DG
  32. VK3CWF
  33. VK3NBL
  34. VK8GM/3
  35. VK7LAG
  36. VK5DW
  37. VK3SQ
  38. VK3ZK
  39. VK3YSP/m
  40. VK3ANL
  41. VK2LX
  42. VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)
  43. VK1CT/p (Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-0841)
  44. VK3HJJ/p (Warby Ovens National Park VKFF-0742)
  45. VK6MB/p (Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852)
  46. VK6XN/p (Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980)
  47. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-043)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. ZL1PWM
  2. ZL1TM
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK2LX
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  9. VK6MB/p (Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852)
  10. VK6XN/p (Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980)

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5PET
  2. VK5AYL
  3. VK2DG
  4. VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)
  5. VK5DW
  6. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-043)

Marija and I packed up and we headed to the Mount Compass Tavern where we stopped in for a meal and some liquid refreshment. It was a beautiful meal.

A BIG THANKS to all of the Activators and Hunters who took part in the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend.

References.

ancestry.com.au, 2020, <https://www.ancestry.com.au/>, viewed 8th December 2020.

Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/nixon-skinner-conservation-park/>, viewed 8th December 2020.

Design & Art Australia Online, 2020, <https://www.daao.org.au/bio/william-millington-nixon/>, viewed 8th December 2020.

Walking SA, 2020, <https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/short-walk-in-nixon-skinner-conservation-park-myponga/>, viewed 8th December 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon-Skinner_Conservation_Park>, viewed 8th December 2020.

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.