Giles Conservation Park 5CP-076 and VKFF-0884

Following my activation of the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park I headed the short distance to the adjacent Giles Conservation Park 5CP-076 & VKFF-0884.  The park is located about 12 km east of the city of Adelaide.

This was another park that I had activated and qualified previously, so it was going to be another activation for the Boomerang Award for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Giles Conservation Park, east of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Giles Conservation Park is about 109 hectares in size and was set aside as a conservation park in 1964 to conserve vegetation associations of the Hills Face Zone.  The park was previously the eastern section of the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park. In 2007 the eastern section of the park was renamed as Giles Conservation Park to honour the Gile’s family’s historical connections to the park.  More on Charles Giles to follow.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing the location of the Giles Conservation Park, with Adelaide in the background.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The rugged slopes of this park are clothed with Brown Stringybark and Messmate Stringybark.  The lower slopes are dominated by South Australian Blue Gum, Pink Gum, Manna Gum and River Red Gum.  The understorey is made up of native cherry, golden wattle, native orchids, and dusty miller – a white flowering bush.

As it was the start of spring, the park was alive with native flowers during my visit.

Over 60 species of native birds have been recorded in the park including Adelaide Rosella, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Crescent Honeyeater, Black-winged Currawong, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Black-capped Sittella, and Rufous Whistler.

Native animals found in the park include Western Grey kangaroo, koala, brush tailed possums, yellow footed antechinus, and short beaked echidnas.

The area in which the park is now located was settled by Charles Giles, a pioneer of the horticultural and floricultural industry of South Australia.  Giles arrived in the Colony of South Australia in 1838 on board the Recovery.  He had trained as a horticulturalist in Devon, England.  He purchased land in the Adelaide Hills while living at another property at Black Forest in the city, and walked to the Summit every Monday morning with his week’s provisions, returning home on Saturdays.  As there was no road leading to the valley back in the 1800’s, Giles had to cross Third Creek a total of 21 times.

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Giles established the Reedbeds Nursery in the valley on his Grove Hill property.  The focus of the nursery was flowers and trees, with an orchard nearby.  The men who worked at the nursery lived with their families in cottages built by Charles Giles along Third Creek.  The three attached cottages were called ‘Faith’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Charity’ and there was a free-standing cottage a little to the west.  Giles built Grove Hill house, a substantial two storey residence.

Today, Grove Hill continues as a winery.

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As I travelled to the park from Norton Summit along Woods Hill Road, there were some nice views of the northern side of the park to be enjoyed.

I set up just inside the park boundary off Woods Hill Road, on Ridge Track.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

My first contact was with Rob VK4AAC/p who was in the D’Aguillar National Park VKFF-0129.  This was followed by another Park to Park, with Gerard VK2IO/p in the Muogamarra Nature Reserve VKFF-1973.  I then worked Mitch on SOTA peak VK3/ VC-001.  I then propped on 7.150 and started calling CQ.  This was answered by Karl VK2GKA, followed by my good wife Marija VK5FMAZ, and then Ken VK3HKV.

The 40m band had improved since the morning, with signals much stronger and more stable with less fading.  I worked a total of 32 contacts on 40m including a Park to Park with Mick VK3PMG/VK3GGG in the Alex Chisholm Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2035, and Tony VK3CAB/p in the Pauline Toner Butterfly Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2175.

It was approaching that time of the day when the 40m band started opening up to Europe and the USA, and I was soon experiencing some QRM from an Italian station on the frequency, who sadly could not hear my little 40 watt signal.  I headed over to 14.310 on the 20m band where I worked 4 stations including JA8RJE in Japan.

I then moved to 3.610 on the 80m band where I logged 4 stations, all from VK5, and including Marija VK5FMAZ.  To finish off the activation I headed back to 40m where I worked a further 13 stations from VK2, VK3, and VK4.  This included Peter VK3YE/p who was portable at Chelsea Beach, and VK3DX at the Warnambool Maritime Museum.  Sadly a VK2 decided to park himself just 2 kc below me, and I decided it wasn’t worth competing with him, so I called it quits for the day.

I had a total of 53 QSOs in the log including 5 Park to Park contatcs.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4AAC/p (D’Aguillar National Park VKFF-0129)
  2. VK2IO/p (Muogamarra Nature Reserve VKFF-1973)
  3. VK3XDM/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-001)
  4. VK2GKA
  5. VK5FMAZ
  6. VK3HKV
  7. VK2VW
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK2EXA
  10. VK2VU
  11. VK4AAW/2
  12. VK4KY/p
  13. VK3PMG/p (Alex Chisholm Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2035)
  14. VK3GGG/p (Alex Chisholm Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2035)
  15. VK3CAB/p (Pauline Toner Butterfly Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2175)
  16. VK3SQ
  17. VK3PWG
  18. VK4NH
  19. VK4DXA
  20. VK1DI
  21. VK3MRH
  22. VK2VKB
  23. VK2YMU
  24. VK5LG
  25. VK3PAT
  26. VK4TJ
  27. VK3RV
  28. VK2MTM
  29. VK2PKT
  30. VK3AWG
  31. VK3FPSR
  32. VK7DW
  33. VK2TMC
  34. VK3YE/p
  35. VK3GMC
  36. VK3MIJ
  37. VK4GSF
  38. VK3TKK/m
  39. VK4QQ
  40. VK4SMA
  41. VK2YK
  42. VK2VRC
  43. VK3DX
  44. VK4RF
  45. VK4HA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6XN
  2. VK5TT
  3. VK5DC
  4. JA8RJE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5FMAZ
  3. VK5GJ
  4. VK5PL

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/giles-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed 17th September 2017

Flinders University, 2017, <http://www.flinders.edu.au/ehl/fms/archaeology_files/research/HFZCHP/PDF/VoS%20Ch%2018%20Two%20Nurseries.pdf&gt;, viewed 17th September 2017

Horsnell Gully Conservation Park 5CP-094 and VKFF-0894

Yesterday (Saturday 16th September 2017) I activated the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park 5CP-094 & VKFF-0894.  As I have activated this park previously, and qualified it, this activation was to go towards the newly released Boomerang Award for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

The park is located about 11 km east of the city of Adelaide, and about 33 km north west of my home.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Horsnell Gully Conservation Park is about 137 hectares in size and was first proclaimed on 1st January 1947 as the Horsnell Gully Pleasure Resort.  The park adjoins the Giles Conservation Park which was formerly Horsnell Gully’s upper eastern section.  Giles was set aside in its own right as a Conservation Park in 1964.

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Above: Article from The Advertiser, Wed 6 Aug 1947.  Courtesy of Trove.

Horsnell Gully Conservation Park protects some of the most rugged terrain in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.  It features steep gullies, wooded hillsides and a 15m waterfall.  The park contains the watershed for Third Creek, one of the five main tributaries of the River Torrens.  There are a number of walking trails in the park including the Heysen Trail.

Numerous native bird species can be found in the park including Adelaide Rosella, Rainbow Lorikeet, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Crescent Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Black-winged Currawong, Silvereye, Painted Buttonquail, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, White-winged Chough, and Hooded Robin.

Fourteen species of native mammals have been recorded in the park including Western Grey Kangaroo, Koala, Ringtail possum, Brush tail possum, Southern Bush Rat and the Yellow footed antechinus.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

The park is named after the State Governor’s coachman, John Horsnell.  Horsnell was born in Essex in 1812 and emigrated in 1839 at age 27 to South Australia with his wife Elizabeth aboard the SS Lysander.  Enroute to Australia the couple fell ill with smallpox, along with many others aboard the ship.  Sadly, Elizabeth died at sea of the diesease.  Following Horsnell’s arrival in Adelaide, he was quarantined at Torrens Island until he was well enough to leave.  Horsnell visited the infirmary on North Terrace Adelaide and saw the Colonial Surgeon Dr. Cotter.  It is reported that he removed all of Horsnell’s finger nails and toe nails, in an effort to rid him of smallpox.

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Above:- John Horsnell.  Courtesy of State Library SA.

It was at this time that Horsnell had just a few shillings to his name.  James Cobbledick, a friend of the Governor of South Australia, George Gawler, found John Horsnell his first job as coachman to the Governor and his wife.  Whilst driving Governor Gawler along Coach Road checking on the progress of surveys, it is reported that Horsnell spotted the gully now known as Horsnell Gully and the sources of the Five Creeks.   At this time, Horsnell resided at Belair working on Government Farm, taking care of the horses and tending the gardens.  Horsnell then moved to Waterfall Gully, where he grazed dairy cattle, prior to establishing a garden and grazing property at Woodvale off Third Creek near Magill.

In 1842 John acquired 10 acres of land near Magill plus the Gully, where he built a house and farm stocked with animals from the Government Farm, and established a garden and orchard with plants from the Botanic Gardens, donated by James Cobbledick.  The property was named ‘Wood Vale’.   Horsnell continued to purchase more land for lease in Ashton, Basket Range, Uraidla, Carey’s Gully, Morialta and Deep Creek.

Prior to European settlement the Kaurna aboriginal people inhabited the area.  They were quickly displaced as European settlers fenced the land into farms and properties.  The lack of adequate provisions and the rapid spread of European diseases decimated the aboriginal population.  A small group of Kaurna aboriginals lived in a cave in Horsnell Gully during the first years of Horsnell’s settlement of the area.  Between 1842 to 1853, tow brothers known by the Horsnell’s as ‘Billy’ and ‘Jimmy’, their wives and two teenagers used their hunting skill to help Horsnell hunt for wildlife.  They also collected wood for the Horsnell’s neighbours, the Ghandis in exchange for wine.  The family eventually left the valley and was last seen by John Horsnell in Norwood in late 1853.

In 1844 when Horsnell was gored by a bull, he sought medical treatment from neighbour Dr Penfold.  Following his treatment Horsnell returned and shot the bull with a glass marble from a bottle in his stores.  Horsnell was employed him as his gardener until 1856.  Horsnell planted the historic vines for Dr Penfold, which still flourish today.

In 1848, John married his second wife Elizabeth Smyth who had been working for Dr & Mrs Penfold as a maidservant.  In 1860 Horsnell built a new home which is now part of the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park and has an onsite caretaker.   At the time of his death  on 23rd November 1895, John Horsnell owned 1,420 acres of land, and left an estate valued at £18,209/13s/6d equivalent to more than $2.5 million.

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Above:- from The Register, 27 Nov 1895.  Courtesy of Trove

At the start of the walking trails at the end of Horsnell Gully Road you can find the remains of the coaching sheds, stable and dairy.  A little further along the trail you can find the old homestead.

On my way to the park I stopped briefly on Old Norton Summit Road to watch the rock climbers.  Not for the faint hearted.

I also stopped briefly to have a look at some of the interpretive signs along Old Norton Summit Road.

I accessed the park via Horsnell Gully Road.  The park is well signposted.

I wasn’t quite sure whether to set up in the picnic ground or head back up old Norton Summit Road to the eastern side of the park at Coach Road, from where I have operated previously.  The picnic grounds offered plenty of shade, but I wasn’t able to utilise the two benches/seats as there were trees overhead and this prevented me from erecting the 7m telescopic squid pole.  It was also quite busy.  As it was a beautiful sunny day, there were lots of bushwalkers out and about, and the 80/40/20m linked dipole does take up some room.  I decided to stay put, and I walked a short distance uphill to the old dairy and set up there underneath the shade of some gum trees.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I headed to 7.144 and heard VK2BNN calling CQ from the Sydney Harbour National Park.  They were very very weak, but I decided to try my luck and gave them a shout.  Sadly they were unable to hear me.  So I headed to 7.140 and started calling CQ.  Greg VK2MTC at Cooma was first in the log with a good 5/8 signal.   This was followed by Tony VK5TT and then a Park to Park, with Les VK5KLV/p who was activating the Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808 on the west coast of South Australia.

Band conditions were quite poor, with signals from Victoria being way down compared to normal.  It took me around 15 minutes to get contact number 10 in the log, that being with Lee VK3BSP (VK3FLJD at the mic).  I went on to work a total of 21 stations on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5, including another Park to Park, with Dave VK2ZK/p who was in the Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041.  Andew VK7DW had told me Gerard VK2JNG was in a park a little further up the band, and when things slowed that is where I headed.

I logged Gerard VK2JNG who was in the Tapin Tops National Park VKFF-0477, with a nice 5/6 signal.  I then headed back to 7.140 and called CQ again.  Mark VK7MPR was my first caller, followed by Rob VK4AAC/p in the D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129.  Although we were quite low to each other, Rob and I were able to work each other comfortably due to the non existant man made noise in both parks.  I worked a further 12 stations on 40m including Ron VK3DX at the Warnambool Maritime Museum, and Neil VK4HNS/p who was activating the Bendidee National Park VKFF-0030.

I then headed to 3.610 on the 80m band.  But despite 5 minutes of CQ calls there, my only contact was with my wife Marija VK5FMAZ.  I then tried my luck on 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged Rob VK4AAC in the D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129, and Ray VK4NH.  To complete the activation I headed back to 40m where I logged 5 stations including Gerard VK2IO/p who was in the Muogamarra Nature Reserve VKFF0-1973.

It was time to pack up and head off to my second park of the day, Giles Conservation Park.  I had a total of 45 QSOs in the log including 7 Park to Park contacts.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2MTC
  2. VK5TT
  3. VK5KLV/p (Whyalla Conservation Park VKFF-0808)
  4. VK3KMH
  5. VK2LL
  6. VK3OHM
  7. VK2VU
  8. VK3IRM
  9. VK2VW
  10. VK3BSP
  11. VK3SQ
  12. VK3PF
  13. VK5GJ
  14. VK4XAC
  15. VK1TX
  16. VK2SR
  17. VK3LY
  18. VK7DW
  19. VK2ZK/p (Blue Mountains National Park VKFF-0041)
  20. VK4RF
  21. VK4HA
  22. VK2JNG/p (Tapin Tops National Park VKFF-0477)
  23. VK7MPR
  24. VK4AAC/p (D’Aguilar National Park VKFF-0129)
  25. VK7JON
  26. VK2HHA
  27. VK3KLB
  28. VK3DX
  29. VK5JDS
  30. VK7FOLK
  31. VK3MBW
  32. VK4TJ
  33. VK2EXA
  34. VK3ZPF
  35. VK3FMKE
  36. VK4HNS/p (Bendidee National Park VKFF-0030)
  37. VK2IO/p (Muogamarra Nature Reserve VKFF-1973)
  38. VK3ELH
  39. VK2BHO
  40. VK2YK
  41. VK3QA
  42. VK3OAK

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FMAZ

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4AAC/p (VKFF-0129)
  2. VK4NH

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/horsnell-gully-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed 17th September 2017

The Pioneers Association of South Australia, 2017, <http://www.pioneerssa.org.au/files/42%20Horsnell%20APPROVED.pdf&gt;, viewed 17th September 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsnell_Gully_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 17th September 2017

 

Mylor Conservation Park 5CP-156 and VKFF-0785

Today (Sunday 3rd September 2017) I had a terrific day with the family for Fathers Day.  We headed over to the Great Eastern Hotel at Littlehampton for lunch.  Once we got home I had a tune across the 40m band and saw that it was another busy day for park activations, as it was yesterday.  The weather was less than ideal, but Marija and I decided to head over to the Mylor Conservation Park 5CP-156 & VKFF-0785 for a quick activation.

I have activated Mylor a number of times previously, so this was going to be another activation for the recently released Boomerang Award for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Mylor Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Mylor Conservation Park is about 49 hectares in size and was proclaimed on the 27th day of February 1997.  It is located just outside the little town of Mylor in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park, looking west.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

Much of the region surrounding Mylor Conservation Park has been cleared for residential and agricultural purposes, but the park preserves a little slice of remnant bushland.  The park is mostly Open Forest with Candlebark Gum, Brown Stringybark, Messmate Stringybark, Cup Gum, Pink Gum and Manna Gum.  Understory plants include Myrtle Wattle, Spiny Wattle, Narrow-leaf Bitter-pea, Large-leaf Bush-pea and Silver Banskia.

As we are now in the early stages of Spring, many of the native plants in the park were starting to come out in flower.

Over 50 species of native birds have been recorded in the park including Adelaide Rosella, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, Grey Fantail, Australian Golden Whistler, Eastern Spinebill, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Scarlet Robin, Rufous Whistler, &  Red-brown Finch.

A number of native animals call the park home including Western Grey kangaros and the endangered Southern Brown bandicoot.  During our visit we sighted a Tammar Wallaby.

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The park is well signposted on the Strathalbyn Road and access is via Whitehead Road at the northern end of the town of Mylor.

The park is located in close proximity to the little town of Mylor which was surveyed in 1885, with a plan to develop the land as a focal point for orchard development in South Australia.   The town was proclaimed in 1891 by Acting Governor of South Australia, Sir James Boucaut who named it after his Cornish birthplace.

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Above:- Sir James Boucaut.  Image courtesy of wikipedia.

We headed for my normal operating spot which is Centre Track which runs off Whitehead Road.

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Above:- Aerial shot of the park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

My first contact was with Bill VK4FW/p who was activating the Mudlo National Park VKFF-0697.  I then headed up to 7.150 and asked if the frequency was in use.  Peter VK3PF came back to advise that it was clear.  Peter was kind enough to spot me and as a result a small pile up ensued.  I had contact number 10 in the log after just 6 minutes.

The 40m band was in excellent condition with all signals 5/9 or better.  I worked a total of 48 stations on 40m including two further Park to Park contacts, with Mark VK4MSA/p in the Esk National Park VKFF-0677 and Adam VK2YK in the Werakata State Conservation Area VKFF-1391.

The weather was starting to move in quite quickly and we were experiencing the occasional drop of rain.  I headed off to 14.310 on 20m and I was rewarded with just one contact after 5 minutes of CQ calls.  That was with Tadashi JA1VRY in Japan.  I tuned across the 20m band and heard a few faint European signals and also some faint signals from Japan as the All Asian Contest was in full swing.

As it was almost about to rain, we lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for 80m and called CQ on 3.610, with Marija spotting me on parksnpeaks.  My CQ call was answered by Peter VK3ZPF who was a good 5/7, followed by Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula.  Sadly, the heavens opened up and it was a made scramble to pack up the gear and head back to the vehicle.

I had a total of 52 contacts in the log, including three Park to Park contacts.

Marija did not jump on air during this activation, and was happy to go for a walk through the park.  We will have to return so she can qualify the park.  This won’t present a problem as the park is just a short drive from home.

On the way home I had a nice chat on 40m from the mobile with Chris VK2SR, Peter W5FP, and Gordie W5AZ.  Peter gave me a 5/9 with his stacked arrays and I was 5/5 with Gordie.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4FW/p (Mudlo National Park VKFF-0697)
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK3GGG
  4. VK3PMG
  5. VK3ZPF
  6. VK5IK
  7. VK5FUZZ
  8. VK3ANL
  9. VK3FSPG
  10. VK3MPR
  11. VK7DW
  12. VK7VZ/3
  13. VK4SMA/p (Esk National Park VKFF-0677)
  14. VK7AN
  15. VK2YK/p (Werakata State Conservation Area VKFF-1391)
  16. VK5NJ
  17. VK5FMWW
  18. VK3BBB
  19. VK3UH
  20. VK2VW
  21. VK3HSR
  22. VK1MA
  23. VK2KT
  24. VK3ZMD
  25. VK3EGR
  26. VK5XD
  27. VK5FANA
  28. VK2VRC
  29. VK2VU
  30. VK4KUS
  31. VK7ZGK
  32. VK5FDEC
  33. VK2HHA
  34. VK4NH
  35. VK5MR
  36. VK5KLV
  37. VK3OAK
  38. VK2NP
  39. VK5NEM
  40. VK2PKT
  41. VK3FRAB
  42. VK2LEE
  43. VK3VZX
  44. VK7JON
  45. VK2LEZ
  46. VK5IS
  47. VK2BHO
  48. VK3FAHS
  49. VK2FOUZ

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. JA1VRY

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF
  2. VK5FANA

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/mylor-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed 3rd September 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mylor,_South_Australia&gt;, viewed 3rd September 2017

The Knoll Conservation Park 5CP-229 and VKFF-0937

I didn’t plan on doing a park activation today (Saturday 2nd September 2017), but with a number of other park activators out in the field, and my wife Marija having an afternoon with her girlfriends, I decided to head down the road to The Knoll Conservation Park 5CP-229 & VKFF-0937.  Although I have activated the park previously, this activation was to go towards the recently released Boomerang Award for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.

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Above:- Map showing the location of The Knoll Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Knoll Conservation Park is located at Crafers West, about 20 kms south east of Adelaide, in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.  Access to the park is via Upper Sturt Road, slightly south of Sheaok Road.  The Knoll sits on a small crest, about 640 metres above sea level.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing the park, looking north west towards the northern suburbs of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

The Knoll is quite a small park, being only 2 hecatres in size.  The park was originally known as the Knoll Wildlife Reserve, being dedicated in 1963.  The park was re-named the Knoll National Parks Reserve with the introduction of the National Parks Act in 1966.  It is now known as The Knoll Conservation Park.

The area was originally donated to the South Australian State Government in 1917 by James George Russell (1848-1918), a lawyer and public servant.  He was a master of the Supreme Court and the Commissioner of Taxes.

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Above:- James George Russell.  Courtesy of wikipedia.

The park is surrounded by private properties.  Due to the relatively steep sides of the park, it renders the area unsuitable for agricultural purposes, and as a result, the scrub is intact.

On the edge of the park is a large Manna gum, known locally as the Waverly Ridge Tree.  It is believed the tree’s date of germination is January 1714 and as a result it is classified with the National Trust.  The tree is about 24 metres in height and has a diameter of 2 metres.  There are only five other trees of this sub-species on the register and only one is larger in girth. The sub-species is rated “Rare” in South Australia in the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.

There are some very nice views to be had from the park, looking east through the trees out towards Victoria (VK3).

There is a tower in the park which hosts Telstra and CFS services, however no noticeable noise from it can be heard on the bands.

IMG_0521

I parked the vehicle in the small car parking area out the front of the park.  I then walked a short distance along the track leading to the tower, and set up.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.  My power output was 40 watts.

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Above:- Aerial shot showing my operating spot in the park.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Sadly there was an S5-6 noise in the park, most likely due to the nearby houses.  So it wasn’t the pristine conditions I normally experience in parks.  Before calling CQ I hunted around the band for the park activators I knew were out and about.  My first four contacts were with:-

  • Neil VK4HNS/p in the Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639
  • Andrew VK7DW/p in the Holwell Gorge State Park VKFF-1806
  • Rob VK4AAC/p in the Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493
  • Gerard VK2JNG/p in the Bulahdelah State Conservation Area VKFF-1287

I then propped on 7.110 and called CQ and it wasn’t long before I had a little pile up going.  First in the log was Rob VK2QR with a very strong signal, followed by Peter VK3TKK mobile, Dennis VK2HHA, and then Sergio VK3SFG.

My next Park to Park contact, was QSO number 13, with Peter VK3ZPF/p who was in the Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219, one of the newly added Victorian parks to the World Wide Flora Fauna program.  I worked a handful more stations and when things slowed down I took the opportunity of sliding down the band to log Helen VK7FOLK/p on 7.090 who was in the Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802.

I headed back to 7.110 and logged a further 25 stations including a Park to Park with Jonathan VK7JON in the Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802.  It was now around 3.30 p.m. local time and the band was starting to open up with DX stations.  PI4ZU from the Netherlands came up on the frequency and started calling CQ, but his signal was not all that strong, so it didn’t present a huge problem.

Much to my surprise Marija then arrived at the park and I convinced her to pick up the mic to get her 10 contacts to qualify the park for VKFF.

It seems a ladies voice on air certainly stirs up the hunters, as it did not take long for quite a large pile up to ensue.  First in the log for Marija was Geoff VK3SQ, followed by Michael VK3IRM, and then Les VK5KLV/p who was in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757.  Whilst Marija was on air I went for a bit of a walk through the park to take some photographs.  Unfortunately I had left the good camera at home, so I relied on the i-phone.

Marija logged a further 29 QSOs including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Rob VK4AAC/p in the Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493
  • Hans VK6XN/p in the Len Howard Conservation Park VKFF-1429
  • Peter VK3ZPF/p in the Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219

Marija decided to head home, so I jumped back on the mic and logged a further 11 stations on 04m including a Park to Park with Les VK5KLV/p in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757.

At about 4.30 p.m. local time I headed off to the 80m band where I called CQ on 3.60.  This was answered by Geoff in Beechworth, followed by Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG in western Victoria, and then Adrian VK5FANA on the Yorke Peninsula.  All had strong signals and highlighted again that the 80m band is definitely worth giving a shout during an activation.  I logged a further 4 stations on 80m including Les VK5KLV/p in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park, and Marija VK5FMAZ who had now arrived home.

I then lowered the squid pole and removed the links and headed to 14.310 on the 20m band.  Once there I heard Fred VK4FE/p chatting to Phil VK6ADF/p.  I logged both of these gentlemen for two more Park to Park contacts.  Fred VK4FE was in the Undara Volcanic National Park VKFF-0506, and Phil VK6ADF/p was in the Beekeepers Nature Reserve VKFF-1845.

To finish off the activation I headed back to 40m where I logged a total of 8 QSOs including Mike ZL1MRC in New Zealand and a Park to Park with VK6ADF/p in the Beekeepers Nature Reserve.

It was now about 5.30 p.m. and starting to get a bit cool, so it was time to pack up and head home.  I had a total of 73 contacts in the log, including 13 Park to Park QSOs.  It had been a terrific afternoon.

IMG_0503

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3IRM
  3. VK5KLV/p (Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757)
  4. VK3PWG
  5. VK2HHA
  6. VK5FANA
  7. VK4KUS
  8. VK1DI
  9. VK3VIN
  10. VK4AAC/p (Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493)
  11. VK5BJE
  12. VK5KC
  13. VK5PL
  14. VK5MRE
  15. VK6XN/p (Len Howard Conservation Park VKFF-1429)
  16. VK3ZPF/p (Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219)
  17. VK3BBB
  18. VK2YK
  19. VK3FRAB
  20. VK4RF
  21. VK4HA
  22. VK3AXH
  23. VK2FOUZ
  24. VK4HNS
  25. VK3UH
  26. VK5KIK
  27. VK3GGG
  28. VK3PMG
  29. VK3AJA
  30. VK7JON/m
  31. VK7FOLK/m

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4HNS/p (Samford Conservation Park VKFF-1639)
  2. VK7DW/p (Holwell Gorge State Park VKFF-1806)
  3. VK4AAC/p (Bunyaville Conservation Park VKFF-1493)
  4. VK2JNG/p (Bulahdelah State Conservation Area VKFF-1287)
  5. VK2QR
  6. VK2SWL
  7. VK3TKK/m
  8. VK2HHA
  9. VK3SFG
  10. VK3SQ
  11. VK2EXA
  12. VK3OAK
  13. VK3ZPF/p (Upper Beaconsfield Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2219)
  14. VK3PWG
  15. VK2HPN/m
  16. VK3ARH
  17. VK7FOLK/p (Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802)
  18. VK3LCW
  19. VK3CWF
  20. VK4TJ
  21. VK2NP
  22. VK3BBB
  23. VK2KJJ
  24. VK2VRC
  25. VK2KV
  26. VK4GSF
  27. VK5TBC
  28. VK2VU
  29. VK5NAL
  30. VK5FGFK
  31. VK3FOTO/m
  32. VK7JON/p (Ferndene State Reserve VKFF-1802)
  33. VK3ZMD
  34. VK2PKT
  35. VK5NRG
  36. VK3VBI/m
  37. VK3EMI
  38. VK3TFD
  39. VK4FDJL
  40. VK3BSG
  41. VK2FOUZ
  42. VK2IO
  43. VK6XN/p (Len Howard Conservation Park VKFF-1429)
  44. VK5KLV/p (Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757)
  45. VK3ZZS/2
  46. VK4HNS
  47. VK2FABE
  48. VK3GGG
  49. VK3PMG
  50. VK3UH
  51. VK4MAY
  52. VK7DW
  53. VK5FAKV
  54. VK3AJA
  55. VK2VW
  56. ZL1MRC
  57. VK7FRJG
  58. VK2LEE
  59. VK6XL/m
  60. VK6ADF/p (Beekeepers Nature Reserve VKFF-1845)
  61. VK3FMPC
  62. VK2LEZ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK5KLV/p (Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park VKFF-1757)
  6. VK5FAKV
  7. VK5FMAZ
  8. VK5KS

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4FE/p (Undara Volcanic National Park VKFF-0506)
  2. VK6ADF/p (Beekeepers Nature Reserve VKFF-1845)
  3. VK4SMA

 

References.

Heddle; E, 1975, ‘Effects of Man on the vegetation in the National Parks of South Australia’.

National Trust, 2017, <http://www.trusttrees.org.au/tree/SA/Crafers_West/On_Road_Reserve_At_Margin_Of_%22The_Knoll%22_Conservation_Park_At_The_Intersection_Of_Waverley_Ridge_Road_And_Upper_Sturt_Road_Crafers_West_Intersection_Waverley_Ridge_Rd_&_Upper_Sturt_Road&gt;, viewed 2nd September 2017

Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 and VKFF-1767

I have just finished 7 days straight at work and I was very keen to head out to activate a park today (Monday 28th August 2017).  I am running out of parks within about 300 km from home, but one park I have not activated is the Lawari Conservation Park 5CP-278 & VKFF-1767.  The park is located about 100 km south of Adelaide and about 56 km south of my home in the Adelaide Hills.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Lawari Conservation Park south of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Lawari Conservation Park is located on Hindmarsh Island and is accessed via the township of Goolwa, which is a historic river port on the Murray River near the Murray Mouth.  In the local Ngarrindjeri aboriginal language, Goolwa means ‘elbow’.  The area was known as ‘The Elbow” by many of the early settlers.  Before 1837 the area was briefly considered for the site of the capital of the colony of South Australia.  Goolwa was Australia’s first inland port (1853) built to connect Goolwa to Port Elliot and later extended to Victor Harbor, allowing goods to move from river boats to sea boats, so that neither had to negotiate the Murray Mouth.

01 Goolwa Murray Mouth Aerial.jpg

Above:- Aerial view showing Goolwa, the Hindmarsh Island bridge and the island, and also the Coorong.  Image courtesy of Alexandinra Council.

Hindmarsh Island, known Kumerangk in the local aboriginal language, is a popular tourist destination.  Tourism to the island has increased in popularity since the opening of the Hindmarsh Island bridge in 2001.

DSC_7992.jpg

The island is 45.5 km2 in size, with a length of 14.7 km and a width of 6.5 km.  The island has a coastline of 43.7 km.  Its highest elevation is just 25 metres.  The island’s population is around 1,200.  It has a marina development and tavern.

Construction on the Hindmarsh Island bridge, linking the island to Goolwa, commenced in October 1999, with the bridge being completed in March 2001.  The bridge is 319 metres in length, with a height of 19 metres.

The bridge became a focus of national controversy when a group of local Indigenous people, the Ngarrindjeri, and some landowners objected to its construction.  It was alleged that the Ngarrindjeri objectors fabricated the cultural significance of the island (the Secret Women’s Business)  in order to help fight the development.  A later Royal Commission decided that the Secret Women’s Business was in fact made up. Construction was blocked by the Keating Labor Government, but given the go-ahead by the Howard Liberal Government in 1996.

Five years after the Royal Commission findings, the Ngarrindjeri who had stated the bridge desecrated sites sacred to women were vindicated, with a Federal Court Judge finding that restricted women’s knowledge was not fabricated or that it was not part of genuine Aboriginal tradition.

Goolwa Wharf

Above:- the Hindmarsh Island bridge.  Courtesy of Alexandrina Council.

The first European to set foot on Hindmarsh Island was Captain Charles Sturt.  He used the island as a viewing point and from there he sighted the Murray Mouth.  Captain Collet Barker surveyed the Murray Mouth but was killed by aboriginals after swimming across the Mouth.  The island was named by Captain John William Dundas Blenkinsop after South Australia’s first Governor, Sir John Hindmarsh.

Above:- Captain Charles Sturt (left) and Sir John Hindmarsh (right).  Images courtesy of wikipedia.

There is a monument on the island which commemorates explorers Captain Charles Sturt and Captain Collet Barker near the site where Sturt first saw the waters of Encounter Bay.

Dr. John Rankine (1801-1864) was granted an occupational licence to become the island’s first grazier.  He is recognised as founding the township of Strathalbyn, just down the road from my home.

John_Rankine

Dr. John Rankine.  Image courtesy of wikipedia

The Lawari Conservation Park is a relatively new park, having been gazetted on 21st March 2017.  The park is 1.058 km2  (1,058-hectare) in size and is located at the eastern end of Hindmarsh Island, within an area of wetlands that support a large number of threatened fish and water bird species.  The park supports three native fauna species of national conservation significance, and a further 30 fauna and one flora species at the state level, including the Far Eastern Curlew and Cape Barren Goose.  It is situated within an area of internationally important wetlands formally recognised as the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Ramsar Reserve.

Lawari Conservation Park comprises two former grazing properties, purchased with assistance from the Commonwealth’s National Reserve System Program for inclusion into the protected area system.  This includes the former Wyndgate property.

The park includes approximately 400 hectares of fenced paddocks where cropping and cattle grazing continue under a lease agreement. These farmed paddocks are managed in a way that provides a high quality summer feeding habitat for Cape Barren geese.  Although I did not sight either of these 2 birds, the park was alive with various other native birds.  See my photos below.

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Despite this being a large park, there really are limited operating opportunities.  To start off with I travelled along Denver Road towards the old Wyndgate homestead.  I reached a gate, which was open, and ventured a few hundred metres down the road, but found some cars parked at the homestead, so I decided to turn around as I was not sure if I was allowed to be where I was.

DSC_7976.jpg

Above:- the gate at Denver Road

I then travelled back along Denver Road and then onto Randell Road.  I soon had the park to my right.  However, there was an electric fence and no tree cover.

I travelled to the very end of Denver Road, but could not find any suitable places to access the park.  There were some nice views from here across the water to the little town of Clayton.

DSC_7882.jpg

There was even a trig point here, but no SOTA summit!

DSC_7880

I then travelled to the end of Mills Road, but again did not find any suitable access points into the park.  I then tried Goolwa Channel Drive, but with the nearby shacks and holidays homes I decided against this spot due to the possible noise.

I decided to try my luck along Mundoo Channel Drive.  Along the way I detoured to the Murray Mouth lookout.

The Murray Mouth is influenced by the flow of River Murray water through the barrages and tidal movement from the Southern Ocean.  When River Murray flows to South Australia are low, barrage releases are low and sand deposits occur inside the mouth causing restrictions and increasing the risk of closure.  It is important that the mouth remains open to maintain connectivity between the river, the Coorong and the Southern Ocean, to discharge salt and other nutrients out to sea, and to maintain healthy ecosystems in the Coorong.

DSC_7957

This is certainly well worth a look if you are on the island.  There are also some great views of the Coorong, a lagoon ecosystem which runs parallel with the coastal dunes for about 140 km.  Its name is thought to be a corruption of the local Aboriginal people’s word kurangh, meaning “long neck”; a reference to the shape of the lagoon system. The name is also thought to be from the Aboriginal word Coorang, “sand dune”, a reference to the sand dunes that form the Younghusband Peninsula.

A huge amount of planting of native plants is being undertaken in the park.  During my visit there were a number of planting teams hard at work in the park.

I set up off Mundoo Channel Drive.  There was a newly created car parking area opposite the boat launching area.  I climbed over the fence and found some shade and set up my deck chair and the fold up table.  I ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation, with the power output set at 40 watts.

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Above:- Map showing the park boundaries (in green) and my operating spot.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

My operating spot was opposite Mundoo Channel and in close proximity to the Coorong National Park and the Mouth of the Murray, as the photo below shows.

Murray_Mouth.jpg

Above:- The Mouth of the Murray.  My operating spot on Hindmarsh Island is indicated with the red arrow.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 9.57.32 pm.png

Above:- Aerial view of Hindmarsh Island, showing my operating spot, my home QTH, the Murray Mouth, and Adelaide in the background.  Image courtesy of Google Maps.

I headed to my nominated operating frequency of 7.144 and started calling CQ.  First in the log was Geoff VK3SQ who was become a regular park hunter.  Geoff had a very nice 5/9 signal from Beechworth in north eastern Victoria.  This was followed by Malcom VK1AAH in Canberra, who was also 5/9, followed by Rod VK7FRJG in Tasmania (also 5/9), and then Stuart VK3STU in Melbourne (again 5/9).  Band conditions on 40m seemed very good.

As it was a Monday, calls from the park hunters were not as frenetic as a weekend.  It took me about 20 minutes to reach contact number 10, qualifying the park for me for the VKFF program.  Contact number 10 being with Mike VK3KMH who was 5/9 +.  Callers were steady but it appeared as though I may not get the 44 QSOs required to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.  I had to resort to John VK4TJ giving me his other calls from Canada and the USA, to make up the numbers.

It wasn’t until about one hour into the activation that the callers started to really pick up.  I run a paper log out in the field, and each page contains 34 QSOs.  I always enjoy reaching the 34 QSO mark, as this means a new page, and just 10 QSOs to go for the park to be qualified.

I ended up logging a total of 53 QSOs on 40m from VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7, with the vast majority of signals being very good.  Even the lower down stations were very readable, as there was NO noise in the park.  The band was dead silent when I released the PTT button.  Close in propagation was not working on 40m, with only Les VK5KLV from Port Augusta and Greg VK5GJ logged.

I headed off to 80m where I called CQ, and this was answered by George VK3MVP who had followed me down from 40m.  Next up was Greg VK5GJ running QRP 4 watts with a good 5/8 signal.  I logged a further 8 stations on 80m from VK2, VK3, and VK5.  Again, despite it being daylight, my signal was being quite well heard in Victoria and New South Wales.  I would encourage all park activators to give 80m a go during their activation.

I then headed over to 14.310 on the 20m band and logged just 3 stations.  The first being John VK4TJ, followed by Jonathan VK7JON, and finally Phil VK6ADF.

To complete the activation I head back to 40m for a quick QSO with my wife Marija VK5FMAZ, who had arrived home from work.

After 2 & 1/2 hours in the park I had a total of 67 stations in the log, on 20, 40, & 80m SSB, and another unique park in the bag for me as an activator.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK1AAH
  3. VK7FRJG
  4. VK3STU
  5. VK2GKA
  6. VK2FABE
  7. VK3BBB
  8. VK3PF
  9. VK2NP
  10. VK3KMH
  11. VK7JON
  12. VK2VRC
  13. VK3TKK/m
  14. VK3ZMD
  15. VK3ARG
  16. VK4RF
  17. VK4HA
  18. VK3PAT/m
  19. VK3OHM
  20. VK3FLJD
  21. VK3MBW
  22. VK4TJ
  23. VK4/AC8WN
  24. VK4/VE6XT
  25. VK1JY
  26. VK1AT
  27. VK3FMAA/m
  28. VK3KMA
  29. VK3VGB
  30. VK2DSG
  31. VK3FJAE
  32. VK3UH
  33. VK2HHA
  34. VK3GGG
  35. VK3PMG
  36. VK5MR
  37. VK3DHI/4
  38. VK3FAHS
  39. VK1FWBK
  40. VK2YMU
  41. VK5KLV
  42. VK3MVP
  43. VK3FOTO/m
  44. VK5GJ
  45. VK4VCO/m
  46. VK4YLU
  47. VK3VIN
  48. VK3GAZ
  49. VK3UT
  50. VK4HNS
  51. VK3PTL
  52. VK2LO
  53. VK2SOL
  54. VK5FMAZ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3MVP
  2. VK5GJ
  3. VK5ATN
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK5PL
  6. VK5KLV
  7. VK3PF
  8. VK2EXA
  9. VK3SQ
  10. VK2MOP

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. VK7JON
  3. VK6ADF

 

 

References.

Department of Enviroment, Water and Natural Resources, 2017, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Home/Full_newsevents_listing/News_Events_Listing/170419-new-park-lawari&gt;, viewed 28th August 2017

Natural Resources SA Murray Darling Basin, 2017, <http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/samurraydarlingbasin/projects/all-projects-map/wyndgate-property-planning&gt;, viewed 28th August 2017

Wikipedia, 2016, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goolwa,_South_Australia&gt;, viewed 28th August 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindmarsh_Island&gt;, viewed 28th August 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawari_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 28th August 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coorong_National_Park&gt;, viewed 28th August 2017