AHARS presentation and certificate

Last Thursday (18th February 2021) I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society (AHARS). At the end of the AGM proceedings I delivered a presentation on the AHARS website, of which I the Webmaster. I was also very pleased to receive a Certificate of Appreciation from the AHARS Committee for my service to AHARS.

VK100AF and VI100AF

On 31st March 2021, the Royal Australian Air Force will mark 100 years of service to Australia.


Stuie VK8NSB has organised 2 special event callsigns (VK100AF and VI100AF) which will be on air from 1st March 2021 to 29th May 2021.

I am very humbled to have been asked to take part in the event.

I will be on-air as VK100AF on the following dates:-

  • Sunday 14th & Monday 15th March 2021
  • Friday 23rd & Sat 24th April 2021
  • Thursday 6th & Friday 7th May 2021

And also on air as VI100AF

  • Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th March 2021
  • Thursday 29th & Friday 30th April 2021
  • Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23rd, Monday 24th & Tuesday 25th May 2021

More information on the 2 special callsigns can be found on QRZ.com at…..

https://www.qrz.com/lookup

More information on the RAAF Centenary can be found at…..

https://airforce2021.airforce.gov.au/

Parks presentation to PARG in VK6.

On Tuesday evening (19th January 2020) I delivered a presentation via Zoom to members of the Peel Amateur Radio Group in Western Australia. The presentation was entitled ‘Having fun in the field’.

The presentation covered a brief rundown on the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, why get involved in portable activity, equipment to be used whilst portable, spotting & alerting, and some tips for both activators and hunters.

There were a number of PARG members in attendance in person at their meeting venue, along with a number of people who joined via Zoom. This included Hans VK6XN who is the VK6 rep for VKFF.

Sue VK5AYL followed me with a presentation on her excellent parksnpeaks app.

This was followed by a presentation by Tony VK6DQ who spoke about learning and operating CW.

Thanks to Mark VK2KI/VK6QI and for Geoff VK6GHD for asking me to deliver the presentation.

I have now been asked to deliver the same presentation to the Western Australia VHF Group.

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.