Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve VKFF-1701

Yesterday (Sunday 2nd July 2017) I activated the Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve VKFF-1701.  Not the Conservation Park, but the Reserve.  The 554 hectare Cox Scrub Conservation Park is located on the western side of the Bull Creek Road, whilst the much smaller Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve is located on the eastern side of the Bull Creek Road.

The park is located a few km south of the little town of Ashbourne and about 60 km south of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 5.07.41 pm.png

Map showing the location of the Cox Scrub Conservation Reserve.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I last activated this park back in August 2016 shortly after it was added to the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) Directory.  For information on that activation please see my previous post at….

https://vk5pas.org/2016/08/09/cox-scrub-conservation-reserve-vkff-1701/

The park is located in close proximity to a number of other parks including its big brother Cox Scrub Conservation Park, Mount Magnificent Conservation Park, Finnis Conservation Park, and Bullock Hill Conservation Park.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 5.07.27 pm.png

Map showing the park and the surround Conservation Parks.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Cox Creek Conservation Park was established on the 11th day of November 1993 and it 21 hectares (52 acres) in size.

The majority of the adjacent Conservation Park was previously owned by the late Mr V Cox of Ashbourne, who preserved the area in a natural state for overwintering his honey bees.  The land was purchased from Mr Cox in 1969 on condition that he was allowed to keep bees in the park for as long as he required, which was upheld until he passed away.

A fire swept through this area back in December 2016 and burnt around 70 hectares including this park.  The fire had threatened nearby properties and is believed to have started after a 4WD became bogged and sparked a grass fire.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 5.28.06 pm.png

Aerial shot showing the park in relation to my home QTH

A large amount of native birds can be found in the park including the Beautiful Firetail and the Elegant Parrot.

Although quite small, the park preserves a remnant piece of Fleurieu Peninsula bushland.

If you plan on activating this park, then keep your eyes peeled because getting in there can be tricky.   The park is not signposted.  The park is located on the eastern side of the Bull Creek Road, and a little south of the Conservation Park.  There is a small break in the scrub towards the southern end of the park, with a track leading in through the scrub.    There is an old sign here which says ‘No Hunting.  Trespassers Prosecuted”.  The writing is very faded and I expect it was there when the land was privately owned.  There is also another wooden sign which has fallen over, with nothing visible written on it.

IMG_0324

If you travel along a little further to the south you will come to a dirt driveway and a sign which says ‘Tooper Springs’.  A very short distance along this track is a track darting off to the left, heading north through the park.

IMG_0306

This track follows the eastern boundary of the park and eventually meets up with the other track.

There is a nice clearing where the track meets, with plenty of room for me to string out the 80/40/20m linked dipole.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the temperature being about 18 deg C.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 5.11.26 pm.png

Aerial shot of the park showing my operating spot towards the southern section.  Image courtesy of Google Maps

Prior to calling CQ I worked Gerard VK2JNG/p on 7.144, who was activating the Goonoo National Park VKFF-0590.  I then headed down the band to 7.130.  It was quite difficult to find a clear frequency as the 40m band was alive with VK’s, ZL’s and Europeans.  Marija VK5FMAZ was first in the log on 7.130 with a 5/5 signal.  Not all that strong, but at least there was some local propagation.  I then logged Dennis VK2HHA, Chris VK3PAT, and then Joe VK3YSP/m and Julie VK3FOWL/m who were mobile on their way home to Melbourne from GippsTech.  Next up was Peter VK3ZPF/p who was activating the Werribee Gorge State Park VKFF-0775.

A dozen or so QSOs later I had another Park to Park in the log, this time Ian VK5MA/6 who was in the Stokes National Park VKFF-0468.  Considering the time of the day on 40m and the distance between us (some 3,000 km), Ian had a beautiful strong 5/8 signal, with Ian giving me a 5/7 into Western Australia.  Then 6 QSOs later I had another VK6 park activator in the log, Hans VK6XN/p who was operating portable in the Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0210 (5/7 both ways).  This was followed by Peter VK3PF/p who was activating the Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park VKFF-1768.

The band was in good shape and there was a continual flow of callers from all across Australia.  My 6th Park to Park contact for the activation came in at contact number 44, with Mark VK4SMA/p who was in the Mount Perry Conservation Park VKFF-1609.  I logged a total of 48 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, & VK7.

I then headed off to the 20m band and started calling CQ on 14.305.  Fred VK4FE was first in the log, followed by Hans VK6XN/p in the Gooseberry Hill National Park.  It was nice to get Hans in the log, Park to Park, on a second band.  But despite 5 minutes of further CQ calls, I had no further takers.

It was now around 4.30 p.m. local time (0700 UTC) and I decided to try out the 80m band.  I called CQ on 3.605 and this was answered by Marija VK5FMAZ, Mick VK3GGG/VK3PMG, and then Ivan VK5HS.  Peter VK3PF/p then gave me a call from the Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park, for another Park to Park on a second band.

I was very pleasantly surprised considering the time of the day with the number of callers I had on 80m from VK3, VK3, VK4, VK5.  I logged a total of 24 stations on 80m.  One of my contacts was with Anthony VK3LPG in western Victoria who commented that I must be running out of parks to activate.  In between overs I heard a voice say ‘he hasn’t done Butchers Gap’.  It was Tony VK5ZAI at Kingston in the South East.  The Butchers Gap Conservation Park backs onto Tony’s property.

The property had rapidly started to drop, from 18 down to 9, then to 7, and then to 6 deg C.  So I decided to have one last listen on 40m hoping to pick up some New Zealand stations and possibly some North America.  Sadly this was not to be the case, but I did log a further 12 Australian stations from VK2, VK3, and VK4.

Time had marched on to 6.00 p.m. and it was now getting close to 5 deg C.  I packed up and headed home, feeling very happy with a total of 86 QSOs in the log.

IMG_0328

On the way home in the mobile, I logged ZL1JV and ZL4U in the NZART Memorial Contest.  I could hear some other ZL stations calling CQ contest, but they were just a little too low to work from the mobile.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Goonoo National Park VKFF-0590)
  2. VK5FMAZ
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK3PAT
  5. VK3YSP/m
  6. VK3FOWL/m
  7. VK3ZPF/p (Werribee Gorge State Park VKFF-0775)
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK4FW
  10. VK7QP
  11. VK3VSG
  12. VK5MR
  13. VK3SFG
  14. VK3HQZ/5
  15. VK3TUL
  16. VK3FFSB
  17. VK3GQ
  18. VK3GGG
  19. VK3PMG
  20. VK3ANL
  21. VK5MA/6 (Stokes National Park VKFF-0468)
  22. VK3FOTO
  23. VK3ARH
  24. VK3AV/m
  25. VK3STU
  26. VK4FMAX
  27. VK2YES
  28. VK6XN/p (Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0210)
  29. VK3PF/p (Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park VKFF-1768)
  30. VK2NP
  31. VK2VRC
  32. VK7GG
  33. VK3PB
  34. VK3MRH
  35. VK7ZGK
  36. VK4FE
  37. VK3GH
  38. VK3FREB
  39. VK3KWB
  40. VK2BY/,m
  41. VK3BL
  42. VK3OHM
  43. VK4GSF
  44. VK4SMA/p (Mount Perry Conservation Park VKFF-1609)
  45. VK2NEO
  46. VK4TJ
  47. VK3NGD/m
  48. VK7AU
  49. VK2BHO
  50. VK5FSKS/2
  51. VK4CG
  52. VK3UH
  53. VK1AT/3
  54. VK7KT
  55. VK4PDX
  56. VK4KX
  57. VK2PHA/m
  58. VK3FSPG
  59. VK3MPR
  60. VK2FJPR

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4FE
  2. VK6XN/p (Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0210)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FMAZ
  2. VK3GGG
  3. VK3PMG
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK3PF/p (Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park VKFF-1768)
  6. VK3GQ
  7. VK4FW
  8. VK5PL
  9. VK2NP
  10. Vk2VRC
  11. VK3VBI
  12. VK3LPG
  13. VK5ZAI
  14. VK5FMWW
  15. VK5KLV
  16. VK5GJ
  17. VK3FORD
  18. VK5FANA
  19. VK5MRT
  20. VK5SFA
  21. VK5HCF
  22. VK3QD
  23. VK5KHZ
  24. VK2BHO

 

 

References.

ABC, 2017, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2006-12-13/crews-contain-sa-fire/2153270&gt;, viewed 3rd July 2017

Dolby, T & Clarke, R, Australian Birds.  A Field Guide to Birding Locations.

National Parks South Australia, 2017, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Fleurieu_Peninsula/cox-scrub-conservation-park&gt;, viewed 3rd July 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_reserves_of_South_Australia#Cox_Scrub_Conservation_Reserve&gt;, viewed 3rd July 2017

Moana Sands Conservation Park 5CP-136 and VKF-1061

After packing up at Onkaparinga River Recreation Park, Marija and I headed to our second park activation for Saturday 1st July 2017, the Moana Sands Conservation Park 5CP-136 & VKFF-1061.  This was to be a unique park for us as activators for both the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, and the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.

Moana Sands Conservation Park is located about 36 km south of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.10.29 am.png

Map showing the location of the Moana Sands Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

The Moana Sands Conservation Park is about22 ha (54 acres) in size and was established on the 7th November 1985.  It was proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 in 1985 for the purpose of conserving a ‘significant Aboriginal cultural heritage site’ associated with the Kaurna people.

The park’s coastal sand dunes are very important in the cultural traditions of the Kaurna people who made their summer camp in the dunes next to Pedlar Creek. Many archaeological artefacts, including burial sites, hearths and shell middens – some dating back more than 6000 years – have been found where the overlying sand has blown away.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 8.51.33 pm.png

Aerial view showing the park in the southern suburbs of Adelaide.  Image courtesy of Google maps

Moana was originally farming land from 1841. In the 1850s a local landowner lent his name to the beach and it became known as Dodd’s Beach.  In 1855, when shipping was the primary means of cargo transport in the area, the Nashwauk was wrecked on the beach near the Pedler Creek outlet.

berecry.jpg

Bricks recovered from the wreck of the Nashwauk.  Image c/o South Australian Maritime Museum.

Due to an increased interest in tourism in the area, in 1927 the land was subdivided by Lake Beach Estate Ltd who held a competition to name the new town.  Mr C.H. Cave won the competition with Moana, which means “blue water” in the Maori language.  The land was divided into blocks of land suitable for holiday homes and wide streets were planned and laid out, but due to the Great Depression in 1929 development of the area was slow.

In the 1950s Moana experienced renewed interest from tourism as the residents of Adelaide enjoyed the freedom and mobility of car ownership – Moana was a pleasant 40 minute drive from Adelaide.

The area was recorded in the 1890’s as “the greatest development of sand dunes of  Gulf St. Vincent” boasting imposing dunes to 80 feet (25 metres); but within 40 years human and animal impact denuded the dunes and erosion demolished their magnificent stature.

The park is home to a large variety of birdlife including the Swamp harrier and the rare Hooded Plover.

We set up on the beach just a little south of Peddler Creek.  We ran the Yaesu FT-857d and the 80/40/20m linked dipole supported on the 7m telescopic squid pole.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.10.03 am.png

Aerial shot of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

Despite it being a beautiful sunny afternoon, it was quite brisk, so there were only about 3 or 4 other vehicles on the beach.

DSC_7505

Marija started off the activation again, calling CQ on 7.140.  First in the log was regular park hunter Geoff VK3SQ, followed by Mr. reliable Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, and then Cliff VK2NP.  Within 7 minutes Marija had her 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF.  Contact number 10 was Allen VK3ARH.  Marija logged a total of 15 stations, before the pile up got the better of her and demanded that I take over on the mic.

IMG_0297

My first station in the log was John VK2YW in Wagga Wagga, followed by Peter VK2NEO and then Mike VK3ZMD.  Unfortunately a G station came up on 7.138, just 2 kc below me, and he was a good 5/7 signal and I experienced a lot of bleedover.  So I decided it was just not worth competing with him and I QSY’d up to 7.144.

I logged a total of 54 stations on 40m, including some European DX, much to my surprise.  Deme EA5IPC from Spain called me in amongst the VK pile up, confirming that sometimes it is very worthwhile listening for stations outside of VK.  You never know who is hearing you.  A few dozen QSOs later I was called by Uwe DL2ND in Germany.  It was quite a thrill to work a bit of DX on 40m from Europe.

I also logged a Park to Park contact with Hans VK6XN in the Greenmount National Park VKFF-0218 who was a good 5/7 signal.  Marija also logged Hans.

I then moved to 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged a total of 7 stations from Hawaii, Italy, Norway, VK2, VK6, and France.  It has been quite slim pickings in recent times with DX on 20m, so it was nice to at least log a handful of overseas stations.  I also logged Hans VK6XN/p on a second band from the Greenmount NP.

I then headed over to 3.610 on the 80m band and started calling CQ on 3.610.  Andrew VK2UH answered my call and reported that my signal was breaking up.  My VSWR was also a little high, but despite checking the BNC connection and the connections in the linked dipole, all appeared okay.  But I decided not to push my luck, and logged just 3 further stations: John VK5BJE, Terry VK5ATN, and Adrian VK5FANA.  Bill VK4FW tried, but we could quite make a valid contact.

DSC_7513

It was now approaching 5.00 p.m. local time and it was time to pack up and head home.  Marija and I had both qualified the park for VKFF, and I had qualified the park for WWFF.  Together we had 82 QSOs in the log.

DSC_7531

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK3MH/m
  6. Vk7QP
  7. VK5BJE
  8. VK3FOTO/m
  9. VK4AAC/p
  10. VK3ARH
  11. VK3GQ
  12. VK6BSA/m
  13. VK2IO
  14. VK7CW
  15. VK5HS
  16. VK6XN/p (Greenmount National Park VKFF-0218)
  17. VK4NH

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2YW
  2. VK2NEO
  3. VK3ZMD
  4. VK4AAC/p
  5. VK5BJE
  6. VK2XXM
  7. VK3ANL
  8. VK3FT
  9. VK5HS
  10. VK2QK
  11. VK3FTRI
  12. VK7DIK
  13. VK4HNS
  14. VK3NCR
  15. VK2KYO
  16. VK5GJ
  17. VK2JDR
  18. VK4PDX
  19. VK6MAC
  20. VK3KIM/m
  21. VK3FPHG
  22. VK3ZPF
  23. EA5IPC
  24. VK3BBB
  25. VK2HHA
  26. VK7DW
  27. VK2VRC
  28. VK4FMAX
  29. VK4TJ
  30. VK4GSF
  31. VK6HRC
  32. VK2GPT
  33. VK2VX
  34. VK2NP
  35. VK3FSPG
  36. VK3MPR
  37. VK3AWG
  38. VK7FGRA
  39. VK5KLV
  40. VK4FE
  41. VK2IO
  42. VK3HSB
  43. VK2NWB
  44. VK4NH
  45. VK6XN/p (Greenmount National Park VKFF-0218)
  46. VK5FANA
  47. VK3BUS
  48. VK3SQ
  49. VK7HCK
  50. VK4QQ
  51. VK3ZQ
  52. VK7AU
  53. DL2ND
  54. VK3TXB

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. KH6EB
  2. IK4GRO
  3. LB0OG
  4. VK2SR
  5. VK6RC/m
  6. VK6XN/p (Greenmount National Park VKFF-0218)
  7. F5PAU

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2UH
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5ATN
  4. VK5FANA

 

References.

Moana Surf Life Saving Club, 2017, <http://moanaslsc.com.au/about-moana/our-community/&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

National Parks South Australia, 2017, <https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Fleurieu_Peninsula/moana-sands-conservation-park&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moana_Sands_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moana,_South_Australia&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Onkaparinga River Recreation Park VKFF-1738

Yesterday (Saturday 1st July 2017) was a spectacular sunny Winter’s day, so Marija VK5FMAZ and I packed the Toyota Hi Lux and headed south to activate two parks.  Both were to be unique parks for us as activators for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program, and Moana Sands, our second park, was to be a unique park for the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award.

Our first park for the day was the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park VKFF-1738 which is located about 32 km south of Adelaide.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.12.38 am.png

Map showing the location of the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park south of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

 

The Onkaparinga River Recreation Park is 284 hectares in size and was established on the 7th November 1985.  Translated from the Kaurna language, ‘Ngangki’ means women, ‘Pari’ means river, and ‘ngka’ means location.  So the correct translation for Onkaparinga is Ngangkiparingka, which means women only places along the river.  The Onkaparinga River, South Australia’s second longest river, flows through the park on its journey to the sea.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.31.11 am.png

Map of the Onkaparinga River Rectreation Park.  Map courtesy of National Parks SA.

The floodplain and surrounding areas of the park are covered by a combination of open shrubland with Nitre-bush, Lagoon Saltbush, Marsh Saltbush and Sea-berry Saltbush, native grassland and introduced pasture.   Along and near the river areas of there is Common Reed, samphire flats with Thick-head Samphire, Grey Samphire, Shrubby Samphire  and areas of revegetation. The aquatic estuarine flora is dominated by Garweed.

During our visit the park was very active, with lots of bushwalkers, anglers and people canoeing and kayaking down the river.  We had the opportunity of speaking with a few walkers, and explained to them the hobby of amateur radio and the parks awards.

DSC_7498.jpg

Between 1973 to 1977, the majority of the land which is now dedicated to the recreation park was purchased by the State Planning Authority, a former South Australian State Government Agency.  The purpose of the land acquisition which included land along the full length of Onkaparinga River was threefold.   Firstly, it was ‘to provide open space for recreational purposes’, secondly, ‘to preserve the natural character of the landscape, including the native flora and fauna’ and thirdly, ‘to function as a buffer between areas of urban and rural land.’

In 1982, the majority of the land was transferred to the then Department for Environment and Heritage which established the recreation park in 1985.  In 1993, all of the land east of Main South Road (known as the gorge section) was reclassified as the Onkaparinga River National Park.   For managerial and administrative purposes, the recreation park and the national park are known collectively as the ‘Onkaparinga River Reserve’.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 11.02.25 am

In February 1839, land in the locality including the Onkaparinga floodplain was surveyed and became available for selection by settlers to the new colony of South Australia.  The majority of the land in the recreation park was a farm originally purchased about 1861 by John Jared, an immigrant who arrived from Lincolnshire, England.  The original purchase of 240 acres was expanded to 400 acres.  Jared named the farm ‘Clear Farm’ and built a house on the property in 1862.  Jared was succeeded in 1871 by his son, John William Jared, who renamed the property ‘Pingle Farm’.  The property remained in the Jared family until the 1970s when it was purchased by the State Planning Authority.  The remains of Pringle Farm which was listed on the South Australian Heritage Register on 11 April 1996 are conserved within the recreation park.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 10.39.29 am.png

Over 150 species of birds have been recorded in the park includingSilver Gull, Great Egret, Australian White Ibis, Crested Pigeon, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Australian Magpie, Little Raven, Willie Wagtail, Magpielark.  Many birds migrate from the northern hemisphere to escape the arctic winter. Every Australian summer they come from Siberia, China and Japan to feed.  Below are some photos of the birds I observed during our visit to the park.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Around 20 species of fish have been recorded in the river including mulloway, jumping mullet, black bream, and yellow-eye mullet.

Onkaparinga River Recreation Park is also home to a ‘mob’ of Western Grey kangaroos.  These can often be seen in the cleared land just below the the south western corner of the park off Commercial Road.  And during our visit, the kangaroos were out enjoying the sunshine.

DSC_7438DSC_7441 (1)

Of note, a wild goat which has been nicknamed ‘Gary’ has been adopted by the mob of kangaroos, and calls the mob home.  Unfortunately we didn’t see Gary during our visit.  There was some talk last year that the local Council was going to catch Gary.  We hope that hasn’t occurred.

Gary has become quite a celebrity and there is even a Facebook page dedicated to him which can be found at…….

https://www.facebook.com/GaryGoat5165/

11011217_1688828114679379_8296005313819425516_o

Gary the goat.  Photo courtesy of Facebook

The park has been subject to a lot of local media attention in recent years, as housing has encroached on vacant land surrounding the park.  There is one last piece of land near the SW corner of the park which has been earmarked for further housing and there has been a lot of public outrage at the proposed housing, suggesting it will spell the end for the kangaroos and Gary the Goat.

Marija and I spent nearly one hour trying to find a suitable spot to enter the park.  Many years ago when I lived and worked in this area, the majority of the land surrounding the park was vacant and there were various tracks leading into the park.  Sadly this is no longer the case, with development all the way around the park.  We had hoped to access the park via Sauerbiers Road, but the GPS took us into continual dead ends in the high density living area which is Seaford Meadows.

We eventually found a nice quiet spot just off River Road.  For this activation we ran the Yaesu FT-857d, set at 10 watts for Marija and 40 watts for me, and the 80/40/20m linked dipole.

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.13.22 am.png

Aerial shot of the park showing our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

As is our normal practice when activating parks together, Marija started off first.  Marija is generally only interested in qualifying the park for the VKFF program (10 contacts).  Prior to finding a spot to call CQ, we both worked Gerard VK2JNG who was in the Goobang National Park VKFF-0204.  Marija and I had worked Gerard from the mobile on our way to the park, but were very happy to get the Park to Park contact with Gerard as well.

We then QSY’d down to 7.130 and Marija started calling CQ whilst I spotted her on parksnpeaks.  Marija’s first taker was Geoff VK3SQ at Beechworth in NW Victoria, followed by Dennis VK2HHA in Albury, and then Nick VK3ANL in Melbourne.  Considering it was a weekend, the number of callers were quite low.  But Marija perservered and within 20 minutes had contact number ten in the log, Brett VK2VW.

We then swapped the mic and I started calling CQ and this was answered by Peter (VK3YE) VK5WAT/3 who was pedestrian mobile on Chelsea Beach running QRP 3 watts.  Peter was an excellent 5/8 signal.  Contact number 10, qualifying the park for me for VKFF, was with Peter VK3ZPF.  Shortly afterwards I was called by Ian VK5MA/6 who was activating the Stokes National Park VKFF-0468 in Western Australia.  Ian was 5/8 and considering the time of day (1.20 p.m. local time), had an excellent signal on 40m, some 3,000 km to my west.   Marija also logged Ian.

The 40m band was in quite good condition, with excellent signals from the eastern states of Australia.  Of note, were the number of Western Australian stations logged on 40m: Ian VK5MA/6, Ian VK6EA, Mark VK6BSA mobile, Richard VK6HRC, and Hans VK6XN.

Contact number 44 qualifying the park for the global WWFF program was Peter VK7PRN.  I worked a total of 47 stations on 40m before things started to slow down.  I had received an SMS message from Peter Vk3PF asking me to give Joe VK3YSP a call, who was portable at the GippsTech amateur radio convention.  I headed to 7.144 and have Joe a call, and went live at GippsTech.

I then called CQ on 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged 5 stations: Rick VK4RF/VK4HA, Hans VK6XN, Ken ZL4KD, and Lee VK2LEE.  To complete the activation I put a few CQ calls out on 3.610 on the 80m band and there logged 3 stations: Iain VK5ZIF, John VK5BJE, and Ivan VK5HS.  The 80m band continues to be a reliable form of communication locally when the 40m band is not open.

DSC_7474.jpg

Marija made a total of 12 contacts including 2 Park to Park QSOs.  I worked a total of 56 stations including 2 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Goobang National Park VKFF-0204)
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK2HHA
  4. VK3ANL
  5. VK3ZPF
  6. VK2KYO
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK3ARH
  9. VK5GJ
  10. VK2VW
  11. VK5WAT/3
  12. VK5MA/6 (Stokes National Park VKFF-0468)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2JNG/p (Goobang National Park VKFF-0204)
  2. VK5WAT/3
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK2NP
  5. VK2HHA
  6. VK5GJ
  7. VK2IO
  8. VK2VW
  9. VK2UH
  10. VK3ZPF
  11. VK4AAC/p
  12. VK3HWB
  13. VK5MA/6 (Stokes National Park VKFF-0468)
  14. VK3MCK
  15. VK3BBB
  16. VK7NWT
  17. VK3WAR
  18. VK3AWG
  19. VK2JNG/m
  20. VK3MRH
  21. VK6EA
  22. VK5GI
  23. VK7DW
  24. VK3VLA
  25. VK3VEF
  26. VK6BSA/m
  27. VK3GQ
  28. VK4NH
  29. VK2VRC
  30. VK6HRC
  31. VK7AU
  32. VK3FPHG
  33. VK3FSPG
  34. VK3MPR
  35. VK3BG
  36. VK3WAC/m
  37. VK3QA
  38. VK4RF
  39. VK4HA
  40. VK6XN
  41. VK3UH
  42. VK5ZIF
  43. VK7FPRN
  44. VK7PRN
  45. VK7GG
  46. VK2LEE
  47. VK2JDR
  48. VK3YSP/p (Gippstech)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4RF
  2. VK4HA
  3. VK6XN
  4. ZL4KD
  5. VK2LEE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5ZIF
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5HS

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/onkaparinga-river-recreation-park/&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

National Parks South Australia, ‘Onkaparinga River National Park and Recreation Park’.

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkaparinga_River_Recreation_Park&gt;, viewed 2nd July 2017

Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park 5CP-097 and VKFF-0897

After leaving Hale Conservation Park, I headed for the Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park 5CP-097 & VKFF-0897, which is located about 80 km north east of Adelaide and about 12 km south east of Tanunda.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 9.43.00 am.png

Map showing the location of the Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I stopped off briefly at the junction of Warren Road and Springton Road at Williamstown where there is a small display, including an old timber jinker.  The old horse drawn timber jinker was used in the Mount Crawford area during the early 1900’s to haul logs out of the forest to small ‘bush’ sawmills.

I then travelled north out of Williamstown on the Lyndoch Valley Road towards Lyndoch.  This is the southern area of the famous wine growing region, the Barossa Valley.   The Barossa is one of the world’s great wine regions and is certainly the most famous in Australia.

I stopped briefly at Mengler’s Hill which offers fantastic panoramic views of the Barossa.  Although it was generally a fine day, there were some very threatening dark clouds out to the west as can be seen in the photographs below.

I initially travelled out along Krondorf Road with access to the western side of the park showing on the GPS.  Sadly, this was not to be the case.  Although showing on the GPS and maps as a road, there is no access to the park along Little Kaiser Stuhl Road.  I had to detour around to Bethany and then up Mengler’s Hill Road.  At the junction with Tanunda Creek Road, there is a sign indicating the park.

DSC_7372

The Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park is located about 12 km south east of the town of Tanunda and is nestled amonst the Barossa Ranges.  The park is 390 hectares in size and was dedicated in 1978 to protected one of the last remnants of native vegetation in the region, in particular the northern-most population of Brown Stringybark.  More than 360 species of native plant are found in the park, many of which are of conservation significance.

The park is named after the nearby 600 metre high Kaiserstuhl summit.  Kaiserstuhl means ’emperor’s chair’.  The summit was named by geologist Johann Menge (1788-1852) after the Kaiserstuhl mountain range near Freiburg in south western Germany, a famous winegrowing region.  The summit is known by the local aboriginals as Patpoori, meaning ‘big grass hill’.  During the First World War, the name of the summit was changed to Mount Kitchener, as part of the anti German sentiment.  It has since reverted back to Kaiserstuhl.

The park is home to a large amount of native wildlife including Western Grey Kangaroos, Euros, Short-beaker Echindas, Common Brushtail Possums, and Common Ringtail Possums.  More than 135 species of bird have been recorded in the park including Lauching Kookaburra, Superb Fairywren, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, New Holland Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Crescent Honeyeater, and Grey Shrikethrush.  Reptiles that call the park home include Eastern Bearded Dragons, Sleepy Lizards, Eastern Brown Snake, and Red-bellied Black Snake.

DSC_7374

Kaisertuhl was first proclaimed on 3rd May 1979 with further areas of land being added on 5th June 1986 and again on the 3rd December 1987.

Between 1958-1962, the South Australian Field Naturalists Society recommended that an area of land near Kaiserstuhl, which was then known as Mount Kitchener, be acquired for conservation purposes.  In 1970, while surrounding bushland was still being cleared for agriculture, Mr C.W. Bonython made a submission to the National Parks Commission seeking the creation of a national park in the Mount Kitchener region, where an area of approximately 1,000 hectares was still available.  Both the Chairman of the Land Board, Mr C.E. Rix, and Director of National Parks, Mr R.G. Lyons inspected the land separately and reported favourably to the Commissioner in October 1971.  Following the Commissioner’s recommendations, in November 1971 an approach was made to the principal landowner without success.

FNSbanner

In 1974, in a submission to the Commonwealth Government for a grant under the State Grants (Nature Conservation) Act, a report was included on the Kaiserstuhl proposed area.  However, because the assessor from the Federal Department of Environment did not inspect this locality, no further action was taken and no funds to purchase land in the Barossa Ranges were made available.

In March 1975, the Society for Growing Australian Plants wrote to the Premier of South Australia expressing concern that the (then) Woods and Forest Department had acquired land in the Kaiserstuhl region that they felt would be better suited for a national park. The Society had previously presented a submission, included in the Mount Lofty Ranges Study released by the State Planning Authority in August 1974, recommending that a new national park be established in the Barossa Ranges.  The Outer Metropolitan Planning Area Development Plan had also recommended investigations of areas around the Tanunda Creek headwaters for possible acquisition for open space purposes.

In February 1978, Mr M.A. Picard, Project Officer with the Nature Conservation Society of SA, presented a report to the Society on the conservation value of land known as the Pohlner Estate, situated in the vicinity of Kaiserstuhl.  When the area became available for sale, a portion was purchased at auction with funds provided by Mr Leo Wakem Nicholls (1894-1971), who left the sum of $30,000 to the Field Naturalists’ Society of SA Inc in a bequest.  There is a small plaque in the park which is dedicated to the memory of the late Mr Nicholls who was a keen bushwalker.

I set up just inside gate 1 on Wallowa Track.  As there were signs specifying that people should remain on the paths, I set up about 1 foot off the main walking trail.  As a result I had a lot of interaction with members of the public during the afternoon.  One couple in particular showed great interest and were amazed that I was talking to people all around Australia.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 9.29.31 am.png

Map showing my operating spon in Kaiserstuhl.  Map courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.

I was set up and ready to go by just before 3.30 p.m. South Australian local time.  As is the case each day at this time of the year, the 40m band was open to Europe, the USA and the Carribean.  It was hard to find a clear spot on the band. Pedro NP4A was operating on 7.143, so 7.144 was out of the question.  I headed up to 7.155 and started calling CQ.  Unfortunately there was no mobile phone coverage with Telstra in the park (amazing!), so I could not self spot.

I called CQ for a few minutes and finally David VK3UCD came back to my call, running his newly put together Bitx40 transceiver.  Andrew VK7DW was next, followed by Stef VK5HSX/2 and then Mike VK3ZMD.  After 14 minutes, I had contact number 10 in the log, a QSO with Darrin VK3ER.

Band conditions had picked up very well since my earlier activation, with excellent signals from the east coast.  Contact number 20 of the activation was a Park to Park QSO with Mark VK4SMA/p who was activating the Mount Perry Conservation Park VKFF-1609 in Queensland.

Just when I thought that local propagation was not working on 40m, I heard my wife Marija VK5FMAZ call in with an excellent 5/9 signal.  I also logged a few more VK5’s including Andrew VK5MR, Sue VK5AYL, Ivan VK5HS, and Trevor VK5TW, before the band fell out again for local contacts.  It was also nice to log my good mate Greg VK8GM in Alice Springs, who had a very strong 5/9 + signal.

I logged a total of 42 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK7, and VK8 before heading to the 20m band.

I headed to 14.310, the normal park & SOTA calling frequency on 20m, and asked if the frequency was in use.  Much to my surprise, Hans VK6XN/p came back, stating he had taken a break from his activation to take a few photographs.  I logged Hans who was in the Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0201, with a strong 5/8 signal.  Hans kindly spotted me on 14.305 and that is where I headed.  Fred VK4FE was the first in the log on that frequency, followed by Daniel VK6WE, and then Tadashi JA1VRY in Japan.  But that was the limit of my callers, and about 5 minutes of CQ calls went unanswered.

I then moved to 3.610 on the 80m band and called CQ for around 5 minutes with no takers.  Unfortunately I was unable to self spot due to no phone coverage.  So I decided to head back to 40m and hopefully work someone who could spot me.  I was lucky, because I found Hans VK6XN had QSYd to 7.144 from 20m.  I logged Hans and then asked if Hans could spot me on 3.610, which he kindly did.

I headed back to 3.610 and it was clear that the spot had worked well, as there were a lot of stations who came back to my CQ call.  I logged a total of 18 stations on 80m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5.

It was now approaching 5.30 p.m. local time and the temperature had dropped very quickly to 6 deg C.  I had a total of 65 contacts in the log.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3UCD
  2. VK7DW
  3. VK5HSX/2
  4. VK3ZMD
  5. VK2FADV
  6. VK3ATC
  7. VK3ZPF
  8. VK3GGG
  9. VK3PMG
  10. VK3ER
  11. VK3FRAB
  12. VK3PF
  13. VK2BHO
  14. VK3VIN
  15. VK2HHA
  16. VK2GPT
  17. VK2VX
  18. VK4AAC/2
  19. VK3SFG
  20. VK4SMA/p (Mount Perry Conservation Park VKFF-1609)
  21. VK3UH
  22. VK3FSPG
  23. VK3MPR
  24. VK5FMAZ
  25. VK5MR/m
  26. VK3HBG
  27. VK3KAI
  28. VK5AYL
  29. VK5HS
  30. VK3SQ
  31. VK8GM
  32. VK5TW
  33. VK4PDX
  34. VK3KMH
  35. VK3BBB
  36. VK3FOTO/m
  37. VK4XAC
  38. VK3FPSR
  39. VK6AHR
  40. VK5PET
  41. VK3NXT
  42. VK2VE/p
  43. VK6XN/p (Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0210)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6XN/p (Gooseberry Hill National Park VKFF-0210)
  2. VK4FE
  3. VK6WE
  4. JA1VRY

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5MK
  2. VK3ZPF
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK2JDR
  5. VK3PF
  6. VK5FMAZ
  7. VK2GPT
  8. VK2VX
  9. VK2EMU/p
  10. VK3VIN
  11. VK3MCK
  12. VK2FSAV
  13. VK4TJ
  14. VK5KLV
  15. VK2YX
  16. VK2IO
  17. VK3LPG
  18. VK5ARC

 

 

References.

Birds SA, 2017, <http://www.birdssa.asn.au/location/kaiserstuhl-conservation-park/&gt;, viewed 25th June 2017

Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2010, ‘Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park’.

Department for Environment and Heritage.  Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park Management Plan, 2006.

Wikipedia, 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiserstuhl_Conservation_Park&gt;, viewed 25th June 2017