SA National and Conservation Parks Award anniversary weekend 2017 Day 3

Sunday 2 April

I was awake early the next morning, as we changed back from Daylight Savings Time to EST.

I headed west to Natimuk and then on toward Gymbowen on C213, then down Tooan Duffholme Rd.

Mount Arapiles – Tooan State Park VKFF-0765

I set up just inside the Park boundary. After spotting, I was called by Mick VK3GGG on 80 m at 2153 Z (Saturday UTC). Several more calls went unanswered, so I switched to 40 m and worked Bill VK4FW/p in VKFF-0363, Gerard VK2IO/p on VK2/HU-54 and Peter VK6RZ. West Wimmera Shire activated. Further calls yielded no responses, so I packed up and headed back to C213, then back to Mt Arapiles.

Mount Arapiles VK3/VW-022 369 m 1 point
Mount Arapiles – Tooan State Park VKFF-0765

I parked in the car park, with some local walkers resting after their climb up from the gate and some rock climbers preparing to head off for the morning.

I loaded up and headed to close to the lookout just north of the fire watch tower on the summit to set up using the fence as a support for the squid pole. I decided to string up only for 40 m and above, as the area is scrubby and rocky, with a large drop to the north. Thus space is somewhat restricted.

First in the log was Gerard VK2IO/m. It took over 30 minutes to gain 5 contacts, making the summit activated and a total of 10 for the Park. Another Complete and Horsham Shire activated.

I packed up and drove back to Natimuk, then on toward Horsham, then north to reach the A8, then north to Dimboola.

MtArapiles

Looking west to Mt Arapiles

Little Desert National Park VKFF-0291

From Dimboola, I headed down Horseshoe Bend Road to Horseshoe Bend to set up. First in the log was Adrian VK5FANA/p in VKFF-0909, followed by Rob VK4AAC/p in VKFF-1218 and Peter VK5KPR/p in VKFF-0920. Other notable contacts included Les VK5KLV/p in VKFF-0920, Andrew VK1AD/p on VK1/AC-043, Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-1391, all on 40 m, and Col VK5HCF/p in VKFF-0804 on 80 m. Several minutes of calling on 20 m yielded nothing. Time to again pack up and move on to the next target. 13 contacts in the log for the Park and for Hindmarsh Shire.

I headed to Warracknabeal to buy a late lunch and to fuel the car. It was then north to Hopetoun and on towards Patchewollock via C247. North west of Desert Road, there is a small track to the left which takes you into Wyperfeld National Park.

Wyperfeld National Park VKFF-0549

First in the log was Richard VK5ZRY/p in VKFF-0813, followed by Andrew VK5MR/p in VKFF-0278, Peter & Kevin operating VK2SMS/p near Lightning Ridge, Chris VK5FR/p in VKFF-0911. Other notable contacts were Greg VK5GJ/p in VKFF-0936, Helen VK7FOLK/p and Jon VK7JON/p in VKFF-0432 and Bob VK5AFZ/p in VKFF-0826. 11 contacts added for the Parks tally and Yarriambiack Shire qualified.

I packed up and again headed north, but only to Moloney Rd, then west to the junction with King Road, where I called from the mobile for several minutes, working Helen VK7FOLK/p and Steve VK7CW to activate Rural City of Mildura.

It was then back to the bitumen and north to C248, then east to Speed and on to Sea Lake. It was then about 10 km south on C244 to Green Lake Regional Park.

Green Lake Regional Park VKFF-0967

The lake was dry. I headed a few hundred metres north along the eastern shore to set up beside the lake away from the power lines that travel beside the entry road,

On switching on, I found Paul VK5PAS/p and Marija VK5FMAZ/p in VKFF-0877, followed by Adrian VK5FANA/p in VKFF-1706. Several more stations were worked on 40 m SSB, including Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-1303, Bill VK4FW/p in VKFF-0363 and Andrew VK5MR/p in VKFF-0278. I packed up at around 0739 Z with 14 in the log – enough for VKFF qualification of the Park and plenty for Shire of Bulloke.

It was then back up to Sea Lake and then east on C246 to Ultima, then continuing on Lake Bolga Ultima Road to Lake Boga. I made my way to the eastern shore of Lake Boga and managed to work Andrew VK5MR/m just as he was returning to Roxby Downs. Rural City of Swan Hill activated.

Back on the road, I headed south east on B400, through Kerang and on to Cohuna to find some food. With a pizza on board, I made my way into Gunbower National Park.

Gunbower National Park VKFF-0740

It was getting quite late as I entered the Park. I spent a little time searching for a reasonable site to set up camp. I stopped a couple of times to consume some pizza…. I found a reasonably flat site just off a track without huge trees overhanging and started to set up the tent. Once the tent was up, I erected the squid pole and antenna, set to 80 m.

I got the gear for the night into the tent plus the FT-817 and a couple of batteries. I set up and started calling on 80 m SSB. The first contact was Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-0581. I ended up with 8 contacts before I gave up and went to sleep.

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