SA National and Conservation Parks Award anniversary weekend 2017 Day 4

Gunbower National Park VKFF-0740 continued

In the morning I awoke early and spent some time listening around 80 m. I ended up with 17 contacts in the log – much better than the one contact achieved on my last activation here, when I had a huge thunderstorm headed toward me. So Gunbower National Park qualified for VKFF, plus Gannawarra Shire qualified.

After packing up, I headed back to Cohuna for fuel and food, and then headed south to Pyramid Hill and Mitiamo, initially on C267.

Terrick Terrick National Park VKFF-0630

Head north on Mitiamo Forest Road and then Sylvaterre Tims Lake Road to the National Park. I headed in to the day visitor area and set up the station.

The first contact was again Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-0581. On switching on, I heard Gerard working Ken VK3ALA/7. Having not chatted with Ken for some time, I called in and asked Ken to stand by. After working Gerard, we moved down in frequency to have a chat. I worked 4 stations on 40 m, then tried 80 m for some more local stations, working 5. I then returned to 40 m to work another 5 stations, including a couple of repeats on the new UTC day. The end result was 14 contacts in the log and a successful activation of Shire of Loddon.

I retraced the route to Mitiamo, then headed south on C336 to C341, east to C338 and then south to about 1.4 km past C337.

Greater Bendigo National Park VKFF-0623

From C338, I turned west into Camp Road and travelled around to the Mulga Dam camp site. I found a spot away from others and set up the station. I tried to spot myself, but had no phone coverage. I tried calling CQ on 7.090 for about 15 minutes without any replies. The only signals that I could find was a group of three VK4 amateurs a little lower in frequency, so I ended up breaking into their discussions. Two of the stations could hear me okay and were willing to exchange reports. I considered trying 80 m and lowered the squid pole in preparation to run out the extra antenna wire. As I was doing this task, attacked I was by a small group of bees. One stung me on the forehead: that was it! I packed up as quickly as possible and departed.

At least the two contacts gave me the Shire activation: City of Greater Bendigo ticked off.

I retraced my route back to the bitumen, then headed north to C337, then headed east to Elmore and then onto A300 to head east to Stanhope. Here I stopped at the Recreation Reserve to use the toilet and also made contact with Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-0611. Shire of Campaspe activated.

I then headed on toward Shepparton, then north to Mooroopna North and into the Lower Goulburn National Park.

Lower Goulburn National Park VKFF-0741

I again set up and managed to spot myself on ParksnPeaks. First contact was again Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-0611. Over the next 50 minutes I worked a total of fifteen stations, all on 40 m SSB. By time I had packed up, it was 1430 local time, so I headed into Mooroopna to grab another late lunch.

It was then into Shepparton for fuel and head south toward Melbourne, ultimately headed to friends in Sunbury to catch up again. En route, I heard on ABC Local Radio that Mount Eccles is officially no more: Monday 3 April saw the mountain and the National Park renamed to its aboriginal name: Budj Bim. So I was probably the last person to activate the Park under the old name.

I was invited for dinner and to stay the night – an offer too good to refuse.

Tuesday morning was a leisurely start and I finally arrived home mid-afternoon, feeling rather tired.

Summary

Four days of travelling, with over 2000 km added to the odometer.

14 VKFF references activated, but most need future visits to qualify for WWFF.

7 SOTA summits activated, all becoming Completes.

24 Local Government Areas activated, several with sufficient contacts to qualify for the VK Shires Award as an Activator in the Rover category and all counting towards the VK3 2017 LGA Challenge.

The LGAs activated completed those remaining to have activated all 79 LGAs activated towards the Victorian Local Government Award, a challenge that I started (casually) back in 2012. I have submitted my award claim for that award.

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