A couple more Mallee Parks: Ferries McDonald & Monarto CPs

Can't wait - young guys sit on the ground - older guys usually use a chair - Photo by David, VK5KC

Can’t wait – young guys sit on the ground – older guys usually use a chair –
Photo by David, VK5KC

Ferries-McDonald Conservation Park 11 August 2013

After playing clarinet with the Payneham City Concert Band at the Strathalbyn Band Festival on Sunday morning, and armed with my portable gear, I travelled to Ferries-McDonald CP. I had earlier contact with David, VK5KC, who indicated he would like to join me in the afternoon. With the help of 146.500 MHz FM and a GPS he found me in Ferries-McDonald on a sunny, ‘warm’, winter’s day in this typical Mallee park, amongst other animals, home to Mallee Fowl.

By the time David arrived I had my antenna in place. We used his FT817nd, and while brushing away four engined very aggressive mosquitoes we managed quite a few contacts between the two of us. While some were common, some were unique and here is my list. VK5CZ/p QRP , Ian at Maurice Hill, 049; VK5LY, Larry; VK5LA, Andy; VK5IS, QRP, Ian; VK5ZAI/p QRP, Tony at Butcher Gap CP (ask Tony how far he had to travel); VK3PF/p QRP, Peter at VC008; VK3BHR, Phil at Bendigo; VK3AMB, Bernard; VK5KGP, Graham; VK5HCF/p QRP, Col at Tantanoola Caves CP (with a very civilised set up: see his photos on the Yahoo page); VK5FMID, Brian and VK3ANL, Nick.

Monarto Conservation Park 11 August 2013

After befriending a shingle back lizard, also known as a stumpy tail, and speaking with some walkers in the Park, we got to work. We used David’s antenna and my Ten-Tec Argonaut VI. While some of our contacts were common some were unique. Here is my list: VK5KGP, Graham; VK3BD, Brian; VK1MA, Matt; VK5WG, Nev; VK5DJ, John; VK5LY, Larry and VK5IS QRP, Ian.

Our friendly Shingle back lizard - Photo by David, VK5KC

Our friendly Shingle back lizard – Photo by David, VK5KC

Closer to home: some Adelaide Parks – Belair NP & The Knoll & Mt George CPs

Belair National Park 1 August 2013

Belair NP is perhaps not a typical National Park. While it preserves Old Government House, the State Flora Nursery and some native bushland it also has many recreation facilities and, rather uniquely,  it allows walking of dogs on leads. It is also intersected by the Adelaide to Melbourne Railway. It was previously known as the Belair Recreation Park and was the first park gazetted in South Australia. I activated this park on the afternoon of the 1st August. I had five contacts: VK5LY/p, Larry; VK5HCF, Col; VK3KAN/p, Rick in the Bogong National Park using a KX3; VK5EE, Tom; and VK5PAS, Paul.

The Knoll Conservation Park 1 August 2013

After leaving Belair NP it is just a short drive to The Knoll CP. The Knoll is a small park and one brochure indicated that it was closed to the public because of the communications tower located within its boundaries. I knew that VK5PAS, Paul had earlier activated this Park and that one of the National Park rangers knew of my activities there (after the event). There are no signs indicating it is closed to the public. I had seven contacts: VK5LY, Larry; VK5PAS, Paul; VK3FD/p4, QRP (2.5 watts), Ian; VK5AKK /QRP, 5 watts, Phil; VK5FMID, Brian; VK5EE, Tom and VK5HCF/QRP (5 watts) Col.

Thanks to all of those amateurs with whom I had contacts, especially the family of Park ‘chasers’.

Mt George Conservation Park 4 August 2013

On a threatening Sunday afternoon I decided to activate Mt George CP, like Belair NP and The Knoll CP, not far from my home. After 18 contacts, VK5BW, Barry, decided I needed to treat my hypothermia and he invited me around to his home, just a few kilometres away for a hot drink: a splendid way to finish a great day. There were quite a few walkers in the Park and I had a number of curious folk ask me questions about what I was doing. One young woman told me her Grandfather was an amateur. It was too windy for me to put out my information sign. Many thanks to the following amateurs, including some new call signs for me: VK5PAS/p, Paul in Horsnell Gully CP, who was also cold and wet; VK3UBY, Colin from Mildura; VK5WG, Nev; VK5LY, Larry; VK5FMID, Brian; VK5EE, Tom; VK5FTTC, Rod; VK5ZAI, Tony; VK5ZTJ/m, Trevor; VK5HCF, Colin; VK5NRG, Roy; VK5LI, Craig; VK5IS, Ian; VK5PAS/p, Giles CP (now even colder and wetter); VK5TN, Robin; VK5LA, Andy; VK5FTCT, John and that kind soul, VK5BW, Barry.

By now you should be able to guess: no pictures – no Jenny, my wife, accompanying me! She is the photographer.