Alfred National Park, 25th April 2014, VKFF-618

Like Lind National Park there are no facilities for visitors at Alfred National Park. Parks Victoria suggest that glimpses may be gained of the park as you travel along the Princes Highway. The Department warns that there is no-where to stop and the highway is busy. We found that the road narrows every so slightly through this area as it travels through a cutting. Parks Victoria indicated that the Park has very high conservation value for both flora and fauna.  The line drawing map in the parks brochure for Croajingolong National Park shows both Lind and Alfred National Parks. If you check the map you will see that the West Wingan Road which we took to gain access to Croajingolong National Park passes by Alfred National Park and we found a great access spot at the southern corner of the Park. I was amazed at the dense nature of the temperate rain forest. You would need to take a compass and or GPS to venture more than a few metres into the Park.

Thanks to the ten amateurs who gave me a call at Alfred National Park, therefore ensuring a successful VKFF activation. My first contact was at 06:52 with VK3EK/P3, Robbie on SOTA summit VK3 VK 144;  VK3MRG/P3, Marshall at VK3 VN 030; VK5NIG/P5, Nigel in Wingfield Conservation Park; VK3FKSA, Banaar; VK2NNN, Darren; AX5PAS, Paul; VK2MCB, Philip; VK3FQSO, Amanda; VK3AMB, Bernard and finally, VK7HKN, Kevin near Launceston.

Alfred National Park

Alfred National Park

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Croajingolong National Park, 25th April 2014, VKFF119

Croajingolong National Park covers a vast area from Sydenham Inlet to the New South Wales border. We visited the Park on Anzac Day and then we activated Alfred National Park. We had earlier in the day visited Coopracambra National Park on our way to Victoria from Narooma in New South Wales. We travelled the Monaro Highway to Cann River. It was a three park day! And very challenging. We chose to gain access to Croajingolong National Park via the West Wingam Road and soon after passing the park entrance we took the Meuller Track and set up on the edge of the track hoping no one would decide to visit!

Croajingolong NP, Meuller Track to 'shack'

Croajingolong NP, Meuller Track to ‘shack’

On our way along the West Wingam Road we were confronted by a person with a Stop Sign (or Lolly Pop). In conversation with this person it had transpired that the v-double log truck had lost its load on a wet and slippery corner. While the logs were not huge nor were they matches! I wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of the load coming loose. We were able to continue on our way after a few minutes delay. The driver later told me that was why he was working on Anzac Day. The picture shows the log truck on our return from the Croajingolong activation parked near the corner of Alfred National Park. I was impressed with the driver. When he saw our 4 x 4 parked near the Alfred National Park corner he stopped his vehicle and came over to see all was right with us. He had earlier parked the log truck for departure on the 26th April.

The log-truck with the load on board

The log-truck with the load on board

Another view of the log-truck

Another view of the log-truck

As the Victorians will tell you these East Gippsland Parks are a long way from Melbourne and are not activated very often. In South Australia on 40 metres conditions are often poor and it is very difficult to copy QRP stations even from my home station where I experience very few problems with noise.  I am hoping some Victorians will feel inspired to travel to East Gippsland and activate these magnificent parks. I need them all as a chaser!

I began my efforts at 02:16 with a contact with VK3YY/P3, Glenn in VK3 VG 003, Mount Toorongo. What a great way to start the activation! Then followed VK3MTB, Tim; then VK3JNI, Philip at The Lakes National Park, VK3RAN, operator Luke; VK3PF/P3, Peter at VK3 VE 056; VK2IB/P3, Bernard at the same location as Peter; VK3FQSO, Amanda; VK3ZPF, Peter; VK2CCJ, Cliff; VK3ZPF, Peter; VK3BHR, Phil; VK3JD, John at Port Melbourne; AX2UH, Andrew at Yass; VK3MRG/P3, Marshall on VK3 VN 017; AX5PAS, Paul; AX2UH, Andrew; VK3FB/P, Len; VK3TKK, Peter; VK3HRA, Allen; VK3ANL, Nick on VK3 VE 019 and Mount Buffalo National Park, VK3MRO, Tibor; VK2LAX, Rod and, finally, AX2CL/P2, Raffy on Bear Island.  I was very pleased to achieve 23 contacts well and truly activating the park for the VKFF award.

Coopracambra National Park, 25th April 2014, VKFF-113

Today we returned to Victoria from Narooma in NSW. We took the Pacific Highway and not too far out of Bega turned right onto the Snowy Mountains Highway before turning South on the Monaro Highway and crossing into Victoria with the Park on the left hand side of the road. Not too far into Victoria we saw a sign giving access into the Park and indicating Beehive Falls about two kilometres further on. I found a good spot complete with picnic tables and no other homo sapiens. VK3PF, Peter, who has activated the Park twice recommended this spot. We had it to ourselves.

I set up and 23 contacts later packed up. I was really pleased with the activation. I used a new to me, but pre-loved Yaesu 897D, running about ten watts. I purchased this radio from a deceased estate in Sydney after seeing an advertisement in Amateur Radio Magazine for December/January. My son collected it about three weeks ago and this was the first time I had a chance to put it on the air. It will be used in the longer term at slightly higher power, say 30 to 40 watts, to give me a better chance of working DX from parks and giving chasers a better chance of hearing me from remote locations. I need to investigate a battery capable of supplying a higher current draw for a longer period if time, but still remaining ‘portable’. I will study the blogs of other amateurs to see what they use when using their FT897Ds on higher power in the field.

Beehive Falls turn-off at Coopracambra National Park

Beehive Falls turn-off at Coopracambra National Park

Here are my contacts: beginning at 02:16, VK3YY/P3, Glenn on VK3 VT 026; VK3MTB, Tim; VK3JNI/P, Tim at the Lakes National Park; VK3RAN, Tony; VK3PF/P3, Peter on VK3 VE 056; VK2IB/P3, Bernard also on VK3 VE 056; VK3FQSO, Amanda; VK3ZPF, Peter; VK2CCJ, Cliff; VK3ZPF, Peter; VK3BHR, Phil; VK3JD, John; AX2UH, Andrew; VK3MRG/P3, Marshall on VK3 VN 017; VK5PAS, Paul; AX2UH, Andrew; VK3FB/P3, Len; VK3TKK, Peter; VK3HRA, Allan; VK3ANL/P3, Nick on VK3 VE 039, The Hump, at Mount Buffalo National Park; VK3MRO, Tibor; VK2LAX, Rod and at 03:10, AX2CL/P2, operator Raffy at Club Station on Bear Island.