The Parks brochure we had, from an earlier visit to Kangaroo Island, describes Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park as containing ‘vast areas of wilderness, a fresh water lagoon and Seal Bay, the home of the Australian Sea Lion’. However, if you look at a more recent map you will see that the Park is now in two sections, but by far the largest part of the land has been re-gazetted as the Cape Gantheaume Wilderness Protection Area. I was unable to find on the Department’s web site a definition of the various types of protected areas, but a Departmental Officer has promised to send the relevant definitions to me. On the face of it, it appears that a Wilderness Protection Area must contain substantial areas of pristine country. Similar processes have occurred elsewhere on the Island.
Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park – Murray Lagoon
I was able to have seven contacts from this Park before making the trip back to American River, our base for the last four days of our visit to Kangaroo Island. Beginning at 06:12 UTC, contacts were with VK3BHR, Phil; VK5GI, Norm; VK5KGP, Graham; VK5ZAR, Arno; VK5KLV, Les; VK5GJ, Greg and VK5HS, Ivan.
While at the Friends of Parks Inc. Forum I heard Parks staff refer to small Parks as ‘Pocket Parks’. Nepean Bay Conservation Park is clearly a pocket park: it is a mere 30 hectares and conserves typical Kangaroo Island coastal sand plains habitat. It was gazetted in 1974. We had a challenge in locating this park. We could not find any signs. But, we did find the boundary fence. I am a devotee of good maps and GPS technology! We travelled down a long, winding track, running parallel to the shore-line until we could go no further. There were too many trees were across the track as a result of strong winds and storms.
Pied Oyster Catchers at Nepean Bay CP: JCD photo
Eleven contacts were enjoyed from this Park beginning at 04:01 UTC. They were: VK5LY/M, Larry; VK5KGP, Graham; VK3PF, Peter; VK2JDS, Dave; VK5FD, Allan; VK3XNH, Neil; VK5ZAR, Arno; VK5AN, Graham; VK3AFW, Ron; VK5ZGY, Greg and VK5NFB, Don. My operating position was just a few metres away from the beach and partially shaded by coastal scrub. One could describe such a spot as idyllic!