Ngarkat Conservation Park, VKFF-829, 20th April 2015

The Park

Ngarkat Conservation Park was proclaimed in 1979 and is one of the largest Mallee Parks in South Australia. It is 270,000 hectares of vegetated sand dunes mallee and heath. It was originally a pastoral lease in the 19th century.

Ngarkat Conservation Park JCD Photo

Ngarkat Conservation Park JCD Photo


Today, after some very small amount of persuasion from VK5PAS, Paul, I decided to detour to Ngarkat Conservation Park, VKFF-829, just south on Pinnaroo. After spending the night in Ouyen, Victoria, we made our way to the Victorian/South Australian border and just a few moments later arrived in Pinnaroo. It was a cool morning, but the sun was shining. I thought a coffee was in order. I was sitting in the bakery (no I was not eating cream buns) quietly enjoying my coffee. Suddenly my phone almost jumped off the table! I received a text message from Paul. He was asking whether I was considering a further activation. I wasn’t all that keen. I texted back and said I could be persuaded. That was enough. Paul phoned me back. We were laughing and talking and I thought I might be arrested for disturbing the peace in the bakery. I do, after all, have a substantial voice! However, I survived!

VK5BJE at Ngarkat CP JCD Photo

VK5BJE at Ngarkat CP
JCD Photo

After coffee we left Pinnaroo and soon were tracking down Rosy Pine Road towards the Park. We thought we would enter the Park at Pine Hut Soak, where there is a camp ground. The place was deserted. And it was just beautiful: typical Mallee country, sand, little understory but well-developed Mallee scrub. The camp is at the start of the famous Border Track. I had not driven this track, which despite the rain, was open. It would be foolhardy to be tempted with just a single vehicle.

I was on the air on 40 metres at 01:44 and my last contact was at 02:54. In just over an hour I enjoyed 28 contacts. I have sufficient investment in the Park to return to build up my contacts 44.


Finally, for those interested in the Mallee Parks of Victoria and South Australia you might find this publication of interest.

Nicholls, G. & Angel, A, n.d. circa post 2002, Mallee Tracks:  A Wanderer’s Guide to the South Australian and Victorian Mallee, self-published, Pinnaroo.

My wife purchased her copy a few years ago and she saw an advertisement for the book at Pinnaroo so it is still available. An internet search might turn up some copies.

Another useful publication from our archives is:

Tracks of the Mallee, 2008, Department of Environment and Heritage, Government of South Australia

This publication provides many interesting details of all of the SA Mallee parks, including maps, tracks and historic sites. A more up to date version is available for download from the Department’s website.


Here is my log in Fast Log Entry. This approach saves many, many keystrokes!

Ngarkat log Fast Log Entry

Ngarkat log
Fast Log Entry

Click log to expand.

7 thoughts on “Ngarkat Conservation Park, VKFF-829, 20th April 2015

  1. Hi John,

    Very pleased I was able to twist your arm, although it wasn’t hard. You had a terrific signal coming in from Ngarkat. That looks like a very nice spot where you activated from John. A table and all! I have only activated the park from the south western corner at Tyms lookout.



  2. Hi Paul, next time I will travel into the Park from the southern end. We have been into the Park on the main track for a few k’s on our own, but in the end common sense prevailed. Most of the border track can only be travelled from North to South.
    John D

    • Hi John,

      I’d like to go down there for a few nights and camp, and do some 4WDing in the Hi Lux. There are a few good publications around re the Mallee, including ‘Tracks of the Mallee’.



  3. Hi Paul, Have you got a copy of ‘Mallee Tracks: A Wanderer’s Guide’? Jenny saw them on sale at Murrayville and/or Pinnaroo. Jenny’s copy has no date of publication but in my list of references I suggested about 2008. It is self-published and contains lots of information about both SA and Victorian Mallee Parks. There are some great historical pictures as well.

    John D

    • Hi John,

      I am going to go into a shop in Adelaide on Monday and buy they book, provided they still have one in stock. As you mentioned on the phone, it is a bit old now, but still looks like an excellent publication.



  4. Hi John. happy I was able to get in the log, and glad you decided to activate another park.
    Interesting looking at your FLE, I used it for the first time after my last outing, and put date, band and mode in each line. I see this isn’t needed. I also put the park number in for comments, but didn’t show in the comments when uploaded to eqsl, but it did show in my QRZ log book.
    Anyway, thanks and 73.
    Mick VK3PMG

  5. Hi Mick
    Thanks very much for your comment.
    FLE is excellent, but I sometimes need to think hard about how to use it, especially following a break for a few weeks. If you look at the entries you will see that the { brackets} are used to secure details which will not be uploaded. I use FLE now to build my log in Ham Radio Deluxe. It saves a lot of key strokes. Then, if I wish, I can type additional information into HRD. I use HRD to upload logs for VK5BJE and VK5BJE/P for Log Book of the World. Only minimal information is shown in Log Book of the World but it is a stunning way of showing a confirmed contact. I will be writing an article about LOTW for Paul for inclusion into ‘Out and About’ soon and I will say a lot more about it. One can say in conclusion that the idea of ADIF is great but there is no general agreement about what should be an ADIF file.
    Cheers and have fun
    John Dawes

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