Barmah National Park, VKFF-0739, 5th January 2017

Our final Victorian Park was the Barmah National Park. This activation was number three. The first was for the Keith Roget Memorial National Park award and my last activation was for the WWFF program. Here is a link to my last activation:

https://vk5bje.com/category/barmah-national-park/

On each of the my three activations I have set up in slightly different locations. But they are all just a few hundred metres to a kilometre or so within the Park boundary. As you enter the Park from Barmah and cross the creek (the location of my last activation) you drive on past the mustering yards (the site of my first activation) and then take a left had turn to the camp ground (site number three). The road was closed just past the turnoff to the camp because of recent rains and floods.

campground-at-bramah-np

The photo above shows the camp ground. It appears that most of the campers like to be near the lake which meant that I could set up in the area furthest away from the lake (about 400 metres) and I had the place to myself.

log-on-rollers-barmah-np

The next photo shows a log on rollers near the camp ground. The diameter of the red gum log exceeds my height.

diameter-greater-than-my-height

Here is a photo of the end of the log. It is very large. We also saw many old red gums that had been ring-barked in days gone by. You can read more about the cutting of railway sleepers in my first post on this park.

https://vk5bje.com/2013/12/23/barmah-national-park-victoria-23rd-december-2013/

looking-across-the-barmah-lake

The final picture shows the Barmah Lake at the camp ground. It is a great spot and I spoke with a young camper from Germany. She spoke so enthusiastically about the space in Australia.

My aim with this activation was to complete 44 plus contacts to qualify the Park for the WWFF award.

I checked 7.144 Mhz at 22:38 and then called CQ. I was answered by VK3CWB/5, Maurie.

Then I had contacts with the following stations in quick succession:

VK7FRJG

VK2EJW

VK4RF/VK4HA

VK5PAS/M

VK2IO

VK2MTC

VK3PF/VK3KAI

VK2YK

VK1DI

VK2LX

VK2FOUZ

VK5WG

VK4FRAL

and at 22:36 VK5IS.

I then tried 20 metres looking for the VK6s and VK4s. I did not have any success.

I then went back to 7.144 and had qsos with:

VK5FANA

00:00 VK7FAMP/7, Angela in VKFF-1135

VK5YX

VK3PF/VK3KAI

VK5FANA

VK5EE

VK4RF/VK4HA

VK5PL

VK5AA

VK2MOR

VK5FMID

VK5TT, 59 57 Tony at Sellicks Beach but operating a remote station in the Adelaide Hills. We arranged to try 14.310 without success and then tried 30 metres.

00:27 10.120 VK7BC, 59 58 Frank in Launceston

00:36 VK5TT, Tony 59 57. We had a three way qso on 30 metres with VK7BC.

All signals were good during the activation. Thanks to all of the callers and those who posted spots. I gained enough contacts to qualify the Park. After spending some time walking and taking photos we set off for Nathalia where we had some lunch and a break before driving to Bendigo to our accommodation.

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Murray Valley National Park, VKFF-1178, 4th January 2017

We drove from Narrandera to Moama on the 4th January, not a long drive and with plenty of time to activate the Murray Valley National Park in NSW just out of Moama. This was a new park for me.

murray-valley-np

murray-valley-np-start-of-walk

The Murray Valley National Park is opposite the Barmah National Park in Victoria. The two parks, on either side of the Murray River, create a magnificent wet land and both parks appear to be popular. There were campers in the NSW park and we had time to look at a few areas but in the end decided to return to the spot pictured above in the two photos. There is plenty of parking and for most of our time there we had the place to ourselves. Jenny took the path to the bird watching area and I set up my station to the right of the sign above.

I checked 7.144 at 05:35 and was answered by Trevor, VK5TW. I was encouraged and signals were pretty good for the activation. Then followed:

05:38 VK3PF

05:41 VK2IO

05:44 VK2FENG/QRP

06:46 VK1MA

05:48 VK4RF/VK4HA

05:49 VK2QR

05:52 VK5FANA

05:51 VK2SWL

05:53 VK5PAS

05:56 VK7FAMP

05:58 VK1DI

06:01 VK5PAS

06:04 VK5KLV

06:05 VK5YX

06:10 VK5KDK

06:13 VK3UH

06:14 VK2GKA/M

06:19 VK3GGG/VK3PMG

06:21 VK2HOT

06:23 VK4HNS

06:26 VK5FMLO

06:27 VK2UH

06:28 VK5FMLO

06:29 VK3SQ

06:31 VK3ARH

06:32 VK7LTD

06:34 VK3TKK

06:37 VK4FFAB

06:39 VK1MTF

06:44 VK5KC

06:45 VK7JON

06:48 ZL4KD

14.310

06:59 VK5PAS

07:08 VK1HW

7.115 ssb

07:27 VK5FMAZ

07:31 VK5FMWW

07:32 VK5FVSV

3.610 ssb

07:59 VK2YK

08:04 VK3PF/VK3KAI

08:07 VK1MA/VK8GA/1

08:23 VK1DI

08:73 VK5TW

08:23 VK3ANL

08:23 VK3OHM

08:28 VK5FANA

08:28 VK3ZBX

08:29 VK3SQ

08:32 VK2FENG

08:35 VK3ZPF

08:34 VK3NL

08:38 VK2IG

Thank you to the hunters and I now have sufficient qsos to qualify the park.

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, VKFF-0554, 3rd January 2017

Our four day stay in Canberra came to an end on Tuesday morning 3rd January when we left to travel to Narrandera in New South Wales. Narrandera is one gateway into the Riverina area of NSW. We have stayed at Narrandera before and, on one occasion, spent time at the local cemetery looking for a memorial for one of Jenny’s ancestors. This time we were planning to visit the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. This was a new park for me.

But more on the park in a moment. We planned to have lunch at Wagga Wagga and it was suggested by a volunteer at the local Information Centre that the Cafe at the Art Gallery would be a good choice. We were also told that the Archibald Portrait Finalists were on display at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. Here is a link to the portraits:

https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/archibald/2016/

I made two choices, first, the portrait of actor Gary McDonald and second, the portrait of retired Victorian Supreme Court Justice Bernard Teague. Neither of my choices were successful but it will be interesting to see which portrait wins the People’s Choice Award.

After arriving in Narrandera we set out for the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park for some bird watching and radio. We took the Irrigation Way from Narrandera to Yanco and then took Euroley Road before taking the marked track to Turkey Flat. The first few hundred metres of the track into Turkey flat is quite badly rutted and, if wet, would be impassable. It presented no difficulty to our Patrol but a small car would bottom out. I would recommend seeking advice if using a two-wheeled drive vehicle. Turkey Flat was the third marked entry to the Park along Irrigation Way.

murrumbidgee-national-park

The notice board at Turkey Flat Wetland

murrumbidgee-np-my-operating-spot-new-growth

My operating position

new-growth-murrumbidgee-np

New growth along the river

birdhide-at-murrumbidgee-np

This photo shows the bird hide at Turkey Flat.

Despite the water on the ground and a wet year our visit was entirely mosquito free!

I checked 7.144 at 05:00 UTC and found it free.I gained 17 contacts which I was pretty pleased about given it was holiday time.

05:04 VK4FRAL

05:14 VK4XI

05:21 VK2YK

05:38 VK5KLV

05:40 VK5PAS

05:43 VK2FSAV

05:53 VK4FFAB

05:56 VK4HNS/4

05:58 VK4NH

06:01 VK4RF

06:01 VK4HA

06:04 VK7LTD

06:07 VK7FAMP

06:09 VK5KGP

06:12 VK5TW

06:13 VK5KPR

06:18 VK5MJ

I enjoyed this unplanned activation. Signals were good and it was a pleasant way to spend a late afternoon. I appreciated all of the stations who gave me a call.

Next morning we set out from Narrandera to Moama. But before leaving Narrandera we decided to visit the Narrandera Wet Lands within the town and near the road bridge. The aim was to see some birds and take some photos.

narrandera-wet-lands

narrander-stump-2

narrandera-stump

Stumps are popular photographic subjects but how much better when the stump is a dragon!