Coorong National Park, VKFF-0115 and 5NP-005 9th January 2017

After leaving Bendigo we drove to Ballarat. We decided to go back to that city and see our University friends for a second time on this trip. We had another really splendid evening discussing the past and the future. But before visiting our friends we travelled to the Ballarat Botanic Gardens. We used to visit the gardens back in 1970 to 1972 when we lived near Ballarat.


The photo above shows Lake Wendouree and Mt Warrenheip (SOTA summit VK3/VC-019) in the distance. I have previously activated Mt Warrenheip and I aim to go back there one day.


The Botantic Gardens are well worth a visit and the displays were excellent.

On the 10th we left Ballarat and took a new route via Skipton, Hamilton and Colleraine to Kingston SE for our last night away. We had an early night at Kingston SE and we thought we could reach the Coorong National Park in time for the local net at 08:00 hours SA time.

I was keen to have one final radio experience before travelling home and as we managed to get away from Kingston SE reasonably early I thought we could get to the southern end of the park before 08:00 South Australian time so I could join the net on 3.594 Mhz. I could not get all the way to Salt Creek and found a clearing just off the road not far past the southern boundary of the Park.It was just a mini activation as we wanted to do a walk at Salt Creek. I set up and tuned on 3.594 Mhz and called in at 21:38.

I worked the following stations:

VK5ZK, Garry 59 56

21:40 VK3LY, 59 59 Bill

21:43 VK5FD/5, Allan portable at Morgan 59 52

21:44 VK5KGP, Graham 59 55

21:45 VK5TW, Trevor 59 41

21:48 VK5KAA, Gordon 59 Gordon is plagued by noise and could not copy my signal.

21:48 VK5AWP, Peter 59 56

22:03 VK5ST, Steve 59 56


This photo shows the sun setting over the ocean at Kingston SE.


Looking over the Coorong from the walk at Salt Creek.


Memorial to Colin Thiele.


Salt Creek joining the Coorong Lagoon.


Crested Tern fishing.

I watched the Crested Tern fish. She made three runs over the water just on the seaward side of the bridge and on each occasion dived almost vertically on the up-stream side into the water and on the three occasions emerged with a small fish. As you can see from my photo the upstream water was clearer and calmer.


Half way point on the walk.

The name of the walk is Ngrugie Ngoppun meaning Good Walk. It leaves on the northern side of Salt Creek and proceeds to the Lagoon and returns on the southern side of the Creek. I estimate that the walk is about two kilometres is clearly marked and easy but very enjoyable. The memorial to Colin Thiele can be found on this walk. Thiele was an author and educator and wrote many books. Perhaps his best remembered is Storm Boy also made into a great film.


Salt Creek and the replica oil well in the distance.

We set off from Salt Creek where we had lunch and then home after some routine shopping at Stirling. We were away for 26 days and travelled 4,400 kilometres in our Patrol. While the prime purpose of the trip was to see our family in Sydney, we also saw friends, a relative in Bendigo, went bird-watching and played radio from nine different portable locations – all great locations. Unfortunately I was unable to access the two pre-programmed DMR repeaters in Sydney. That will have to wait until next time. Once again thanks to all of the chasers.

5 thoughts on “Coorong National Park, VKFF-0115 and 5NP-005 9th January 2017

  1. Hi John,

    A good read as always & pleased to see you made some contacts on 80m. Marija and I stopped off at Eudunda during our recent trip up to the Mid North, and had a look at the Colin Thiele memorial. He was born there. Very interesting.


    Paul VK5PAS.

  2. Hi Paul
    I didn’t know about this plaque until we did the walk. He wrote over 100 books. We enjoyed our visit and, as you know, it is a wonderful place. We camped there a few times as well.
    John D

  3. Hi Justin,
    I remembered taking our two boys to see the show. It was classic. The Coorong is such a unique part of SA. We always enjoy our visits there. Thanks for the comment. 73 John VK5BJE

  4. Hi John, I am writing a family history of the Legoes. Chris Legoe donated the land on which the memorial to Colin Thiele sits. Would you have any photos of high resolution of the memorial or of the memorial in the landscape that you would be willing to let me use in the book? The book is only for family members and I would acknowledge you as the photographer.

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