It is just over five years ago, on the 26th July 2013, that I first activated the Murray Sunset National Park. This Park is located in the North Western corner of the state and adjoins the South Australian border. On that occasion I made 16 contacts. That park activation counted for the WWFF program and the Keith Roget Memorial National Park Award.
My wife, Jenny, and I had visited what is now the Park, when it was simply called Sunset Country and we crossed from South to North in our Toyota 4 x 4, camping in the reserve. It was a great adventure, just one vehicle and something we would now probably not do today without a second vehicle. This was remote country in the early 1970s! However, we were well equipped with plenty of food and water.
For the July 2013 activation we travelled along the highway for a few kilometres before taking a secondary track into the park. A photo of my station on that occasion has previously been published and appears on my QRZ.com page. My description of the activation was brief and there is only one photo.
This time we crossed into Victoria from South Australia about 200 metres and on the Northern side took a track into the park for about two kilometres where we found a clearing and I set up there. This was my first solo park activation since Lake Tyers State Park in Victoria in April 2017. I have had a few health issues, but thankfully, I seem to have all but one under control and, more importantly have the energy and drive to be more active.
This photo my station set up at Murray Sunset National Park. I used my Yaesu 857 D set for ten watts and a linked dipole supported in the middle by a squid pole. I used a 33 amp hour gel cell for station power and later an 8.400 amp hour LiFePo4 battery. JCD photo.
Here is another closer shot of the station set up. I placed the green box (portable gear) near the squid pole as it was quite windy. JCD photo.
So on Monday we decided we would have two nights away from home and visit SA Riverland. We hired a cabin over looking the Murray River in the Big 4 park at Renmark, the same place we stayed in 2013.
White faced heron
Houseboat motoring by
So we chose to go back to the Murray Sunset National Park and aim for 44 contacts. I already had 12 in the bank from the 2013 trip. I would also try for some CW contacts using my VK5PF call-sign.
VK4TJ s 58 r 41
01:37 VK2JNG/P Park to Park VKFF-0504
01:41 VK1MIC/3 Wade, Park to Park VKFF-0761
VK3ALA/P Ken Motor home
01:49 VK3KMH, Mike
02:19 VK7ME, Mark
VK3FAIN, Ian, Dromana
CW contacts as VK5PF
01:58 VK2IO, Gerard s 599 r 579
02:00 VK7CW, Steve, s 599 r 599
02:02 VK4TJ, s 559 r339
Thanks to all of the operators who gave me a call.
On the way home we visited three parks to check out good activation spots.
The first was Bakara, the second, Swan Reach and the third Marne Valley Conservation Park.
Good work John,
I was on the road to VK3 when you were activating and couldn’t raise you. Looked like tough conditions.
I thought conditions were tough to just reasonable through the activation. At one stage I was dealing with quite loud static crashes. Anyway I enjoyed the activation and now have 44 for the park. I even gave the morse key some exercise! Thanks for the comment and I am sorry we didn’t get a qso.
John D VK5BJE/VK5PF
Pleased you had a good activation. Sadly I was working, so I missed you.
I had a good time at the Park and got some practice again in activating. It is over a year (April 2017) since I last undertook a solo activation. The weather was kind in the morning but rain ruined the afternoon. We did some tourist things instead and, on the way home, visited three parks for future activations.