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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Barmah National Park, VKFF-739, 18th April 2015

The Park

I have activated the Park before. Here is a link to that activation.

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

Barmah National Park near my activation spot JCD photo

Barmah National Park near my activation spot
JCD photo

Current Activation

We arrived in Echuca at about 3.15pm, secured accommodation and then decided it was too late to drive to Terrick Terrick National Park for a second visit. So we went back to the Barmah National Park and I began to set up just inside the Park boundary not far from where the Kingfisher Cruises leave. I decided to use a picnic table as the point for setting up my station. As I was doing this a 4 x 4 came along on the trip out from the Park. The driver pulled up in a hurry. A tall man with hair the same colour as mine got out. He had a wide grin on his face and came marching over. I soon realised it was Tony, VK3VTH/P3. Tony told me he had been in the Park and successfully activated it with 66 contacts including some DX. What a great experience. We chatted for about 15 minutes before he had to leave for his campsite. Tony and I tried, unsuccessfully to meet in the Brisbane Ranges National Park. I am sure pleased we were more successful this time. I asked him what made him decide to stop. He said he saw my squid-pole.

Tony, VK3VTH & John, VK5BJE/P3 in Barmah National Park JCD photo

Tony, VK3VTH & John, VK5BJE/P3 in Barmah National Park JCD photo

I quickly gained 15 contacts, including two on 20 metres one of which was a DX station, YJ8RN, Rob.

Beginning at o6:28 I had contacts with in order on 7.095: VK5ADL, David; VK5FD/M, Allan; VK5KBJ, Barry; VK5KLV, Les; VK3PF/QRP, Peter; VK3ZPF, Peter; VK5PET, Peter; VK2YW, John; VK3DBP, Paul; VK5YX, Hans; VK5ZGY, Greg; VK3HRA, Allen; VK2FBBB, Rob; on 14.300 Mhz, VK3FD/6 QRP and finally at 07:13, on 14.296, YJ8RN/P, Rod, at Loh Island, OC-110 in the Torres Group Vanuatu. While I have activated Barmah National Park before it was not then registered for the WWFF award. I was very pleased to secure 15 contacts for a spur of the moment activation. Thanks to all who gave me a call.

Barmah National Park, Victoria, 23rd December 2013

Entry to Barmah NP from Barmah township: about eight kilometres

Entry to Barmah NP from Barmah township: about eight kilometres

Today I went on a Murray River cruise which motored up-stream though a very narrow part of the River called the ‘Barmah Choke’, on in another brochure ‘The Narrows’. The cruise, with Kingfisher Cruises, was great. It was a grey and rainy day when the boat left at 10:30 local time and the sun was beginning to burn off the cloud when the cruise finished at 12:30pm. The boat left about 100 metres outside the National Park, and upon return I could not but take the chance to activate the Barmah National Park!

The cruise boat moored in Broken Creek

The cruise boat moored in Broken Creek

The Murray at its narrow point

The Murray at its narrow point

I found the old cattle yards just inside the Park and set up my station there. I used my FT817 and a linked dipole for 40 and 20 metres. Sixteen contacts later I packed up as a drive to Wagga Wagga was before me. The 40 metre band was in much better condition than over the last few weeks and I was astounded by the signal reports although distances covered were not great.

A great place for a camp

A great place for a camp

The Shack - supporting the Squid Pole on the fence post

The Shack – supporting the Squid Pole on the cattle yard post

I called first on 7090 at 01:55 and VK3VEK, Kevin, answered my call. Kevin is in Stawell and my signal report was 5 and 7.  I gave Kevin 5 and 9. I thought that conditions were going to be better than recently on 40m and I might have a bit of fun! But I had to go searching and I heard VK3XX, Gordon signing off from a contact on 7146 at 02:05. Signals were 5 and 9 both ways. I then had a contact with SOTA station, VK3XPT/p QRP on VK3 VT 052, Mount Fatique on 7090. Perrin gave me 5 and 1 and I gave him the same: I was really pleased to have a contact with another SOTA station. I then moved to 7100 and there I stayed contacting in turn, VK5PAS, Paul; VK3BWZ, Bob; VK5WG, Nev; VK3NJ, Ross; VK3ATT/QRP, Yuri who made a video of the contact; VK3TCX, Ian and VK3SOG, Fred who lives near the Toy Shop. Which Toy Shop? There is only one Toy Shop! How dangerous is that! I had more contacts, VK3CMG, Glenn; VK3JD, John; VK3VCE, Dave, VK3EE, Tom, VK3JP and finally Yuri to advise of the video.

Sleeper cutting in Barmah Forrest July 1972

Sleeper cutting in Barmah Forrest July 1972

On an earlier camping trip to the Barmah Forrest in July 1972 we saw sleeper cutters at work – probably cutting red gum sleepers for the still significant Victorian Railways.