I was pleased to receive the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award at Merit level. It took me over four years to secure the award chasing contacts in Victorian Parks when I had some free time, mainly at weekends. I also secured Parks while operating portable in National Parks in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. Many of the Victorian National Parks we have visited both as National Parks or as Crown Land, but what this award did was to encourage me to become familiar with the more recent parks, their history and geography and the reasons for their protection. I congratulate Amateur Radio Victoria and the Awards Manager, Tony Hambling, VK3VTH, VK3XV for sponsoring this award. I recall reading about Keith Roget early in my amateur radio career while living in Melbourne. I have recollections of hearing him in the field and marvelled at the heavy radio transceivers and batteries required for voice activations before minaturisation and solid state technology became common place. Finally, thanks to all of the portable operators who enjoy operating low power radios from Parks, and who all now radio friends!
Alpine National Park Accord Spur
After enjoying Mt Buffalo National Park I decided I would tackle something a little easier in the late afternoon. Thirteen contacts were all great and signals were so different to those I heard in the morning. They were loud!
My first contact was at 06:34 on 7090 with VK3VEK, Kevin; VK3ANP, David; VK3FBP, Len; VK5PAS, Paul; VK3SE, Steve; VK3SOG, Fred; VK5CZ, Ian; VK3ANP, David; VK5EE, Tom; VK5FBAC, Charles; VK2UH (VK1DA) a real rag chew, great contact; VK5KC, David and VK5FMID, Brian, making 13 contacts in all.
Alpine National Park
‘The Alpine National Park stretches from central Gippsland all the way to the New South Wales border where it adjoins Kosciusko National Park. Within the park are some of Australia’s most stunning alpine landscapes, including mountain peaks, escarpments and grassy high plains’ (Parks Victoria brochure). Bon Accord Spur was accessed from a track near the East Branch of the Ovens River. So our visit was at the Northern end of the park. We have previously visited the Alpine National Park on two occasions approaching from Gippsland and making our way to the Wonnangatta Station. It was not a National Park then: but Crown Land and Forrest Commission Land. In 1973 and 1977 when we visited, it was known to a much smaller group of 4 x 4 enthusiasts than it is now. The trip into Wonnangatta from Gippsland was regarded then as challenging, with quite a few river crossings and steep climbing on narrow tracks. It may be more challenging now dealing with the extra traffic and the chopped up tracks and damaged river crossings. Our approach to driving here was cautious: as it was our first real excursion to an out of the way location. We were self-taught 4 x 4 drivers. We did not join a club until late 1998 in South Australia. We walked every river crossing before venturing in! The picture shows that I walked this crossing (a baby one) but I will admit JCD walked more! Here are a few more pictures from the VK5BJE archives.
A great camping spot on the way to Wonnangatta Station March 1973
JCD driving our short wheel-base Toyota Land Cruiser across one of many river crossings, March 1973
House ruins at Wonnangatta – accidently destroyed by fire in 1957