The case of the ‘stolen’ Park with an apology to Agatha Christie!

To make sense of this post you will need to read or re-read my post on Scott Conservation Park. Here is a link to that post:

My objective was originally to activate the Coorong National Park near to the most westerly boundary. Those of you who watch Michael Portillo’s show on SBS, Great Railway Journeys, will know he used a Victorian era Guide Book called Bradshaw’s. My guide, on this occasion, was a brochure entitled Alexandrina Bird Trails published by the Alexandrina Council. The fold out brochure is pictured below and it is excellent and certainly not from the Victorian era!

Alexandrina Bird Trails

The particular trigger for our expedition is reproduced below and is called GW1.

GW1 Denver Road

The map, also from the brochure shows a one (1) on Hindmarsh Island and  Randell, Semaschko and Denver Roads are all clearly visible. You will also see that 1 is not near the Murray River but back a bit. The aerial photograph, courtesy of Google Maps, shows the location of the creek and the verges as described in the text above.

Goolwa Bird Trails


Hindmarsh Island location referred to in Bird Brochure

If you proceed further down Denver Road you come to a gated farming property. There were many signs either side of the gate and one indicated there was no river access. I decided at this point to turn around and not pursue our quest any further but travel to Scott Conservation Park for an activation. Despite the text in the brochure suggesting that the is within the Coorong National Park, I was not convinced. I checked out the coordinates suggested in the brochure and Google Maps placed the spot at Sugars Beach at 2.

The first photo below shows a typical park sign in the River at Beacon 19 from the boat ramp. The land at Beacon 19 is on the Younghusband Peninsula and is not within the Park boundary. The second photo shows a view of Hindmarsh Island looking across the Coorong from the Younghusband Peninsula. There were no such signs on Denver Road near the wetlands.

Since our visit in early March I have undertaken further research on this matter. This link suggests that the ‘private property’ I came to is now owned by the State of South Australia.

The South Australian Government received a grant from the Commonwealth to purchase the property called Wyndgate, which will eventually will be added to the Coorong National Park.

Scott Conservation Park, VKFF-0934 & 5CP-206, 3rd & 5th March 2017

A saxophonist friend of mine, to be married on Saturday afternoon 4th March 2017, provided an excuse for an extended long weekend on the South Coast of South Australia. We stayed in a cabin at Port Elliot where the ceremony was held. We travelled from Scott Creek to Port Elliot via Echunga, Meadows, Bullock Hill Conservation Park, Goolwa and then on to Port Elliot. We enjoyed our lunch at Goolwa before checking into our accommodation at Port Elliot. After settling in to our accommodation we set out for Hindmarsh Island with the intention of an activation from the Coorong National Park at its most Westerly end. It wasn’t to be. I will explain more later in a new post. Scott Conservation Park, about eight kilometres from Goolwa, provided an easily accessible alternative. This Park has been activated previously by Paul, VK5PAS. You should check out his excellent blog at

I have now activated all three South Australian Conservation Parks with Scott in their names: Scott Creek Conservation Park, Mount Scott Conservation Park and finally, Scott Conservation Park. If you would like to read about these activations then please click on the name of the Park on the index, which is just below the calendar on the front page.

Scott Conservation Park, comprising 210 hectares of land on the southern edge of the Mount Lofty Ranges is quite spectacular with magnificent trees (see below), deep creek lines and a walking trail of 2.7 kilometres which takes you through the park.

Warning about snakes

Creek in Scott CP

This photo shows the depth of the creek: the walking track crosses the creek bed at two locations (JCD photo)

We walked the trail plus another fire track for about an hour after my Sunday activation and enjoyed the scenery.

Scott CP Friday activation spot

A magnificent eucalypt at Scott Conservation Park, Friday 3rd March 2017, JCD photo

Scott CP Sunday afternoonScott Conservation Park, Sunday 5th March 2017, operating location. JCD photo

VK5BJE at Scott Conservation Park

My Sunday afternoon operating location on a fire trail. JCD photo

Saturday afternoon 3rd March 2017 – sunny warm day

On Saturday we found a clearing that had been used by campers. They had left rubbish behind. My wife cleared the rubbish, which we returned to Port Elliot and soon the spot was pristine. This location is about half way between the two car parks and is visible from the gravel road.

I found 7.150 Mhz to be clear and I called CQ at 06:05 UTC and was answered by Peter, VK3PF. His signal was 5 and 9 and mine was 4 and 4, noise was obviously a factor at Peter’s home. Then followed VK3GGG, VK4FW, VK3PMG, VK4AAC/4 (park to park contact with Rob who was in VKFF-1219,  Tuchekoi National Park, Queensland) VK3FSPG, VK3MRP, VK3MQ, VK3YSP/M, VK3FOWL/M, VK3ZPQ, VK7JON, VK3TKK/M, VK3SS,  VK3ELH,  VK3OW, VK2HHA, VK3VIN and VK1DI. Conditions on 40 metres were quite good although I was unable to work any South Australian signals. The closest station to me was probably Mick in Stawell, VK3GGG/VK3PMG. The band went quiet despite many CQ calls. I then moved to the 80 metre band and enjoyed contacts with the following stations on 3.610 Mhz: 07:28 VK5YX, VK5MRT, VK5FMWW, VK5FVSV, and at 07:18 VK5PAS/M, Paul, who was driving to Spring Mount Conservation Park for a Friday evening activation. At 07:38 I enjoyed my final contact for the afternoon, with Paul, VK5PAS/P, operating from Spring Mount Conservation Park, VKFF-0739, making my second Park to Park contact for the day.  We had to leave to go and buy some food for our evening meal.

Sunday afternoon 5th March 2017 – warm overcast day

I planned to become a digital station on Sunday afternoon using my VK5PF call sign and set up on 15 metres hoping to work some Asian stations using JT-65. What I had left out of the equation, however, is how do you see a computer screen in the great outdoors even on an overcast day? Oh well I will try again. So I decided to set up again for 4o metres ssb on 7.135 Mhz, which was clear. At 04:20 my first contact was with Allen, VK3ARH, s 56 r 53 and then in quick succession, VK3PF, VK3FPSR, VK3YXC, VK3QA, VK3BBB, VK3LX,  VK3GGG, VK3PMG, VK3SQ, 04:39 VK3DAC/3, Fred was in VKFF-0762, Leaghur State Park, my first Park to Park contact for the day,  VK1DI, VK3FEVT, VK1AT, at 04:49,VK3CWF, Bill at the Organ Pipes National Park, VKFF-0627 and at 04:55, VK3PAT/3, Chris at Alpine National Park, VKFF-0619, my third Park to Park contact for the day. Still on 40m I worked VK4HNS/4 and VK5KAI before migrating to 80 metres where I enjoyed contacts with VK5TW, VK5YX, VK5BB, and VK3GGG/VK3PMG. A big thank you to all of the operators who gave me a call at Scott Conservation Park. I made 48 contacts. I thought band conditions were reasonable and as usual there was no short skip into South Australia, at least not for stations within about 200 kilometres from Adelaide. However, tuning across the 40 metre band I thought activity was down for a Sunday afternoon. All contacts have been up-loaded to Log Book of the World and eqsls are available from VK5BJE/P.

Cockle Train entering Goolwa station

There is a lot to see and do around Goolwa (and I have not mentioned the wineries!). This photo shows the Cockle Train entering Goolwa Station on return from Victor Harbor.

Oscar W

The Oscar W in her home Port of Goolwa.

Beach at Port Elliot

Port Elliot from the headland.

Indigenous perspective on early European contact at park at Port Elliot

An Indigenous perspective on the coming of the Europeans and a creation myth.