After a terrific start to ANZAC Day, attending a wonderful Dawn Service at the Loxton Cross Of Sacrifice then checking on my Grandfather and a couple friends at the Loxton Cemetery, I headed of to the QTH of Ivan VK5HS. The master plan was for Ivan VK5HS, Pete VK5PE, Andy VK5LA, and myself Danny VK5DW to all meet up at Ivan’s place and head off to a couple parks that had not yet been activated.
With us all loaded up into a couple vehicles we headed North (well Northish) up to Chowilla. Chowilla parks consist of the Chowilla Game Reserve VKFF-1697 and Chowilla Regional Reserve VKFF-1698. These parks incorporate the Chowilla Floodplain which contains the largest remaining natural river red gum forest in the Lower Murray and a range of diverse aquatic habitats. It is a part of the Chowilla Game and Regional Reserve as well as the Riverland Ramsar wetland of international importance. Chowilla is home to many iconic and endangered native species, including the Murray cod, regent parrot and the southern bell frog and is the traditional home of the First Peoples of the River Murray and Mallee region
For more info on the Chowilla Floodplain check out: Chowilla Fllodplain – DEWNR.
Our first place to activate was Chowilla Game Reserve which is located adjacent to Murtho on the Northern side of the Murray River, North East of Renmark. Shown on the map here shaded blue.
We headed in on the Old Wentworth Rd, nice bit of track that in a 2WD tray top ute!!! Before turning into the Game Reserve back toward the Murray then following Chowilla Creek along to the Chowilla Regulator. Finding a nice little spot not far from the Regulator we set up a couple portable stations and got to work at about 0000z. Andy and Ivan fired up on 80m while Pete and I went to 40m.
This was a terrific spot along side the Chowilla Creek with great company and a swag of great and most appreciated contacts. The weather was mid 20 degrees a little overcast and a very light breeze. The site was as quiet as a mouse, QRM and people… we didn’t see anyone until we were leaving. Pete and I stayed on 40m for the duration of our activations while Andy and Ivan made their quotas on 80m and 30m. The ANZAC Day privilege of the ‘AX’ callsign certainly got a fair workout as well.
Ivan made 44 contacts, Andy 45, Pete 28, and I made 46. By this time we were all looking pretty pleased with ourselves.
While Andy was working his last couple Pete and Ivan fired up the BBQ and started to cook up a couple snags, onion and spuds.
After we fed the worms (had lunch) we headed off to our next location in the Chowilla Regional Reserve. Have a look over all our pics of Chowilla Game Reserve in this mosaic.
OK so now were on our way to the next site, Pete and I following Ivan and Andy in complete faith with only one little issue… what’s that… Ivan cracking a U-bolt?!?!? Ummm wrong way?
Anyway a little while latter we pulled into the Chowilla Regional Reserve and found ourselves a comfortable little spot under a bit of shade.
We went straight to work and set up a station and Andy got right into calling CQ Parks.
Pete kicked back and just enjoyed the surroundings while Ivan, Andy and I shared the mic passing back and forth. The constant changing of operators, callsigns, slipping the ‘AX’ prefix in, and the odd little pile up proved to make for a very entertaining time. Sorry to anyone that was getting confused. No fear we knew exactly what we were doing… that’s what we kept telling ourselves.
We were having a wow of a time and in no time at all we had over 10 contacts each. Satisfied we decided it was time to retire back to Ivan’s QTH, unpack and call it a very enjoyable day.
Here is a mosaic of the second Operating Location, Chowilla Regional Reserve VKFF-1698:
For a bunch of ratbag friends just having a fun time we think our contact counts are pretty cool:
- Ivan VK5HS / AX5HS
- VKFF1697 – 44
- VKFF1698 – 17
- Park to Park – 14
- Andy VK5LA / AX5LA
- VKFF1697 – 45
- VKFF1698 – 18
- Park to Park – 14
- Pete VK5PE / AX5PE
- VKFF1697 – 28
- Park to Park – 1
- Danny VK5DW / AX5DW
- VKFF1697 – 46
- VKFF1698 – 17
- Park to Park – 12
- VKFF1697 – 163
- VKFF1698 – 54
- Combined – 217
- Park to Park – 41
Here are our 2 Operating Locations:
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Cheers and 73’s,
Update 27/04/2018 – A couple more pics in from Pete VK5PE: