Gwydir River National Park VKFF-593

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Gwydir River near Bundarra, NSW

Gwydir River National Park is located 25 km west of the small village of Bundarra, northern NSW & around 80 km north of my QTH (home) of Barraba. It is located in the Granite Belt of the New England Ranges at around 750 meters above sea level & adjacent to the Gwydir River which flows into nearby Copeton Dam, a large irrigation water supply for the cotton farms around Moree.

My activation of this park was completely unplanned, I had decided to go for a drive on Sunday morning, the weather was pretty ordinary, overcast with a cold westerly wind blowing. I headed out to a fossicking area near home, just a leisurely drive, taking a few photos along the way. Before I knew it I was only 20 km`s from Bundarra, so I kept on driving with the thought of a stop for lunch on the banks of the Gwydir & maybe throw in a line & hope to catch a fish, the area well known for its Murray Cod.

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On arriving at Bundarra there was a large gathering at the showgrounds, a Campdraft was under way, lots of horses, stockmen & women competing so I decided to stop & have a look. I found a spot to park right next to the arena & settled in to watch the action & take some photos. I have not been to a campdraft for while, quite enjoyable, especially the excellent steak sandwiches!.

Around 2pm I decided to head out to the nearby National Park. I had activated this park previously, but did not get enough contacts in the log to qualify it for the VKFF award. The Park has two sections, one on the northern side of the river which I activated a couple of months ago, so I decided to visit the southern section for this activation.

Gwydir NP map 2

Map source – NSWNP

Gwydir NP map

Map source – NSWNP

The river doesn’t actually run through the park, so i found a clearing to set up the 15/40 Spring Loaded Linked Dipole just of the Copeton Dam Rd next to a small creek. Finding a suitable tree I got the antenna up at around 8 meters in an Inverted V configuration & tuned the Icom IC-7000 to the 40 Meter band & had a scan through the frequencies. The first contact was with the special event callsign of VI1ANZAC, Hil in Canberra on 7.095 MHz, followed by VI3ANZAC, Rex in Melbourne on 7.110 MHz, both a good 59 signal.

Next in the log was AX5FANA (VK5FANA), Adrian in Will`s Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-819 on 7.144 MHz in South Australia, over 1000 km from my location with a solid 57 signal, followed by Peter AX3PF in VKFF-480, Tarra-Bulga National Park in Victoria on 7.110 MHz, great to get them in the log as Park to Park contacts.

I then moved to &.130 MHz & started calling CQ, ending up with 18 contacts in the log for an hours calling. The stations worked were:

VI1ANZAC – Hil, VI3ANZAC – Rex, AX5FANA – Adrian, AX3PF – Peter, VK1NAM – Andrew, VK2PHA – Nigel, VK4ARW – Russell, VK2JNA – Dom, VK1AT – Jim, VK4PX – Brian, VK4FAJB – Tom, VK4GSF – George, VK4DBJ – John, AX4FPDG – Peter, VK2JAZ – Simon, VK4EOZ – Mark. VI4ANZAC – Brandon & VK5ST – Steve.

The VI & AX callsigns were used to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the ANZAC (Australia & New Zealand Army Corps) landings at Gallipoli on the 25th of April in World War 1 in 1915.

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Murray Cod

I finished calling at around 4:30 pm, packed up & headed to the river a short drive away for a bit of fishing, catching a small Murray Cod on a lure in a deep hole of water around the Granite boulders. He was too small to keep, so it was back in the drink for him. It was dark when I headed home to a nice warm meal. A thoroughly enjoyable days outing.

73`s & 44`s

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