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Old April 17th 19, 04:40 AM posted to,,
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Default [VK5PAS] Long Island Recreation Park VKFF-1724


Long Island Recreation Park VKFF-1724

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 01:47 AM PDT

Today (Tuesday 16th April 2019), me, Ivan VK5HS and Danny VK5DW, activated
the Long Island Recreation Park VKFF-1724 on the mighty Murray River, at
Murray Bridge.¬* This was the first time that the park had been activated
for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program.¬* The park is located about
80 km east of Adelaide.
Above:- Map showing the location of the Long Island Recreation Park
VKFF-1724.¬* Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The Long Island Recreation Park is 8 hectares (20 acres) in size and
encompasses the full extent of Long Island in the Murray River, immediately
east of the city of Murray Bridge.¬* According to the Ngarrindjeri
aboriginal people, the island represents a lentlin (spear) thrown
by¬*Ngurunderi at Ponde (the fish) as it made its way to Wellington creating
the river.
Above:- Aerial shot of the Long Island Recreation Park, looking south
east.¬* Image courtesy of google maps

The island first received protected area status on 9th October 1958 as a
recreation reserve proclaimed under¬*Crown Lands Act 1929¬*and to be managed
by the¬*Corporate Town of Murray Bridge.¬*¬*On the 1st day of September 1966,
it was proclaimed as a fauna sanctuary under the¬*Fauna Conservation Act,
1964-1965.¬*¬*On the 8th day of July 1976, the recreation reserve was resumed
under¬*Crown Lands Act 1929¬*and then proclaimed as the¬*Long Island
Recreation Park¬*under the¬*National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.
Above:- The South Australian Government Gazette, September 1, 1966

After breakfast, I drove up to Murray Bridge and met up with Ivan VK5HS and
Danny VK5DW who had driven down from the Riverland.¬* On the way, I chatted
to John VK5BJE/p who was activating the Kinchina Conservation Park 5CP-277
& VKFF-1764 near Murray Bridge.¬* John had headed out hoping to get a Park
to Park with us on 2m.¬* John was booming into the mobile.

We launched the boat at the end of Long Island Road and headed the short
distance to the island.

Unfortunately, we found it incredibly difficult to find any spots to moor
on the island.¬* The vegetation was very thick and there were no obvious
banks that we could land on.¬* We travelled the majority of the western side
of the island and just couldnt find a suitable spot.

We then travelled around to the eastern side of the island, and our
situation did not improve.¬* There just didnt appear to be any suitable
spots to moor the boat and get onto Long Island.

We travelled around the northwestern tip of the island and then back down
the Murray Bridge side of the island until we finally found a spot where we
could pull in and jump ashore.

But we didnt have much room to move.¬* We were confronted with very thick
vegetation and reeds that were 6-7 feet tall.¬* As it was a hot 32-33 deg C
day, we were less than keen walking through the dense vegetation, due to
our fear of snakes.¬* It really was something like out of a Tarzan jungle

Unfortunately, during this activation, we were unable to operate on the 80m
band due to the vegetation.¬* As a result, we probably missed out on a lot
of local VK5 contacts, but we just didnt want to end up being the victim of
a snake bite.

Also, a hindrance to our signal was our VSWR on 40m which was very high,
which I suspect impacted on our signal strength.¬* I presume the VSWR was
due to the amount of vegetation near the antenna and its close proximity to
the ground.¬* We couldnt even get the 7-metre squid pole up to its full
Above:- The 7m telescopic squid pole supporting the linked dipole, showing
the very cramped conditions.

As I mentioned earlier, John VK5BJE had headed to nearby Kinchina
Conservation Park hoping for a 2m Park to Park contact.¬* So we had a 2m
antenna with us mounted on a tripod.
Above:- Our 2m antenna

I kicked off the activation on 7.144 on the 40m band, with first in the log
being Peter VK3PF with a strong 5/9 signal.¬* This was followed by John
VK5BJE/p at Kinchina Conservation Park who was 5/9 plus.¬* Next was Geoff
VK3SQ, Dennis VK2HHA, and then Nick VK3ZNK/p who was in the Cape Liptrap
Coastal Park VKFF-0745.

Sadly band conditions appeared to be quite poor, and our high VSWR didnt
help.¬* But I soon had 10 contacts in the log, qualifying the park for VKFF,
the Australian arm of the WWFF program.

I logged 15 stations on 40m before swapping the mic with Danny VK5DW who
also soon had his 10 required QSOs in the log.

Next up was Ivan VK5HS, who also qualified the park for VKFF on 40m.

While Ivan was on air, Danny and I made contact with John VK5BJE/p on 20m.¬*
It was great to get a Park to Park on that band.¬* But sadly that was our
only contact on 2m.

The boys then fired up the BBQ, whilst I tried to get to my 44 contacts for
the global WWFF program.¬* I logged a further 20 stations on 40m including
Tony VK7LTD/p and Angela VK7FAMP/p on SOTA peak VK7/ EC-006.

I now had 36 stations in the log and decided to try 20m before we stopped
for lunch.¬* I logged 4 stations on 20m and was now just 4 short of my 44.¬*
We took a lunch break, enjoying some snags, patties, tomatoes, potatoes and
onions in bread.

After lunch I put out a few more calls on 40m and soon had 44 contacts in
the log, qualifying the park for WWFF.¬* Contact number 44 was with Ray

As this was a rare park, Danny and Ivan decided to jump in the boat and
head downstream for a contact with me on 2m.¬* After doing so, I jumped into
the boat and made contact with Danny.
Above:- the shack on Long Island.

It was time for us to pack up and head back across the river to Murray
Bridge.¬* All three of us had qualified the park for VKFF, and I was very
lucky to qualify the park for WWFF.
Above:- The Captain Proud paddleboat on the Murray River.

As I mentioned a little earlier in the post, we were unable to try 80m
during this activation.¬* The dense scrub on the island prevented us from
stretching out the 80m legs of the linked dipole.¬* We apologise to anyone
who was looking for an 80m contact, but the risk of a snake bite outweighed
our chance to operate on that band.¬* The two photographs below show just
how dense the scrub and reeds were at our operating spot.

It is interesting to note that the park is designated as a recreation
park.¬* After our visit, the three of us wondered if it should be a
conservation park, as there are certainly no recreational facilities on the
island, and it is very difficult to access.

THANKYOU to Ivan VK5HS for the use of his boat.¬* And thanks to both Ivan
and Danny for making the 2-hour drive down from the Riverland.¬* It was a
great day.¬* We will go back to the park after doing a bit more homework on
a possible better operating site.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

VK5BJE/p (Kinchina Conservation Park VKFF-1764)
VK3ZNK/p (Cape Liptrap Coastal Park VKFF-0745)
VK7LTD/p (SOTA VK7/ EC-006)
VK7FAMP/p (SOTA VK7/ EC-006)

I worked the following stations on 2m:-

VK5BJE/p (Kinchina Conservation Park VKFF-1764)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-



The Rural City of Murray Bridge, 2019,, viewed 16th April 2019

Wikipedia, 2019,, viewed 16th
April 2019

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