Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park 5CP-123 and VKFF-0827

Our final planned activation for the trip was the Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park 5CP-123 & VKFF-0827.  Both Marija and I have qualified this park previously, so this activation was to go towards our 2019 activators stats and the Boomerang Award.

The park is located about 186 km Adelaide and about 8 km northeast of the town of Waikerie in the Riverland region of South Australia.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

But before going to the park Marija and I stopped off at one of our favourites, the Chocolates & More store at Monash.  We left with a bag of goodies sure to do great harm to our waistline.


We then continued west on the Sturt Highway and called into the Banrock Station winery for some lunch.  The winery includes a cellar door, wetland centre, gallery and restaurant.  I enjoyed a Baked Riverland Murray Cod with lime and almond butter, roasted vegetables and pearl couscous salad.  Marija enjoyed Pan Fried prawns with crab and Barramundi cakes, crisp salad and aioli.  And a few glasses of red.

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After leaving Banrock we continued along the Sturt Highway, turning right onto Barratt Road and then on to Hawkes Hill Road, passing a number of orange orchards.


We soon entered into the Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park.  The park is located on the southern side of the mighty Murray River and covers an area of about 214 hectares.  Most of the park comprises low lying, seasonally inundated River Redgum flats.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park (located in the foreground) with the town of Waikierie in the centre left of the image.  Image courtesy of Google Maps. 

The park includes Holder Lagoon.  The park was so named because early pioneers had grown crops of maize as fodder for cattle and horses on the drying lagoon bed following high rivers.

During our visit to the park, there were about 6 or so Pelicans enjoying the sun on the Murray, directly opposite where we set up.


We drove down the 4WD track running through the park and set up right on the banks of the Murray.

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Above:- An aerial shot showing the park and our operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

To kick off the activation Marija and I logged Mike VK6MB/3 who was on 7.160 activating the Tenneriffe Flora Reserve VKFF-2448.  Mike was about to go QRT and kindly gave us the frequency.  After Mike, Peter VK3PF was next in the log, followed by Scott VK4CZ and then Ray VK4NH.  The familiar mini pile up soon developed and I had soon qualified the park for VKFF.

I logged a total of 28 stations on 40m before swapping the microphone with Marija so that she could qualify the park for VKFF.


Marija’s first contact after calling CQ was with Bill VK3CWF, followed by Mark VK4SMA, and then Angela VK7FAMP.  Within 7 minutes Marija had qualified the park for VKFF, with contact number ten being with regular park hunter Cliff VK2NP.

Marija logged a total of 17 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK7.


I then jumped back into the operator’s chair and unfortunately 42 minutes into the activation, W6KH came onto the frequency with a strength 9 plus signal.  Wow, was he strong!  He was taking part in the Field Day and sadly was not able to hear me.  Some of the guys running big antennas and 400 watts came up to let him know that the frequency was in use, but that didn’t work.

I decided it wasn’t worth competing with him so I moved down the band slightly to 7.157.  I worked just 1 station, and then much to my surprise, W6KH came up on this frequency as well.  I worked just 5 more stations and gave it away as most of the stations calling me were getting drowned out.

It was the perfect time to head down to 80m, where I logged a total of 18 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK7.  The 80m band was in great shape, but it was getting late and we needed to pack up and hit the road.


Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/3 (Tenneriffe Flora Reserve VKFF-2448)
  2. VK3CWF
  3. VK4SMA
  4. VK7FAMP
  5. Vk2PKT
  6. VK4AAC/3
  7. VK2VH/3
  8. VK3MPR
  9. VK4FDJL
  10. VK2NP
  11. VK4MGL
  12. VK4NH
  13. VK4DXA
  14. ZL4TY/VK4
  15. VK3PF
  16. VK7LTD
  17. VK3GB

Marija worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO/5 (SOTA Mount Lofty VK5/ SE-005 & Cleland Conservation Park VKFF-0778)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK6MB/3 (Tenneriffe Flora ReserveVKFF-2448)
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK4CZ
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. ZL4TY/VK4
  7. VK3ANL
  8. VK3ZPF
  9. VK3SQ
  10. VK2KJJ
  11. VK4SMA
  12. VK4RF
  13. VK4HA
  14. VK2QK
  15. VK4FDJL
  16. VK3MPR
  17. VK2VW
  18. VK2TM
  19. VK2JXA
  20. VK5NJ
  21. VK2PKT
  22. VK2FMEM
  23. VK2LAD
  24. VK1MIC
  25. VK2NP
  26. VK7KW
  27. VK3CWF
  28. VK2YK
  29. VK3FT
  30. VK4AAC/2
  31. VK2VH
  32. VK4TJ
  33. VK4/AC8WN
  34. VK4/VE6XT
  35. VK3XPT/p
  36. VK4MGL
  37. VK3ARH
  38. VK2WGW
  39. VK7HCK
  40. VK5FANA
  41. VK7LTD

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK3SQ
  3. VK4AAC/2
  4. VK2VH
  5. VK3ZPF
  6. VK5AYL
  7. VK3FT
  8. VK5BJE
  9. VK4TJ
  10. VK4/AC8WN
  11. VK4/VE6XT
  12. VK2NP
  13. VK3MCK
  14. VK2IO/5 (SOTA Mount Lofty VK5/ SE-005 & Cleland Conservation Park VKFF-0778)
  15. VK7LTD
  16. VK7FAMP
  17. VK2LEE
  18. VK4CZ

On the way home, we stopped off briefly to buy some local Riverland oranges and apples.


We then stopped in Waikerie to have a look at the Waikerie Silo Art.  The silos at Waikerie were the fifth silo artwork in South Australia and the 25th in Australia.  They are the work of artists Garry DUNCAN and Jimmy DVATE.

It was time to hit the road again and head for home.  We stopped off at one of the hotels in Mount Pleasant for a meal and arrived home at around 8.30 p.m.

On the way home I had some very nice contacts from the mobile.  This included a contact with Matt VK0HZ on 40m.  Matt was at Davis Station, Antartica.  Marija also made contact with Matt and received a 5/1 signal report.  This was a memorable QSO for both Marija and me.




National Parks and Wildlife, 1994, ‘Maize Island Lagoon Management Plan’

4 thoughts on “Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park 5CP-123 and VKFF-0827

  1. Hi Paul,
    I’ve just put on some weight! How? Reading your blog. I guess the Murray River Cod would be farmed? I enjoyed Maize Island when Jenny and I were there a few years back. And your pictures, the Lolly shop, the scenery have brought I all back. I am impressed with the number of contacts on 40m!
    John Dawes

    • Hi John,

      I’m just home from work and checking a few emails and eating a few chocolates from the Monash shop. We always stop in there.

      The meal and surroundings at Banrock Station were very nice. I didn’t want to leave.


      Paul VK5PAS.

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