ZL3 Association

The South Island of New Zealand will be active from 0000 UTC on May 1, and a number of activations are planned for on or near rollover. Please keep an ear out if you are near a radio, I am sure the activators will be keen for DX.


(Sent from South Island ferry terminal :slight_smile: )


Warren ZL2AJ and I are set up on ZL3/MB-093 Altimarloch ready for rollover

Thanks Andrew for the contact Nice to have ZL3 in the log on its first day of operation and on CW too even better.


John VK6NU

Thanks very much Andrew, I am pretty happy to have worked the new association only minutes after it was officially born! QSB particularly on 15m was ferocious! Nothing heard on 40m of either of the ZL3 activations - a little too early in the day for 40m I am afraid.


Thanks Andrew for the combination of the new ZL3 Association and summit, plus an Andrew to Andrew contact. Neat to be the first Aussie to chase the new association and summit on 20m. :slight_smile:

73, Andrew VK1AD

A fruitful day, I have 37 contacts in the log, including an extended stint on CW that yielded 7 contacts, plus 5 S2S contacts for 17 S2S points.

Warren did similar, mainly on 40m (I stuck mainly to 20 and 15m)

Highlight definitely VK6 on CW :slight_smile:

Hi Andrew and Warren,

Congratulations to the SOTA team especially Warren and yourself for getting ZL3 operational Very good to have both of you in my log plus another Andrew ZL3CC/P a few minutes ago.

Well done on putting the mike aside and using CW - I don’t think we have worked on this mode before.


Only my third activation with CW, two in VK7 and now here. Certainly a work in progress :smile:


Also managed to work ZL3CC on ZL3/CB-806 late in the afternoon - so ZL3 is now in the ‘chased’ category for the Mountain hunter side of things. :grin:


Just wanted to say thank you Andrew and Warren for all you work, 3920 summits WOW. Glad the day went off well and was neat making a QSO with you both on the first day for ZL3.

73 John ZL1BYZ

I was pleased to give ZL3CC the first Summits 2 Summit contact from vk5/se-017 on 20m ssb,
look forward to working many more ZL activators.
73 Ian vk5cz …

Thanks John. As I mentioned the other day from VK7, I’ll be in Auckland on Wednesday evening, looking to activate Mt Eden around 4:30-5pm (work and bus schedule permitting).

Hi Andrew, yes it would be great to meet you there but I’m going to have to pass on that.

73 John ZL1BYZ

ZL3 has so much to offer. I have to work hard at not being too envious of anybody who gets to go there now that we have the association active. The mountains and hills do indeed look stunning, and there is an extensive network of hiking trails. I am very taken by the choice of huts. Here’s one link, but I think there might be other agencies managing yet more:

I have enjoyed many hours pouring over maps from LINZ, the New Zealand mapping agency. They provide full coverage at 1:50,000 and they’re very nice maps, quite similar in style to OSGB 1:50,000. The easiest way to view them in your browser is to visit http://www.topomap.co.nz/

Here, for instance (if the embedding doesn’t work, follow the link), is the Banks Peninsula, where we have 11 2-pointers:

View Larger Topographic Map

Here ZL3/CB-678 is the one ZL3 summit I can say I’ve been up, but only part-way, on a horse and without a radio! Oh to go back again (but I think the horse outfit at Orton Bradley Park has shut up shop sadly).

I’ll leave you to explore the stunning views from summits. Try Panoramio for instance.

Of course much of our time on Summits Team (perhaps the most time actually, because the summits themselves are generally relatively easy to identify) is spent chasing the cols between summits. And what do you find at cols? Roads, yes - obvious but boring! I’m referring to railways. South Island has retained a very useful network, which itself looks worthy of exploration (it’s narrow gauge after all). But also there are various disused or preserved branches. One branch has been converted into the Otago Central Rail Trail, so probably handy for exploring the ZL3/OT region.

Incidentally I happened upon a charming story whilst exploring mapping of the Otago gold fields. Not far from ZL3/OT-376, Rough Ridge, is an abandoned gold mine, called Serpentine. It has a church, where the story goes that it saw just one service. Because the minister was delayed the miners enjoyed the hospitality of the local hotel whilst waiting, and there followed a certain amount of raucousness. The minister never returned!

Anyway, look what grabbed my attention at a col near ZL3/CB-824:

(One for the fans of kettles)

This is the top end of the Weka Pass Railway. The climb up the hill gives some proper exercise to their steam locos.

And a nice (drone) video:

And over near ZL3/CB-813 I found what looks like an excellent place to stop for lunch (but being by the col, not really permissible for entry to our summit trail cafes thread). This is actually one of the original railway stations which they have picked up and moved across the tracks before restoration and conversion to a cafe.


Anyway, that’s just a small selection of the many many things which have provided pleasant distraction to me.

I hope you will all forgive me for prattling on about railways again, but at least it’s ZL railways this time!


Greetings All,
All being well intend to be on Mt Perisher (vk2/sm-007) Sat (7 May) morning and would love to grab a second ZL3 S2S.
Will also be out on Friday. Any takers?
Andrew VK1MBE

Had a great activation for the opening of ZL3. I am thinking of popping up on ZL1/WK-039 between fixing a repeater on Saturday. Looking forward to working more ZL3 summits (and activating one in early June). So many hills not enough time!

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Thanks to all involved in getting ZL3 up and going. Hope to activate my second ZL3 summit around 0200z on 7 May.

Still can’t alert or spot ZL3 to SOTAwatch - when will this be available please?

Andrew ZL3CC