Out of curiosity, I started looking at various locations around Asia and Oceania to see if they would qualify for SOTA and/or allow portable operations. One of the places I found was the Cook Islands, a self-governing country in the Realm of New Zealand. After searching for a few amateurs on the island, I found Andy Duncan (E51AND) who was willing to act as an AM for a new E5 association for SOTA.
The surveying was completed quickly, since there are only 7 qualifying summits – the majority of the Cook Islands are low-lying atolls, and Andy did up a fantastic ARM. As of September 1, E5 is now active.
There are six summits on Rarotonga, and one on Mangaia. The summits on Raro are all difficult to access, and Andy highly recommends using a guide. The summit on Mangaia is easy enough to access, but the island itself isn’t (well, certainly not like Rarotonga).
There are 7 hams on the Cook Islands, but only 4 are active, making this association have a very high summits-to-hams ratio. I don’t think too many of those will activate the summits locally, but SOTA travellers certainly will give it a go, I’m sure. Welcome aboard!