ZL1 joins SOTA
A couple of months back, I offered to help Warren ZL2AJ with some of the heavy lifting on the surveying side for ZL SOTA. Combining the data from LINZ with a few algorithms and a webapp I developed for the JA SOTA effort, we were able to quickly get the roughly 5,000 summits in ZL surveyed and submitted. The first association we submitted was ZL1, North Island, and this went live on December 1.
It is worth pointing out that Warren is a surveying machine. I managed to get about 500 of the ZL1 summits done and surveyed in the first week or so; Warren did that and about another 100, and then started working on ZL3 (South Island) almost instantly. His work on surveying is always of a high standard too – so we had few queries from the summit teams.
Anyway, you’re all eager to travel to New Zealand, what should you do SOTA wise?
In Auckland, there are a few summits close to the city, but none really close to the airport (hey, that’s why you put an airport a way from the city – to get it onto some flat land). The two main ones will be Mt Eden ZL1/AK-023, a short taxi ride from the CBD, and Rangitoto Island ZL1/AK-016, a ferry ride and approximately 1 hour walk. This also qualifies for VOTA, being New Zealand’s youngest volcano.
If you have a few more days on your hands, there are a smorgasboard of summits on Great Barrier Island, as well as three others just off shore of GBI. GBI is a light aircraft trip from Auckland’s general aviation airport, but a few days on the Island, and a willingness to put in a few long days could see 6 or 7 summits knocked off easily enough.
If you aren’t flying into Auckland, you’re flying into Wellington, so there are three options for you near Wellington. The first is Hawkins Hill ZL1/WL-101, a 2.5km walk from the Brooklyn Wind Turbine along a service road. Other options, requiring a bit more walking are Makara Hill ZL1/WL-129 and Kaukau ZL1/WL-116, both accessible from the Skyline Track.
Taranaki region has few summits, but Mt Taranaki (ZL1/TN-001) is a VOTA spectacular.
Bay of Plenty
Mokoia Island (ZL1/BP-217) is an island in the middle of a lake, controlled by the local Maoris. Daily tours are available, but not sure if SOTA is an authorised activity. Still, a fascinating little summit, standing 150m proud of the lake.
But what about South Island??
Now that North Island is live, South Island needs to be checked by the summits team. South Island is about 3.5 times the size of North Island, so I wouldn’t expect anything before March at the earliest, if not much later.