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The “153” from Gisborne Region

The first summit to be activated in Gisborne was also my fourth “153” Summit. I have previously activated ZL1/WK-153 near Cambridge, a very popular summit. ZL1/WL-153 Mount Crawford a drive up in Mirimar Wellington, and ZL1/HB-153 Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay recently. ZL1/GI-153 is near Te Karaka and hosts a cell site, rural internet and the local amateur 950 repeater. My companion was ZL2CC who is trustee for the amateur repeater and was kind enough to arrange for access to this summit.

Te Kapua is a summit near Te Karaka, West of Gisborne. You can drive almost to the top with permission, however four wheel drive is needed in places if it has been wet. The view is always part of the reason for ascending these wee hills and this one is no exception. This morning I was treated to fog in the valleys and sun on the ranges.

I was using an FT897 for the first time on SOTA, rather than my KX3. This had the advantage of higher power however I was also wary of the battery capacity. I also had added 3.7 MHz to my dipole for the lull in sunspots and conditions. It proved fruitful. I managed to work 7 contacts on 7 MHz including a summit to summit with Gerard VK2IO on VK2/MN-165. Switching to 3.7 MHz added 4 more contacts to the log.

After the activation I was welcomed back to Mike’s for morning tea with his wife Adriana. Thanks for the company, the access and the lovely hospitality.



Summit – ZL1/GI-153 Te Kapua

Height –299 m

Access – Just south of Te Karaka on SH2

Nominal time to summit – 30 minute drive from Gisborne.

Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – 3G on Vodafone and Spark.

Repeater coverage – 685 access.

Summit Marker – Trig and radio site.

Land Access Permission – Required from farmer or ZL2CC.