So it has been a while since we got to be out and on the SOTA trail. Winter weather, rain, cold, rain, cold, Warren on call, rain, cold…..study, work, the annual teaching season, life in general, so when a weekend that was set for reasonable forecast popped up, we grabbed it and off we set.
Manukau Heads is on the South side of the entrance to Manukau Harbour. Its not a particularly tall summit but the views across the harbour and to the Waitakare ranges make it worth the trip.
Due to not being able to find the owner to the land where the summit is located we used the GPS to check for height. I took multiple GPS readings and no time did it go under 260 m at our chosen operating location. The contours on the topo map showed we were right on the edge so I’m certain it is valid. A more accurate GPS might prove this one day. There were a few vehicles that went past to see where the road went while we were out activating, one may have been the landowner.
Warren thought he had moved up in the SOTA world for drive to’s and over the last few months purchased a fold up table, meaning he now did not have to spend this activation sitting on the ground. It also gave him the chance to test out his new mast that was purchased with the replacement Elecraft.
We used 40 and 20 metres for contacts and managed to get 9 contacts including a Summit to Summit with Wynne ZL2ATH at Mt Crawford, ZL6LH David (ZL1DK) at Piha lighthouse NZ0006 and Kyle ZL2KGF (with company) at Cape Egmont NZ0003. With a threatening rain band heading our way we pulled the pin and got packed up before the thunder and rain began.
We decided to go and check out the local light house (NZ0002) and gave out a couple of light house contacts from the car as it was international light house weekend, then on to meet John ZL1BYZ and Jackie ZL1WA. After a short visit we went into the city for a trip up the sky tower and dinner at Auckland Waterfront before calling it a day and heading home to Te Kawa.
Summit – ZL1/AK-014 – Manukau Heads
Height –285 m
Access – Head to Waiuku then follow Awhitu Rd out to Manukau heads (sign posted). Head up Hartner Rd and find the high spot on the left where the electric fence crosses the road.
Nominal time to summit – 30 minute drive from Pukekohe.
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – Good coverage on all networks.
Repeater coverage – 6625 access.
Summit Marker – Trig marks the true summit but the high point beside the road is in the activation zone (just).
Land Access Permission – Required to access the trig but not for the roadside location.