... On The Air - NZ

Huts On The Air: A New Zealand take on the amateur radio passtime of travelling to remote summits (SOTA), islands (IOTA), parks (POTA) for the purpose of radio communication. New Zealand has over 950 public backcountry huts managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and uncounted other private and club huts scattered through the high country. And, lets face it - hauling you radio gear to the nearest DOC hut is cheaper than sailing it to a remote island. And sitting at the table by the fire in a cozy hut is far more comfortable than clinging to some remote mountain summit whist the wind and rain try to destroy your shelter, radio and will to live.

NZParks On The Air: Over 30% of NZ is protected as conservation land - giving us one of the best networks of parks in the world. There are over 12000 out there to activate - so what are you waiting for?

NZIslands On The Air: The lakes and inshore waters of NZ are host to 1511 named islands. Most are accessible by boat or kayak, and a few are even connected to the mainland by bridges and causeways. Take a look and see what's near you - you may be surprised.

Lakes On The Air: NZ hosts 1154 named lakes, many of which are accessible by car or 4WD. Others require challenging walks, or even boat journeys. Lakes on the air has something for everyone. Take a look and see what's near you - you may be surprised. NZART host an award scheme based on the same list of lakes - just be aware that 2 contacts from each lake are required for NZART.

SOTA, POTA, WWFF: Lists and maps of summits and parks for these schemes are also included on this site, but you are encouraged to use the official sites to log activations. You can export your logs from this site to each of these programmes - see under your callsign

So take on the challenge. Test your ability to operate in remote locations with portable, low-power equipment. Or test your ability to work those back country, low power stations at your own home QTH with the challenges of the noisy domestic, urban environment.

The Rules

  1. Contacts and awards belong to the operator, not the callsign. So if you have held multiple personal callsigns, then all resulting contacts are combined (see additional callsigns in your profile to set this up - coming soon!). The Exception is for club calls or shared special-event calls. Contacts made using non-personal callsigns count towards the total for that club or event, not to your personal tally
  2. A single contact either from or to a station opertaing from or adacent to (within 100m of, or at the camping area of) a backcountry hut is all it takes to 'bag' that hut and add it to your tally.
  3. A single contact either from or to a conservation area is all it takes to 'bag' that park and add it to your tally.
  4. A single contact either from (i.e. on the ground on, within the inter-tidal zone of, or on a craft tied to a mooring, wharf, jetty, or anchorage adjacent to) the island. For islands linked to the mainland at low tide, the island's intertidal zone can be considered to start at the half-way point between the mainland and island high-tide mark.
  5. Two contacts from within 500m of a lake is all it takes to 'bag' that lake and add it to your tally. Chasers require just one contact.
  6. You will receive activator points for activating a location once per UTC calendar year. Reactiviating it within the year is a valid activation but will not add to your points.
  7. You will receive chaser points for chasing a location once per UTC calendar day. Contacting another operator at the same location on the same day is a valid contact, but will not add to your chaser points.
  8. The first person to bag a hut, park or island gets bragging rights for having activated that location.
  9. Log your contact to/from a hut, park or island recording (at minimum): time, date, frequency, mode, both callsigns, location of each activating party, and both signal reports.
  10. The competition is open-ended and has no closing date.
  11. Historic (pre 2020) contacts can be included
  12. Huts must be either DOC or club huts or off-grid, back country private huts to qualify.
  13. Islands and Lakes must be in the NZ Geographic Placenames Database from LINZ to qualify.
  14. Parks must either be in the Protected Areas database from LINZ (DOC, local council parks) or listed as regional parks by a regional council.
  15. Parks under 10ha are excluded from the contest
  16. Parks that are 'Marginal strips' (aka Queen's chain riverbank reserves) and 'Local Purpose Reserves' (such as gravel pits, community halls, etc) are excluded from the contest
  17. QRP or QRO - all welcome. It's your call how much radio gear you wish to lug into the backcountry!

Recommended Frequencies

You can use any frequency of mode you wish - including repeater operation. However - the following HF SSB frequencies can be considered 'recommended'. These are the SOTA frequency for each band, with the QRP SSB frequency. See the official unofficial SOTA frequency list for CW, VHF and UHF options

Band SOTA Frequency QRP SSB Frequency
80m 3.585 3.690
40m 7.090 7.285
20m 14.310 14.285
15m 21.300 21.385
10m 28.480 28.385

So what do I do?

First register on the site by clicking 'Sign Up' in the header bar.

Second, record your contacts by clicking on the Add Log button under 'My Logs'

And that's about it. You can add more huts if you want - please email me if you want editor permissions adding to your account - they are disabled by default to prevent mischief. Use the Add button under 'huts'. All DOC-administered parks are currently present on the site. I may try an add council-run regional parks later, if I can find a source for the boundaries. Let me know if there is any specific park you want that is missing.

Contact mattbriggs@yahoo.com with questions.

73s de ZL4NVW

Privacy and security

This is a site dedicated to the sharing of information. With two exceptions, everything you submit to this site is published on the site and will remain freely available for anyone to view: registered members, general unregistered internet users, and yes - bots and crawlers. Do not submit information on this site if you are not happy for it to be publicly available. Logs submitted to this site become part of the official records for the contests and leagues run by ontheair and will be retained in perpetuity as part of those official records. Logs will not be deleted, even if you close you account, as to do so would affect the scores of other users of the site.

The two items that will not pe published and will remain private are:

1) Your password.

Passwords are encrypted in your browser before being sent across the internet. They are stored using one-way encryption in our database and are not available to anyone - even site administrators. However, as with any site, you should not re-use a password you use to keep important information safe (e.g. internet banking)

2) Your email address

Your email address will only be used to send you emails of any topics to which you choose to subscribe, and for allowing you to reset your password. Your email address is encrypted before being sent across the internet. However once in our database if will be visible to administrators on this site. Unregistered users or non-admin site members cannot see or access your email. However, if you are concerned about having your email stored in our database and visible to site adminstrators then please do not enter it - it is an optional field and only used if you wish to receive emailed updates from the site.


Includes icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com licensed by CC 3.0 BY
Includes icons made by surang from www.flaticon.com licensed by CC 3.0 BY
Includes icons made by Dave Gandy from www.flaticon.com
Thanks always to Daniel Azuma for his work and tutorials on RGeo
And to Michael Hartl for his priceless (but no longer free) guide to Ruby on Rails
"This work is based on/includes LINZ’s data which are licensed by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence." - See more at: http://www.linz.govt.nz/linz-copyright