2009 National System Award
Department of Conservation property listing. For this award we do need to identify the location being offered.
I would suggest that we avoid trying to identify Marginal Strips etc.
I have been advised that this list may not be complete and or 100% accurate and that we are able to use it with that understanding.
This is a very long list of 11609 items and if sorted by the Order field the listing falls into conservancy areas.
ďConservation property listingĒ
Another challenge placed on the table. The National System Awards have been great fun in the past and with the addition of the DOC gathering, this years award will offer additional opportunities for operators to get out and about.
Number 1 challenge... ask DOC where their parks and reserves are!!!!! All I wanted was a list of DOC parks and reserves close to SH1 between Christchurch and Auckland. An easy ask I thought but those who may have the information are away on holiday so you get the... look at our web site or or ah um try err ah try Terralink. Well at $1500 for the South Island CD and another $1500 for the North Island CD I think not. Ring the local Council... not the brightest idea either!
So, get in your car, collect the grandkids and drive around looking for those green and yellow signs... but be aware, not everything green and yellow is a DOC area
nor is every DOC area identified by a green and yellow sign.
We did a few trips around, one after a trip to Kelly Tarlton's
we drove around the coast from the city to Ness Vally where
you find the DOC Mataitai Forest Reserve. Only a 9 year old boy like Jordan will find the wasps nest under the first step of the sty. Meanwhile, Anais walked around taking photos of clouds and bees and flowers and things that she found interesting.
Then I had a trip to Waioru from Auckland and I decided to drive via Taumarunui and National Park then back via SH1.
There were many DOC reserves and parks along the way but DOC had no consideration for us Amateur Radio operators who would like to work through the National System from those areas. No... DOC placed many at the bottom of gorges or where that was not possible they found areas that had hills on all 4 sides! Luckily this is not the situation everywhere and during that trip, was able to make contact with others from reserves.
The trip from Waioru back to Auckland was not as good as I could not access the Taupo repeater and I missed all the pools, rivers, parks and reserves controlled by DOC along the way. That was all the way to Tokoroa. Tokoroa, a great place that I shall remember for a long time, for it was here that I found the coax connector end of the aerial lying on the floor in the back of the vehicle. Once connected I was able to make a few more contacts for the remainder of the trip.
More recently I took two of my grandkids to MOTAT and then on a drive up to the Waitakere Ranges for a walk in a DOC reserve. We had a fun walk down to the Mokoroa Falls that are within the area called Goldies Bush.
Again, for kids who were not all that eager to go for a walk we all enjoyed ourselves and I had to lay down the law when it came time to leave, both wanting to stay longer.
Thursday 29th January and a flight to Christchurch and the drive back to Auckland offered me a terrific opportunity to gather and offer even more DOC contacts. The first challenge I presented myself was to leave Auckland without my wallet! Son Gareth did say not to use the drive through lanes at McDonalds etcÖ pity he didnít remind me about my wallet! Not to worry, the bank was very good and I was soon on the way to collect the high roof Transit van.
The trip north started with a 50km drive south to the Rakaia River to be within the Ashburton 01 area. I completed a number of contacts there and was soon on the way back north. The rivers in the South Island are different to those in the North Island. The SI ones are very wide but they forgot to put the water in!!
As I drove north I made several contacts driving through branch areas and from DOC sites.
I stopped at many DOC sited along the coast but they were tucked in small bays etc making it impossible for my mobile station to access the National System and some of those are shown below.
I heard from Dave ZL1BCA and Topsy ZL2LS who were heading to Matfells Beach to meet up with friends for an extended weekend camping. I was invited in for coffee and the opportunity to work from the Marfells DOC site. Great little site, right on the coast looking out towards the North Island.
I was planning to visit some of the DOC areas in the White Cliffs / Cloudy Bay region but time was moving on and I still had some distance to drive to get to Picton and the Motel Manager who was waiting for me.
I was up at 4.00am the next morning for the 5.45am ferry sailing. I arrived at the marshalling yard and checked in. The ferry had arrived from Wellington and was unloading the cars, trucks and railway wagons. Soon it was our turn and all those waiting in lines were given the green light to proceed up the ramp and onto the ferry. The trip across the Cook Strait was uneventful with slight to moderate seas.
As we approached Wellington Harbour I was able to get a few more good shots of Baring Head lighthouse and surroundings. As we moved into the harbour entrance I took some more shots of both the upper and lower Pencarrow Lighthouses. Inside the harbour, Somes Island lighthouse was also captured. These are all DOC areas but just a little far away for this Award.
Wellington to Auckland. This was a drive that offered lots of DOC sites and also many NZART Branch areas. I took the State Highway 1 route with many detours along the way.
The area from Wellington to the Desert Road offered a steady suppy od DOC locations but from just short of Turangi through to Taupo it was a feast. There are pools, rivers, parks, reserves, recreation and research sites every few kms.
It was only a pity that the Taupo National System link was off for most of that trip for me.
Closer to Taupo I heard DTMF tones and then Taupo repeater link was full scale. That said, I still worked from the remainder of those sites I saw and Iím sure that I would have still missed others.
Wow, Iíve just had a call on the National System from Jack ZL1IJ who is at the Top of the Bruce ski lift on Mt Ruapehu and will be working his way back to Auckland. Lets hope he is able to add to our lists.
North of Taupo for my trip was the Huka Falls another DOC area. Copy from the car park was good into the system.
DOC areas north of the Huka Falls became scarce and the trip home was contacts from NZART Branch locations only. A drive up the lookout at Tokoroa and then SH27 and home.
Tuesday 3rd February was another short trip to Hamilton and back. I set off just after 3pm for a car auction that started at 6.pm Lots of time to get a couple of the Waikato Wetlands lakes and swamps in the log.
On the way south I called into Lake Ohinewai and then on to Lake Hotoanang. This was interesting in getting to this lake, I drove into and through was is or was a MAF station. Through the gate and down past several army bunkers there from the days the army had a presence just north of Ngaruawahia. I expect that this MAF station was also there for the army.
When the auction had finished I went on to Lake Rotoroa in Hamilton. I then returned to Auckland via 4 other lakes that are part of the Waikato Wetlands conservation area. There are 40 on the map I downloaded and a couple more I may visit on another trip south.
Wednesday 4th February and I called into the Papakura District Council to chat with Neil Munro. Neil comes to the Inter-Service Bowls evening we have once a year. (none of us can bowl!)
Neil turned the screen of the computer around so we could both see and flicked through the maps identifying DOC land, parks and reserves within the Papakura district. There were 8 that we found very quickly and of those, only one that I knew of. Now how funny is it that you find the area of bush alongside and with a common fence to my property is DOC land. Yes, Margans Bush is DOC land, as is the Red Hill Scenic Reserve, Massey Park and the Drury Domain among others.
The original Kirks Bush is on the North East of Great South Road in Papakura across the road from what is now has that name. The original area of bush is now named Butterworth Block. As someone else said, we are all learning something about our areas and the country with this years NSA.
Steve Jepson ZL2KG sent me these pics of his trip to a couple of DOC sites on Sunday 8th February 2009.
Driving north from Palmerston North into the Manawatu Gorge, Steve found the DOC sign above and put out a call on the National System. Being a weekend, there were a good number of replies and after all calls were completed, Steve moved on for his meeting scheduled for the early afternoon.
Later that afternoon. Steve drove up to the Wharite National System site. The pics above and below show the size of the aerial tower and the DOC information board.
Steve is one of a number of Amateurs who have enjoyed participating in the 2009 National System Award and gone to sites so he and others can make contacts into those areas and often we have enjoyed some additional information about these Crown Land areas.
Tuesday 10th February and off on another flight to Christchurch and a drive back to Auckland
Been there .. done that. Yes, but this time I knew where some of the DOC sites were and tried a little harder to work from the areas... sometimes succeeding. The flight down had its normal incident. I remembered my phone and my wallet and also took the keys to my vehicle parked on the road that Gareth was to put away for me overnight!
Arriving in Christchurch, a Taxi trip across town, collect the Holden Rodeo and off north to Picton and the ferry to Wellington.
Along the way I stopped off at a very dry looking river crossing and was rewarded with a good number of blackberries from vines alongside the river. In this dry weather the South Island rivers are very dry.
Approaching Kaikoura I took a detour up to the lookout and while misty, took some pics of that costal area. Further along there are DOC sites and Wildlife Reserves on Islands just off shore and home to hundreds of birds. I didnít see any seals along the coast but Iím sure that they are not that far away, maybe in some of the more secluded bays away from passing tourists etc.
I caught the Wairau Lagoons and wetlands on the way north north of Matfells Beach where I had visited earlier
I missed the turn to Cloudy Bay and more DOC sites but did have time to cruise around the Picton waterfront and found a Marine Reserve. The ferry was to depart at 10.25pm and I was in the staging area the hour prior to that. Finally onboard I had a quick dinner and settled down for a quick nap. Itís not easy to get comfortable sitting /lying between two low backed lounge chairs. Bag and blow up pillow in one with legs over the back of the other chair. Itís funny where you can sleep when you are tired!.
The ferry arrived in Wellington just after 1.00 am and as I was the 5th onto the ferry, I was the 5th to get off and was soon heading up the Ngauranga Gorge on my way to Auckland. There was no advantage in trying for the National System Award at 1.00am with the Packet forwarding on the system squawking away. (I wonder if this packet forwarding will move to computer/internet with local access via radio link??) I drove as far as Waioru before I decided I needed a nap. Well timed as I was now just short National Park and all those DOC sites around Taupo and I was under way shortly after 6.15am.
There are a lot of fishing ponds along the Tongariro River and other rivers that flow into Lake Taupo. I was able to access the National System through the Taupo repeater and coverage was excellent from Turangi right through Taupo and nearly to Atiamuri.
I called in at the Huka Falls again to make sure the water was still flowing.... yes at 270 cubic meters per second plus or minus. In light flow the falls are 7 meters high and when all out the falls are 9.5 meters high.
A quick stop off in Tokoroa for a contact and Auckland was top of the list for me. I arrived at work just after 11.00am and within 24 hours of my departure. A long day indeed.
Thursday the 12th was a good day for the award. While talking to Dave ZL2BCA who was arranging a trip to Reefton/Buller for the award from Nelson his friend Dave ZL2DCS called in to say he was mobile and would be at his property within a couple of hours. Dave was staying there over the next few days and has agreed to come up on the National System at 4.00pm for Award contacts. Most of us took advantage of his first check-in and worked him that day.
Tuesday 17th February
Fin, ZL4HI on his trip away from home QTH of Hamilton took the extra step to put Southland Branch 37 on air for the National System Award. While not everyone was available on the day, many of us were lucky enough to catch up with Fin during his brief visit to NZART's southern most branch.
Thursday 19th February
Fred, ZL1FAV was on a trip north and called in to the DOC Ti Point Reserve area from where he made many contacts for the National System Award. Ti Point is North East of Warkworth and a little south of Leigh on the coast.
Sunday 22nd February
This trip away was to put Mercury Bay, Branch 85 on the National System Award. After several attempts to have locals come up but it meant a trip up the hill to be able to access either Klondyke in Auckland or Mt Edgecumbe further around in the Bay of Plenty. All these attempts failed so on Sunday... I gathered up two of the grandkids and off we went. Starting after work at 4pm was not the best idea but we enjoyed "I spy" on the way there and back, a play in the Thames playground (great equipment) and just over a 6 hour round trip. The National System was good copy most of the way up the coast. Ha.. we missed the turnoff to Coroglen and continued all the way to Coromandel turning off onto Highway 25 and driving right up to the top of the range. There is a good lookout at the top in the Maungataururu Scenic Reserve with views of both the Coromandel on the west of the Pensiluar and Matarangi and the islands to the east. The signal into Klondyke was good and I had 16 contacts in total from that site. The trip back was a little slower as the kids wanted to stop at that Thames playground. The only thing I didn't do was to take my camera so the kids think we will need to go back for some pics!
Monday 23rd February
As the award nears the last days there has been more activity from some operators venturing out into areas needed by others. Today we had Terry ZL1BPA during a work related trip, take detours around the Waikato giving out Thames and branches in the eastern Waikato while Graham ZL1GTB and his wife took a trip to the Raglan area and worked from there and other southern Waikato areas offering Branch contacts and DOC sites. National System coverage is always difficult while mobile with shading of repeaters by hills and dips in the terrain and at times DOC sites are just not able to be offered through lack of access to the National System repeaters.
More to follow before the 28th February 2009 and the conclusion of the National System Award for 2009.