SOTA began in New Zealand in December 2015 with the North Island coming on line, and 6 months later the South Island joined. With over 5000 valid summits available for activation in New Zealand there sure is something for everyone. So what is SOTA? It is arguably the 3rd largest amateur radio award program in the world (following DXCC and IOTA) for amateur enthusiasts. But it is more than just an award. It is an excuse to bust out of the shack and take your radio outdoors. To set up an adhoc station, make contact with kindrid spirits, take in the fresh mountain air and enjoy the views.

  • SOTA is the true test of "can I communicate with others with no prepared infrastructure" - handy if you are into disaster comms.
  • SOTA is the ultimate in outdoor radio - it often involves hiking up hills and mountains
  • SOTA is great for fitness – the summits usually involve some sort of climb
  • SOTA has the best (and worst) shacks – with spectacular views

SOTA has a keen following in New Zealand, and we often partake in activity days to maximise our chances of collecting elusive summit to summit contacts. SOTA has one of the best internet support infrastructure so that you can track your award progress and set your own personal challenges, with a wealth of information available online. In ZL we often use a Facebook group to communicate between other SOTAteers – search zl-sota. Come join in the fun.

Useful links


Warren Harris,
ZL SOTA Region manager.