Monarto South VK-MNH5 – Silos On The Air

My second silo for the day was Monarto South VK-MNH5. The silo is located about 68 km south-east of Adelaide.

Above:- Map showing the location of Monarto South. Map c/o Google maps

The locality of Monarto was originally a private subdivision of section 210 of the Hundred of Monarto, from which it took its name. The hundred having been gazetted in 1847, and named after an aboriginal woman ‘Queen Monarto’ who lived in the area at the time the town was proclaimed. In 1908 the township of Monarto was laid out.

Above:- Article from the South Australian (Adelaide) Friday 3 Dec 1847. Image c/o Trove

I found the following article about ‘Queen Monarto’ on Trove from The Chonicle (Adelaide) dated 29th November 1934.

Above:- c/o Trove

Today, Monarto South is quite a booming industrial area. It also is home to the Monarto Safari Park, which is the largest open-range safari experience outside of Africa.

In 1970 the Premier of South Australia, Don Dunstan, announced a satelitte city of Adelaide to be established at Monarto. This was due to concerns that Adelaide would become overpopulated due to high rates of birth and immigration which took place during the 1960s. An expansion of the city to the south and north would impose on the wine production areas of the Southern Vales and Barossa.

There were a number of factors why the development of Monarto did not proceed. The main one being that the population growth was much smaller than predicted. Economic failure and suspicion from various interest groups also resulted in the collapse of the Monarto project.

The silos at Monarto are working silos and are owned by Viterra. In December 2020, Viterra’s Monarto South site set a new record for total grain received during a single harvest. The previous record dated back to 2016-2017 when South Australia’s farmers brought in the biggest harvest ever.

The main railway line between Adelaide and Melbourne runs right alongside of the silos. In October 1919, Monarto South became a junction station with the opening of the Sedan line (to the north). After standardisation of the line, the station was demolished. The old station building can be found at the Old Tailem Town Pioneer Village at Tailem Bend. Trucks now transport grain from the silos.

As this is a working silo I could not get into the yard as such, so I parked on Ferries McDonald Road, right alongside of the railway line and adjacent to the silos. I called CQ on 7.150 and this was answered by Peter VK3PF, followed by Brett VK2VW, and then Marija VK5MAZ. I had qualified the silo with 3 contacts.

I went on to work a total of 11 stations on 40m from VK1, VK3, VK3, VK4, and VK5. before callers dried up. I then moved to 80m where I logged 4 stations: Peter VK3PF, Marija VK5MAZ, Peter VK5VK, and Ian VK5IS.

I then moved back to 40m and logged three Park activators: Stuart VK3UAO/p in the You Yangs Regional Park VKFF-0982, and Bob VK2BYF & Gerald VK2HBG who were both in the Murramarang National Park VKFF-0371.

To complete the activation I went to 20m where I logged Matt ZL4NVW in new Zealand.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK2VW
  3. VK5MAZ
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK4HNS
  6. VK1DI
  7. VK2MU
  8. VK3AWA
  9. VK2HHA
  10. VK7ME
  11. VK5VK
  12. VK3UAO/p (You Yangs National Park VKFF-0982)
  13. VK2BYF/p (Murramarang National Park VKFF-0371)
  14. VK2HBG/p (Murramarang National Park VKFF-0371)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK5MAZ
  3. VK5VK
  4. VK5IS

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. ZL4NVW


  1. Wikipedia, 2021, <,_South_Australia>, viewed 13th July 2021.
  2. Wikipedia, 2021. <,_South_Australia>, viewed 13th July 2021.
  3. Wikipedia, 2021, <>, viewed 13th July 2021.

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