Wirrega silo VK-WRG5

Our final silo of the day (Friday 26th November 2021) was the Wirrega silo VK-WRG5 in the tiny town of Wirrega, about 252 km southeast of Adelaide. We had hoped to activate some more silos but we had run out of time.

Above:- Map showing the location of Wirrega. Map /co Google maps

We turned off the Dukes Highway and travelled along Anderson Road towards the silo. We came across a paddock with a menagerie of animals including a camel.

The Wirrega silos are located on Anderson Road and run alongside the Adelaide-Melbourne railway line.

There isn’t much at Wirrega. Blink and you will miss it. Just a few old houses remain.

Above:- An aerial view of Wirrega. Image c/o Google maps.

Wirrega takes its name from Wirrega pastoral run which was established on the 26th February 1846. Wirrega is an aboriginal name said to mean ‘dwellers in the open forest’.

Above:- Wirrega Homestead. Image c/o SA State Library

The Wirrega Post office opened in 1911. The Wirrega school opened in 1925 and closed in 1946.

Marija and I drove to the other side of railway line to Wurlyana Road and set up our station there. Once again we ran the Yaesu FT857, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

I called CQ and first in the log was Peter VK2DHN, followed by Peter VK3PF, and Brett VK2VW. I logged a total of 7 stations on 40m from VK2 and VK3, before swapping over with Marija.

Marija’s first contact was with Peter Vk3ZPF, followed by Gerard VK2IO, and then Lee VK2LEE. Marija had qualified the silo. Marija went on to log a total of 13 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and New Zealand.

I then called CQ on 14.310 and logged a total of 5 stations from VK2, VK4, and New Zealand.

And finally, to complete the activation, I called CQ on 80m where I logged 7 stations from VK1, VK2, VK3, and VK5. There was zero noise floor on 80m. It was a very quiet location to operate from.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF
  2. VK2IO
  3. VK2LEE
  4. VK2YAK
  5. VK4YAK
  6. Vk4NH
  7. VK2PBC
  8. VK2YW
  9. VK4SMA
  10. ZL4NVW
  11. VK2VW
  12. VK2HFI
  13. VK3AAV

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2DHN
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK2VW
  4. Vk2HFI
  5. VK2YW
  6. VK2YAK
  7. VK4YAK
  8. VK3ZPF

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2VW
  2. VK2HFI
  3. ZL4NVW
  4. VK4NJ
  5. VK2IO

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5WG
  3. VK5IS
  4. VK5CZ
  5. VK3OHM
  6. VK1DA
  7. VK2UH

With a total of 32 stations in the log, it was time for us to head to Bordertown.

After leaving Wirrega, we drove into Bordertown and booked into our motel. As there was still some daylight we had a quick look around Bordertown. Our first stop was the bronze bust of former Australian Prime Minister Robert ‘Bob’ James Lee Hawke which is located outside of the Council Chambers. He was born in Bordertown on the 9th day of December 1929.

The Bordertown Institute is a beautiful building that is directly alongside the Council Chambers. The Institute was built and opened in 1909 and is a Neo-Classical design. It was built to the plans of Architects Davies & Rutt of Adelaide. It operated as a cinema from the 1920s. Known as the Plaza Theatre prior to 1951, it continued to operate as a cinema until about 1957.

We then strolled a short distance to view the childhood home of Bob Hawke. He lived in the home until 1935. The building was built by the National Bank in 1884 and they conducted business there until the branch closed in June 1885. It was then purchased by the Congregational Church as a manse in 1897. Clem A Hawke was the Minister from 1928 to 1935. It ceased to be a manse in 1976.

We also had a look at the Memorial clock which was erected by the District Council of Tatiara in ‘appreciative recognition of the outstanding work of Alfred William Murray in the inauguration and expansion of electricity services in this district from 1922 to 1958’.

We also stopped to have a look at the old Bordertown railway station. The station was built in 1914 with stone which was railed from the property of Jim Watson at Cannawigra. Sadly this majestic old building sits idle and is unused.

The Border Chronicle building in Bordertown was built in 1908.

We then headed back to the motel and enjoyed our Chinese takeaway meal. I sat back and watched the movie Independence Day (for about the 5th time) which even mentions “ham radio operators from new York and Japan are participating in an effort to launch a counter-attack”.

Image c/o Wikipedia

Morse code even gets a mention in the movie.


  1. Cinema Treasurers, 2021, <http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/35442>, viewed 2nd December 2021.
  2. Tatiara Visitor Guide, 2021

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