Kapunda silo VK-KPA5

On Wednesday 26th April 2023, I headed up to Kapunda in the Mid-North of South Australia to visit a cousin. I decided that whilst up there I would activate a number of silos for the Silos On The Air (SiOTA) program.

My first silo for the day was the Kapunda silo VK-KPA5. Kapunda is about 84 km north of the city of Adelaide.

Above:- Map showing the location of Kapunda. Map c/o Google Maps.

Kapunda is a small town that was established in 1842 following the discovery of significant copper deposits. The town is located on the Light River, named after Colonel William Light, the first Surveyor General of South Australia.

The southern entrance to Kapunda is dominated by Map Kernow ‘the son of Cornwall’, an 8-metre tall statue of a traditional Cornish miner. The statue was erected in 1988 and in 2006 it was destroyed by fire but has been rebuilt.

Kapunda is known for being the home of Sir Sidney Kidman (b. 1859. d. 1935), a major cattle pastoralist. At one stage Kidman owned 68 properties which had a total area larger than the British Iels. Kidman held annual horse sales at Kapunda where up to 3,000 horses were sold each week.

In 1921, his property Eringa was donated to the South Australian Education Department and it was used as the administration building at the Kaounda High School. In March 2022 it was gutted by fire.

I drove to the Kapunda lookout at the end of West Street and enjoyed the great view of this historic little town.

Kapunda has a number of historic buildings and a beautiful main street which I wandered up and down for a little while before heading to the silo.

And of course, no visit to Kapunda is complete, unless you visit the Kapunda historic mine site. This was Australia’s first commercially successful copper mine.

In 1842 copper ore outcrops were discovered in the Kapunda area by Francis Dutton and Charles Bagot, who both ran sheep in the district. A total of 80 acres was purchased around the outcrop and mining commenced in early 1844 following good assay reports. Copper was mined until 1879. Quarries located near the town also provided fine marble ranging from dark blue to white. This was used to face Parliament House in Adelaide.

Above:- Francis Dutton (left) and Charles Bagot (right). Image sc/o Wikipedia.

The Kapunda silos are located on the southern side of Hancock Road in the town. It is located on the old section of the Morgan (North-West bend) railway line built in 1860 to service the copper mining at Kapunda.

I parked directly opposite the silos. There was a little bit of noise on the bands, as I was in the middle of the town. I operated from the 4WD, running the Icom IC-7000, 100 watts, and the Codan 9350 antenna (1.5 m stainless steel whip). The highlight of this activation was working Doug VK9LF on Lord Howe Island.

Above:- The activation zone at the Kaunda silo. Image c/o SiOTA website.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK5MAZ
  2. VK2MOE/m
  3. VK5GY
  4. VK3ZSC
  5. VK3SQ
  6. VK5HS
  7. VK3GJG
  8. VK5MRS
  9. VK3PF
  10. VK5YP
  11. VK2HO
  12. VK5FANA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4HAT
  2. VK7XX
  3. VK3PF
  4. ZL4NVW/p (ZLFF-0077)
  5. ZL1BQD/p
  6. VK9LF
  7. VK2DA
  8. ZL3RIK


  1. Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapunda>, viewed 16th May 2023.
  2. Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_River_(South_Australia)>, viewed 16th May 2023.

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