Find your VK Shire, activators!

When out activating a SOTA summit or a VKFF park you may be asked “What shire are you in“? Far from home without an encyclopædic knowledge of shire boundaries this can be difficult to answer. One may have passed a shire sign on the way to the activation, but with all the council amalgamations and name changes not even these can be relied upon.

So, a more modern method of identifying the shire is needed.
Luckily there are online resources that help identify the shire you are in.
All you need to know is your location.
Recipes for each state and territory follow (where available).

Harden Shire Yass Valley Council sign Bobborra Road between Binalong and Galong

Council signs can’t always be relied upon: Harden is merging into Hilltops Shire

NSW

Go to this web site: http://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/find-my-council
There is a text box labelled:  Address (required)
Sure, you can type in your street address.
More usefully, you can put in a GPS coordinate!
The site will then give you the name of your shire. The format accepted is latitude then comma then longitude in decimal degrees. The latitude will be a negative number for VK. Look these up with a mobile phone app such as GP Status on Android or on SOTAwatch for the summit you’re activating.

VIC

Go to this web site: https://knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au
There is a search box that will accept your suburb. Unfortunately it will not accept a GPS coordinate. Instead use the Use my location link and when prompted ALLOW access to your location on your mobile device.

QLD

Online place name search here:
https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/qld/environment/land/place-names/search

Clickable overview map here:
http://www.bettercouncils.net.au/find-your-council

SA

Go to this web site: http://www.lga.sa.gov.au/councils
Enter your suburb to look up the shire.

TAS

No online lookup. Listing of shires by postcode and town name here:
http://www.lgat.tas.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Localities_By_Council_0905.pdf

WA

Go to this web site: http://walga.asn.au/
Enter your suburb to look up the shire.

NT

No online lookup found. Rough maps here:
https://nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/206244/council-boundaries-basic-map.pdf

ACT

All one shire with code AC1.


Shire Code

Once you have the name of the shire, the three character shire code can be found in the Shire Info page here: http://www.parksnpeaks.org/showShire.php

Alternately in the spreadsheet in the Files section of the VK Shires facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/544877775683852/files/

Look for the “vk shires” file with the .xls type. The spreadsheet has tabs for each state containing all of the shires and their three character codes. It may not be possible to read this file on a mobile device, so in that case share the load and ask the chaser to do it for you from their nice warm shack!


Spotting

Another way to find the shire code is from the ParksnPeaks site. You can self-spot for the shire you’re activating and in the process pull in all those Shires chasers. Just launch:
http://www.parksnpeaks.org/addSpot.php

Choose VK Shires as the class of activation
then in SubCat choose your state and after pressing Next you’ll be in the Shires Spot page. Choose the name of your shire from the list under Activating Shire then put in your call and QRG. Press Next and the spot will be launched into cyberspace.
You’ll end up at the VK Shires Status page with your activation listed at the top. Your shire code can be read from the details of the activation. This is probably quicker than downloading and looking up the spreadsheet!

So, go out and activate a shire the next time you activate for SOTA or VKFF!
And you might start asking chasers “What shire are you in?”