Makara Radio

Makara Radio was established by the New Zealand Post Office in 1944 in hilly country 11 miles west of the Wellington General Post Office. The station was closed in 1996 and now lies in ruins.

Makara Radio receiving station. Date unknown.

Makara Radio receiving station. Date unknown. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Makara Radio was a receiving station. It complemented the transmitting station at Himatangi near Foxton.

AM (later single sideband) operations for these stations were controlled from the Overseas Radiotelephone Terminal at the Central Telephone Exchange in Wellington, while radiotelegraph was controlled from the Radiotelegraph and Cables Terminal at the Wellington Post Office.

As well, the main receivers for the coast station Wellington Radio ZLW were located at Makara, due to the high noise level in urban Wellington. Back up receivers were installed at ZLW in case the link from Makara failed.

The Makara Radio property covered 2300 acres, much of which was taken up by the extensive aerial arrays necessary for directional reception from various parts of the world.

Makara Radio in 1944

Makara Radio in 1944

Feedlines from the new vee aerials at Makara Radio receiving station in 1960

Feedlines from the new vee aerials at Makara Radio receiving station in 1960. Courtesy Chris Underwood

The following information is from a NZ Post Office engineering lecture for trainee radio engineers. The document, dated January 1960, is courtesy Chris Underwood.

1960 description of Makara Radio

Makara Radio receiving station. Date unknown.

Makara Radio. Date unknown. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Tower for vee aerials at Makara Radio. Date unknown.

Tower for vee aerials at Makara Radio. Date unknown. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Staff quarters at Makara Radio. Date unknown.

Staff quarters at Makara Radio. Date unknown. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Technicians' quarters, Makara Radio. Date unknown.

Technicians’ quarters at Makara Radio. Date unknown. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Frequency measurement at Makara Radio. Date unknown.

Frequency measurement at Makara Radio. L-R: Ron Picking, George Askey, Merv Aked (Radio Engineer). Date unknown, but no earlier than 1955 which was the first year of production for the Redifon R50M receiver seen at the top left. Courtesy Chris Underwood

» Makara Radio 1944-1959