Mount Kaukau

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Mount Kaukau, (/kk/; Māori pronunciation: [koukou]) also known as Tarikākā, is in Wellington, New Zealand on the western side of the Wellington harbour near Johnsonville and Khandallah. The summit is 445 metres above sea level and is the most visible high point in the Wellington landscape further accentuated by Wellington's main television transmitter tower the Kordia TV transmitter mast, which stands 122m tall. There is also a compass pedestal placed at the top. The city, harbour and the Rimutaka and Tararua Ranges can be viewed from the summit. On a clear day Mt. Tapuaeoenuku and the Bryant Range in the South Island may be seen, whilst northwest is the Porirua Basin and the expanse of the Tasman Sea. Mount Kaukau is also a field trip for primary schools.[citation needed]

Name[edit]

The old name Tarikākā means 'where the parrots rested' and is shared with the nearby settlement in Ngaio at the base of the mountain.[1] Before the clearing of the native Totara forest on the slopes and general area, the native parrot kākā was common through the city. Over a hundred years later today, the population of kākā has begun to regenerate thanks mostly to the efforts at Zealandia,[2] and are becoming a more regular sight throughout the city and in the rejuvenating native forest on the slopes of Mount Kaukau.

Slopes and surrounding area[edit]

Much of the eastern 'city side' slopes of Mount Kaukau make up Khandallah Park, which is one of the oldest parks in New Zealand, established in 1888 and then registered as a domain in 1909.[3] Khandallah Park has more than 60 hectares of native forest and 9 kilometres of walking tracks. Native birds such as the kereru, tui and fantail are common sights when walking through the native forest. Stumps of the old totara trees can also be seen walking through the first lower parts of the forest. In mid 2017 an old bunker off Woodmancote Road, at the base of Mount Kaukau, was rediscovered after it had been sealed off and forgotten many years previously.[4] The bunker in an 'H' shape, had been built for Royal New Zealand Signals Corps in 1942. Due to poor construction the bunker was very leaky and was never used. Mount Kaukau forms part of the Northern Skyline track from Johnsonville to Karori and Makara.

Transmitter[edit]

Close-up of the Mount Kaukau television transmitter

The 122-metre Mount Kaukau television transmitter was built in 1965 to transmit television channel WNTV1 offering improved coverage over the channel's previous transmitter at Mount Victoria.[5] Today it is the main television and FM radio transmitter for the Wellington metropolitan area.

Transmission Frequencies[edit]

The following table contains television and radio frequencies currently operating at Mount Kaukau:[6]

TV Channel Transmit Channel Transmit Frequency Band Power (kW)
Sky digital 30 546.00 MHz UHF 40
MediaWorks digital 32 562.00 MHz UHF 40
TVNZ digital 34 578.00 MHz UHF 40
Kordia digital 36 594.00 MHz UHF 40
Maori Television digital 38 610.00 MHz UHF 40
Radio Station Transmit Channel Transmit Frequency Band Power (kW)
Newstalk ZB 89.3 MHz VHF 40
The Hits 90.1 MHz VHF 40
ZM 90.9 MHz VHF 80
The Edge 91.7 MHz VHF 80
RNZ Concert 92.5 MHz VHF 80
Radio Hauraki 93.3 MHz VHF 40
The Breeze 94.1 MHz VHF 40
Coast 95.7 MHz VHF 4
The Rock 96.5 MHz VHF 16
The Sound 97.3 MHz VHF 16
Radio Live 98.9 MHz VHF 2
More FM 99.7 MHz VHF 40
Mai FM 100.5 MHz VHF 2
Radio New Zealand National 101.3 MHz VHF 8
Niu FM 103.7 MHz VHF 8
George FM 104.5 MHz VHF 2
105.3FM Wellington 105.3 MHz VHF 2

Former analogue television frequencies[edit]

The following frequencies were used until 29 September 2013, when Kaukau switched off analogue broadcasts (see Digital changeover dates in New Zealand).

TV Channel Transmit Channel Transmit Frequency Band Power (kW)
TV One 1 45.25 MHz VHF 200
Four 2 55.25 MHz VHF 10
TV2 5 182.25 MHz VHF 1000
TV3 11 224.25 MHz VHF 320
Māori Television 44 655.25 MHz UHF 200
Prime 60 783.25 MHz UHF 200

Kaukau Challenge[edit]

Every year Khandallah School, which is at the base of Mount Kaukau, organises a fun walk / fun run from the school to the summit and back, called the Kaukau Challenge. The Kaukau Challenge has been an annual event since 2006 with about 500 people taking part each year.[who?]Coordinates: 41°14′00″S 174°46′39″E / 41.2332°S 174.7776°E / -41.2332; 174.7776

Snowfall of 2011[edit]

In mid-August 2011, two Wellington men, Nick Fone and Daniel McFadyen claimed to be the first people to ski and snowboard down Mount Kaukau when they took advantage of the unusual weather pattern delivering snow to most parts of the North Island.[7] As Wellington has a temperate climate, snow down to near sea level is extremely rare, happening less often than once every 15 years.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wellington places - Northern suburbs - Mt Kaukau". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. March 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2017. 
  2. ^ "Zealandia ends its monitoring of kaka numbers as population thrives". Stuff.co.nz. April 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Skyline Track - Khandallah Park" (PDF). Wellington City Council. October 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Revealed: the wartime communications bunker hidden in Wellington bush". Stuff.co.nz. August 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2017. 
  5. ^ "Skyline Track via Johnsonville and Karori" (PDF). Wellington City Council. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "New Zealand Television Tramsmission Stations in Operation -- North Island" (PDF). Kordia. March 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Midnight run at Mt Kaukau". Stuff.co.nz. August 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2017.