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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 1. 6th March 1974

What is North West Cape?

What is North West Cape?

North West Cape is simply a gigantic radio station which relays messages from command posts in the US to submarines, ships and overseas bases throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Its main feature is the giant VLF transmitter with an antenna which is the highest structure in the southern hemisphere—almost 1300 feet. This two million watt transmitter is mainly concerned with sending commands to missile and other nuclear submarines. Nearby is the diesel generating plant for the transmitters, an 18 megawatt installation consuming 4.8 million tons of oil a year, brought to it by tankers berthing at the bases's own 1100 foot wharf.

About five miles away is the high frequency transmitter area and headquarters and 36 miles away is the high frequency receiver area. These two sites together are a giant size version of the Naval Communication unit at Christchurch—Weedons with dozens of antennae and transmitters relaying voices, teleprinter and facsimile messages. It is known that some Christchurch—Weedons radio traffic is routed through North West Cape. It is believed that some of these antennae are operated on behalf of the US National Security Agency eavesdropping on other countries' radio traffic.

Nearby is the military airfield—nearly two miles long, sealed three feet thick, long enough to take Orion antisubmarine aircraft, F111's, USAF Starlifters from Christchurch Airport, and giant C5A Galixies from Guam.

Altogether the base covers 17,900 acres in three distinct areas, all "restricted" but mostly unfenced—hitherto its isolation has been sufficient to protect it from Australian wrath.

Application Form I............................................................... Of This Address.................... And Phone Number........................................................................ Wish To Participate In The Long March.........Quick March............. I Qualify For The $125 Stb Return Fare........................................ I'M Afraid I Might Have To Pay $138 "Epic" Fare........................... I Need/Don'T Need Somewhere To Stay In Sydney I Wish To Depart From Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch I Wish To Book My Return Flight From Sydney To Auckland/ Wellington/ Christchurch On. (Date) I Enclose A Deposit Of $40. Important To Qualify For Cheap Rates This Application Plus Deposit Must Reach Cafmanz By March 15, And Preferably Earlier. Balance Of Airfare Plus Busfare Must Be Paid Before Departure From New Zealand. Send This Application To: Cafmanz P.O. Box 2258. Christchurch.