Ranui Cove Coastwatchers Hut (WAP NZL-Ø9)

Ranui Station (aka North Hut-Ranui lookout hut) located at Port Ross on  Auckland Island at 50°32’3Ø” South, 166°15’4Ø” East was maintained by a Team of 4-5 men from 1941 until 3 June, 1945. The first recruits came from the NZ Post & Telegraph Service, but from 1942 scientists were included. Various scientific work took place from wildlife research to detailed meteorological observations. During 1944-45, a survey party led by Flight Commander Allan Eden undertook the first full topographical survey of the Auckland Island group. The complex, included a base hut, ancillary huts, long drops, radio masts, landing areas, and tracks hidden in the rata forest, out of sight from the sea. The hut itself is located just below the ridge above the base and provides a clear view of all the entrances to Port Ross. At first, private messages were restricted to bereavement or other urgent matters, but later each man was allowed to send and receive two personal messages annually. The only news of the outside world was that heard over standard domestic radio, and other morse code transmissions picked up by the radio operators.

The remains of the Old Ranui Station is located on the outer reaches of Port Ross, hidden in the back of a small cove.

ZL9/K8VIR  &  ZL9DX did operate from Ranui Cove (WAP NZL-Ø9)  in the year 1997 …. Maybe it’s time for some others DX-peditionners to try again, isn’t it?

Thanks and credit to:  Second World War lookout huts (doc.govt.nz)

A bit more of history;
During the Second World War, the New Zealand War Cabinet were concerned enemy ships might anchor in the subantarctic islands where each harbour could have been a potential refuge for enemy vessels,  and actioned the “Cape Expedition”.
The Cape Expedition program was to build three Stations to keep watch for enemy vessels; two on Auckland Island and one on Campbell Island. The coastwatchers were stationed at each for 12 months at a time and were to contact New Zealand by radio if any vessels were seen.  Prefabricated 3m square huts of weatherboard construction with bitumen roofs were shipped to the Auckland Island in 1941. One was built at Port Ross in the North and the other at Carnley Harbour on the South end of the island.
Radio contact was kept to a minimum to avoid detection, and transmissions were largely in morse code. Contact was made with the other stations and the Awarua mainland radio station every 24 hours. This was increased to two plus a weather schedule in 1942, and then four from 1943. If enemy ships were sighted personnel were to alert the mainland by radio, and retreat to emergency huts.