47° South

Located at the south-east corner of Asia-Pacific, 11 kilometres from the city of Invercargill, Awarua has been famous since 1913 when a maritime radio station was built there. Now it serves the space sector, being an ideal location for LEOP and TT&C ground stations.

Built in 2008 with the French Space Agency for the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 ATV campaigns, Awarua is now also the home for ESOC, Planet Labs, SpaceFlight and others’ equipment. 

Awarua is bounded by the extensive Ramsar recognized Waituna Wetlands to the south and east; Foveaux Straight and the Tasman Sea is a short distance to the west; and pastoral farms lie to the north where the population density is approximately 1.5 people per square kilometre. Beyond the wetlands are Bluff Harbour and the Southern Ocean: the next landfall is Antarctica.

Road, air and sea transport are conveniently close and the Awarua station enjoys reliable fibre-optic cable connectivity to the rest of the world. 


You can establish your own permanent antennas and electronics on over 30 ha of land, or use existing facilities especially designed for hosting temporary LEOP ground stations. The horizon profile for all sites is less than 3° elevation and in most directions is less than 2° elevation. 

The existing land-use consent allows for erection of antennas up to 11 metres. Larger antennas can be accommodated.

Easy to do business

New Zealand has one of the most open business operating regimes in the World: in 2015, the World Bank ranked New Zealand second in its 189-nation Doing Business rankings. New Zealand rates third in Forbes’ Best Country for Business report of December 2014 and ranked the second least corrupt country in the world on Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perception Index

You will find it very straightforward to establish your facilities in New Zealand.


A fibre-optic cable links Awarua to Invercargill, from where route-diverse fibre-optic cables connect to the rest of the world. Circuits with speeds up to several gigabits per second can be ordered. For complete reliability, a digital microwave backup link connects Awarua to Invercargill.

Use your own ISP, or take advantage of one of the local service providers who understand ground station requirements.

Engineering Support

Professional engineers and skilled technicians, riggers and IT specialists based in Invercargill can provide turn-key services to establish your ground station and keep it maintained afterwards. Only your vendor’s installation engineer and your own acceptance/commissioning engineer need come to site.

Local crane and plant operators can transport and lift any size of antenna.

Radio Spectrum

Radio transmitting licences must be held by a New Zealand entity for compliance purposes. Venture Southland will obtain and hold your licence for you. Most licence applications can be secured within a few weeks. The low population density means that the noise floor is low and managing the radio spectrum is straightforward. 

New Zealand is in ITU Region 3.


New Zealand electricity supply is 50Hz: 240 Vac single-phase, 415 Vac three-phase. A back-up supply from an automatic fail-over engine-alternator set is available.

Air New Zealand flights to Invercargill

Auckland International Airport - 9 flights per day
Wellington Airport - 7 flights per day
Christchurch International Airport - 7 flights per day

Air New Zealand website

Your equipment can be air-freighted to either Auckland, or Christchurch International Airports. Alternatively, use sea-freight to the local port of Bluff, or to Lyttleton near Christchurch. There is overnight road freight delivery from Christchurch to Invercargill.
Customs clearance and local freight are best arranged by Venture Southland.

SF Antennas


Awarua has a coastal temperate climate.

Mean wind speed: 18 km/hr  (5 ms-1). Gust days > 93 km/hr (26 ms-1): < 17 days per year

10 minute Rainfall Intensity



Return Period (years)
5 2
6 5
7 10
8 20
10 50


Temperature range

  January July
Mean maximum 18.6 ˚C 9.5 ˚C
Mean minimum 9.4 ˚C 0.9 ˚C

Maximum: 32.3 ˚C      Minimum: -9.0 ˚C