Harbour Radio

Harbour Radio is manned by qualified staff 24 hours a day and is based at the gatehouse at Port Chalmers. Harbour Radio monitor VHF channels 16, 14 and 62 and can track vessels on the approaches to and within Otago Harbour utilising Radar and Automatic Identification System (AIS). They also monitor Aids to Navigation in the form of lights, beacons, etc. providing the status of these to shipping and Harbour users.

Reporting Procedure 48hr/24hr ETA

All vessels over 12 metres in length must call Harbour Radio on the main navigation channel, before entering Otago Harbour.

Communication with Vessels

Port Otago Harbour Control maintains full ship-to-shore communication systems, with a continuous 24 hour listening watch on VHF radio channels 16, 14 and 62.

  • VHF Channel 16: Vessels may contact Harbour Control initially on CH16 then move to working channel
  • VHF Channel 14: Commercial vessels working channel
  • VHF Channel 12: Tugs working channel
  • VHF Channel 62: Recreational and local fisherman's operating channel
  • VHF Channel 79: Recorded weather information

Additional contact points

Telephone: +64 3 472 9882
Email: portprotectionofficers@portotago.co.nz 

Taiaroa Head Equipment

Harbour Control staff operate equipment sited at Taiaroa Head (formerly Signal Station) remotely from Port Chalmers.  The equipment consists of radar, weather station, VHF equipment, AIS receiver and a generator to provide backup power. 

The "Bar Light"

At Taiaroa Head, there is a red flashing light which may be operated from Harbour Radio.  The light signals that the bar at the harbour entrance is breaking and is a safety signal for all harbour users.
Harbour Radio can provide real time information on tide heights from three sites within Otago Harbour, as well as wind force and direction from four sites.

Harbour Conditions - more information on tide and wind