This paper presents results of a study to characterise wire-less point-to-point channel for wireless sensor networks applications in sport hard court arenas, grass fields and on roads. Antenna height and orientation effects on coverage are also studied and results show that for omni-directional patch antenna, node range is reduced by a factor of 2 when the antenna orientation is changed from vertical to horizontal. The maximum range for a wireless node on a hard court sport arena has been determined to be 70m for 0dBm transmission but this reduces to 60m on a road surface and to 50m on a grass field. For horizontal antenna orientation the range on the road is longer than on the sport court which shows that scattered signal components from the rougher road surface combine to extend the communication range. The channels investigated showed that packet error ratio (PER) is dominated by large-scale, rather than small-scale, channel fading with an abrupt transition from low PER to 100% PER. Results also show that large-scale received signal power can be modelled with a 2nd order log-distance polynomial equation on the sport court and road, but a 1st order model is sufficient for the grass field. Small-scale signal variations have been found to have a Rice distribution for signal to noise ratio levels greater than 10 dB but the Rice K-factor exhibits significant variations at short distances which can be attributed to the influence of strong ground reflections.