North Head Maungauika and Cheltenham Beach. © Russell Street Creative Commons

North Head Maungauika Historic Walk

North Head
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Explore defences that were placed on the headland to protect Auckland from feared Russian invasions, and take in one of the best views in Auckland from the top of North Head

How long will it take? You can follow a series of loop tracks or just wander freely – but leave an hour or more to explore.

About the walk

A series of loop tracks introduce you to the military history of North Head Maungauika – the tunnels, guns, searchlights and defences that were placed on the headland to protect Auckland from feared Russian invasions. The Summit Loop takes you past two movie theatres where you can watch some short films courtesy of DOC (see map below).

North Head Historic Reserve MapNorth Head Historic Reserve Map. © DOC

Track times and distances

  • Coastal Loop - one-way 1km 30-minute walk
  • Summit Loop - one-way 1km 25-minute walk
  • Tunnels Loop - one-way 1km 20-minute walk

Map notes (numbers below relate to the numbers on the above map):

  • Welcome sign with track information - in the lower car park near the North Battery. This sign is also at the Takarunga Road entrance.
  • 1 - North Battery - large sign at the entrance near the lower car park and small signs throughout the battery (in the tunnels) tell you about this structure.
  • 3 - 6 inch Battery - two identical signs. One on the northwest wall of the easternmost building and one down the stairs explain the various buildings and structures in this area.
  • 4 - Barracks Building/Summit Battery - look for the "North Head in uniform" series of life-size figures with historic information, behind the long barracks building at the entrances to the Summit Battery. The Stone Kitchen Theatre and Fire Command Post Theatre are near here. Visit these two theatres to watch one or more of the movies available.
  • 6 - South Battery/Disappearing Gun - there is a sign on the approach to the gun from the road and one at each of the two entrances to the tunnels/battery. These show you how the gun works and its history. The western entrance to the tunnels underneath the gun is near number 7 on the map. Take the first left once you enter the tunnel here. The eastern entrance to the tunnels beneath the gun is down by the historic tennis court (flat area) to the left of the gun (when looking out to sea).

Gun emplacement on North Head Maungauika

Gun on North Head Maungauika. © Russell Street Creative Commons

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