This tour site is currently under repair and closed to all visitors as they complete an engineering survey of the covers over the gun turrets. We will commence tours again here once it is reopened to the public.
This area has been known by a number of names: Fort Cautley, HMNZS Tamaki, and Narrow Neck. The original military title for the area is "Fort Takapuna", named after the point on which it stands.
The structures situated on this site form a unique historic complex containing elements from all periods of coastal defence in New Zealand. The old fort, the last of the New Zealand designed twin 6 inch gun forts, was designed by Major Tudor-Boddam of the Royal Artillery and built between 1886 and 1889.
At the time Russia appeared to be threatening war with the British Empire. There were three other forts: one at Fort Kelburn in Wellington, demolished in the1960s; Central Battery - Ocean Beach Dunedin, demolished in the 1950s; and another at Bastion Point which was converted into a mausoleum for M. J. Savage.
Fort Takapuna, built between 1886 and 1889, was part of a chain of new defences around Auckland harbour. Other forts were built at North Head, Bastion Point, Point Resolution (above the Parnell Baths), and later in 1899 on Mount Victoria. This fort housed two 6 inch disappearing guns which controlled the approaches to the Rangitoto Channel. These guns were mounted in the two circular gun pits in the underground part of the fort.
Several buildings of historic significance remain today. They include:
The World War I Barracks
Guard House located adjacent to the road entrance to Fort Takapuna
The Officers Mess adjacent to Fort Takapuna and overlooking the Rangitoto Channel
The Artillery Headquarters, Gun Stores and Magazine located within the current Naval Training complex.
By car, take the Esmond Road exit from the Northern Motorway, right onto Lake Road, left at Old Lake Rd, via Narrow Neck beach to Vauxhall Road, Fort Takapuna is located in the park on your left as you drive up the hill from the beach. If the gate is open enter the driveway and park in the carpark. If closed it is an easy walk. Ferries run regularly between downtown Auckland and Devonport.
Fort Takapuna is a 30 minute walk from Devonport. Follow King Edward Parade along the waterfront, turn left into Church Street and right into Vauxhall Rd. Alternatively, catch the bus to Takapuna via Narrow Neck.