Leading up to the invasion of the Waikato in 1863, the government extended the Great South Road over the Bombay Hills to provide easy military access to the region and developed a string of redoubts (small temporary fortresses) more or less along the boundary of the Auckland region. The best preserved of these is the Alexandra Redoubt.
The redoubt is high above the Waikato River between Tuakau and Tuakau Bridge on the way to Port Waikato. This was a key strategic location as it protected part of the government’s supply route from Port Waikato to Pōkeno. A significant early skirmish with Kīngitanga forces occurred nearby and the modest obelisk at the front of the redoubt is dedicated to the government soldiers who died in the area throughout 1863–64.
Below the small historic cemetery, there is a good native forest loop walk featuring a number of big rimu trees. This walk also has a good viewpoint over the River and only takes about 30 minutes.
From the Waikato Expressway, take the turnoff to Pōkeno, then find and head west on Pōkeno Road, linking to Whangarata Road then River Road to the south of Tuakau. Alexandra Redoubt Road is almost immediately on your left – drive to the very end. The redoubt is to the right of the car park, partly surrounded by the cemetery. On the left side of the cemetery is a viewpoint to the River.