Takapuna Head and Fort Takapuna
Fort Takapuna sits on the top of the cliff of Takapuna Head, to the southeast of Narrow Neck beach. ThLike the other military facilities on the peninsula, they were first developed in the late 1800s in response to the Russian Scare. Believe it or not, there was a concern at the time that NZ may be subject to attack by the Russian navy due to tensions between Russia and Britain.
The area is now mostly a grassed park that slopes down to the beach at Narrow Neck. There are active naval barracks at the east end of the park. Walk to the house at the high point, which was once an observation post, and you will see the main fortifications to the right. They were dug into the ground behind the coastal cliff. Most curious is the main entrance, which has a distinctly Victorian look, complete with brickwork and castle top facade. Further to the east, by contrast, are several functional-looking WW2 era gun emplacements.
There is a rough unmarked track down the cliff near the first emplacement. If you are walking below the cliff around Takapuna Head, it’s very hard to pick it out. But you can use it to get up the cliff to Fort Takapuna before Narrow Neck beach. In any event, the rock formation immediately below this track is colourful and unusual.
The fort and Takapuna Head are also part of the North Shore Coastal Walk.