O Peretu is the ancient name for this headland, occupied first by Māori and used by the New Zealand Defence Forces for over a century. Enjoy the stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf and nearby Rangitoto Island.

Place overview

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Find things to do Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve

About track difficulties

Child/family friendly activities

Kids will love to explore the remnants of the defensive Fort Takapuna, including observation posts, searchlights and gun emplacements. The fort is below ground level and most of it was filled in 100 years ago. However, part of the fort remains and can be explored. Access to the interior of the fort is only available at special events.

As well as exploring the fort, Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve is a great place for a picnic, or to enjoy the stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf.

Dog walking

Dog owners are welcome to use any of the tracks or open areas to exercise your dog. No permit is required. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and you must clean up after your dog - take a plastic bag and always pick up your dog’s waste.

Guided walks

Guided tours of Fort Takapuna are available. Contact the Forts of Auckland

Historic appreciation

The historic structures at Fort Takapuna contain elements from all periods of coastal defence in New Zealand. Explore the reserve and learn more about its varied history.

The fort is below ground level as it was originally surrounded by a dry moat. Most of the fort was filled in 100 years ago, but part of the fort remains and can be explored.

Specialist activities


Fort Takapuna is a popular place for paragliding. Come and fly this site with your own equipment or just sit and watch the action! Paragliders generally launch from just beside the "pillbox" on the seaward side of the reserve, between the Officers Mess and Narrowneck Beach.

Sculpture exhibition

'Progressive Fern Jars' by Christine Hellgar, part of the NZ Sculpture Onshore exhibition at Fort Takapuna.
'Progressive Fern Jars' by Christine Hellgar, part of the NZ Sculpture OnShore exhibition at Fort Takapuna

Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve is home to NZ Sculpture OnShore, a biennial sculpture exhibition featuring works from well known sculptors and younger artists. The next exhibition will be held in 2014.

Weddings and other events

Fort Takapuna’s views, pohutukawa lined cliffs, private beach and historic fortifications make it a very popular site for wedding ceremonies and photographs. Victorian Fort Takapuna provide an interesting backdrop for corporate team building events or school group visits.

The Officers' Mess is a cafe and bookable function centre. The cafe is open to the public on Sundays for brunch. See Weddings and events at Fort Takapuna.


You can swim at Narrow Neck Beach at the western end of the Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve. This beach is tidal, so you may have to wade out a way for a decent swim at low tide.

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    About this place

    Getting there

    Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve is on Vauxhall Road, next to Narrow Neck Beach on Auckland's North Shore. 

    Ferries run regularly between downtown Auckland and Devonport. You can also access Devonport by road.

    Fort Takapuna is a 40 minute walk from Devonport. From Devonport follow King Edward Parade along the waterfront, turn left into Church Street and right into Vauxhall Road. Alternatively, catch the bus to Takapuna via Narrow Neck.

    Know before you go

    • No dogs are allowed on the reserve between 9am and 7pm from the Saturday of Labour Weekend to Easter Monday. Find out more about dog access on conservation land.
    • There are steep drop-offs along the coastal cliff top and around some of the historic structures.
    • Take care when exploring the reserve and supervise children at all times.
    • There are no toilets on the reserve. Facilities are available at Narrow Neck beach.
    • No fires.
    • No camping.
    • Do not remove or disturb any artefacts or other historic remains.

    Non-compliance with these conditions may result in prosecution.


    Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 9 3796476
    Address:   Shed 19
    137 Princes Wharf
    Auckland 1010
    Full office details
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