North Head gun
Image: Ferne McKenzie ©


Take a self-guided walk through tunnels and other features of the area's military history, and watch a short movie at the summit.


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Place overview

In this section

Find things to do Maungauika/North Head Historic Reserve

About track difficulties

Film watching

Watch Maungauika - the story of a mountain in the Stone Kitchen Theatre on the western side of the barracks building at the summit. The film plays continuously from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, 7 days.

The refurbished Fire Command Post on the eastern side of the barracks building at the summit plays a film about the restoration of Rangitoto and Motutapu.

Fire Command Post also plays Armed. Ready. And waiting..., about Auckland's impressive WWII defence network, controlled from this very building. The films play continuously from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, 7 days.

Watch Armed. Ready. And waiting... film on YouTube | Listen to interview with historian and archaeologist Dave Veart about Armed. Ready. And waiting...


You can fish off the rocks on the eastern side of the reserve. Access to this fishing spot is via the Coastal Track.

Kiwi Guardians programme

Take your family on a Kiwi Guardians adventure. Kiwi Guardians is a free, fun and easy way for 6-10 year olds to get to know this special place - grab a map, go and explore, and earn a reward! More about Kiwi Guardians


North Head is a popular place for paragliding. Come and fly this site with your own equipment, or just sit and watch others leap of the edge! Note that you need to be a member of the NZ Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association to fly this site. Paragliders generally launch from just above North Battery.

For more information see NZ Hang Gliding and Paraglidng Association or Auckland Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club.


You can swim at the nearby Cheltenham Beach when the tide is high, and also at Lover's Cove (the bay south of Cheltenham Beach) on the Coastal Walkway in the reserve.

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    About this place

    Getting there

    Maungauika/North Head is located in Devonport at the northern headland of the Waitemata Harbour. The reserve is approximately 16 km from downtown Auckland by car taking around 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. You can also catch one of the regular ferries from downtown Auckland to Devonport Wharf.

    The reserve is 2 km from Devonport Wharf. Follow King Edward Parade along the waterfront until you reach the end. Straight ahead is the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum. Turn left onto Cheltenham Road, then take the second road on your right - Takarunga Road. The gated entrance to the reserve is at the end of this road.

    Vehicle and pedestrian access is via Takarunga Road.

    Know before you go

    • There are holes, sudden drops and uneven surfaces, especially in the tunnels.
    • Take care when exploring the reserve and supervise children at all times.
    • Keep dogs on leashes at all times and remove dog litter.
    • Do not light fires.
    • Take your rubbish away with you. There are no rubbish bins on Maungauika/North Head.
    • Do not remove or disturb any artefacts or other historic remains.
    • Do not camp on the reserve.


    • The reserve is open at 6:00 am
    • Vehicle access is via Takarunga Road
    • Vehicle gate closes at 8:00 pm
    • Pedestrian gates at Takarunga Road and at the southern end of Cheltenham Beach close at 10:00 pm


    Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 9 3796476
    Address:   Shed 19 Princes Wharf
    137 Quay Street
    Auckland 1010
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