Waitata Point Historic Reserve has a coastal battery that operated between 1943-44. The construction of the two gun emplacements make them unique to New Zealand’s military defence structures.

The historic reserve has a coastal battery that operated from September 1943 to November 1944 consisting of:

  • two six inch guns along with war shelters
  • magazines
  • command posts
  • stores
  • regimental posts
  • battery observation posts
  • engine rooms
  • searchlight emplacements water sewage systems
  • hutted accommodation for troops..

The two gun emplacements are unique to New Zealand’s military defence structures as they were constructed with large fans of timber poles cantilevered over the guns in order to disguise the emplacements.

The below-ground locker rooms associated with both the gun emplacements are semi-circular and both rooms are 2.2m wide x 2.0m high.

The Waitata point coastal battery is part of a series of defences that were set up around the coast to protect the secondary ports from Whangaroa to the Bluff from the advance of Japanese forces in 1941 through the pacific.

Installations in the Bay of Islands include Waitata, Moturoa Island with two six inch guns, Cape Brett with a radar and coast watching station and a controlled mine station on Moturua Island.  

Waitata Point Historic Reserve is well worth a visit as it was an important part of the WWII defense for the Bay of Islands, and much of the orginal building fabric still remains.

Getting there

Waitata Point is located on the small headland north of Long Beach in Russell.

You can walk to Waitata Point at low tide from Long Beach in Russell. Note: there is no formed track.


Salmond and Reed architects, 2001. Gun Emplacements Waitata Point Russell, Northland.

Anderson, S. 1980’s. Waitata Pt: Resource File, Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park.

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