More info He pārongo atu anōVisit website
Despite Maungauika's strategic location, it lacks historic trenches and earthworks for defense, unlike other maunga. The site became an important coastal defense during the colonial period, with a muzzle-loader fort installed in 1885 due to fears of a Russian invasion. Prisoners excavated tunnels linking batteries and service facilities between 1888 and 1914. Once called Fort Cautley, the name has since lapsed, and defense forces withdrew in the 1990s.
Maungauika/North Head is among the oldest volcanic cones in the Auckland volcanic field, formed over 50,000 years ago. Explosive eruptions created a small tuff cone around a central explosion crater, which was later buried by a scoria cone. These formations shaped the shore platforms surrounding the headland. Geologists believe Maungauika was likely an island 7,000 years ago before connecting to the North Shore through sand and shell buildup.
In January 2019, the Tūpuna Maunga Authority assumed administration of Maungauika from the Department of Conservation. The transfer allowed a focused effort on restoration, treating the maunga as taonga tuku iho (treasures handed down the generations). The late 1800s saw the construction of a vast network of tunnels and military structures, now requiring strengthening work. Engineers have identified areas needing reinforcement, and work is underway to maintain the historic defense tunnels and structures. The Tūpuna Maunga Authority collaborates with heritage architects to ensure remedial work preserves the heritage values of the structures while following best practices for managing heritage assets.
Location Te wāhi
18 Takarunga Road, DevonportPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
There is a visitor car park at the bottom of Maungauika as well lots of on-street parking nearby. Devonport is about 15 km drive from downtown Auckland and alternatively you can catch a ferry to Devonport from the city centre.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Make sure to check out the historic tunnels.