Standing watch over the village. Takarunga is treasured by Iwi and local residents and is a significant archaeological site. The walk up to the summit takes approx 10 -20 minutes. Spectacular views of the North Shore, the gulf and Auckland City can be seen as well as remnants of early Pa fortifications.
The Department of Conservation administers the area and it is open daily. Spectacular views of the harbour and islands of the gulf can be seen. North head has been used extensively for defence and still has the typical bank and ditch pattern of a Maori fortified site, as well as 19th and 20th century bunkers, guns and ammunition storage tunnels which can be explored.
Beaches and Parks
Devonport Beach and Windsor Reserve
Devonport Beach is only minutes away from the Village and is a lovely place to swim and to enjoy spectacular views of Auckland City and the Waitemata Harbour. Windsor Reserve is the site of the formation of the New Zealand Royal Navy in 1862. Outside the Devonport library is a war memorial statue dedicated in grateful remembrance of the men of Devonport who gave their lives in the Great World War 1914 - 1918.
Cheltenham Beach is within walking distance from the ferry terminal. Stroll along the waterfront on King Edward Parade towards North head, passing the Devonport Yacht Club, Devonport Domain with cricket green and the Torpedo Bay Navy Musuem. Cheltenham Beach is on the northern side of the peninsula.
This is a small bay found just before North Head. It was named after the naval torpedo boat housed here in the early 1920s. French explorer Dumont d'Urville landed here in 1827 and the memorial to the arrival of the Tainui canoe from Hawaiki about 1300 AD can also be found here. This is an excellent bay to swim at during high tides and a popular picnic spot.
Mt Cambria Reserve
Mt Cambria Reserve is an attractively landscaped garden in the remains of Mt Cambria volcano which was quarried for scoria from 1883 to 1985. This reserve is located next to the Devonport Museum on 31A Vauxhall Rd. Good for walks, runs and picnics with friends and family.
Situated on the outskirts of Devonport this beach features a boat ramp for launching small craft, and is popular with sailing enthusiasts and locals. With parking close by, a children’s playground, on site barbecue facilities and a small shop Narrow Neck is the perfect destination for family picnics. Narrow Neck is 5 minutes drive from central Devonport by car or bus. The bus 813 can be taken from outside the ferry terminal.
Library, Museums And Places Of Interest
The new Devonport Library, recently opened in 2015, is located on Victoria Road and is available to both the community and visitors. An architectural award wnning design, the library is is nestled amongst mature pohutukawas, phoenix palms and an architectonic Moreton Bay fig tree dating back to 1883.
Open seven days a week. Free internet access and visitor memberships available. Ph: (09) 486 8600.
In 1978 half the old Presbyterian Church was moved to Mt Cambria Reserve and became the Devonport Museum. The Museum houses records and photographs of early Devonport. It offers a comprehensive display of items that have been in daily, domestic and social use over the past century.
This is located on 31A Vauxhall Road and is open Saturday and Sunday, 2.00pm to 4.00pm.
Torpedo Bay Navy Museum
The National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Housed in a 19th Century submarine mining station, the Navy Museum's exhibitions showcase the story of the Navy's contribution to the development of New Zealand's identity through the lens of the Navy's values: courage, commitment and comradeship.
The museum is located at the base of North Head, 64 King Edward Parade, Devonport .
Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days (closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
Admission is free.
In 1889 Fort Cautley was developed with new guns, an 8 inch disappearing gun, with a 7 inch RML and a 6pr Nordenfelt on both northern and southern flanks of North Head. (meaning if the enemy got around the north side then the south side would also be able to attack). During the 1890's Fort Cautley was completed with tunnels, underground storerooms, barracks, guardrooms, kitchens and search light emplacements. Interestingly most of the work was done by prisoners, with simple pick and shovels, digging the tunnels by hand..
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