Stony Batter

Stony Batter, Waiheke Island: Address, Phone Number, Stony Batter Reviews: 4/5

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This reserve includes some remnants of New Zealand's coastal defenses from World War II.
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4.0
143 reviews
Excellent
37
Very good
70
Average
21
Poor
10
Terrible
5

raes1000
Auckland, New Zealand51 contributions
A NZ Treasure
Feb 2021
This is a must-do experience. You will need average fitness to walk the 1.3 km there and back, some up inclines. There is a very steep staircase to go up and down in the tunnels. Fantastic guides on the hour, $25 entrance fee. Very well run tour, did not feel rushed or claustrophobic. Wonderful to see the restoration and see NZ history. Definitely recommend. They also have lots of restoration planned and it is not funded by DOC. This is not on. This is a very important piece of NZ history which should be conserved for future generations.
Written 13 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kiwi721
Wellington, New Zealand51 contributions
A great stop and views
Dec 2020
Great views and interesting walk. A nice stop on the way to Man O'War Winery/Bay.
Interesting rock formations and stunning views out over the gulf. If you go on the right days, you can now take organised tours through the gun emplacements.
Written 4 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diana M
Auckland Central, New Zealand59 contributions
A NEW LIFE FOR STONY BATTER
Dec 2020 • Family
Gulf News 6 Sept 2018, quote:

Fort Stony Batter is likely to get a massive upgrade and an injection of new life if a lease concession application is accepted.
The 20-year lease application by Fort Stony Batter Heritage Park Limited (FSBHPL) to develop the historic site as a regional destination was received by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and public submissions are open.
The site’s vast underground tunnel complex built in 1943 has been inaccessible since 2015 due to safety concerns and FSBHPL director Timothy Moon, is looking forward to running regular guided tours for residents and visitors. 

Fast forward 2 years & 3 months and the headline in the Waiheke Weekender 17 Dec 2020 is:

A NEW LIFE FOR STONY BATTER.

Tim Moon and his team have succeeded in opening the tunnels to the public again after years of negotiations and restoration work that has transformed the site into an attraction the Island of Waiheke can be proud to call its own.

The complex was built between 1943 and 1948 on a site 220 metres above sea level on the Eastern end of Waiheke Island, as a counter-bombardment system to guard the Hauraki Gulf and the sea approaches to Auckland. It comprises 1.2km of underground passageways all hand dug, a massive feat. There are 3 gun emplacements but only 2 guns were installed. They remain the largest guns ever to be used by the New Zealand Army or Navy, firing 9.2 inch shells - just once, in 1951, I understand as a test firing and they were never used in defence. The guns were scrapped in 1961.

Now, new and sensitive restorations, including imaginative lighting, will allow the tunnels to educate, to be explored and enjoyed again with the expert guidance of Tim and his Team.

There are hopes Stony Batter will become a multipurpose attraction, a subterranean art gallery, perhaps. Classical music concerts and geological expeditions are in the pipeline.

The tunnels’ entrance is a beautiful rural walk of 750 metre from the carpark.

For a half day in a wonderful coastal environment be sure to visit Stony Batter and take in a small piece of NZ history.
Google Waiheke Weekender, 17 December 2020 for all the details.

Diana and John Mead
Waiheke Island
Written 27 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

antoniosk
Wellington, New Zealand225 contributions
Really interesting
Dec 2020 • Family
Stony Batter has two main attractions:
1. When Mount Rangitoto exploded, this part of the island was peppered with huge volcanic rocks. It’s more impressive in person
2. A gun battery was erected here to cover the Auckland gulf, during world war 2. Never used but part of how the country prepared

The drive to the location is on unsealed road, which is covered in loose ground. Decent SUV recommended, and you can’t go fast without risking losing control (30km/h suggested). But the drive isn’t that long and worth the effort.

Underneath the hill are 1.3km of tunnels dug by the army, for staffing, provisions, armaments store and so on.

We spoke to the folks on site, and the tunnels were reopened 2020 for guided tours. $25pp, and of interest to folks who like military history no matter how small.

Unfortunately we weren’t prepared for a tour but it’s good to know it’s available.

There is a 1.3km walk from the car park to the location, which has a rise to it but nothing that can’t be easily talked with adequate footwear, ideally sneakers.

The walk from the track to the tunnels involves walking on a working farm, so there may be live sheep and droppings on the path down. It’s not a big deal but if animals and farms are new to you, be aware. Sheep are typically docile and not keen on people, and will wander away more often than not unless threatened.

Either way - I reckon it’s worth a visit, and if you have time to support the very eager tour guides, you should - they clearly love their job and are nice people.
Written 11 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jeremy P
Auckland, New Zealand434 contributions
Worth the Effort
May 2020 • Friends
Situated at the southern end of the Island, the views are expansive and awesome, the Panaroma of gulf and Coromandel Peninsula. The walk to the gun emplacements is easy, and keep an eye out for a weka or two. Continue the walk down to the beauty of Hooks Bay, a beautiful spot to rest and enjoy the beach. Pateke Ducks may be seen in the stream behind the beach. Large flocks of yellow hammer, green finch and Zebra finch are seen through the fields. The return walk is up hill but not too arduous. Well worth all the effort to take in as much of the area as possible.
Written 23 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

milliesmum2016
Christchurch, New Zealand1,808 contributions
Some Military History
Sep 2019
I was facsinated to learn about Stony Batter, which is home to a WW2 fortress with three large gun emplacements and the remnants of the community whcih built it. It's a really intersting story of preparations to fend of an impending threat of Japanese invasion during WW2. Thankfully the war finished before the fort was completed.
It's quite a nice walk in. You can only drive so far and then you cross private farmland, where your presence is not particulalrly welcome ,so mind the signs and your P's and Q's. Note that the road is unsealed. There is no public transport so you would need to rent a vehicle of some sort to visit.
Written 22 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lifetolive
Ashburton, New Zealand77 contributions
Sitting on fence as to whether worth it or not
Feb 2019 • Couples
I guess I enjoyed travelling the length of the island as now I can say I’ve been as far as I can go. But was it worth it I’m not sure. It was mildly interesting but I guess it depends on your interests. It’s a pity you can’t go inside & I guess health & safety has ruled that out. Sorry can’t say more. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the where you park the car & although we wore jandels I’d wear runners if I went again.
Written 24 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1887BFC
Surrey61 contributions
Waste of time until reopened
Jan 2019 • Couples
It starts with a horrendous gravel track for 7km to drive you to the parking area. When I say horrendous, I mean it’s torn up by tractors, so unless you’ve got a large SUV, it will be a horrible and slow journey.
Then there’s a walk up, which is nice enough, around 1km, and you arrive at abandoned concrete blocks. I understand the historical significance, but there’s really nothing to see
The once visitor centre is in ruins, with graffiti on the walls.
The walk to Opopo bay could have been the saviour of the trip there, but even that is closed due to falling cliffs, so anyone walking there does so at their own risk.

I’m sure this could be great with a tour guide explaining everything, and bringing it to life. But until it is reopened, it’s not worth risking your car’s suspension to get there!
Written 30 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Caroline T
Auckland Central, New Zealand68 contributions
Not worth Our Journey
Oct 2018 • Couples
Not much to see, then there's a BIG bull on the side of the road as you walk for miles to the tunnels. Not much to see up there and lots of poo's everywhere so mind where to step.
Written 22 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

NZ_Rick_n_Kay
Hamilton, New Zealand692 contributions
Nice walk, and an opportunity to learn some history.
Jul 2018 • Friends
An easy walk to the old gun emplacements sites.
Where the cut out figure of the soldier is head off to the left for the first of the gun sites.
Or go straight on to the old ventilation shaft and walk up the hill behind the old building for the 2nd of the two gun emplacements.
The tunnels are closed, but take the ladder down in to where the gun was mounted and read a bit more about the site.
The views are outstanding.
Written 18 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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