Historic Stony Batter, Waiheke Island

Gun site, Stony Batter Historic Reserve.
Gun site, Stony Batter Historic Reserve

Stony Batter Historic Reserve is at the eastern end of Waiheke Island. It protects the impressive remains of a WWII 9.2 inch Counter Bombardment Heavy Coast Defence Battery.

The site is made up of three large gun pits and an extensive system of underground chambers linked by hundreds of metres of underground tunnels and stairs.

More information about the counter bombardment battery.

Getting to Stony Batter Historic Reserve

There are regular daily ferries to Waiheke Island. Stony Batter Historic Reserve is at the eastern end of Waiheke Island, about 40 minutes drive from Matiatia Wharf. It is not serviced by public transport.

Shuttle services and taxis can take you to Stony Batter, or you can drive, scooter or mountain bike there yourself.  Rental cars, scooters and bikes are available on the island. For more information on transport to and on Waiheke Island, contact the Waiheke i-SITE Visitor Centre on +64 9 372 1234.

To get to Stony Batter from Onetangi, head up the hill on Waiheke Road. After a couple of kilometres, turn left into Man O’War Bay Road. Follow this road through farmland then turn left into Stony Batter Road. There is a parking area adjacent to a walkway that crosses private farmland to reach the Stony Batter Historic Reserve, a 10-20 minute walk from the car park.

Map of Stony Batter Historic Reserve.
Map of Stony Batter Historic Reserve

Activities

In the tunnels, Stony Batter Historic Reserve.
In the tunnels, Stony Batter Historic Reserve

Allow 30 to 90 minutes to explore the Stony Batter Historic Reserve and tunnels. The tunnels have steep stairs and other hazards and a reliable torch is essential. The recommended minimum requirement is for a 6 volt lantern torch (‘Dolphin’ style), and at least one per two people, preferably with a back up torch in case you drop and damage the main torch.

On entering the main tunnel entrance, a quick easy test for your torch is to shine it down the tunnel. If it does not illuminate the sign at the first turn of the tunnel then your light is inadequate.

We strongly recommend that you take advantage of the Stony Batter Protection and Restoration Society’s high illumination torches for hire. These will greatly enhance your experience and safety, and make much of the historical detail more visible to you.

If you don’t want to go underground, you can also explore the gun emplacements from above ground. The reserve has other interesting features including remarkable rock outcrops, native bush remnants and outstanding views of the Hauraki Gulf.

Tunnel tours

The Stony Batter Protection and Restoration Society runs tours of the tunnel complex. Guided tours and information are available on site daily between 10 am and 3 pm when the tunnels are open.

Arrangements for tours can be made directly with the Stony Batter Protection and Restoration Society – contact Charlie +64 21 043 8821 or Mike +64 27 281 3779.

Admission fees

Note: cash only, no EFTPOS

  • Self guided tours: $8 per person; $5 per child (under 16) or $25 per family (2 adults and up to 4 children)
  • Guided tours: $15 per person or $45 per family 
  • Torch hire only: $5 per torch

Other activities

Rock outcrop, Stony Batter Historic Reserve.
Rock outcrop, Stony Batter Historic Reserve

There are two short walks starting from the Stony Batter Historic Reserve:

  • Stony Batter to Hooks Bay - 1 hr 40 min return
  • Stony Batter to Opopo Bay - 1 hr 40 min return

More information on Waiheke Island walks.

Looking after the reserves

Please:

  • Do not take dogs or other animals on the Stony Batter Walkway or into the reserves. These are a threat to wildlife and farm animals.
  • Do not light fires.
  • Take your rubbish away with you - follow the Department's 'Pack in - Pack Out' code.
  • Do not remove or disturb any artefacts or other historic remains.
  • Do not camp on the reserves.
  • Remember that the walkway crosses private farmland. Leave gates as you find them, follow the orange marker posts and do not disturb stock or farm operations.

Non-compliance with these conditions may result in prosecution.


Related links

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Contacts

Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 9 379 6476
Address:   137 Quay Street
Princes Wharf
Downtown
Auckland 1010
Email:   aucklandvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details