Page 1



Charcoal Publications

DDW page 4

CONTENTS Part I. Anti-Russian Defence


Fort Kelburne


Fort Buckley


Kaiwarria Magazine


Kau Point Battery


Fort Balance


Gardens Battery


Part II. Massey Memorial


Part III. Anti-Aircraft


Part IV. World War Defence



Belmont Magazines



Fort Dorset


Fort Opau


Palmer Heads Fortress 64

Point Jerningham 68 Sinclair Head 72 Shelley Bay 76 Wrights Hill Fortress 82 Part V. Points Of Interest


Part VI. Rest In Pieces




Appendix I Map of locations


Appendix II Glossary of terms


Appendix III Bibliography


DDW page 5

DDW page 6


DDW page 7

DDW page 8


DDW page 9

Fort Kelburne Fort Kelburne was the first prototype of four similar forts to be built in Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton and Dunedin. Construction started in December 1885 and was completed in April 1887. The spelling of Kelburne varies in different references, but the fort seems to have been named after Viscount Kelburne, eldest son of the 7th Earl of Glasgow, Governor-General of New Zealand from 1892-97. Fort Kelburne was built on four levels. The guns were 120 feet apart. The front cliff-face was topped with a palisade, a spiked steel fence on top of a concrete retaining wall, to repel attackers on land. A bomb-proof passage was constructed from gun to gun underground, and open galleries gun to gun by rear of main rampart. The guns guarded the whole inner harbour and beyond Point Jerningham; two Armstrong six-inch breach loading rifled disappearing guns (Elswick Ordnance Company pattern, 5 tons) mounted on Mk II hydro-pneumatic carriage. Their arc of fire extended from the Petone foreshore to the Wellington esplanade (foreshore). As the big guns were not fired very often (only once or twice a year), the ground above the fort became overgrown and after one shot was fired, the blast from the explosion completely cleared all the scrub etc, away. The top of the gun pits were placed high enough so that when the barrels were at their highest angle of depression when aimed into the harbour the shell would clear the top of the spiked steel fence. In addition to the two six inch guns, there was a 13 to 15 pounder Nordenfeldt on wheels which was kept near the top of the fort and used for aiming practice. This gun was fitted with a Martini-Henri rifle of half inch calibre in line with the barrel and was used to save ammunition on the big guns. It appears that the two six inch disappearing guns mounted at the fort during the First World War were not identical with the guns originally mounted there when the fort was constructed. The carriages and barrels differed slightly in design, although the date 1886 was found during demolition marked on the barrel of No. 1 gun. The ring gear on which the guns rotated and also the bottoms of the pits differed considerably compared with typical drawings supplied by the Army Department. It is supposed that at the beginning of the First World War, the guns were modified and brought up to date with the latest model of that particular gun at that time.

Plan of Fort Kelburne Archives NZ 2013

DDW page 10

Targets for shooting practice were in the form of a large trellis to represent a warship, towed across the harbour on the end of a long cable between Ward and Somes Islands by the Janie Seddon. Only about the top 2 feet of the observation point (the steel top and the narrow observation slit) projected above the ground. This was the point from which all the speaking tubes extended into the fort, and also the point from which all the information for sighting the guns came from. The orders to fire also came from here and it was known as fire control. On top of a square concrete stand was a rangefinder, which was used for siting onto the target, giving the exact position of it which by speaking tube, was conveyed to the gun pit. The last period in which the fort was fully manned was during the First World War. At this time, the guns were still in first class condition and the tramway over which shells and supplied were transported from the Ngauranga Gorge Road and through the fort to the magazines and stores, was still in excellent working order. Soon afterwards the guns were stripped by a scrap metal merchant and all removable metal was taken. The gun pits were then filled in and were later used for foundations for two Railway Department houses. In 1926, when the Tawa Flat railway tunnel was commenced, the area was taken over by the Works Department and used for accommodation for tunnel workers at which time the Railway Department houses were built. Also the road up the hill at the back of the fort was constructed during this period. In 1957 the Makara Country Council controlled the area of land on which the fort was situated. The guard room area of the barracks in the fort itself was occupied until about the end of 1958 by a former Works Department employee and his wife, but they finally abandoned it owing to increasing dampness. Demolition of the fort started during September 1963 and by early December 1963 there was nothing left of it. During the demolition it was found that the guns had been buried in position in the pits. One ended up at Trentham Army Base, while the other is apparently at the Army Museum.

Plan of Fort Kelburne Archives NZ 2013

DDW page 11

DDW page 12


DDW page 13

Fort Buckley

Fort Buckley was built to help defend Wellington's inner harbour. Originally built in 1885 predominantly dug in the hill and sandbagged, the fort was rebuilt in concrete in 1886.

Fort Buckley 2012

The fort was armed with two 64pdr RML (Rifled Muzzle loading) guns. These guns had a range of about 3520 yards. The emplacements were 77 feet apart. Between these two emplacements was an underground magazine made of wood (long since collapsed). This was the only 64pdr battery built in Wellington which never had its ordinance upgraded. The guns were to be installed in the "Low Battery" situated below Fort Balance at Point Gordon but this was never done. In the 1890's defence priorities were changed from defending the inner harbour to denying a enemy or hostile ship access to the inner harbour As a result the defences of the late 1880's and the 1890's were concentrated around the top end of the Miramar Peninsular. This meant that Fort Buckley was no longer considered important. It appears that Fort Buckley was used for drills for a while. When were the guns removed and what happened to them I have been unable to discover.

Fort Buckley 2012

During World War II Fort Buckley was once again used for defensive purposes. This time an Anti-Aircraft battery was positioned slightly up the hill from the caretakers house. Its purpose was to provide anti-aircraft cover for the fuel storage tanks nearby in Kaiwharawhara. The caretakers house has since burnt down in one of the numerous scrub fires that occur in the area.

Fort Buckley 2012

Fort Buckley 2012

DDW page 14

Fort Buckley 2012

Fort Buckley 2012 Fort Buckley 2012

Fort Buckley 2012

The land that the fort stands upon has a tunnel running under it for a suburban train line and was under the ownership of Trans Rail (formerly the New Zealand Railways). In 1990 the Wellington city council started to negotiate for the purchase of the land that the fort occupies. In the Evening Post on Tuesday the 8th of May 2001 an article appeared with the title "Council buys Fort Buckley historic site". The Wellington City Council had finally acquired the land. Fort Buckley is periodically cleared of scrub although it appears to be preserved in it's current state rather than being restored. Fort Buckley appears to be safe in public hands having been brought by The Wellington City Council and is a public reserve. Fort Buckley is located on Sar Street off Thorndon Quay turn off at Storage King make you way up the road till you find the sign (In the picture to the left).

DDW page 15

DDW page 16


DDW page 17

Kaiwarria Magazine The Kaiwarra magazine is situated at the eastern end of Trelissick Park in Ngaio Gorge, Wellington. The way to get there is from the start of Ngaio Gorge Road is a entrance to the park. Walk down the track for a few minutes and you will find the remains to the right. Although it was not actively used by the military for anywhere as long as Shelly Bay or Trentham, the history of the Kaiwarra Magazine takes many twists and turns. Back in the 1870's when the Wellington's Chamber of commerce was complaining about explosives being carted across town to the magazine which was on Defence land at Mount Cook. As a result of this, work started in 1879 on a new magazine at situated at Kaiwarra (lower Ngaio Gorge) and was completed the following year. The site was relatively isolated being nestled up what is now known as the Ngaio Gorge adjacent to the stream. This stream was to pose a constant problem due to flooding. The magazine site consisted of 2 stone buildings; each 50 by 25 feet internally lined with Kauri, as well as a cottage, stables and coach house. Before the turn of the century tin sheds were added to increase the storage space.

Magazines as of 1997

Magazines as of 1997

The Army vacated the site and leased the buildings out in 1921. Since then the site has been used for a number of purposes including a Benzine store, Panel beaters workshop and a plastics factory (which closed down in 1993). 1995 saw two promising things occur. Firstly in January, the nomination of the Kaiwarra Magazine to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust was accepted having been submitted the preceding year. And secondly the Wellington City Council brought the site. Magazines as of 1997

Kaiwarra Magazine 2012

Kaiwarra Magazine 2012

DDW page 18

Kaiwarra Magazine 2012

In April/May 1997 the old underground fuel tanks within the site were removed and work started on removal of various structures around the magazines. This was preparatory to the restoration of the magazines.

Kaiwarra Magazine 2012

On the 23rd of December 2000 one of New Zealand's most daring robberies took place. Four armed men gained access to a service alley behind an ATM machine and when two Security officers entered the alley from an adjoining building the robbers pounced. They took off with the money destined for the ATM and the officer's van keys. The van was eventually found in the Kaiwarra Magazine in Ngaio Gorge. This was a well planned "job" as the robbers knew the routine of the security officers (which hardly varied much), and they had changed the padlock on the access gate to the magazine (while allowing them access), hindering access by other vehicles. Unfortunately to destroy the van and any evidence that it may contain the robbers set fire to the van and as a result the Kaiwarra magazine building which was nearing completion of it's restoration. To make matters worse the fire dept. had problems getting to the fire due the changed lock. The robbers were eventually caught. However the Wellington City Council after looking at its options decided to restore the magazine as a "ruin" rather than rebuild the magazine. Signs about the site are due be going up soon (probably early 2003).

Kaiwarra Magazine 2012

The near total destruction of the magazine buildings is a tragic loss to our collection of built military heritage. Unfortunately walking around a ruin is never quite the same as walking through a building that is still standing.

Kaiwarra Magazine 2012

DDW page 19

DDW page 20


DDW page 21

Kau Point Battery Constructed in 1891 to support Wellington's main coastal defence site at Fort Balance, the Kau Point Battery is a rare remaining example of an unmodified battery constructed to protect New Zealand from attack after the second Russian scare of 1885.

Kau Point Battery Shower 2013

In the 1870s and 1880s, prompted by growing fears of a Russian invasion, and the increasing realisation that New Zealand could no longer rely solely on either the British navy or the country's isolation for protection, the New Zealand Government purchased long-range weapons and began implementing the construction of coastal defences. The battery at Kau Point was constructed in 1891 to support Fort Balance, then the primary point of defence against attack in Wellington's inner harbour. The battery consisted of a single, circular gun emplacement with an 8-inch, 13 ton BL disappearing gun mounted on a MkII HP mount. It was supported by a brick magazine store for ammunition, and a semi-circular pit that served as an observation post, and a telephone room. The telephone room allowed the battery to function as Wellington's first military site to coordinate the communication of its Fire Command Officer via telephone. During the first World War, Fort Dorset became Wellington's main bastion of defence against attack. Despite this, Fort Balance and its supporting batteries remained operational throughout the War. In 1922 the gun at Kau Point was decommissioned and removed. The site was then used solely as an ammunition store, and from 1942 served the new emplacement at Mount Crawford Anti Aircraft Battery on the next promontory of the peninsula. The fort fell into disuse after the Second World War and, now surplus to army requirements, is not maintained.

Disappearing 8 Inch Gun

Kau Point is of national historical importance. Identified by experts as one of 21 sites thought to be the most significant or best representative examples of New Zealand's coastal defence sites not already registered, the battery is a relatively intact example of a gun emplacement constructed to house 8-inch guns in preparation for a Russian naval invasion in the late nineteenth-century. It is part of a wider network of coastal defences erected during this period and its construction reflects a move towards New Zealand independence from the Crown. It is one of the three original Fire Command Posts used in New Zealand to coordinate communication between coastal defences via the newly invented telephone. It has archaeological significance and considerable potential to educate the public on New Zealand's rich defence history. Kau Point Battery is also historically significant as one of the three original Fire Command Posts used in New Zealand to coordinate communication between coastal defences via the newly invented telephone. The use of ten telephones rather than one provides insight into the state of the technology at the time. It was Wellington’s first Fire Command Post and functioned in this capacity until 1899. As such the Kau Point Observation Post Telephone Room stands as a marker in New Zealand’s history of communication.

Kau Point Battery 2013

DDW page 22

As a well-preserved example of one of New Zealand’s fortifications from the period of the ‘Russian scares’ the Kau Point Battery has great physical significance. Described as the ‘most important single defensive structure’ on the Miramar (Watts) Peninsula, the 1891 layout of the fort is largely unaltered and a good impression of the original, nineteenth century fort remains. The care taken with the sign-writing in the telephone room is an unusual decorative feature.

Kau Point Battery 2013

The site is of considerable archaeological interest and its value and has been acknowledged by the New Zealand Archaeological Association (NZAA). The gun pit and entrance to the underground installation (magazine), which were and remain partially covered over, were assessed by archaeologist Tony Walton on 4 December 1989. As the battery was constructed prior to 1900, the whole of the area covered by this registration qualifies as an archaeological site under the Historic Places Act 1993. Of particular archaeological interest is the embankment at the front of the gun pit where the original 8-inch gun was buried.

Kau Point Battery 2013

This one is located between Fort Balance and Mt Crawford AA site due to safety reasons i cannot give out the exact location of this place

Illustration By Ross Ellis 2013

Kau Point Map

DDW page 23

DDW page 24


DDW page 25

Fort Balance On Gordon Point are the remains of Fort Balance, a defence site that was once Wellington's primary source of protection against sea-borne invasion. Built in 1885 following fears of an impeding war with Russia, Fort Balance is one of the best preserved of a string of nineteenth century coastal defences constructed to protect New Zealand from a naval attack. In 1885, the Government, reluctantly acknowledging that they could not rely solely on Britain for protection, commissioned engineer Major Henry Cautley to design a series of fortifications to protect the country's main ports. Fort Balance, Wellington's main fortification, was built by the Armed Constabulary, day labourers and prison inmates. Erected on the former site of Te Mahanga Pa the fort was named after the then Minister of Defence, John Balance [1839-1893]. In the event of war Fort Balance was to prevent enemy ships entering the inner harbour and provide covering fire for the minefield between Gordon Point and Ward Island. Supported by positions at Kau Point and Point Halswell, when fully armed, Fort Balance had more guns than any other fort in New Zealand. Although the Russian attack never eventuated, Fort Balance was continually upgraded to keep abreast of artillery technology. Yet by 1911 the increased firing range of enemy guns meant that defence of the coast, rather than the inner harbour became the primary concern. Fort Balance remained operational throughout World War One but Fort Dorset, located in the harbour entrance, became the new bastion of Wellington's coastal defence. In 1924 two of its gun pits were converted into magazines and Fort Balance was Wellington's main ammunition supply depot until 1959. The fort was briefly rearmed during the Second World War when additional, emergency defences were added.

Fort Balance 2012

Fort Balance 2011

DDW page 26

Plan of Gordon Point Battery part of Fort Balance

After the war the site was used for army housing. When the fort was first built, bombproof, wartime accommodation for 40 men had been provided. This proved uncomfortably damp and in 1946 three 40 man huts were rapidly constructed behind the fort. The site was used for accommodation until 1990. Its use as housing saved the fort from being destroyed in the 1960s and 1970s when many of New Zealand's 'unsafe and unsightly' coastal defences were demolished. Fort Balance is now one of the best, intact examples of that string of fortifications constructed in the 1880s to defend the country from naval attack. Fort Balance is a highly significant historical site. Designed and built by the New Zealand Government, it is tangible evidence of New Zealand's first step towards independence from the British Crown. Fort Balance was the first fort built in Wellington and remained the primary source of the city's protection between 1885 and 1911. As one of New Zealand's best-preserved fortifications from the period of the 'Russian scares' the site has great physical significance. The 1880s layout of the fort is largely unaltered and a good impression of the original nineteenth century fort remains. It is also technologically significant as an early example of the use of concrete as a building material. Fort Balance is unusual as one of the few military sites in continuous use for 105 years and has immense educational value as a rare illustration of the New Zealand response to the rapid and continuing developments in military technology that characterised the first half of the twentieth century. This is located in Fort Balance Road turns off from Shelly Bay Road near the NIWA laboratory at Mahanga Bay. Fort Balance is located at the end of the road. Or a short walk up from the beach Scorching Bay.

Map of Fort Balance Darcy Waters 2000

Fort Balance, Scorching Bay, Wellington[ca 1887]. Alexander Turnbull library

Fort Balance 1957

Aerial View of Fort Balance

DDW page 27

DDW page 28


DDW page 29

Gardens Battery In the 1870's New Zealand was a young self-governing colony of Britain. It had developed no coastal defences of any consequence and was becoming increasingly sensitive to how vulnerable its harbours were to attack by a hostile power or opportunistic raider. In the aftermath of the Crimean war, Tsarist Russia seemed particularly suspicious. While concern was widely expressed, the Government took little action. The garden battery was commenced in 1896. (Some reports say 1892 or 1894, but contemporary newspaper reports appear to confirm the later date.) A 7 inch RML12 gun (British 7-inch rifled muzzle-loading naval and coast defence gun introduced in 1865 and produced to the 1890s ) was obtained, but was considered obsolete shortly after. The fortifications were constructed, but the gun was never installed or fired although was stored in the magazine. It was feared firing would blow out all the windows within a half mile radius given the close proximity of dwellings. The drawings show the underground structures of the battery. The gun emplacement was filled in shortly after the battery was dismantled in 1904. Concreted over, the outline of the pit can be seen today, and the trophy First World War Krupp Gun is placed in the centre of the pit outline.

Image of the time of gun the was meant to be installed

The underground accommodation that was built

Sigmatics and Type of Gun purchased (Picture Palmerston Forts UK)

DDW page 30

Krupp Gun This gun was manufactured by Fried Krupp AG, Essen, Germany in 1907 and remained in service in the German Army during the First World War 19141918. The crest of the Prussian Foot Guards Artillery Regiment can be seen on the top surface of the barrel. The gun was captured near La Vacquerie, northeast France, on 29th Sept.1914 by the New Zealand Division. Two battalions of the Wellington Regiment were engaged in this action which was part of an allied attack on the Hindenburg line of defences. At the end of the First World War this gun and many other captured arms were sent to New Zealand as war trophies. In 1920 this piece was gifted to the City of Wellington in honour of the soldiers from the Wellington District. For almost 80 years the gun was displayed at Newtown Park. It is thought to be the only one of its kind remaining from about 190 manufactured. The Krupp Gun was part of a restoration project in 1999-2001. This is a short walk form the Carter Observatory in the botanic gardens accessible from the top of the Wellington Cable Car. Knupp Gun 2013

Knupp Gun Botanic Gardens Wellington 2013

DDW page 31

DDW page 32


DDW page 33

Massey Memorial Point Halswell The memorial is located on Point Halswell, a site long associated with defence. Point Halswell, initially known as Rukutoa, was originally occupied by a Maori pa named ‘Kai-tawharo’. (‘to eat jellyfish’). The land was taken by the Crown in 1841 for ‘public purposes’ and renamed after Judge Edmond Halswell who had arrived in New Zealand that same year. From 1885 the site was used for the Halswell Battery and barracks, one of a number of coastal defence forts built to protect Wellington after the Crimean War from the threat of a Russian sea borne invasion. The battery was built and maintained by prison labour. In 1913 the site was leased by the Justice Department for use as a women’s prison. The fort remained armed until the First World War when it was converted into a magazine.

Inside of Massey’s Tomb

Massey was New Zealand’s Prime Minister throughout the First World War, and the only leader in the commonwealth who retained his position after the war. On Massey’s death in 1925 Parliament passed the Massey Burialground Act, which allocated 0.8 hectares (two acres) of land for use as a burial ground for Massey and his widow, Christina Massey. The fort, which had remained unused for over eleven years, was converted into a crypt. The original gun-pit was lined with marble to serve as a vault for Massey and his wife. A temporary marble obelisk was erected over the gun-pit roof to mark the grave above ground until the present memorial was completed in 1930.

Inside of Massey’s Tomb

Massey Memorial 1930’s

Massey Memorial 1930’s Halswell Battery

DDW page 34

The Massey Memorial, visible from many parts of the city, is an outstanding feature of Wellington Harbour. The grand, classically influenced, marble structure was designed by Samuel Hurst Seager in conjunction with Auckland architects Gummer and Ford. It cost over £15,000, much of which was contributed by public donations. Seager was well known as a designer of memorials and was responsible for the design of the famous Chunuk Bair War Memorial. Following the completion of the Massey Memorial, Gummer and Ford were commissioned to complete numerous war memorials around New Zealand, including the National War Memorial in Wellington.

Massey Memorial 1930’s

Massey Memorial 1930’s

DDW page 35

The Massey Memorial is located on Point Halswell, which is accessed via Massey Road, Wellington.

The main feature of the Massey Memorial is seven columns arranged in a semi-circle, topped by a curved marble block. A long paved marble walk leads back to the entrance of the crypt where an inscription lists the names of Massey and his wife. The memorial was originally to have been made entirely of Italian marble but, following protests from nationalistic members of Parliament, the architects settled on a base of Coromandel granite with the remaining structure composed of Kairuru marble from the Takaka quarry. Built by the firm of Hansford and Mills, the memorial traces the design of the original fort. The paved walkway marks the location of the underground magazine area that is now used as a passageway to reach the vault. The dome in the centre of the curved end marks the position of the 8 inch disappearing gun pit. The lower level of the fort, once used for shell and cartridge storage, remain intact under the memorial. During the Second World War the site was re-commissioned for defence purposes and the remains of an observation post can be seen on the terraces behind the Memorial.

Massey Memorial 2013

DDW page 36

Massey Memorial 2013

The Massey Memorial has national significance as a memorial to William Ferguson Massey, a Prime Minister remembered for his staunch imperialism and governance of New Zealand throughout the First World War. It has great historical significance and potential educational value through its association with part of an early coastal defence system for Wellington Harbour. It is also an illustration of the pre-occupation with the virtues of the empire and the fashion for building elaborate and prominent memorials that characterised the early part of the twenty-first century. As a prominent Wellington landmark and an excellent example of the work of Samuel Hurst Seager, the Memorial also has great architectural significance. It demonstrates the careful siting and austere simplicity that characterised his work as New Zealand’s official architect of war memorials. As an unusual conversion a former battery into a crypt, the Memorial has both rarity and technological value. Immaculately maintained, the highly visible landmark is an integral part of New Zealand’s national defence and governance history.

Massey Memorial 2013

Massey Memorial 2013

DDW page 37

DDW page 38


DDW page 39

Anti-Aircraft Wellington has seen two periods of large scale defence construction. The first was in the 1880's and 1890's when the British Empire was at war with Russia. The primary perceived threat at the time was seaborne. The second period was during the Second World War. With the Japanese involved the threat of attach again loomed. This time however the threat was not only seaborne but also airborne.

Mt Victoria AA

In 1942 Construction of defence works was at it's peak. Early that year the Japanese were still advancing in the pacific (although the tide was to turn against them before the year's end) In Wellington existing Coastal batteries were strengthened and new batteries constructed. This was to defend against the seaward threat. To defend against the airborne threat a ring of batteries was built equipped with 3.7" calibre Anti-Aircraft guns. These were built during this period of defence construction.

Site “W� Plans of General AA site layout Archives NZ 2013

DDW page 40

In March of 1942 plans were received for constructing anti-aircraft batteries using British 3.7" guns. As soon as these plans arrived construction was started on them. The Heavy AA (Anti-Aircraft) Batteries built around Wellington Consisted of the following: Gun emplacements With gun mount within a octagonal shaped space with ammunition recesses and a toilet in the octagonal surround. Off this surround were wings containing a war shelter and a magazine. Mt Victora AA

Command Post Generally roughly rectangular in shape the Command Post contained the telephone room, an “Accumulation� recess, with the range finder, predictor, telescope and commanders position located on an exterior part of the Command Post. Accommodation for personnel Near to the battery was accommodation for battery personnel. Sometimes existing structures were utilised for accommodation otherwise a camp was built nearby (unless there was one nearby).

Illustration By Ross Ellis 2013

DDW page 41

In Wellington six of these batteries were built. They were at Somes Island, Mt. Crawford, Mt. Victoria, Brooklyn, Tinakori Hill and Johnsonville. All of them were 4 gun batteries except for the one at Johnsonville. Mt. Victoria At the outbreak of World War 2 a mobile Anti-Aircraft battery was set up with it’s personnel camping out in tents. Replaced by 3.7” heavy AA battery guns installed June 1942. Accommodation for 176 personnel including Regimental Headquarters. This was demolished as they were on public reserve land and were a safety hazard in May 1970 by Ministry of Works.

Mt Victoria AA Site 1967

Tinakori Hill Battery and accommodation for 151 personnel. Tinakori Hills - Demolished 1969 also by Ministry of works. Johnsonville Although foundations for all 4 emplacements were built only 2 of the emplacements were completed and guns installed. No accommodation was needed at this battery I am unsure of when this was demolished or if there was houses built over this but this was located deep in suburban Johnsonville so was likely to have been demolished to make way for new houses. Brooklyn Battery and accommodation for 109 personnel. Otherwise know as Pol Hill this is easy to find follow the signs to the Windmill in Brooklyn which is off Ashton Fitchett Drive. Park at the bottom of the road which leads to windmill which is below the gate and follow the track up the hill a few minutes and you will find a AA Battery Site in reasonable condition this site is owned by the Wellington City Council so at least it’s not due to be demolished anytime soon.

Pol Hill Brooklyn 2013

DDW page 42

Mt Pleasant AA 1943

Pol Hill Brooklyn 2013

DDW page 43

Mt. Crawford Battery (and accommodation?) for 109 personnel This one is located on Mt Crawford the easiest way to get to this is to take the path up from the Massey Memorial covered in a earlier part in this book.

Mt Crawford AA site 2011

Mt Crawford AA Site 2011

Mt Crawford AA Site and Ammo Magazine 2011

DDW page 44

Somes Island Existing buildings modified to requirements. These which are in very good condition as they are looked after by The Department of Conservation (DOC). They are located on Matiu/Somes Island. The island is accessible by East by West Ferries there are selected timetables to the island so please check and they will not stop at island if its too rough out there I would say to make a day of this one as there is also a lot wildlife, lighthouse, an old quarantine and remains of a degaussing station which was used during WWII.

Map of Somes Island AA Site (DOC)

Somes Island AA Site 2013

Somes Island AA Site 2013

DDW page 45

DDW page 46


DDW page 47

DDW page 48


DDW page 49

Belmont Magazines The Belmont Hills are situated between Porirua East and the Hutt Valley near Wellington, New Zealand. An area in these hills was chosen by the Army as a magazine area due to its close proximity to Wellington yet not near any urban areas. The go-ahead for the Magazine area was granted on the 30th of October 1942 and preliminary site work and roading was started immediately. The existing road was widened and extended to and wind it’s way through the site.. The magazines to be built were of predominantly reinforced concrete construction with the parts of the walls and roof being precast. The predominant type used was the “ Type P” and was 25 feet wide while the design allowed for the length of either 50, 60 or 100 feet. They even had a double width variant of the design available.

M Type Magazine 1997

While the “Type P” magazines were being constructed, work started on the construction of 10 “Type M” magazines which were also precast and were 20 feet wide. Due to weather and manpower issues at one stage the Army had enough munitions sitting outside and under canvas to fill the magazines had they been ready. The positioning of each magazine relative to the road was dependent on the size and shape of the magazine. The long magazines with doors at both ends were parallel to the road while the nearly square magazines face the road with its doors to the road.

P Type Magazine Belmont 2012

DDW page 50

M Type Magazine 1997

Only two of the magazines at Belmont were built with double walls. The rest of them were built with single walls. Later on in 1944 an additional 10 magazines were built. These were of the “Macallan” type. They had steel rather then precast concrete frame. Eight of these were grouped at the North Ease end of the area. These were originally for the Ministry of Supply. This small cluster had the road encircling the cluster with each magazine having a door at either end facing the road. The other two “Macallan” type magazines are amidst the “Type p” magazines. To summarise the work done 3 miles of road had been widened and metaled, 3½ miles of new road created, 62 magazine buildings, as well as laboratory, office, stores and the camp. The Belmont Magazine was still in use as recently as the 1960’s.

Map of Belmont maps Archives NZ 2013

Today the Belmont Magazine area is a part of the Belmont Regional Park. It is also farmland, which is administered by Landcorp. The magazines are in various states of disrepair with the worst being in the Ministry of Supply cluster. A small airstrip has only destroyed some roading. Six have been put to use for farm related purposes - three of which have been modified.. Another magazine exists in a Natural Gas equivalent of a substation and has been substantially altered. This is in Belmont Regional Park which however you try to get to there involves a lot of walking. You can climb up through Belmont Regional Park from the Hutt Valley side which be about a 4 hour hike. I suggest going along the Paramata Haywards Road state highway 58 from Porirua to the Hutt and turn onto Belmont Road drive up as far as possible then walk the rest of the way, this is about a 2 hour walk.

Blueprint map of Belmont maps Archives NZ 2013

Belmont Magazines 2012

DDW page 51

DDW page 52


DDW page 53

Camps There were numerous camps around the Wellington area that no longer exist and these pages are a dedication to them. May they rest in pieces.

The Kitcheqer Camp Johnsonville 1910

Miramar Mounted camp 30/09/1914

DDW page 54

Newtown Camp 7th Regiment 1914

Camp at Anderson Park 1944

Rongatai Militia 1945 Archives New Zealand

DDW page 55

DDW page 56


DDW page 57

Fort Dorset Fort Dorset was located in the suburb of Seatoun at the entrance to the harbour of Wellington. This brief profile is about the buildings and structures rather than the people who have been at Fort Dorset. There is only a few bunker remains up in the hills above where Fort Dorset was located As early as the late 1870's Pt Dorset was identified as a ideal site for a coastal battery. This was recommended by Colonel Scratchely. However this advice was ignored and work was undertaken to defend the inner harbour. In 1908 work began on constructing a 2 gun battery using 6"MkVII guns (on MkII mountings) on the top of the ridge at Pt Dorset. By 1912 these 6" guns were manned by the Wellington Naval Artillery Volunteers. Near this battery was a battery of 12pdr guns. Also by this time there were searchlights which were powered by engines which were in a shed on the landward side of the eastern ridge. In 1914 the 12pdr guns were removed and installed on merchant ships due to World War 1.

Bunkers above Fort Dorset 2012

As the defence focus had moved from defending the inner harbour to denying access to the harbour many of the inner harbour forts were shut down. Between World War 1 and World War 2 Fort Dorset had permanent personnel who maintained the various coastal artillery equipment around Wellington. The 12pdr guns were returned to Fort Dorset in 1921. It was not until the 26th April 1929 that Fort Dorset was officially declared as a military establishment in the "Gazette" No. 28. Fort Dorset and the new 6" battery built at Palmer Heads above Strathmore were at the outbreak of World War 2 the only large coastal guns in place to defend Wellington. During World War 2 a third gun was added to the Palmer Heads battery, Fort Opau – another 6" battery was built during 1941/42. The large 9.2" battery on Wrights Hill above Karori which was started in 1942 was not finished until after the war. During the Second World War quite a few buildings were added to accommodate the increase in personnel. Also during this period of construction overhead covers for the 6" guns were added. At its prime, there was a total of no less than four different batteries of guns that were part of Fort Dorset. Among them were 6" guns, 4"guns, Q.F. 12pdr guns as well as searchlights Along the southern ridge line were numerous fire control posts and observation posts as well as guns.

Dorset Point 6in Battery Blue Print

DDW page 58

Bunkers above Fort Dorset 2012

Bunkers above Fort Dorset 2012

Fort Dorset 1943

In contrast to the extensive amount of construction work undertaken since 1930 in developing and strengthening the defences it was decided in 1957 that the Coastal Defences were no longer required. So in the summer of 1960/61 the 6" guns at Fort Dorset were removed and scrapped along with the guns from the Palmer Heads Fortress area and the Fortress on Wrights Hill. The scrap merchant was an Australian company who then sold the scrap metal to (ironically) the Japanese. During the 1980's the role of Fort Dorset was that of providing accommodation for about 200 military personnel as well as transit accommodation for members of the Air Force, Army and Navy. Also the fort provided regimental messing facilities and personnel administration support for the Army General Staff and Defence HQ.

Bunkers above Fort Dorset 2012

Many of the buildings were refurbished in the 1980's. This is ironic (in hindsight) since on the 1st of November 1991 Fort Dorset was officially closed. Between November 1991 and June 1999 various groups and individuals have had permission to use occupy/use parts of Fort Dorset for various purposes. The Ministry of Education was authorised in December 1997 to buy 2.5 Hectares for a new Seatoun School as the existing school is too small and cramped for today's requirements. 7 Hectares on the southern end of Fort Dorset rezoned as residential for development for town houses. At midnight in the evening on the 2nd June 1999 the central part of the camp from the gun bays southward to the tennis courts (inclusive) became property of the Ministry of Education. Construction of a Medieval village around the 2 composite squadron HQ/ Gym/conference rm bldg and tennis courts. Most likely a film set possibly for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films. This set was only up for a short time. It is a great shame that Fort Dorset has disappeared. A few of it's buildings dated back to the 1920's while many of it's buildings were built during World War 2. Although many of the buildings were refurbished internally in the 1980's their exteriors remained virtually unchanged over the years with the camp appearing like it did in the 1950's. Until it's demolition Wellington had a great collection of military works remaining - although many were in various states of disrepair.

Bunkers above Fort Dorset 2012

Bunkers above Fort Dorset 2012

Fort Dorset during World War II

DDW page 59

DDW page 60


DDW page 61

Fort Opau In April 1941 construction was authorised for a 2 gun coastal battery for close defence located above cliffs near Opau Bay on the western coastline of Wellington. The fort was armed with two 6" MkVII breach loading guns on PIII mountings. Before work could commence a two mile road had to be created to provide access to the site. Part of a nearby gully was filled in to provide a flat area to be used as a barracks area. This was hidden from the sea by being below the landward side of the ridge. 7 November 1941 saw the contract for the gun emplacements being let with work on the No.1 emplacement starting immediately. The No.2 emplacement was started on the 15 of November. Work started on a Radar Direction Finding station on the 29 November as radar was used to guide the guns.

Over looking Fort Opau two emplacements

Both of the 6" guns had been temporarily stored at Fort Dorset and then they were moved from there up to Fort Opau. Installation of the No.1 gun was undertaken between December 14 1941 and the 22nd. After Christmas, between December 28 and January 3 1942 the No.2 gun was installed. Both of the emplacements were completed during January. The guns were proofed on the 26th of January in 1942 with the results being deemed satisfactory by the army. The RDF (Radar Direction Finding) station was completed on the 28th of February. Construction of the BOP (Battery Observation Post) and Command Post was started on the 20th of January 1942 and completed on the 9th of April. Although this may seem like along time by today's standards 1942 saw an enormous amounts of defence related construction being undertaken due to the Japanese expansion within the pacific. At the same time due to the war construction manpower was stretched to the limit.

Map of the Camp at Fort Opau Archives NZ 2013

Fort Opau 2012

DDW page 62

By late 1943 the situation in the Pacific had improved so on the 6th of September 1943 Fort Opau was put into care and maintenance. The decision to decommission the fort was made about June 1944. On the 28th of June the guns were loaded onto rail to be sent to the Royal New Zealand Navy armament depot in Auckland. On the 4th of September the same year the radar equipment was dismantled.

Fort Opau Officers Quarters 2012

It is interesting to note that Fort Opau was decommissioned before the end of the war in the Pacific (which ended on the 15th of August 1945) and before the 9.2" battery on Wrights Hill above Karori was operational. Like many coastal defence works in New Zealand history, Fort Opau never fired a shot at any enemy vessels during its short life. On 20 March 1988 a plaque was unveiled on the north side of the northern emplacement. It briefly describes the history of the Fort Opau Battery. Although devoid of all of their fittings, the concrete remains of the observation post, command post and emplacements still remain. Part of the RDF station building remains although in ruin. Nearby in the barracks area, the foundations for most of the buildings are all that remains of the camp that housed the gunners of Fort Opau. The Fort used to be only publicly accessible from the Makara walkway which is a circular walk of about 6km starting and finishing at Makara beach. The walkway is administered by the Dept of Conservation and is open for most of the year except during lambing season. Now it is accessible from a short walk for the Meridian West Wind Farm in Makara.

Fort Opau Accommodation Remains 2012

Fort Opau 6 inch Gun Emplacements 2012

DDW page 63

DDW page 64


DDW page 65

Palmer Heads Fortress Area The Palmer Heads fortress area was located on the hill top above the suburb of Strathmore in Wellington, New Zealand. All that remains is an underground plotting room which I have never been able to find and the radar station. In June of 1934 the site got approval by the War Office as a location for a two gun battery using 6" Mk XXI guns. The preliminary site work was started in January of 1935. The contract for the emplacements was given to M.G. Templeton and Sons on the 23rd of March 1936. From January of 1936 parts of the guns started arriving and were temporarily stored at Fort Dorset. In June that year the two guns themselves arrived and were stored on site. One of the guns during the haul up the hill went over the bank due to the road sinking. It took a day to get it back on the road.

Plan of gun emplacement Palmer Head Fortress Archives NZ

The emplacements were finished on the 12th of January 1937. Minor contract work was still being done up until June. Then the site was cleared and prepared for the installation of the guns. The 1st of September saw work on installing the first gun started. Work on installation of the guns was done over four work days per week. The first gun took 16 working days and the second gun a further 12. By the 19th October the guns were complete except for their sights. The battery manned as the 13th Heavy Battery was placed on a war footing on the 4th of September 1939. At this time the men were accommodated in tents. With the only buildings in existence being the Battery Observation Post, Command Post, Plotting rooms and a army barracks. Over the next few years more buildings were erected including more barracks, laundry and drying rooms, new Command Post (with the Command Post hill lowered), recreation room, new mess and officers quarters, reservoirs, new cook house and segments mess as well as radar stations. Also searchlights had been installed near the foreshore near the battery. Work started on underground plotting rooms on the 7th January 1942. These became operational on the 12th July 1943. Later unfortunately due to leaks developing in the underground plotting area early in 1944 the equipment was dismantled and stored in the Fortress plotting room and the rooms stripped to allow work to be undertaken to remedy this problem. This work had not been finished by February 1947.

Palmer Head Gun Proposed Amendments

DDW page 66

Underground plotting rooms Palmer Heads Darcy Waters

Underground plotting rooms Palmer Heads Darcy Waters

Palmer Underground Plotting Room Map 1943

It was decided that the guns were to have overhead covers and so work started on them on the 9th March 1942. The covers were never finished as it was decided to remove them which was done on the 30th August to enable the guns to fire landward if need be as well as seaward. Work on an emplacement and underground magazine for a third gun was started on the 30th December 1942. Its pedestal was mounted on the 9th September 1943. This gun was installed by the 12th September 1943 except for the bracket connecting the gun to the cradle hadn't arrived. This bracket arrived and was fitted in November 1946. This gun was proofed on the 13th August 1947. Palmer Heads Radar Station 2012

A No.10 wireless set was installed for F.C. Communications in early March 1947. This provided a communications link with the fortress at the top of Wrights Hill above the suburb of Karori. This link was in fact a microwave link. Microwave communications had been developed as a spin-off from the development of radar. 1952 saw the officers mess being shifted down to Fort Dorset in the nearby suburb of Seatoun In 1957 the Government deemed that the coastal defences built during World War 2 were no longer needed and so In the 1960's all the coastal batteries were stripped and some demolished. The guns were scrapped early in the 1960's along with the guns from Fort Dorset and the battery on Wrights Hill. This was done by an Australian contractor who then sold the scrap metal to the Japanese - The people that the guns were installed to defend us from!

Palmer Heads Radar Station 2012

The abandoned gun pits were dangerous and so were either filled in or blown up in the late 1960's.

Palmer Heads Radar Station 2012

DDW page 67


DDW page 68

DDW page 69

Point Jeringham A saluting battery site would not normally warrant a separate mention had it not been used briefly in WWII to fire guns in anger. Proposed in the 1890s as a site for an inner harbour battery, to mount one 7-inch RML, it was not selected in favour of the Gardens Battery, Kelburn. In 1925 it took over the saluting role from Alexandra Barracks, Mt Cook, firing salutes to visiting dignitaries and on regal occasions. The saluting battery at Mt Cook was where the Carillon now stands and had to be moved to make way forts construction.

Sign on Carlton Gore Road 2013

It had been there since 1914, and before that at Pipitea St/Thorndon Quay since 1900. At Jerningham in 1925 it received two 6pr guns from Battery Point, Lyttelton (without their shields) and two from Fort Balance in Wellington. Jerningham was then chosen (along with the tennis court adjacent to North Head’s South Battery) for a considerably enlarged saluting and training battery. Six 4-inch MkVII guns from HMS New Zealand were now installed, to be redirected in the late 1930s to Fort Dorset and Battery Pt as XB armament.

Point Jerningham 2013

DDW page 70

The first two were relocated to Fort Dorset's Gap Battery in 1936 (after a good over haul at Trentham). In 1939 two more went to Dorset and also two to Battery Point in Lyttelton Harbour. In WWII four anti-tank guns were based at Jerningham,ranging into the harbour with a search light. This site is still in service well at least they still have guns located here unsure on its future as the buildings are earthquake prone the site with not disappear as this is on reserve land The location of this is off Carlton Gore Road, Roseneath, you must go through Roseneath School to get into this one. There is a gate to the Reserve at the end of the school.

Map of Point Jerningham Archives NZ 2013

Point Jerningham 2013

DDW page 71


DDW page 72

DDW page 73

Sinclair Head Sinclair Head Forward Observation Post was a radio post used for spotting ships coming through the Cook Straight. I assume that it was relayed up to Wrights Hill where the main battery of guns were there is also a track that leads up to the Fortress. You can see where the radio antenna was located in the main lookout. This was about a 3 hour walk around the Red Rocks Reserve and then straight up a hill bordering on a cliff there are DOC maps around if you have trouble finding this place. There is no access to this place by road as most of the land around the area is privately owned. I have not been able to find much information or even old photos of this place as I think it was only used as a lookout area to make sure they knew about any enemy boats in the Cook Strait and could relay to the fortress up the hill which surely by old bike or jeep would have taken 5 or 10 minutes.

Sinclair Head FOP 2013

DDW page 74

Sinclair Head FOP 2013

Sinclair Head FOP 2013

Sinclair Head FOP 2013

DDW page 75


DDW page 76

DDW page 77

Shelly Bay Perched at the bottom of the western side of Mount Crawford (on the Miramar Peninsula) in Wellington, was the Shelly Bay Air Force Base. The Air Force were only the latest branch of the Armed Forces to occupy Shelly Bay.

Shelly Bay Officer Quarters and Mass 1948

A big earthquake that hit Wellington in 1855 lifted the land out of the sea creating the shelf along which Wellington’s urban motorway skirts the western edge of the harbour. The same ‘quake created beaches at the various bays around the foothills of Mount Crawford on Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula. Going back to 1885 Shelly bay was selected as suitable for relocating the Submarine Mining Depot which was at the time located in Thorndon and Mahanga Bay. However it wasn’t until the following year that the Depot was relocated with haste due to a “Russian Scare” (At the time the Russians were the enemy of the British Empire).

Shelly Bay Office Hospital 1948

The minefield for which this depot was made was never actually laid however all shore based facilities were completed. Fort Balance on the other side of the Peninsula had a control room for remotely detonating mines within the field. The responsibilities and depot were transferred to the Navy in 1907. In 1914 some munitions stores were built and the small tramway connecting the depot with its wharf was extended to service them. The following year saw the Public Works Dept. build the Government Magazine there, which they operated. However due to the fact that the tram trolleys of the PWD were of a different gauge to the Defence tram trolleys and the PWD replacing the track third rail was added in 1916 so both PWD and Defence tram trolleys could be used.

An Aerial View of Shelly bay post war

Shelly Bay Map 1948

DDW page 78

Early in 1942 trees were cleared from the site and excavations dug for the magazines. In April the contract was let for the construction work for the armament depot situated on the hillside behind Shelly Bay. This involved the construction of ten magazine buildings, laboratory, office, garage and also a house for an ordnance officer. These buildings had a combined floor area of 20,845 square feet and were occupied by the end of 1942.

Shelly Bay Shipwrights Building 1948

Meanwhile in May of 1942 reclamation work started in Shelly Bay and the adjacent northward bay for the creation of flat land space for the naval base HMNZS Cook itself. This was done by excavating adjacent hillsides and using it as fill for reclamation work. By the end of 1942 reclamation work had progressed far enough that construction of the base could start. The buildings were constructed as flat land and manpower became available. While the reclamation work was occurring, dredging of the bay in preparation for the wharves was taking place. The wharves themselves were started on October of 1942.

Shelly Bay Stores and Workshop Building 1948

By the time HMNZS Cook was complete it had facilities and quarters for personnel as well as workshops, shipwrights shop, and a small hospital. The buildings had a combined floor space of 69,050 square feet. While the wharf and breastwork totaled 37,200 square feet and had 1,200 feet of bearthage. Slipways and workshops were provided with “sideslipping” ways off the main slipway. These were for servicing the “Fairmile” Launches. In April of 1946 HMNZS Cook was transferred over to the RNZAF and became known as the Shelly Bay Air Force Base.

Shelly Bay Submarine Mining Depot Barracks 1948

Shelly Bay Air Force Base 1948 Alexander Turnbull Library

DDW page 79

Since then Shelly Bay has been occupied by the RNZAF. In recent years it has been used primarily as accommodation for air staff based in Wellington as well as having a catering unit and responsible for the military air freight terminal at Wellington Airport. By early 1979 Shelly Bay provided administration for 300 personnel while accommodating 100 men and in the early 1980’s about 150 people were based at Shelly Bay (including 20 civilians). One of the few major changes to the buildings was the construction of the Combined Mess building in 1985 at the north end of the base. Shelly Bay 2013

In 1994 the Evening Post in an article published on the 7th February 1994 said that the Air Force says it has no plans to move out of Shelly Bay. And yet the following year saw on the 30th June 1995 the RNZAF lower it’s ensign for the last time at Shelly bay with it’s official decommissioning. By the 29th July only 52 RNZAF personnel remained.

Shelly Bay 2013

DDW page 80

The Taranaki Whanui (comprising of four Iwi) and the Government of New Zealand signed a Deed of settlement for the Port Nicholson Block Claim at Pipitea Marae on the 19th August 2008. This involved land at various locations around Wellington and the Hutt Valley. Shelly Bay was among them and was one of several locations that they could “buy back” as part of the settlement. On Saturday the 14th of February 2009 during a ceremony held at the Shelly bay Air Force base The Taranaki Whanui became the new owners and custodians of the site. In mid 2010 one wing of the WWII barracks was demolished due to an unsafe roof. The rest of it will be removed and sold. The area it occupied will be for he time being grassed over. Many of the remaining buildings are occupied by various groups A wedding and conference venue, film studio and even a cafe “The Chocolate Fish”.

Shelly Bay 2013

Shelly Bay 2013

DDW page 81

DDW page 82


Wrights Hill Fortress Wrights Hill Fortress was built in the 1940's as a long range coastal battery to protect Wellington city and environs from possible enemy attack and invasion from the Pacific in World War Two. The site was selected as early as 1935, but it wasn't until March 1942 that authority was given for work to proceed on the construction of three 9.2 inch guns. The British designed Fortress was adapted to New Zealand conditions and by October 1942 construction was being pushed ahead with top priority. Towards the end of 1943 when the situation in the Pacific had improved, the priority lapsed and its completion was carried out in more leisurely fashion. The whole project was kept secret and was referred to as Site "W". A barbed wire fence surrounded the Fortress.

Wrights hill, Karori, Wellington showing the concrete mixing plant during construction of defense works. 1943

The extensive underground work started in November, 1942, by a firm of engineering contractors, Downers. They constructed the massive task of 2,030 feet (620 metres) of interconnecting tunneling in just two years, working often three 8-hour shifts over 24 hours. When Downers became short of men in December 1943, the Public Works department helped out with men and machines. Two massive 185 horsepower Ruston and Hornsby diesel generators were installed to provide the power to manoeuvre the guns, and a smaller auxiliary generator were put in to provide power for lighting and air conditioning. Gun barrel and gun carriage unloaded at port Wellington.1944

Wright Hill Fortress 1957

DDW page 84

Wright Hill Fortress 1943

Two huge 9.2 inch guns were installed by the Army in 1944, after arriving by ship from England. The whole gun weighed 135 tons, with the barrel alone weighing 28 tons. The order for the third gun was canceled after an improvement in the Pacific war situation. The guns could fire a 380 pound (172 kg) shell up to 18 miles (30 km) across Cook Strait towards Tory channel, or up as far as Plimmerton. Each shell was about three feet (1 metre) long and was propelled by two half charges of 62 pounds (28kg) of cordite. The guns of course never fired in anger but were test fired, each with three rounds, in 1946 and 47 after the War. The Army reported later that the "proofings," as they were called, were "most satisfactory". Broken windows resulted at the Fortress after the blasts. Gun No.2 being cut up 1960

The Fortress was used for training purposes up to the mid 1950's but a Government decision in early 1960 resulted in the guns being cut up for scrap and being sold, ironically, to the Japanese. The gun emplacements were filled with rubble and other equipment removed from the Fortress.

Engine room Wrights hill fortress 1945

Wright Hill Fortress 1957

DDW page 85

After years of neglect the Fortress complex was “rescued” in 1988 by the Karori Lions Club who opened them up to the public for the first time on ANZAC Day 1989. The Wrights Hill Fortress Restoration Society was formed a few years later and it has been actively restoring the coastal battery to its former state. Thousands of voluntary hours and tens of thousands of dollars have been spent over the past ten years on restoration work. This includes digging out gun pit number one, restoring the radio room, waterproofing inside the tunnels, rebuilding wooden walls, repainting and completely rewiring the Fortress. Work is also progressing on the engine room. A replica gun barrel, ten metres long, was built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the installation of the guns at the top of Wrights Hill. The Incorporated Society’s aims are “to restore and preserve the Wrights Hill Fortress as an historical monument for the benefit of the community”. Membership is available to anyone for a small charge and money raised from membership and Open Days goes towards restoration costs.

Wrights Hill Fortress 2012

DDW page 86

Wrights Hill Fortress 2012

The Fortress is open to the general public on the following days: Waitangi Day, February 6 ANZAC Day, April 25 Queens Birthday, June (first Monday) Labour Day, October (third Monday) December Open Day, December 28 On these open days, the fortress hours are 10am - 4pm. With an entrance fee of $5 adult as of 2013. Wrights Hill Fortress is in Karori. Travel along Karori Road (the main road of Karori turn left into Campbell Street, just before the Karori Mall. Travel along Campbell Street to Wrights Hill Road, the last road on the right Come up Wrights Hill Road to the top car park and there is plenty of parking space. The Fortress entrance is on the same level as the car park.

Wrights Hill Fortress 2012

Wrights Hill Fortress 2012

DDW page 87

DDW page 88


DDW page 89

Points of Interest

Mount Cook Barracks Located Cnr Tasman and Buckle Street

General Headquarters Building (Former). Cnr of Taranaki and Buckle Street

National War Memorial (New Zealand) (Carillon lower left),New Zealand Dominion Museum building (copper-roofed building lower middle and lower right),:Government House, Wellington (Edwardian building right middle)

DDW page 90

Sliverstream Hospital 2007 This is located at the start of Sliverstream and is pretty run down it belongs to a Christian organisation.

Sketch of National War Memorial (New Zealand) (Carillon) and New Zealand Dominion Museum building.

DDW page 91


DDW page 92

DDW page 93

Rest in Pieces

DDW page 94

Fort Kelburne Demolished Sept. 1963

Mahanga Bay - Military Camp Demolished Post War Date Unknown

Mount Cook Ordnance Workshop Demolished 1916

Mount Cook Original Drill Shed Demolished 1915-1917?

Alexandria Barracks/Old Goal Demolished 1927

Mount Cook Powder Magazine Demolished 1927

Central City - Defence HQ Demolished 1980’s

Melrose School of Artillery Demolished 1943

Drill Hall Petone Demolished 2000??

Degaussing Station Somes Island Demolished 1946??

Bunkers in various areas Demolished up until around 1980’s due to safety reasons

DDW page 95

Appendix Appendix: Appendix I Map of Locations Appendix II Glossary of Terms Appendix III Bibliography

DDW page 96

Appendix I Map of Locations

Wellington Disappearing Defences Map of Locations mention in this book .m ap



on gp cm



.f f h n l. mb i






Belmont Magazine Area


Kaiwarra Magazine


Fort Balance



Fort Buckley

dm Fort Dorset Remains


Sliversteam Hospital

Kau Point Battery


Sinclair Head FOP


Mt Crawford AA Battery



Palmer Heads Fortress Area


Wrights Hill Fortress

Pol Hill AA Battery


Gardens battery


Fort Opau



Massey Memorial

l .

Somes Island AA Battery

Shelly Bay

DDW page 97

Appendix II Glossary of Terms Peerage: The peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which is constituted by the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system. The term is used both collectively to refer to the entire body of noble titles (or a subdivision thereof), and individually to refer to a specific title (and generally has an initial capital in the former case and not the latter). The holder of a peerage is termed a peer.

Titles of Peerage (in order of Rank).

Battery: Artillery battery, an organized group of artillery pieces; also gun battery with similar groupings on warships.

Non-peerage styles and titles

Crown: The Crown is a corporation sole that, in the Commonwealth realms and any of its provincial or state sub-divisions, represents the legal embodiment of executive, legislative, or judicial governance. Crimean War: Was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. Commonwealth: Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically, it has sometimes been synonymous with “republic”. More recently it has been used for fraternal associations of some sovereign nations. Most notably, the Commonwealth of Nations, an association primarily of former members of the British Empire, is often referred to as simply “the Commonwealth”. Emplacement: Emplacement may refer to: A place where something is located, a fortification, artillery battery, casemate, fortified gun emplacement ,redoubt, or enclosed defense emplacement

Duke Marquesses Earl Viscounts Barons Baronets (styled as Sir) Knights (styled as Sir)

Aberrations: BOP: Battery Observation Point DOC: Department of Conservation FOP: Forward Observation Point HQ: Headquarters HMS: Her Majesty’s Ship HMNZS: Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship MK II: Mark 2 i.e.: second version MT: Mount NIWA: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research PDR: Pounder PT: Point PWD: Public Works Department Radar: Radio Detection Ranging RDF: Radar Direction Finding RML: Rifle Muzzle Loading RNZAF: Royal New Zealand WWI : World War One WWII: World War Two

Fort Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defense in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs. The term is derived from the Latin fortis (“strong”) and facere (“to make”).


Cailbre In guns, particularly firearms, caliber or calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the barrel, or the diameter of the projectile it fires. In a rifled barrel, the distance is measured between opposing lands or grooves

1 yard = 36 inch = 3 feet or 0.9144m

Degaussing Degaussing is the process of decreasing or eliminating a remnant magnetic field. It is possibly named after the Gauss unit of magnetism, which in turn is named after Carl Friedrich Gauss

DDW page 98

1 inch = 0.0253m = 25.4mm 1 foot = 12 inch = 1/3 yards or 0.3048m

1 mile = 1.609km = 1.760 yard = 5280 ft 1 pound = 0.45359237 kilograms

Appendix III Bibliography Sources: Darcey Waters. content photos ex-knowledged where used. DOC: Department of Conversation Photos and map for AA site somes island. National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand 2012

National Library Alexander Turnbull Library collections. Corner Molesworth & Aitken St Black in white photos content and maps. Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kト『anatanga National Office, Wellington 10 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand PO Box 12-050, Wellington, New Zealand Charts map and photos back and white. Wrights Hill Fortress Restoration Society

National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand 2012

LOCATION: 41.30S 174.72E Karori, Wellington,New Zealand Photos and Content Colour Photography By Ross Ellis, Illustrations By Ross Ellis. Content By Ross Ellis. National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand 2012

DDW page 99


I dedicate this book to all the lives lost in the wars fought by New Zealand forces. The men and women who helped build defences to protect our shores while the masses were at war and those who fought to keep us safe. DDW page 100