Historic cannon on North Head Reserve overlooking Auckland.

© agcreations/Getty Images/iStockphoto

North Head was a Māori and is still a fortress of sorts, with the navy maintaining a presence. It's riddled with tunnels, started at the end of the 19th century in response to the Russian threat and extended during WWI and WWII.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Auckland attractions

1. Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

0.19 MILES

The navy has been in Devonport since the earliest days of the colony. Its history is on display at this well-presented and often moving museum, focusing…

2. Mt Victoria

0.74 MILES

Mt Victoria was a Māori pā and is still a fortress of sorts, with the navy maintaining a presence.

3. Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium

1.35 MILES

In this topsy-turvy aquarium sharks and stingrays swim over and around you in transparent tunnels that were once stormwater tanks. You can also enter the…

4. Bastion Point

1.52 MILES

Politics, harbour views and lush lawns combine on this pretty headland with a chequered history. An elaborate clifftop garden mausoleum honours Michael…

5. St Stephen’s Chapel

2.01 MILES

Tiny St Stephen's Chapel was built for the signing of the constitution of NZ's Anglican Church (1857).

6. Parnell Rose Garden

2.16 MILES

These formal gardens are blooming excellent from November to March. A stroll through Dove-Myer Robinson Park leads to peaceful Judges Bay and tiny St…

7. Lighthouse

2.56 MILES

Auckland's most recent installation of public art is this replica 'state house' – a form of public housing popular in NZ in the 1930s and 1940s – erected…

8. Holy Trinity Cathedral

2.71 MILES

Auckland's Anglican cathedral is a hodgepodge of architectural styles, especially compared to St Mary's Church next door, a wonderful wooden Gothic…