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Spend hours exploring the underground tunnels, command-posts, munitions rooms, etc.
Or take the fifteen-minute tour, or longer guided tours.
NOTE: The skeleton website you might see at www.stonybatter.org was not officially set up either by the Society
or by DOC (the New Zealand Department of Conservation). A friendly visitor did it after the Society's official site was accidentally cancelled (as you can see here it has since been restored from a backup copy).
The website you are looking at now is the official one. Its contents are copyright to the Stony Batter Protection & Restoration Society Incorporated.
Breathtaking panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel Peninsular.
A fascinating family adventure in a farmland setting.
An historic feat of New Zealand engineering.
Picnic afterwards at quiet Man O'War Bay; explore the rest of Waiheke.
HISTORY: Stony Batter (named for the large boulders that litter the slopes) was built during the Second World War, part of a top-secret defensive shield against German and Japanese attack. Its big 9.2-inch (234mm) guns, capable of hurling 172kg high-explosive shells up to 32km, could have routed any naval invader. Although the guns were cut up for scrap in 1961, the huge gun-emplacements and extensive underground fort
remain, and are being restored by the Stony Batter Protection & Restoration Society. Two hundred men laboured in secret for two years to build the fort complex, using local stone to make the concrete. The walls are up to 3.7 metres thick (12 feet). Engineers of today are amazed by the workmanship and the innovative techniques that were developed. Click here for historical detail.
HOW TO GET THERE: Waiheke Island is 19.5 kilometres wide. It is 21.5 kilometres by passenger ferry from downtown Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, and about the same distance by vehicular ferry from Half Moon Bay in Howick.
Fullers' passenger ferries sail hourly from Auckland most of the day. The trip to Waiheke takes 35 minutes, landing at Matiatia Bay at the western of the island. There you can hire a car or a taxi to go out to Stony Batter. That journey also takes about 35 minutes. The walk down to the underground complex from the carpark takes a maximum of about 20 minutes.
Sealink operates car ferries from Half Moon Bay in Howick, east Auckland, landing on Waiheke at Kennedy Point. The trip takes about 45 minutes; then the drive to Stony Batter takes about 35 minutes.
The complex is open from 9am to 5pm every day--except for Public Holidays, when it is open from 10pm to 4pm. But in winter months (the winter solstice on the 21st of June to the spring equinox on the 21st of September) opening hours are restricted to 10am to 3pm from Thursday to Monday inclusive.