New Zealand’s Island Fortress

Another victim of the earthquakes, this historic wartime island was once used as a quarantine station, Maori fortification and a defence against Russian attacks.

On arrival and after a short swim across to the island we navigated our way up the steep barbed wire bank. Once inside the fort we were met by a beautifully designed historic fort which included a labyrinth of tunnels with torpedo and mine stores. The two disappearing guns on the fort were completed in 1895 and were never actually used to fire a shot in their years as part of the island fortification.

We hope they can restore this unique part of New Zealand’s history once again for visitors to appreciate it.



1 thought on “New Zealand’s Island Fortress

  1. 22081961@Win

    When I was young I stayed on Ripapa Island and shot at the range in Cass bay around the harbour. It was a lovely place and Im grateful to see that yet another DOC site that has been excluded from community access under the guise of “earthquake risk” has been brought to light. Carry on the good work you guys and feel free to come and see the sights in Wellington also under DOC “protection” Wrights Hill, Makara, and Belmont gun emplacements along with Pukerua’s pillboxes are places worth seeing.


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