Psychedelic Underground

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.


Gravity fed

Just beneath the top of one of Wellington city’s highest peaks there is a peculiar little tunnel, originally built to service a now defunct reservoir this tunnel is now bricked up part way along. Judging by the foot traffic in here it seems to be a popular detour from the nearby walking track.

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for Urbex Central. Thanks for watching and stay tuned for 2014…

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


This 253 meter long former railway tunnel- constructed in the 1870′s- came to the end of it’s working life in 1955 when a replacement tunnel was opened. Apart from a bit of water seeping in through the cracks, it still seems in pretty sound order after all these years.






Drainy Season

Now that Wellington’s violent (some reaching 200km/hr winds) spring storms are finally ebbing away we can get back down into the slippery drains running through the city.

We recently explored an urban stream running through an industrial area – and found a drain, complete with concrete slipways in the process.
After traveling down the long tunnel we reached an impasse, a slippery slope into a deep pool of turbulent water – this is definitely a drain we will check out at the end of summer when we can progress further.

Cockatoo Island 2 – Tunnels

Underneath the Island, in the areas not hewn away to make room for heavy industry, Cockatoo island is criss-crossed with a myriad of tunnels, facilitating the movement of people, materials and equipment across the island. These also served a dual purpose as an air-raid shelter for use in the Second World War: one was even kitted out with an infirmary located in an annex to the main tunnel. Another tunnel has an elevator running right down into it from the buildings atop the island, down through the rock.

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We returned to an old haunt, some tunnels hewn through the Wellington hills, to find that some visitors from the Cave Clan had been through since our last visit. These tunnels run right through the hills carrying sewage in an enclosed pipe, the tunnels themselves have been hewn from the rock and the bare rocks are visible throughout. It was rumored that a large amount of money was hidden in these tunnels after a notorious Wellington bank robbery, council workers were sent in to investigate and the money was never found.

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