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Open day at Wrights Hill Fortress on Waitangi Day

With wind and showers forecast for the morning of Waitangi Day, a trip to Wright’s Hill Fortress is the perfect way to get out of the house and make good use of your day off.

Wellington’s historic Wrights Hill Fortress in Karori will be open for public inspection again on Waitangi Day – Wednesday, February 6th.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The World War Two coastal battery first opened to the public in 1989, and will be accessible between 10am and 4pm.

On Waitangi Day people are invited to self-guide themselves through the tunnels and gun emplacements. The walk usually takes about one hour and there will also be a number of guided tours during the day. Bring a torch with you.

Visitors will be able to explore the 620 metres of underground tunnels with a free map and history pamphlet. They will see the engine room, shell stores, plotting rooms and the huge gun pit where Gun Number 1 used to stand, as well as a replica of the 10 metre-long gun barrel.

Photo: Flickr / BuffyMay

Also on show will be historic photos, and an assortment of military weapons. A DVD of how a 9.2-inch gun operates will be showing as well. The World War Two Fortress is the only one of its type in New Zealand available to the public on five Open Days a year.

Wrights Hill Fortress was built from 1942 to protect Wellington from Japanese bombardment. In the early 1960s, the guns were cut up for scrap and sold, ironically, to the Japanese.

Admission is $20 for a family of two adults and three children under 15, or $8 per adult and $5 per child. (Cash only please- no EFTPOS). Access is via Karori Road, Campbell Street, and Wrights Hill Road. All proceeds go to the continuing restoration of the Fortress. There is limited car parking at the summit of the Hill.

Image: Google Maps

Visitors to the Fortress in Wrights Hill Reserve can also enjoy bush walks, picnic sites and panoramic views from the top of the hill. There will also be a BBQ sausage sizzle and soft drinks on sale. Strong footwear please and no jandals.