Harington Point Gun Emplacements

Dunedin City District

Harington Point and it's tunnels with guns

In 1873 New Zealanders were afraid of Russian warships invading because of a prank newspaper article in Auckland (click here), which basically went along the lines of telling all of Auckland that the city was under siege from an Iron Clad Russian Warship named 'Kaskowiski', and they had taken our principal citizens hostage. All that and it wasn't even April fools. Just for kicks really. What ever the premises, we needed some sort of coastal fortifications, as we had none. Around all our harbors we built bunkers and gun pits, which still stand to this day. Harington Point is one such fortification that is now a reserve that you may visit. Not the best place to bring young children, but do bring a torch and a camera. Lots of interesting buildings here.


From Dunedin, drive about 45 minutes down the peninsular to Harington Point, from here drive just a little bit further till you pass by some concrete walls and circular blocks. Park just up a bit on a gravel pull out before the corner at the crest of the hill. Walk up to the corner and look down. You will see heaps of bunkers to go explore.

Other adventures in close proximity

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A missing child in the dark?

The best sick day is when you get the day off to look after someone else that isn't feeling that great. This such occasion was my daughter, Sequoia. Friday was the day and we started from there. I grabbed the poor little lady and fastened her into a seat, nabbed the camera and hit the gas. From my house to the guns was about an hours drive, she slept the whole way. I sat for another 10 minutes sprucing up the camera in the small gravel pull off just before the crest of the hill where the old turrets are. She finally woke and we stepped out into the unforgiving cold wind blowing off the coast. With more clothes that you can imagine, a bag over one arm, a camera strap as well and a little lady perched on my other, she is only 1 and a half and can't handle the rugged terrain like her dad, we made it down the dodgy, slippery, muddy path and to the first of the bunkers. This first bunker was the main building for this fortification, all underground with two entrances. One filled with water, so we skipped past. The second entrance looked menacing, with a narrow entrance and total blackness inside. As I started to set up my camera for some dark shots the little girl ran into the void.

Panic stuck slower than I thought, I didn't bring a flashlight, which always seems to be a problem of mine. So I whipped out the cell phone and hit the LED button on that. Jumped into the darkness and started looking for her. Pretty amazed by how far she got in the dark, I found her standing in a depression in the concrete with a little bit of water she was splashing in. Relived of the good outcome we pressed in further. Snapping pictures along the way, finding little bits of exciting around each corner. We finally made it out and headed to the next buildings. They are all very cool with some great artwork and fun trails to wonder down. If your out this way you must walk though the 100m long tunnel of dirt and dark. Very exciting stuff without a proper flashlight.

Frozen and scared but still wondering along - Stu & Sequoia