Lighthouse Battery, Taiaroa Head

Engineering Work (eg road, bridge, sawmill, dam)


The Lighthouse Battery was built for a single 6-inch Armstrong breech-loading rifled coast defence cannon, with associated fire-control and ammunition-storage facilities, as part of 1880s 6-gun Fort Taiaroa. This fort was built to defend Otago Harbour's entrance. Construction of the Battery involved much underground excavation and it was built using masonry and concrete.

This is the best preserved example of a 'disappearing' gun still mounted in New Zealand. Other similar defensive installations included those at:
- Auckland's North Head
- Mt Victoria
- Fort Takapuna
- Lyttelton's Ripapa Island.

Heritage recognition
This place has been recognised by Heritage New Zealand as part of a Category 1 historic place (List no.369):
Taiaroa Head (including Six-inch Armstrong Hydropneumatic Gun and Underground Chambers): New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero information (


No Attachments


Taiaroa Heads, Otago Peninsula


Access Info
The structure is part of Royal Albatross Centre. Access by guided tour only. (

Nature of Engineering
Infrastructure (incl. Road, water, ports)


(Click image to enlarge )

Lat: -45.774550 Long: 170.728113