Watts Peninsula

announced:

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson today announced the establishment of a 76 hectare reserve for the people of and New Zealand on the iconic Miramar Peninsula.

The new reserve area, known as Watts Peninsula, is a prominent Wellington landmark at the northern tip of the Miramar Peninsula and a historically significant part of New Zealand. …

The land is currently owned by the Defence Force and is home to a number of historic military gun emplacements, pa sites and former ammunition magazines.

Work is under way to develop the land as a public reserve.

Reserve status will retain the land in public ownership and also ensure the area receives full heritage protection, Mr Finlayson said.

In addition it will enable the preservation of indigenous flora and fauna, such as native orchids, skinks and little blue penguins.

This is a great decision. I am probably one of the most frequent visitors to Watts Peninsula. Used to camp next to it, and have spent many a day exploring it.

The area has a lot of historic gun and battery emplacements. Most of them are in the open, but there are some hidden ones also. In the pine forest, there is one old battery which is very hard to locate. The entrance is a fairly narrow steep hole in a bank, but then it opens up to various rooms and tunnels down below. I’ve even slept overnight in it.

This area is above and near the Massey Memorial. It provides some of the best views of Wellington Harbour. I’m really pleased to see it made into a reserve. It is one of our better hidden secrets, and it will be cool if more people over time get to enjoy it.

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