John F. Kennedy Memorial Park

In which Miles visits a small Auckland park and is surprised by spectacular coastline and preserved WWII gun emplacements.

To view the full gallery of 14 images, click here.

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Park website offers a lot of info on the park and its history – see the paragraph below – but I don’t think it explains why it is named after JFK.

“The gun emplacements and tunnels you now see at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park are the remnants of a 6-inch” gun battery constructed during 1941 and 1942 as part of Auckland’s World War II defences. Castor Bay was one of three gun batteries whose purpose was to defend the northern approaches to the Rangitoto Channel; the others were at Whangaparaoa and Motutapu. The eastern approaches were covered by batteries located at Motuihe and Rangitoto and from 1945 Stony Batter. The batteries at North Head, Fort Takapuna and Bastion Point were the last line of defence.”

The gun emplacements and other defensive installations are interesting enough, but the long stairs down to the shore are impressive and the coastline is spectacular.

Castor Bay and stairs to the beach.  Rangitoto Island in the distance.
Castor Bay and stairs to the beach. Rangitoto Island in the distance.

The water is so clear that you can see the shape of the rocks beneath from the top of the stairs.

There are a number of gun emplacements installed along the coast.  I didn’t climb up to this one, but it does look like fun.

Gun emplacement on the coast
Gun emplacement on the coast

The beach offers great views of Rangitoto Island and beautiful cliffs.

Castor Bay coastline, Rangitoto Island
Castor Bay coastline, Rangitoto Island

There are a variety of cool rock formations.

Castor Bay coastline
Castor Bay coastline

I was taking pictures at the top of the stairs when I noticed that something was moving, and took a series of pictures of a large ray swimming along the coast.

A large ray in Castor Bay
A large ray in Castor Bay

The gallery includes an animated GIF of this ray in motion, and more photos of the park and coastline.

To view the full gallery of 14 images, click here.

 

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