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       I---  Fortifications   
I--- ** Other Defence Installations**             


Other Defence Installations in Canterbury that have survived.


Te Pirita Airfield (Destroyed)
Bankside Fuel Bunker
 (Updated Aug 09)
Rangatata Bridge
Cass Bay Magazine
No3 Stores Depot RNZAF

Tikao Bay Mine Depot
 (Updated Aug 09)

Clarence Radar Station
Ashburton Aerodrome
Cracroft Caverns
Hokitika Pillbox
Rakaia Gorge Home Guard Defences    (Updated Aug 09)

Bankside fuel bunker for aviation fuel storage


What may have been in the sky's over Canterbury
Secret Airfield, Te Pirita Aerial & Satellite Photos Secret Airfield, Te Pirita Location Maps North arm of runway, dispersal area on right
Download 1944 Plan of Te Pirita  
Download Te Pirita   Article from Airforce News Aug 2005

Status & Access:

Te Pirita Aerodrome has now been completely destroyed to make way for intensive dairy production. It is no longer visible from the air. The revetments and dispersal areas inside the plantation have also been destroyed with the felling of the plantation.  (November 2008). Download latest Google Earth Image

No 16 Reserve Aviation Fuel Depot (AR16) RNZAF (Bankside)
Fuel bunker at Bankside
(Note the size, compare the truck bodies at the bottom)
Remains of security fence and gate on railway siding The remains of the fuel pump station (and KJ Murray)
750,000 Gallons (3.375 million litres) for proposed US bomber base at Te Pirita
Download 1944 Plan of AR16 Fuel depot
These photos were taken in 2004, since then the land area has been modified. The plantation logged and windrowed. Fortunately the Selwyn District Council has removed the rubbish and car bodies from the Fuel bunker and fenced it. Unfortunately all remains of the security fence, pumping station and siding have been destroyed during logging operations. The cleanup has now stopped (October 2006) as the Selwyn District Council has an issue with toxic waste dumped in the site.
Remains of AR16 Fuel bunker October 2006

UPDATE:      August 2009.... AR 16 has been decontaminated and is being restored thanks to the work of the Selwyn Plantation Board Ltd and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

The Historic Places Trust has listed AR16 as a historic Site. This listing with an excellent detailed description and history of AR16 can be view here:

Clearing & decontaminating AR16 Decontamination and Restoration Complete

Status & Access:


AR16 Bankside is accessible from SH1. Turn right at the Bankside sign onto Breadings road.
It is just off the road in cleared plantation owned by the Selwyn Plantation Board.

Ashburton Aviation Museum Inc
Airforce News No. 62 (RNZAF Publication) August 2005 (Te Pirita article)
Selwyn Plantation Board Ltd

Rangitata River Bridge Approach Fortifications
Probably not noticed in today's traffic is a prefabricated concrete pillbox on the north bank covering the bridge approach
Machinegun Pillbox Covering Bridge Approach
Looking north from the river side, pillbox on right The pillbox has two embrasures with the Lewis machinegun pintle mount covering both. Looking toward the bridge.


Status & Access:

The Rangatata pill box is usually overgrown but visible on the right side of the road when traveling north. Care should be taken when parking.

Cass Bay Naval Mine Depot Magazine
Lyttleton Harbour

Administration Buildings of the Cass Bay Magazine Area
Flag Station Admin Buildings A surviving 4 Man hut Guard House
The Magazine Buildings
No 2 & 3 Magazine No 3 Magazine No 2 magazine No 2 magazine, showing double wall interior construction.
No 2 magazine, showing 
interior construction.
(Note lighting system)
(Ammunition Process Building)

Unidentified blast structure?
What is it? information required.
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Mounting for a 4" Naval gun     Cass Bays sister facility at Tikao Bay on Akaroa harbour

Status & Access:



Cass Bay mine depot is largely derelict and not open to the public. The administration area is under the care of the local sea cadet unit, TS Steadfast and the RNZNVR. Permission should be obtained from the stakeholders to visit.

Official RNZN History link  Anti-Invasion Mine Defences


Tikao Bay Mine Depot

Tikao Bay Mine Depot Complex
The Mine Depot Main Building Complex
Main Building South Side Main Building South West Side Main Building Sseaward Side Main Building Interior
The Camp/Admin Building Complex
Main Building North End The Camp admin complex Guard house The Wharf
The Magazines
No1 Mine Magazine No2 Mine Magazine
The Magazines The Perimeter Maps & Satellite Downloads
No3 Primer? Magazine Small Arms Ammunition Magazine A section of the perimeter fence. Cass Bays sister facility at Tikao Bay on Akaroa harbour
UPDATE:      August 2009....  For a more detailed study of Ti Kao Bay Mine Depot and its role in the Defence of Akaroa  and Lyttelton Harbours, Click Here

Status & Access:


The Tikao Bay Mine Depot is still largely intact. All structures are on private property and permission should be obtained from the landowner to visit.

Official RNZN History link  Anti-Invasion Mine Defences

Posted: 1 Nov 2006

Ashburton Aerodrome
Tucked away at the back of Ashburton, now a small rural aerodrome. Ashburton played a vital part in the Defence of New Zealand and training pilots for the RNZAF Pacific Squadrons and the RAF during WWII

RNZAF Station Ashburton c1946
(No Image) (No Image)
Tiger Moths, not the result of a training accident, but the fierce Nor West winds of the Canterbury Plains    
Maps & Downloads
RNZAF Station Ashburton
History 1942-44
(No Image) (No Image)

Status & Access:





Ashburton Aerodrome is a working aerodrome and open to the public.

Ashburton Aviation Museum Inc


No 3 Stores Depot RNZAF Weedons

Status & Access:


Clarence Bridge Radar Station
The sight of one of the first surveillance air defence radars in NZ.
Operational from 1942 until about 1954. After the war it was operated by the RNZAF for the Civil Aviation Service.
The Radar site bench cut into the hillside on the point, north side if the Clarence river Cook Straight, what the radar was looking at.

Status & Access:

Only the bench remains, On private property but clearly visible from the highway.

Cracroft Caverns

Status & Access:


Hokitika Foreshore Pillbox

Status & Access:

On the public foreshore car park

Rakaia Gorge Home Guard Defences

Status & Access:


Coastal Defence Links

Fortress Canterbury South Island Defence 1890's - WWII - Post WWII
Coastal Defence Anti Aircraft Defence Anti Invasion  Plans NZ Military History ...
Navy Defence Installations
Airforce Defence Installations

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Last modified: 04/21/09.