Spent a few hours wandering around the much improved Kennedy Park with its fabulous climbing rope adventure playground, and brand new steps leading down to the Castor Bay back beach. Formerly known as Red Bluff, the park has superb views across the Hauraki Gulf, and you can walk along to Rahopara Pa, where you can still see evidence of gardens and kumara pits dating back to the early 1800s. There’s a petanque court on a lower, sheltered part of the park, new members welcome!
The observation post has been upgraded and is regularly used by local clubs and for community events such as the “Memories of Castor Bay” display for Heritage Week. The history behind this area is vast and interesting (both European and Maori). The gun emplacement was disguised as a holiday home when it was built in 1942 – they didn’t want to attract the wrong kind of attention. The WWII battery tunnels have also had a makeover recently and are now open for public tours (1-4 pm on the second Sunday of each month, starting from 15 November 2010 – contact John Crews for details on 550 8391). Campbells Bay Primary students have created a website about the history of Kennedy Park and Rahopara Pa – click here to read all about it.