Fort Takapuna, built between 1886 and 1889, was part of a chain of new defences around Auckland harbour. Other forts were built at North Head, Bastion Point, Point Resolution (above the Parnell Baths), and later in 1899 on Mount Victoria.

This fort housed two 6 inch disappearing guns which controlled the approaches to the Rangitoto Channel. These guns were mounted in the two circular gun pits in the underground part of the fort.

Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve, one of the most significant new additions to the conservation estate, was opened by the Minister of Conservation Sandra Lee on 18 June 2000.