North Head / Maungauika
A particularly pleasant site to fly with nice views over the city and the Hauraki Gulf.
North Head is located on the Northern side of Auckland Harbour on the tip of the Devonport peninsula. Access is off Takarunga Road, Cheltenham.
There are designated Launch & Top Landing areas (see images below)
In N-NE winds the take off is the grassy area above the lower car park, above North Battery.
In E-SE winds the take off is on the summit, on the slope in front of the Fire Command Post, the concrete building right at the summit.
In a North to Easterly, either top land or make it an easy glide to Cheltenham Beach. At high tide there is not a lot of beach available though.
In an East to Southeast, top landing is the favoured option owing to minimal bomb out options at the bottom at all tide levels. If you have enough height you can glide downwind to the midway part of Cheltenham Beach to escape the rotor behind the ridge at the southern end of Cheltenham Beach.
Landing options depend on the wind direction. See Site Information above
North Head take off sites
Weather and Wind Direction
See Site Information above.
Site Radio Channel
If schools are operating, they are normally on Channels 10 and 26.
Site channel for other flyers is Channel 20 - 476.900MHz
PG2 + 20 hours
Particular care needs to be taken when launching and scratching close to the Pohutakawa trees.
Constant observation of wind direction changes to prevent being caught away from land out options.
As with all coastal sites, maintain en eye on the water in the distance to anticipate any changes in wind strength and have your speed bar ready for use!
Particular care needs to be taken both on launching and landing owing to the large number of spectators and public present.
Care needs to be taken in landing on the beach with large numbers of other beach users being present on a nice day
This site is located within VFR common frequency zone with height ceiling of 2,500 feet.
It is also on the boundary of the Mandatory Broadcast Zone, which means that you can not fly past the big gun at the Southern side of the Head unless equipped with radio!
As of January 18th 2019, Maungauika/North Head is administered by the Tupuna Maunga Authority, and is no longer DOC managed.
The Club has lobbied for our continued presence and activities, but the future of flying at North Head may be uncertain. The Management Plan mentions 'may allow flying', but this is no guarantee that it will continue to be so.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that all flying here displays exemplary behaviour, and all care must be taken to not display flying in a way that can be used as reasons to shut down all flying activity.
A maximum of four gliders in the air at a time is allowed.
Designated launch and landing points only to be used.
Pilots to respect rights of other users and keep launch areas clear of gliders and gear.
The Northern side realistically only allows three gliders at any one time, and only if one glider soars the back ridge.
The site can get busy, so a rotation system of flying is in place generally.
Reuben Muir 09-446 0020 or 0274-727 013
As of the 18th of January 2019, the administration of North Head (official name now Maungauika/North Head) has transferred from DOC to the Tupuna Maunga Authority (TMA)
TMA is the entity that was established in 2014 to co-govern the Auckland Maunga after the Treaty Settlement.
In short, North Head has transferred from being Crown land to private land, held by the Tamaki Collective. Up until now DOC has maintained management, but this has now been taken over by TMA.
This may mean changes for our flying activity. While in the current Management Plans it is stated 'may allow flying', this is no guarantee that this will be the case forever. Therefor, it is still of the utmost importance that our flying activities display exemplary behaviour, as to not give any reason to shut down flying.
The Club has lobbied hard in the past, both with DOC and TMA to maintain our activities, and will continue to do so.
On 17 January 2004, Jeff Ripley flew to Takapuna Beach after reaching approx 800ft.