Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula was once the site of the important Pukekura fortified pa in the 18th century. Later it was a busy population centre involved with harbour work, shore defence and prison labour projects. Presently it is the home of the Royal Albatross Colony, the only mainland breeding colony of royal albatross in the world. It's also the place to see the Armstrong Disappearing Gun, installed to fend off a feared Russian invasion in 1880 and later used as a defence post in the two world wars.
Just before Taiaroa Head is the Otakou marae and village, from which Otago gets its name. There is still a strong Maori presence here, and the settlement's most prominent building is the Maori church.
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