About the path
Explore the historic Ōtuataua Stonefields Reserve, an internationally significant heritage landscape on the shore of the Manukau Harbour.
This is a neat walking track through grass paddocks and is best suited to confident walkers who don't mind getting a bit muddy when the weather has been wet. Explore local history and native vegetation, and be rewarded with spectacular views over the Manukau Harbour and surrounding countryside.
The 100-hectare area is a site of significance to mana whenua, and was established to protect and preserve the archaeological remains of communities which thrived on this land for hundreds of years. The Ōtuataua Stonefields have been occupied and cultivated since the earliest days of settlement in the Auckland region.
Along the walk you can see the large scale stonework and earthwork remains that show how people once lived and worked. Māori farmers used warm volcanic stones in the soil to extend the growing season for tropical crops like taro and kūmara. Later, Europeans used the stones to build dry stone walls to fence their farms.
Native birds are fairly scarce in the reserve, however you may be fortunate to see or hear pīwakawaka (fantail), tūī, kererū (New Zealand wood pigeon) and tauhou (silvereye). Keep an eye out for the native copper skink and ornate skink.
You should know:
- The reserve is wāhi tapu (a sacred place).
- Tangata Whenua have requested that food is not consumed on the reserve. Water bottles are welcome.
- Please do not disturb or move rocks.
- There are marker posts guiding you on the walk, but it can be easy get a bit lost. Use the path map or GPS location to help you find your way around. Note: this suggested route is a combination of the "Botany Walk" and "History Walk" marked on the on-site map.
- There are no public toilets on the reserve. The nearest toilets are located on Oruarangi Road at the Oruarangi Creek mouth, about one kilometre north of the main entrance gate.
The entrance to the reserve is at the end of Ihumatao Quarry Road. Just south of the entrance, you'll find a public avocado orchard where you can pick avocados when in season (November to March). Refer to signage for picking limits.
Consider continuing on to explore the nearby Ōtuataua Puketāpapa Cone Path, or connecting onto spectacular Watercare Coastal Walkway.