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Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill Path

Walking time 50 mins

Walking steps 3900 steps

Distance 3 km

Starts at 672 Manukau Road, Epsom

Get directions on Google Maps

About the path

Start the path from the Manukau Road entry point heading into Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill Domain. There’s a great playground and flying fox here, near the Stardome Observatory.

This path up the maunga (mountain) is best suited to confident walkers, as parts are steep, but the 360-degree views at the top are not to be missed.

The summit road was closed to vehicles in 2018 to honour the cultural and historic importance of the maunga, making it much safer for walking. Tread carefully around this important site and stick to the sealed road and formal paths where they exist.

Dogs must be on-leash at all times. Visitor parking is available near the start of the summit road. Do not leave valuables in your car.

Maungakiekie is an historic Māori name meaning ‘mountain of the kiekie’, a native vine and valued weaving plant which once grew abundantly here.

As well as being one of the city’s largest volcanoes, Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill was one of the most extensively developed Māori pā (village settlements) in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland, and today it is one of the largest pre-European archaeological sites in New Zealand.

At the height of occupation, the pā was home to thousands of people. Its four tihi (summits) were all heavily defended by ditches and wooden palisades. The flanks were shaped into terraces for whare moe (sleeping houses), rua (roofed storage pits) for seasonal storage of kūmara and other crops, tāpapa (garden mounds) and hāngi (earth oven) pits. The terraces, pits and craters and are important archaeological features which are highly sensitive to erosion and visitors must not walk on or through them.

The English name ‘One Tree Hill’ is for the single Monterey Pine which stood at the tihi until it was famously attacked in the 1990s and removed in 2000. In 2016 the Tūpuna Maunga Authority planted a grove of tōtara and pōhutukawa on the same spot, and the intention is that a single tree will ultimately remain when it is able to survive on its own.

Sir John Logan Campbell, a prominent landowner and community leader, died in 1912 and is buried on the tihi of Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill. The 21 metre obelisk also on the tihi was bequeathed by him as a memorial to the Māori people.

Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill is one of 14 Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountains) co-governed by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.

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