About the path
Ōtāhuhu / Mt Richmond
comprises of several small scoria cones that were formed by fountaining from vents that erupted around 30,000 years ago.
Ōtāhuhu is an abbreviation of ‘Te Tahuhutanga o Te Waka Tainui’ which translates as ‘the ridgepole of the Tainui canoe’. This refers to the portage of the Tainui waka from the Waitematā to the Manukau just south of this maunga (mountain).
Although the original cones are hard to distinguish due to quarrying, the maunga was a site of significant importance as it commanded the portage between the two harbours. Several large and small kūmara pits dot the area and the eastern end of the complex shows an impressive steep-sided defensive position.
Ownership of Ōtāhuhu / Mt Richmond was returned to mana whenua as part of a 2014 Te Tiriti o Waitangi redress and is managed by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.
Entry to the path is off Mount Wellington Highway where there is a car park close to the entrance.
The first section of the path is sealed and at times narrow. Along your walk, you can spot the wild European olive trees that grow on the sides of the maunga.
It’s a short climb to the tihi (summit) if you turn off the sealed path onto a grass path. At the tihi, you’ll get views overlooking the Manukau Harbour.
An additional detour is to climb up to the two small fountaining craters on the other side of the path to the summit.
As you head down from the tihi, you’ll get back on the sealed path.
This path can be pushchair friendly if you don’t head to the tihi. Instead follow the sealed path around and enjoy the shade provided by mature trees along the way.
Near the end of the walk you head into Ben Henham Park where there are public toilets and a children’s playground. From the park, it’s a short two-minute walk back to the carpark to complete your loop.