The landscape is desolate and rocky - a stark reminder of Auckland's volcanic past. Walking through Otuataua Stonefields is like stepping into another world, yet just a 10 minute drive away, one million people go about their daily lives.
Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve, created in 2001, is managed by the Manukau City Council. Otuataua is an important archaeological site and educational resource where one can see clearly how people used to live and interact with their environment. Apart from signs of successive human habitation, visitors can also see examples of the native cucumber and the last remnants of Auckland's forests of titoki and kanuka.
The reserve is waahi tapu (a sacred place) to descendants of Te Wai O Hua and Waikato Iwi of the Tainui waka (canoe). Please be respectful while visiting. Tangata whenua have especially requested that food is not consumed on the reserve (water bottles are welcome) and that visitors refrain from walking on the top of Puketaapapa volcano, a site of particular traditional significance (follow the walk marker posts around the northern side).
There are three different walks, ranging from twenty to forty minutes - historical, botanical, geological.
Photograph by A. Dodd, DOC.