The name Ōtāhuhu is a reference to Te Tahuhutanga o Te Waka Tainui, which translates as the ridgepole of the Tainui waka / canoe. The name recalls the portage of the Tainui waka from the Waitematā Harbour to the Manukau Harbour just to the south of the maunga in the 14th century.
This vital waka portage meant that Ōtāhuhu maunga was of strategic importance to Māori at the time.
Like most maunga in the region, Ōtāhuhu was the site of a pā and the slopes of the scoria cones were extensively modified with terracing for living and defence, and pits were added for the growing and storing of food crops. Some of these pits can be clearly seen today.
Ōtāhuhu / Mt Richmond erupted around 30,000 years ago, creating several small scoria cones sitting in the middle of an 800 meter diameter explosion crater. There are also two small circular craters in the middle of the maunga which are 50 meters wide.
The sites of four scoria pits can be found within the Ōtāhuhu / Mt Richmond maunga. The moat between the scoria rings became a swamp which over years filled with peat and is now the site of sports fields.
Much of the scoria cones have been quarried, and much of the northern part of the tuff ring has been flattened for industrial subdivisions.
An elaborate tall water was erected on the tihi (summit) in 1912, tapping the natural water supply in a shallow well in the scoria of the crater. This water source was abandoned in 1953 and the tower was torn down in 1961.
Today Ōtāhuhu / Mt Richmond is well known for it's recreation amenity and sports fields. The main playing fields are the home of the Ōtāhuhu Rovers Rugby League Football Club.
Main entrance gate opening times:
Times align with daylight-savings.
671 Mount Wellington Highway, Mount Wellington, Auckland.