Takarunga means ‘hill standing above’, which is in reference to its height above adjacent Takararo / Mt Cambria. Sadly, Takararo was completely leveled by quarrying and is now the flat park known as Cambria Reserve.
Takarunga was an important Māori pā site for many years with terracing and kūmara pits still visible.
The tihi (summit) sits at 66 meters high.
European settlers named the Maunga Mt Victoria, after Queen Victoria. Another early European name for the Maunga was Flagstaff Hill, after a signal station for the Port of Auckland was sited on the summit in 1841.
Takarunga has been a public reserve since 1880.
Takarunga was used for military purposes until after the second world war. There is a a muzzle-loader gun fort from 1885.
There is also a buried reservoir at the top of the Maunga which is marked by the colourful ‘mushroom’ vents.
The cone of Takarunga was formed by fire-fountaining of frothy scoria from the central crater. Lava from the southern base of the volcano flowed out to create a stretch basalt rock which reaches to the Devonport foreshore.
During the eruption, the south side of the crater was breached by lava flows. Scoria from the top of Takarunga was carried down the mountain in these lava flows and came to rest near the south end of modern-day Church St. This small mound would become known as Duders Hill, until it was quarried away in the early twentieth century.
The dark rocks on the Devonport foreshore between Torpedo Bay and Devonport Wharf are the southern lava flows from Takarunga.
The tihi (summit) and the summit road at Takarunga were permanently closed to all private motor vehicles including motorbikes and scooters in March 2018.
To Mana Whenua, the tihi of a Maunga holds great spiritual and cultural significance and has always been a place to be treated with respect and reverence. Honouring these values alongside creating an enhanced experience for pedestrians is at the heart of the Authority’s decision to make the tihi vehicle-free.
People who have limited mobility and are unable to walk to the tihi, and their drivers of people, can obtain an access code on the day of their visit to open the barrier arm at the summit road entrance.
Call 09 379 1340 to request a vehicle access code.
NEW TRACK UPGRADES ACROSS THE MAUNGA
New track upgrades are taking place across the Maunga that includes upgrading existing walking tracks with new boxed steps and aggregate paths. With the pedestrianisation of the Maunga, other areas will be become permanently closed for health and safety reasons.
Construction work is scheduled to take place from early October and will take approximately 5 months to complete. Construction will occur Monday to Friday (and Saturday morning, where required) during work hours. There could be delays in construction due to weather and or supply issues. Work will cease during the Christmas to New Year break and resume mid-January 2024.
Stage 1: An establishment area will be set up off the main carpark entrance off Kerr Street. Upgrading or decommissioning existing tracks with aggregate paths affected Kerr Street, stps behind Church, and Albert Road entranceway.
Stage 2: Remove timber stile and replace with boxed steps and timber gate at the back of the primary school. Existing track upgraded to boxed steps and aggregate track.
Stage 3: Upgrade current steps near the bunker to new boxed steps with handrail on one side.
Stage 4: Build and install boxed steps from carpark to connect to tracks around base of Maunga.
Stage 5: Upgrading existing tracks to include boxed steps and aggregate path. There will be no access to the Maunga through Flagstaff Lane accessway during this part of construction.
Access to the tihi (summit) will continue during construction unless signposted. The health and safety of visitors is important, therefore, please follow the instructions of onsite construction staff and the temporary signage in place.
Visitor car parks are inside the Kerr Street entrance to the Maunga.
Parking time limits are enforced to give all visitors equal parking opportunity.
Main entrance gate opening times
Times align with daylight-savings.
16 Kerr Street, Devonport, Auckland.