Te Tātua a Riukiuta
An early name for this maunga is Te Tātua o Mataaho, translating as the belt of Mataaho, a Māori atua (deity) known as the guardian of secrets hidden in the earth. The name Te Tātua a Riukiuta refers to Riukiuta, a tohunga (priest) of the Tainui waka / canoe.
Te Tātua a Riukiuta was once the site of a pā, and the remaining maunga has retained kumara pits and terracing.
The maunga of Te Tātua a Riukiuta / Big King is actually one of three large adjoining volcanic cones that once stood here, hence the name of the suburb, Three Kings. Two of the scoria cones have been quarried completely away.
The highest part of Te Tātua a Riukiuta is 133 metres which provides citywide views.
The Three Kings volcanoes likely erupted around the same time approximately 28,500 years ago. The initial eruption created the largest crater in Auckland at 800 metres wide and nearly 200 metres deep. The crater no longer exists today.
Ash from Te Tātua a Riukiuta went as far as Remuera and blanketed up to three metres of ash over Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill. Lava flowed from Te Tātua a Riukiuta out to present-day Western Springs, leaving a series of impressive lava caves in its wake.
Main entrance gate opening times:
Times align with daylight-savings.
113a Duke Street, Mount Roskill, Auckland.