North Head, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

North Head, New Zealand


Maungauika is a volcano forming a headland called North Head at the east end of the Waitematā Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, in the suburb of Devonport. Known for its sweeping views over the harbour and the Hauraki Gulf, since 1885 the head was mainly used by the military as a coastal defence installation, which left a network of accessible old bunkers and tunnels as its legacy, forming part of the attraction. The site was protected as part of Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park in 1972 and listed as a Category I historic place in 2001. As part of a 2014 Treaty of Waitangi claim settlement the volcanic cone was officially named Maungauika and the reserve renamed Maungauika / North Head Historic Reserve. Maungauika is the Māori word for Mountain of Uika.

The original scoria cone has been substantially altered, first by marine erosion and later by the various generations of people who have occupied the headland. It was first used by Māori, and the Tainui waka was reputed to have put ashore close by at what is now Torpedo Bay. The Tainui people named the spring 'Takapuna', which was later used for the nearby beach. Some early photographs of the area show that they used to work gardens on the hill's lower slopes, though the pā fortifications of other cones in the area seem absent. European visitors during the 1850s have also described a settlement at the foot of the hill with gardens and racks for the drying of fish.

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