Exploring Auckland’s majestic volcanoes
When you are flying into Auckland or simply moving around the city, it is pretty obvious that the region isn't flat. In almost every suburb, including where Auckland Institute of Studies is located, dormant volcanoes dominate the landscape.
The important element to remember is that they are indeed dormant with the last eruption in Auckland taking place more than 500 years ago. As such, there are close to 50 volcanoes safe for exploration so grab a water bottle and put on your walking shoes for a different perspective on the city. Here are five volcanoes worth seeing up close.
1) Mount Eden – Maungawhau
Mount Eden or Maungawhau in Maori is arguably one of Auckland's most famous summits, supporting fantastic views out to the Hauraki Gulf and across the inner city. In fact, Mount Eden is the highest volcano in Auckland – standing at a commanding 196 metres- high enough to feel the cool sea breeze coming in off the harbour.
In recent months, Auckland Council has banned all vehicles, including motorbikes and scooters, from reaching the summit in order to protect the environment. Of course, this just means that you get to wander up the green parkland yourself and explore everything Mount Eden has to offer on the way.
2) Mangere Mountain
On your way towards town from the airport, you may have noticed Mangere Mountain – a 106 m high peak that looks over the southern suburbs of Mangere Bridge and Favona. During past centuries, the mountain formed multiple Maori settlements and the remains of stone walls can be still be found dotted across the peak.
Interestingly, Mangere Mountain features two football fields used by Onehunga Mangere United so remember to take your ball. Just don't kick it down the side of the volcano!
3) One Tree Hill – Maungakiekie
When it comes to Auckland volcanoes, few are as historically and culturally important as One Tree Hill or Maungakiekie. As well as being topped with a poignant monument and the grave of one of Auckland's past leaders, Maungakiekie was used by Maori as a Pa or fortification to protect against attacks.
If you notice the name – One Tree Hill – you would be right to think that the volcano also features a sole tree. In fact, a number of native trees were planted at the summit during the 20th century, but over the coming years, the surviving trees were attacked in protest. Subsequently between 2000 and 2016, the city discussed what should sit at the top. In June 2016, nine young totara and pohutukawa were planted which represent the next generation of trees on One Tree Hill.
4) Mount Albert
Should you have a few spare hours finishing another great study session, perhaps explore our own local volcano – Mount Albert. While it isn't the tallest, at 135 m, it does represent an important landmark in the community and can provide some great views out to the Waitakere Ranges and towards the central city.
From Mount Albert Road, take Summit Drive up the volcano – you can drive to the top if you wish. Mount Albert is also home to an archery club should you want to try out some bow and arrows!
5) Mount Victoria
For a completely different view of Auckland, venture over to the North Shore and ascend Mount Victoria. The volcano sits in the heart of Devonport and from the top you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland City and the nearby North Head.
At just 97m high, Mount Victoria is an achievable climb for most people and afterwards you can reward yourself with an ice cream from one of the award-winning shops down on the suburb's main street.
If you would like more information about getting the most out of living in Auckland, get in touch with our friendly team today.