Walking New Zealand
Enjoyable walking on and around volcanic fields in Auckland
filled with a concrete water reservoir in 1960. It was used as a pā, with food storage at its flanks, particularly on the eastern side. The pā was occupied from 1400AD onwards. Around 1822, it was re-named Mount Wellington after the Duke of Wellington.
We normally park the car at the base on Gollan Road and walk up to the trig. It is a very pleasant walk with many beautiful views around. It is about an hour (fast walkers) to two hours walk at a slow pace; depending on how much time is spent on the top enjoying the scenery.
One Tree Hill (182 m; Maungakiekie): It is a cinder cone, which erupted approximately 67,000 years ago. The Maori name Maungakiekie means the “mountain of the Kiekie vine”. Maungakiekie was the largest and most important Maori pa in pre-European times.
Being centrally located within Cornwall Park (Giri, M. Walking New Zealand, October 2019, pp 20-25, #261), it has a lot of walking paths, a circular road going around, and climbing the hill to the top where an obelisk is standing. Walking to the top is very popular for having stunning 360o views not only among the local residents but also among the visiting tourists as well. Cornwall Park provides a popular walking area for Aucklanders for their regular physical exercise.
Mt Roskill (Puketapapa): The Mountain ( scoria cone; 110 m), formed by lava fountaining from two craters some 20,000 years ago, is located in Winstone Park towards the southwest end of the suburb. It is one of the many extinct cones and is a part of the Auckland volcanic fields. It was the site of pa and was known as Puketāpapa (“the flat-topped mountain”).
It’s a short, steep climb along the sealed path to the tihi, from where some wonderful views of the Sky Tower, including Mt Eden, One Tree Hill, and Mt Albert are seen.
Mt Mangere Domain (Te Hopuaa- rangi/ Te Pane o Mataaoho): At 106 metre above sea level, Mangere Mountain is the best-preserved volcanic cone in the area and one of the largest scoria cones in the Auckland area, which erupted about 20,000 years ago.
Walking to the top and watching the commanding views of the Ma
nukau Harbour is a popular exercise among the local residents ( Giri, M. Walking
New Zealand, March 2022, pp
20-24, #288). It was a major fortified pa during a long period of Māori occupation, but by the mid-18th century, the Maori communities were living on the flatlands around the mountain.
Rangitoto: The Island was formed by the most recent volcanic eruption 600 years ago. It is picturesque; close to Auckland and is connected by a ferry. On the way up, there is a detour to the lava caves which is a must-do on the hike up. Aside from enjoying the walking trails, Rangitoto is also a great spot for kayaking, camping, or exploring the native flora and fauna.
When I first went there, I covered the distance from the wharf to the peak by almost continuously running. Some of the fellow walkers were surprised. The prize of doing this was the stunning 3600 view around.
Lake Pupuke (Pupuke Moana):
The lake is heart-shaped, freshwater, large (107 hectre), and about 57m deep volcanic maar, which is about 150,000 years old, located between the suburb of Takapuna and Milford in the Northshore.
It is an explosion crater and so forms a basin. Basalt coming from depth finally encountered cold water and blasted large volumes of mud and ash into the air where it fell as a tuff ring roughly where Hurstmere Road skirts Lake Pupuke today. When volcanic activity ceased, the crater was filled with freshwater, forming the maar.
It is commonly used for a wide variety of water sports by the local residents including swimming, diving, boating and fishing.
There are many parks on the rim of the lake, Killarney; Sylvan; Henderson, and more. The walking trails are in the parks. I have walked along those trails many times. It would be wonderful if a continuous walking trail around the lake is constructed which would perhaps be a two-hour walk (5 km), perfect for regular exercise.
The information on volcanic remains discussed here is very basic. It was difficult to summarise the dates of eruptions and the height of the scoria cones because of the discrepant figures published online.
Reportedly, scoria cones were used by Maoris to make “pa” in ancient times. Now the mountains decorate the Auckland city and facilitate pleasant walking for regular exercises, and provide a serene and tranquil environment for the local residents and tourists, alike.