After leaving Kelly Tarlton’s yesterday, The Girls and I headed west along the waterfront. But instead of simply going along Quay Street to the Northern Motorway and driving north back to Warkworth, we turned left down The Strand and made our way to Mount Eden.
The weather was lovely, and it was simply too beautiful a day to head straight home. So we visited Mount Eden, the highest natural point in Auckland. We could, I suppose, have done it the proper way and climbed up on foot, as many others did, to the summit, but, using Deborah’s lingering cold as an excuse for being just a little lazy, I opted to drive us to the top, about 600 feet above sea level.
The views are simply superb. From the summit the entire of Auckland’s isthmus is visible, from Waitemata Harbour and the Harbour bridge in the northwest, past Devonport and then Rangitoto, around Mission Bay, all the way round past One Tree Hill, the southern suburbs, and Manukau Harbour to the south. The city centre and the Sky Tower loom large, of course, but it is the sweeping volcanic rise of Rangitoto that dominates. It’s truly magnificent.
Unlike many other visitors to the Mount, The Girls and I didn’t bother to go down into the volcanic crater. It was tempting — 150 feet of bowl, lined with grass and almost perfectly circular — but the signs around the rim saying “Do not enter the crater” were sufficiently unequivocal that we refrained.
Mount Eden was originally a volcanic cone; since the last eruption, around 15,000 years ago, it’s become inactive enough to become a pa for a number of Maori tribes. It’s now the focus of the city; not as tall as the Sky Tower, it’s visible from pretty much anywhere in the area, and it’s truly a splendid site.