Maungawhau / Mt. Eden
YES!!!! This is what I’m talking about Auckland! This was the first time we had explored Auckland and truly felt that we were in another country. We stopped at what would become one of our favorite coffee shops (Goodness Gracious Cafe) on our way to the top of the mountain and grabbed some much needed caffeine and snacks to give us superpowers to walk up the mountain. We did the fairly easy walk/hike or better yet tramp (this is what they call walks/hikes in New Zealand) up to the top and we were not disappointed.
At 643 feet tall, Maungawhau or Mount Eden is the highest volcano in Auckland and just one of the 48 volcanic cones. Once you reach the top you can enjoy panoramic views of the city as well as see the large 160 foot deep stunning bowl-like crater. The Ngati Whatua tribe is the guardian of the mountain and you can join a guided walk – Tāmaki Hikoi – of the mountain and its surrounds, led by a tribe member. You can visit the Auckland Council website here for more information.
We unfortunately did not get to do this because I actually didn’t know anything about it until we had already went. Lots of times we kind of decide to do things spur of the moment so we don’t get a lot of pre-planning done beforehand. One of the main reasons for this is because it has rained (a lot) here in Auckland so if it stops raining we are out! Where we go no one really knows till we just kind of show up. However learn from my mistakes and do the guided tour. It sounds AWESOME! I was already blown away just reading about the place but to actually get a guided tour from someone who knows the history would have been pretty amazing.
It took us about an 1 hr to do the 1.6 k walk to the top from the coffee shop and if we had been better prepared we could have easily spent a day there. Its just one of those places that you just want to hang out at. It was a bit eerie yet it is also beautiful and relaxing. To think that this was once an active volcano and is now covered in this insanely majestic green flowing grass is a strange feeling. Also the size really makes you feel quite small. I think this is good, it is good for us to know how small we really are. It shows us that we aren’t the center of this universe and earth is a big beautiful place. So lets get out there and explore the hell out of it. In a good way. Look, learn, and respect.
This is what we always strive to do on all of our adventures. To learn new things about this world and ourselves, to see and experience places and cultures with open hearts and minds, and to above all respect the places and people that we are so lucky to visit and meet along our journey. We also want to inspire others to get out there, explore, and have fun! You don’t have to take a trip to the other side of the world, beautiful things can be found in your backyard. Go somewhere in your hometown that you have never been. I bet you will be surprised by what you find.