Surely everyones heard about the many volcanoes that surround the Auckland area. In total there are 48 volcanic cones and they are really worth visiting because they offer spectacular 360 degree views of the whole city. So which one should you visit if you’re short on time? Any time of the year is perfect to visit One Tree Hill. It’s not far from Auckland City accommodation and once you conquer the half hour walk to the top you will be impressed with the view and all of the facilities One Tree Hill has to offer.
Just a brief history of the volcano itself – “One Tree Hill” can also now be known as “No Tree Hill” or “Hill” if you want to be funny about it. Once upon a time there used to be a native Totara tree sitting right at the top of the hill, then it was replaced with a pine tree and then one night in 1994 a Maori activist decided to take a chainsaw to the tree. The tree did survive for a further 5 years but was then attacked by vandals and it had to come down. The tree was a whopping 120 years old and it has never been replaced with a new one.
For many locals like myself it was a very sad day when the tree came down. One Tree Hill being a place I would come to a lot when I was young, it’s beauty however still remains the same. Once you get to the top of the hill you will see where the tree used to be planted and standing tall next to it is the obelisk which is a tall four-sided monument shaped a bit like a pyramid.
One Tree Hill & Cornwall Park work together as neighbouring parks, being the largest parkland in Auckland. Perfect for a sunny day out either alone or with friends you will find lots to keep you occupied. Right on the slopes is The Stardome Observatory, this is a great place to visit at night time or during the day for amazing insight into the planet world and stargazing. There are playgrounds right at the bottom and a pretty awesome flying fox for those after a bit of adventure. As well as a bike and skate park and huge bbq areas, this is a place to come if you are after lots of greenery and scenic views, followed by a bbq picnic, it is a great place to come for lunch.
You will find lots of walkways to explore leading to more extensive views of Auckland city. This volcano has 3 craters and a lava field, not to worry though, it is a dormant volcano that last erupted more than 20,000 years ago! Also, a little random fact that you may or may not know – The U2 song from one of their most famous albums “The Joshua Tree” the song named ‘One Tree Hill’ is named after this beautiful landmark. Written to pay tribute to their Kiwi employee who sadly passed away.
There is also talk that the US TV drama ‘One Tree Hill’ was inspired by this U2 song and therefore named the TV Show after it! This has surely convinced you to visit. It really is a one of a kind place within Auckland to come and see before you venture on. A good pair of walking shoes, water bottle, a warm jacket and a camera is really all you need for a great day out here (plus the sausages for the bbq!).
One Tree Hill has has been ranked #11 out of the 355 things to do in Auckland by Lonely Planet Travellers, which is not bad for a hill!
One Tree Hill image from: By Bhutt (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons