As Dutch people who are used to live in a pancake flat country we will never learn. Yes, we knew that Auckland is built on around fifty volcanoes, but the first days in the city we remained amazed with the fact that we had to walk up and down so many hills the whole time to get somewhere. Our legs felt so sour for the first couple of days, but after walking long distances every day, we got used to it.
The big advantage of these volcanoes is that they offer an amazing and free view over Auckland and the surroundings. It was one of the reasons why we decided to walk up Mount Eden (Maungawhau) last weekend. From the street where the hostel is where we slept we could already see Mount Eden. At first sight it didn’t look that high and it wasn’t far away either. Within forty five minutes we found ourselves on the edge of the crater. Pretty amazed, because Mount Eden was way higher than we expected and the view was truly spectaculair.
View from Mount Eden
With its 196 meters Mount Eden is the highest point of Auckland, so it offers you a spectaculair view of 360 degrees over Auckland CBD, Rangitoto Island and all of the suburbs from the edge of the crater. You can easily spend a good amount of time here and just enjoy the view. If you just arrived in New Zeeland, then Mount Eden is a good place to soak in the amazing landscape and scenery for the first time. But when you stay in Auckland for a while, like we do, it’s also a good place to temporarily escape the city to just enjoy the area.
If you ask yourself now if there is any potential risk of an erupting volcano, you don’t have to worry. The last time Mount Eden erupted is about fifteen thousand years ago and it’s now a so called ‘sleeping volcano’. You can walk around the fifty meters deep crater that emerged after the last eruption. Around the crater you can find different paths that lead you to amazing viewpoints, so you can literally see the whole area and beyond. The crater itself is holy ground for the Maori, and that’s why you’re not allowed to go into the crater. And ok, they probably not really keen on rescuing tourist from a fifty meters deep hole the whole time either.
How to get to Mount Eden
Mount Eden is just a four kilometer walk from the centre of Auckland (CBD), and you obviously have to walk up, but the amount of meters you have to walk up is in general equally divided along the way. Except of the last part when you go up the volcano, but you really don’t have to be super fit or something to reach the crater. Just take your time and enjoy the scenery along the way I would say.
To protect the volcano it’s not possible to reach the top by vehicle, but you can park your car at Puhi Huia Road. If you prefer to take the bus: there is a bus stop at Mount Eden Road for bus lines 274 and 277. From there you just have to walk to the top. And if you’re looking for a nice place to have a drink or to eat something after climbing up the volcano, consider to go to Mount Eden Village. We saw lots of cosy restaurants and cafes along the way.