Hola, Hivers! Hope you are all doing great today and feeling fabulous too.
Years ago, I had the chance to step foot in one of Auckland's famous iconic places, the One Tree Hill or Maungakiekie (Mountain of the Kiekie Vine) located in North Island. It is said to be one of the city's largest volcanoes with a peak that stands about 182 meters (597 feet). Accordingly, it was the largest most spiritually significant fortified village before the British colonized the country.
We went there via the Cornwall Park where we have seen centuries old trees and there were some dairy animals roaming freely around the area. The access road to the summit was still open at that time. I learned today that the summit road was closed in 2018 "to honor the cultural and historic importance of the Maunga (mountain), making it much safer for walking." (sourced and quoted from Auckland City Council's Website.)
Upon reaching the summit, I went directly to where the obelisk was standing. There I saw the memorial place for Sir John, Logan Campbell, referred to be the "Father of Auckland" for he donated the 230-hectare area to the city in 1901.(Source) His grave lies in the middle of the viewing field and was covered by a plain granite slab and decorated by a bronze wreath.
At the time of our visit, someone placed a few pieces of plastic flowers.
The obelisk stands proud in the middle of the summit and a bronze statue of a Māori warrior is seen at its base. According to Wikipedia, the obelisk was finished in 1940 but it was only unveiled on 24 April 1948, after the World War II "in keeping with Māori custom of not holding such ceremonies during a time of bloodshed." - quoted from Wikipedia.
Atop the hill, one will be able to have a 360-degree view of Auckland City and its harbors. We went there around 9 in the morning on the 26th of November but it was hazy. There were dark clouds hovering around the sky which made the day a bit gloomy.
Nevertheless, that didn't stop us from pushing through with the visit and taking some photos too. Here are some views of the Auckland Tower and the area around it from up there.
Also seen from the summit are the green grasses and trees around the hill and Auckland city in the background. There were a bunch of sheep too which kind of added some white dots on the greens as seen from afar :)
The city should be picturesque from the hill but with my camera's poor pick up and the haze, it was not possible for me to get more decent shots. But anyway, here are some snaps of one of the city's harbors.
According to history, "One Tree Hill" was given as the name because of the sole Monterey Pine tree that stood at the place until it was removed in the year 1852 by a white settler for an unknown reason. Sir John then planted a stand of Monterey Pines but only one tree survived, hence the name. The sole tree survivor was then cut down with a chainsaw by an angry activist in the year 2000. (Source)
In 2016, the Tūpuna Maunga Authority planted a grove of tōtara and pōhutukawa on the same spot where the tree was removed in the hope that a single tree will survive. (Source)
New Zealand is one beautiful country that I would love to explore but have not been able to see much of its grandeur during my first two visits. If given the chance to get to the country for the third time, I would surely visit One Tree Hill once again, but that time, I would love to take the walkway and trek up.