Auckland is built around 48 dormant volcanoes, all of which have remarkable characteristics that continue to intrigue locals and tourists. These astonishing forces of nature are a true sight to see. To get you inspired, here’s a guide to some of the most renowned volcanic cones and craters that you’ll find in New Zealand’s largest city.
Mount Eden (Maungawhau)
Mount Eden is Auckland’s tallest volcano, offering some of the best views of the entire city. It comes in at 196 metres (643 feet) in height and was formed some 30,000 years ago. Present-day visitors can easily walk or cycle to the top, to marvel at its greatness. The enormous crater will astound you with its breathtaking beauty and the surrounding parkland will provide you with an incredible insight into the area’s Maori heritage and history.
Rangitoto (Te Rangi-i-totongia-a-Tama-te-kapua)
Rangitoto Island and its namesake volcano, can be seen throughout the Auckland region. The volcanic cone is the youngest in the vicinity, and is believed to have been formed after a series of violent eruptions. The iconic summit can be reached through a scenic ferry ride along the Hauraki Gulf. From there, visitors can hike up to its highest point, where they will be able to see an array of native trees. Rangitoto is home to New Zealand’s largest Pohutukawa forest, as well as 200 other plant and flower species.
One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)
While Mount Eden is the highest, One Tree Hill is among Auckland’s largest volcanoes. It also holds strong cultural and historical significance; along with housing one of the world’s biggest earth forts, One Tree Hill is also consists of one the largest Maori settlements in New Zealand. There is a monument at the top of the volcano, and a grave for Sir John Logan Campbell, who is famed for founding Auckland City.
Mount Victoria (Takarunga)
Not to be confused with the panoramic Wellington landmark of the same name. This Mount Victoria is located in Devonport, and is adjacent to another volcano called North Head (Maungauika). It takes approximately 20 minutes to reach Mount Victoria’s summit, where you’ll be able to get a marvellous perspective of Auckland City, Rangitoto Island, and the North Shore region. From there, you can easily explore the neighbouring North Head, as well as its famous underground tunnels. Make sure to bring a torch with you if you’re keen to visit the latter.
Auckland Domain (Pukekawa)
Auckland’s oldest park is also home to one of the region’s earliest volcanoes, as Pukekawa’s last eruption was believed to have occurred more than 100,000 years ago. In present days, the crater rim is home to the Auckland Museum, a wonderful piece of architecture and culture that’s surrounded by stunning views. While you’re in the area, make sure to take a stroll around its forested trails, and the lovely Wintergardens too.
Mangere Mountain sits on Manukau Harbour, 106 metres (348 feet) above sea level. As you reach the top of the summit, you’ll pass through a series of rock formations and Maori heritage sites. If you really want to immerse yourself in the local history, make sure to drop by the Mangere Mountain Education Centre as they offer guided tours and educational resources for passing visitors. At Mangere Mountain’s highest point, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the stunning coastal scenery.