Conquering the world’s seven summits, the highest peaks of every continent, is the dream of almost every ambitious mountaineer. In 1985, Richard Bass, an American businessman, became the first person who achieved this incredible challenge. At that time, he had been able to climb Denali (North America), Aconcagua (South America), Mount Elbrus (Europe), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Mount Kosciuszko (Australia) and Mount Everest (Asia). Due to the fact that Auckland is located on a volcanic field, the cityscape is characterized by several impressive mountains as well, which all have a volcanic origin, though they are of course not comparable with the highest mountains of the world. Let’s have a look at the seven summits of Auckland.
#7 Māngere Mountain, located in the same-named suburb in the south of the city, is the only volcano in the Auckland volcanic field that has a lava dome near its centre. However, the last eruption was approximately 18,000 years ago. With a height of 106 metres, Māngere Mountain heads our ranking of the seven highest natural points of Auckland.
#6 With its height of 110 metres, Mount Roskill (among Māori known as Puketāpapa) ranks one of the highest summits of Auckland as well. The volcano, which can be found in the eponymous suburb in the Southern centre of the city, last erupted about 20,000 years ago. In the 1960s, one of the volcano’s craters was intermediately used as a water-supply reservoir. Since 2009, it had become a political issue as the extension of the South Western Motorway was built very closely to the mountain.
#5 Mount Wellington, also known as Maungarei, is 135 metres high. Colonists named the mountain after the Duke of Wellington. Likewise, the mountain has a volcanic origin and is even the youngest onshore volcano of the Auckland volcanic field as it erupted only 10,000 years ago. Furthermore, it is the largest of Auckland’s scoria cones. The summit is situated in the same-named suburb in East Auckland.
#5 With a height of also 135 metres, Mount Albert shares the fifth rank with Mount Wellington. The Māori name Owairaka means ‘Place of Wairaka’, relating to the daughter of Toroa, the commander of one of the great voyaging canoes. Mount Albert is situated in the identically named suburb in the Eastern centre of Auckland. The peak originally served as a Maori fortified settlement; some of Māori earthworks are still visible. Nowadays, the summit is used especially for sportive activities. The eruption date is unknown.
#3 One Tree Hill (or in Māori: Maungakiekie), a 182-metre high volcano located in the eponymous suburb in Auckland’s Southern centre, is one of the most impressive summits of the city. One of the three scoria cones that were erupted is still intact. In the course of the eruption, lava flows went down in all directions and covered an area of approximately 20 square kilometres. Regarding the Auckland volcanic field, there’s only one volcano whose lava flows covered a larger area: Rangitoto. The eruption dates back at least 28,500 years, however, the precise point of time is still unknown. The mountain’s name harks back to the fact that, at the time of the city’s foundation as a colonial town, there was only one lonely tree near the summit. One of the volcano’s characteristics is the obelisk on its top.
#2 The second highest natural point of Auckland is the 196-metre-high scoria cone Mount Eden, named after George Eden, the first Earl of Auckland, whereas Māori named the hill Maungawhau. The volcano has a 50-metres-deep crater and erupted about 28,000 years ago. After the western face of the mountain had been quarried extensively, it was ecologically restored in course of a volunteer project. Since the 1870s, the volcano’s underground area has been used as a water reservoir. Nowadays, the hill is very popular among locals and tourists though vehicles aren’t allowed to get to the top since 2016.
#1 However, the highest point in the Auckland area – though not located in the city – is by far Rangitoto on the identically named island. The volcano with its 260-metre-high summit is as well the highest peak of the Auckland volcanic field. Furthermore, Rangitoto provides untouched nature and scenic landscape. On the way to the island, visitors have even the chance to see little blue penguins and cook’s petrels. You want to get to know this spectacular place and its fascinating wildlife while having an excellent view of some of the most impressive summits of Auckland? Then don’t miss out on having a kayak tour over the Hauraki Gulf to Rangitoto Island with Auckland Sea Kayaks!