Monday, May 31, 2010

Climbing a volcano - my Sunday walk

Yesterday afternoon I got to stand on the top of my world.  My world was all around me - for as far as I could see there were places that I've visited, and places that I want to visit! Well in the photo I'm actually sitting on top of a volcano (and you guessed right that it isn't an active volcano or I wouldn't be sitting there) but for a medium sized dog like me I was up pretty high in the world.

Mum told me Auckland has many volcanoes – but luckily for me it has been over six hundred years since the last one erupted. However all 48 of these small volcanoes have erupted in the last 150,000 years! This means that I live in a city with many volcanic cones to explore, although many of these volcanoes have gotten smaller (or even disappeared) as they have been mined for the scoria and basalt rock which has been used to make some of our buildings and roads.

Mum, dad and I went to One Tree Hill (also known by the Maori name of Maungakiekie) which  is a ten minute car drive away. One Tree Hill is part of CORNWALL PARK, Auckland, New Zealand. This is what One Tree Hill looked like yesterday. You will see that our trees are now preparing for winter.

I think that the autumn leaves in the park match my colourings very well!!! 

First we walked around the base of the volcano, and then climbed up through the fields. One Tree Hill is only 183m high so this wasn’t a big summit for me to climb, but this volcano is in a huge park with farm animals, and lots of things for me to explore, so I spent about an hour and a half walking around with my family and saying hello to some of the other dogs I met there.

Half way up - this is the view looking back.

I know I saw far more trees than just one on “One Tree Hill” but mum explained that it got its name because there used to be a huge a single pine tree beside the obelisk at the top. The old picture below (off the Internet) shows how big the tree was.

You could see this pine tree from all around Auckland, but this was attacked by a protester with a chainsaw in 1994. Then another attack in 1999 ended the life of this tree. Mum thinks this was such a senseless thing to do, as the tree died and was removed by the city council in October 2000. Our council and local iwi are still trying to decide what the best type of replacement tree will be – so for now there is no “one tree” on our “One Tree Hill.”

One of Auckland’s founding fathers was John Logan Campbell bought the land in the 19th century and gifted this park to Auckland City. He is buried here and the monument is dedicated to him. The red patch in front of the obelisk is scoria. This is were the tree used to be.

Now I can show you what my city is like so click on the photos below if you want to view them larger.

This is looking North, and on the left side of the picture is where our central business district is. The water you see is the Waitemata Harbour, and the island on the right of this photo is Rangitoto Island, which is another volcano.

This is the view out towards the east.

To the south.

And this is to the west. The water you see behind me is Manukau Harbour.
Auckland is build on a narrow isthmus between the two harbours.

Many years ago this hill was a pa where Maori battles were fought. You will see that there are lots of terraces carved out of the hillside. Maori built gardens, houses and food storage pits here in the 18th century– but, as you can see from the photo below, I looked and looked and found that they hadn't left any food for me!

I also got to check out some cows.

I've been going to this park ever since I was a puppy, and there is always something interesting for me to find, smell or stand in.

Had you heard of One Tree Hill before? The band U2 wrote a song about in back in the late 1980’s; which appeared on their album “The Joshua Tree” and was dedicated to a New Zealand friend of theirs. I tried to put this video in, but only half the image showed (I'm still new to blogging and don't understand this embedding stuff!) so here is a link to the YouTube page if you are interested. U2 One Tree Hill

Bye for now,


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage said...

What great pikhs!

Such pawesome places and views!

Of khourse, I'm drooling fur THE LAMB!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Anya said...

Its beautiful your country.
It was fantastic to walk with you .....
Loved your photo's!!!!

Hugs from Kareltje =^.^=

Maxmom said...

Dear Riley (and Mom!)
That is one of the most awesome cyber walks I have ever been on! I'm not kidding! You did a wonderful job! Thank you for the effort of this post - It was simply great to be able to spend the time with you and get to know a bit of your interesting environment and history.
I knew that the view to the east meant that we'd be somewhere in that area (although thousands of kilometers away). This post is inspirational to the hilt...because it reminds me of what I originally set out to do...share with the world! Thank you, Fran! You are a star! Please keep on blogging, sharing your world (Whatever is in it!) and we'll keep reading! Hugs to Riley.

Jacqueline said...

A very interesting and wonderful post, filled with lots of information and gorgeous scenery!...We love all the precious photos of handsome Riley too...Hope you have a fun, happy week sweet boy!...xoxo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

Molly the Airedale said...

What gorgeous photos! That is sure one special spot, Riley!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

WOW!!! What an amazing place that you call home that's so full of incredible views and has so much to tell!! It's really sad about the tree--What a senseless crime on history! Thanks for taking us along on your walk--You taught an old dog something new, and they say sometimes you can't do that! :-))

Heather and Kelly said...

That's so cool! All of it! Love the pictures, very informative. And you are oh so handsome, Riley....

The Thundering Herd said...

Chuckling - One Tree Hill is also the name of a cheesy soap opera type show here in the U.S. that is filmed on the other end of our state. Sorry, but could not help but think of it when you mentioned the name.

What a great area to go walking in.

Dexter said...

Thanks for the tour. What lovely countryside. That one tree hill is really cool, but I would be scared to sit on the volcano.


Golden Samantha said...

Thanks for the great tour of Auckland from One Tree Hill! Such a beautiful country - only hope we can visit one day! I'm impressed that you actually sat on a volcano - spectacular views there, that's fur shore! Sorry we haven't visited in so long - I don't know why my assistant hasn't been paying attention, but hopefully she'll get with it on your future posts!
Big Hugs xoxoxo

sprinkles said...

I was going to say that there's a tv show here called One Tree Hill here in the US but I see that The Thundering Herd beat me to it!

Your country is gorgeous! Thanks for taking us along with you, it was just like being there!

I'd be a little nervous about sitting on the volcano, even if it is inactive!

My little boys would have barked up a storm at the cows! Chihuahuas like to bark a lot.

Mrs. JP said...

These are beautiful views. I know you had a good time on your walk. I like the views of one tree hill.

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

LOved all the beautiful pctures and a look around the lovely scenery. Especialy liked the pictures of you.. Hugs GJ xx

KT and Easton said...

Wonderful post, thanks for sharing part of your life and gorgeous NZ. What in the world would someone be protesting that would cause them to lose their mind and harm such a significant tree???

Unknown said...

Oh Riley - this post made me SOOOOO homesick!! I used to so love going to walkin Cornwall Park & One Tree Hill - and gosh, doesn't the weather look absolutely beautiful in Auckland?! My human is terribly homesick for NZ and thinks Australia just doesn't compare! :-)

Honey the Great Dane