#MountEden – (Maungawhau- hill of the whau tree)
Starting 250,000 years ago, small basaltic volcanoes erupted across the Auckland Isthmus, creating the Volcano of Mount Eden Auckland, in New Zealand.
Some were violent eruptions where magma encountered water,but in the case of Mt Eden the magma rose without meeting water and produced a steep sided cone from localised scoria and ash, and fields from the quiet outpouring of lava flows.
The crater is circular, about 180m in diameter and 50m deep.
The southern side of the crater rim is the highest point on the scoria cone(196m above sea level), and is the highest point on the Auckland Isthmus.
The Isthmus of Auckland is one of the most remarkable volcanic districts on the earth.The volcanoes are unique in their number(50) , and the peculiar shape of their cones and craters.
Most of the volcanoes in Auckland are thought to have grown by eruptions lasting a few months or possibly a few years.
Maungawhau is named after the Whau tree, one of the world’s lightest woods it was used for fishing floats and utility rafts. New cultivation techniques brought from the Pacific saw massive production of Taro and Kumara. Huge gardens spread from the base of
Maungawhau through the modern day Mt Eden suburb with volcanic rocks used as passive solar heating for seed raising beds to help tropical crops adapt to the colder environment.
Te Tuahu o Hua Kai Waka on the slopes of Maungawhau is the ancient shrine where ceremonies were performed for significant events and battles. Maungawhau is also the repository of koiwi (human remains) with burials across the mountain and the Mt Eden suburb.
Tangata Whenua continue to observe customary practices on Maungawhau. Matariki or the Maori New Year is one such practice observed before dawn in June each year.
The road to the summit of Maungawhau is named for Puhihuia, a highborn daughter of Te Waiohua. Ponga of Ngati Kahukoka from Awhitu was visiting Maungawhau and although he was of lower social status they eloped to the anger of Puhihuia’s disapproving parents. They escaped across the Manukau Harbour to Awhitu followed by an avenging taua.
War between the Iwi was avoided when Puhihuia faced a series of duels. She defeated her opponents and the taua returned accepting Puhihuia’s choice of a husband.
The early Maori Tribes took advantage of the Volcanic cone to gain an advantage over their enemies by having advanced fortifications established . This Pa was an established village with sleeping huts and food storage.
Today the Volcanic cone is a major Tourist sightseeing destination.
For a guest to walk from Eden Park Bed and Breakfast is a 40 min walk. To catch a sunrise from this Volcanic point is a “MUST DO ” in Auckland City.
There are various organizations dedicated to the preservation of the Historical nature of this unique place.
The friends of Maungawhau are a non profit organisation that welcome any assistance that guests may have to offer. www.maungawhau.co.nz
Living in the shadow of a Volcano is natural for us at Eden Park Bed and Breakfast. Thankfully they are all dormant and “sleeping”.
That is more than I can say for the rest of the country. Once again the “Shakey Isles ” are living up to their name. This morning a magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the east cape of the North Island
The quake struck at 5.21am, and was centred 50km east of Tolaga Bay, at a depth of 12km.
It came not long after a magnitude 3.6 quake, which struck at 4.40am, 60km east of Tolaga Bay, at a depth of 16km. Between 10.24pm and 6.53am, 12 earthquakes have struck the region. However most have been either weak or unnoticeable. There are no reports of damage or injury. Just a little bit of nervous energy…….
Maybe the hobbits in the Shire are awake now!
Eden Park Bed and Breakfast is surrounded by one of the most unique Volcanic Plateaus in the World. The Auckland Volcanic field contains 53 volcanoes and vents. thankfully they are all dormant. Within a 45 minute walk from the property, is Mt Eden (Maungawhau) And it’s a very cool place to see. Well worth the walk .
Further down country the Eastern Bay’s ever-changing volcano ,White Island, is showing signs of unrest once again. Located 49km off the coast of Whakatane, recent changes in activity suggest that the hydrothermal system has become unstable, and as a result the risk has increased.
White Island is a level one volcano, meaning it shows signs of volcano unrest, with the last eruptive activity occurring from March to September, 2000, when it was upgraded to level two.
The volcano’s lake level quickly rose by about 3m to 5m some time between Friday and Saturday last week, exposing a “vigorous” flow of gas and steam into the air.
During the past few weeks there had also been some minor volcanic tremor, including several hours on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Last year and earlier this year the lake started to evaporate and exposed steam vents and two large muddy pools.