Breach in the caldera wall.

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Jul 26, 2003
New Zealand
Auckland is a city built on 50 volcanos - I was there today to look after my 9 year old grandaughter, and bring her wasted the day exploring with her. Back to where I grew up. Panmure Basin is a sunken caldera, and at some stage the wall was breached to the sea, so is now a tidal basin. These days there is a nice walk around the lagoon, and a bridge over the inlet....not back in my day. From the bridge looking to the Tamaki Estuary. Looking into the basin, and that's Mt Wellington, or Maungarei in the background...we went there next. It takes me about 30 minutes to walk around the lagoon....with a 9 year old, considerably longer. She saw fish, and birds and crabs and, and, and.... We had chips on a park bench, gingerbeer and melted icecreams. Grandad said we'd have them after the chips - in summer?...? Maungarei (I will always call it Mt Wellington) is a scoria cone, and is 10,000 years old, one of the youngest. Looking down onto the lagoon from the top, you can see the inlet to the sea and just make out the pedestrian bridge. In pre european times all the vlocanic cones were Maori Pa (villages), and were forified, and are terraced, with food pits still visable. Looking north we see Auckland's most recognisable land mark, Rangitoto Island. This is the largest and most recent volcano, last active 600 years ago, some say even more recent. In the '60's water reservoirs were put on many of the cones, this one is 45,000 cubic metres. No water towers in Auckland. I should point out that it is late summer here, the dryest time of the year...normaly there are sheep grazing the mountain. The crater. The Volvo is a dark smudge in the carpark. Looking further east, the go cart track is obvious. In the '60's it was a dirt track and all the surounding land just scrub. Between the container park and houses are some warehouses, this is what's left of Camp Bunn, one of 2 supply camps set up by the US military in WWII, the rail line runs past, shipping between the port and camps. Further east is a strip of land, this is a peninsula, and we lived there when I was born. Every holiday and nearly every sunday was spent at my grandmothers on the beach there. My childhood and teens were spent between the area I'm standing in, and where I'm looking. It was isolated then, to the right of the narrowest point was just farmland, not a house in sight. The lava flow from Mt Wellington went north, and became a huge quarry...lots of quarries in Auckland cutting volcanic rock, but this was the biggest. We could feel the blasts from home, and at school. Auckland has a big housing shortage, so the quarry has been turned into a subdivision - high density housing, something we are not used to. It's called Stonefields....they won't be digging any gardens here. The Sky Tower just visible in the distance.
Originally Posted By: Cujet
Pic fail. Can you try again? I'd love to see it.
It's a win here... Maybe try reloading your browser? Silk- thank you for taking the time to post such nice pics! You folks sure are blessed with some beautiful scenery- even around your cities.
Thanks for sharing. The GF and I are talking about going to NZ at some point within the next year or 2. She has some extended family that have settled there. (Not in Auckland though) It looks like such a pretty place!
Thanks for the tour! NZ is one of my planned destinations...time and money, time and money....
I only had my phone, so the pictures aren't great. In the early '70's we used to ride our motorcycles on the mountain, around the crater rim, been down in the crater and even climbed the sides...that would've been my 1972 Yamaha CT2 175. Having been Maori sites, they are now culturally sensitive and need to be preserved - they have now stopped vehicle access to Mt Eden/Maungawhau as tourists are causing damage....they have to walk up now. Having grown up in Auckland and spent 40 years there, I find getting around a grid city difficult, before the motorways were put in, you navigated Auckland using the volcanic cones as land marks - I always know where I am just by looking at the skyline.
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Back in Auckland today, and we explore another volcano, Mangere Mountain. This one last erupted 18,000 years ago and has 2 craters and a lava dome. They used to have motocross here in the '60's and early '70's....down the crater wall, up and over the dome. You can't even ride a pushbike here now. This is the lava dome in the main crater. Black dots are cows, heffers mowing the grass, they are not fenced off and we walk amongst them, giving one a pat. From the crater rim looking west into the Manukau Harbour there is Puketutu Island, another volcano of course. There was a quarry there, and they used it when building Auckland airport, my father was working on the trucks for that project, and I've been on that island...not open to the public. Really, really windy with squalls passing through - Mangere means lazy wind, they weren't lazy today! Looking north across the harbour is Mt Eden (Maungawhau) and a mound to the right is the largest land volcano One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) you can almost see the obelisk on top. Another sunken caldera you can't see in there too. Looking further east we see Mt Wellington (Maungarei) where we were last time, a little knob further around is Mt Richmond. By now it will be obvious that maunga means mountain, but Mt Richmond is called Otahuhu. Just there in the corner of the pic is where the Waitemata and Manukau harbours are at their closest, only a few hundred metres seperate them, and the Maori portaged their canoes across there....and of course the road there is called Portage Rd. The large ocean going waka (canoe) Tainui was portaged across there, and carried on down the west coast to settle. Again,not very good pictures, but you can see how the city is dominated by these volcanos, and they are all parks for the people...history to climb. Lily loves I think I'll take her to One Tree Hill.
Great photos. Thanks for sharing. On a side note this treadmill I run has video of runs you can watch and one of them is a run in Auckland. It is my favorite one to watch. Would really love to travel there someday.
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