10. Albert Park Volcano

Visited January 14

There isn’t a whole lot to say about this one; it’s been obliterated. The “Albert Park” moniker is a misnomer, sure there’s a park named after old Prince Albert and there’s even a volcano nearby, somewhere, apparently (although not readily apparent). You can stomp around on the ground all you like but you’re never gonna find it -the volcano, that is (you’ll find the park easy peasy). The volcano only ever was a small one but devastating enough to knock down forest in the area as discovered during excavations for the Art Gallery. A small flow of lava trickled down Queen st and blocked off a stream creating a swamp which still causes problems today along with the actual basalt which requires drilling through with any new earthworks. Apparently, nubs of scoria can be seen weathering through the bank by the Bowen Ave steps.

Descending the lowest steps from Albert Park

Descending the lowest steps from Albert Park

“Gateway” volcanic rock artwork

I remember when this artwork was newly installed and it was much easier to appreciate the archway shape

I remember when this artwork was newly installed and it was much easier to appreciate the archway shape

This artwork called “Gateway” is actually made using boulders once spewed from a volcano, not the Albert Park volcano where it resides, oh no, but one far North in Kerikeri. The “…coals to Newcastle” saying springs to mind.

Albert Park itself is worth a look around: the gardens are edged in volcanic rock, a well kept lawn for sunny day sprawling, pigeons aplenty, a huge sundial, ancient old established trees. Ah, all this talk is making me nostalgic for the good old days, Sunday afternoon picnics with my family and no one bats an eye when children hoist themselves into (yes, as in fully inside) the trunk of an old Morton Bay fig tree. Such fun!

But as to the volcano, it’s well and truly been concreted over. Although, I hear there are tunnels UNder Albert Park, which doesn’t surprise me -Auckland is riddled with tunnels thanks to it’s 50-odd volcanoes.

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