27. Mount Albert

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Aerial view of Owairaka/Mt Albert (Thanks Google Maps)

I didn’t have many expectations from this one as I only knew it as just another suburb of Auckland. I’d actually been aiming for Mt Roskill when I got stuck in traffic & a bit disoriented so just pointed my car at an obvious hill and found myself on Mt Albert instead. I parked at the end of Summit road and found this…

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Oh nice, real inviting signage you have there

Vehicles must drive clockwise so I decided to walk the other way, off to the right.

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First glimpse of the first crater… just beyond that fence.

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Not actually a crater but a quarry site

Owairaka and the 99 year decapitation. That’s right, rocks were removed from 1860 to 1959 reducing the height by about 15 metres. There was even a rail line from Toroa Terrace up the mountain to help with rock removal. Look closely and you can see the trig point in the distance just between the gap in the trees.

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Short cut to the summit

Why walk around on the road and risk being run over when you can scamper up the side of a hill?

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Mt Roskill seen from Mt Albert

 

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Disappointingly uninformative

I’m one of those people who actually stops to read information on signs like these. Pity there was nothing here for me to share with my readers. But I would’ve probably read something like this: Named after Prince Albert, Mt Albert has many Maori names, the most well known of which is Owairaka meaning dwelling place of Wairaka. Pre-European Maori extensively modified the scoria slopes with pits and terraces to form a defensive pa much of which has been destroyed by subsequent quarrying. Originally there were two scoria cones on Owairaka, the main (central) one was levelled to form a playing field and the Southern, smaller one has held a buried water reservoir since 1945.

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Sky tower viewed from Mt Albert

Ok, so there’s a bit of zoom on my camera here, but still, the city does seem awfully close considering Owairaka is our Westernmost volcano.

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Eastern Rosella sitting in his gum tree acting all Australian

 

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I thought they were strangely uniform rocks or maybe steps until I found this sign

One year has passed since the above photo and you can see from the Streetview image that the erosion control is holding up quite well. Cars are still allowed to drive around the summit and Google car is no different.

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View into the archery field (Thanks Google)

 

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I went past the sign!

 

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One of a few interestingly shaped rocks lined up by the exit.

That’s all for the actual mountain but there is something else of interest in the area. Just down the road at the Unitec Institute of Technology evidence of lava flows from Mt Albert can be seen.

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Part of a basalt lava flow from Mt Albert volcano hiding in the grounds of Unitec…

 

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…and on the other side of the main road on campus.

Behind which is the Oakley Creek walkway and a little further down there is even supposedly a waterfall which I would’ve got out and explored, had I known it was there.

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More basalt rocks

 

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Still more basalt rocks

 

I saw many, many people out enjoying this lovely volcano on this fine Winter’s day. Joggers, walkers, dog-exercisers, archers, picnickers, strollers, drivers, seat-sitters and me. People seem to genuinely love this place, their “mountain”, and rightly so -it’s a very nice place and has a real community feeling about it. Public interest here is nothing new though, way back in 1903 the government set aside land for this Domain to be joined a few decades later by almost as much land from the Railways Department.

 

One thought on “27. Mount Albert

  1. bob says:

    You take pictures of anything bruh

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