I bet you don’t even know where this volcano is located but if you’ve ever been up Maungarei/Mt Wellington I guarantee you will have seen it. The batch of magma that created Maungarei erupted fractionally after Te Tauoma was formed and so partially covered the southern side of Te Tauoma’s tuff ring.
I parked on College road and this mound of scoria was the first thing we saw. It goes without saying that the rest of Te Tauoma is absent due to quarrying. This is all that remains of the original volcano whose explosion crater was wider than Mt Wellington itself.
These signs are planted all along the roadside so it’s pretty obvious that the place isn’t open to the public, yet. There are plans to turn at least part of this space into a pubic reserve so that is something I look forward to.
We started out from College road toward Stonefield Ave and were part way along Morrin road when we heard a strange rumbling that only got louder. Luckily we were screened from view by some pine trees taking these photos as the Killa Beez (gang) rode past hanging out of car windows, gesturing and shouting profanities. Not what I expected to encounter on a simple volcano walk.
Purchas Hill is named after the Reverend Arthur Guyon Purchas a fascinating man by all accounts. He served as clergyman, surgeon and musician with interests in architecture, scenery preservation and inventing and he co-founded the Auckland Institute which would go on to become the Auckland Museum. As the NZ Herald put it in 1906 “He laid the foundations of all that is good and true in the social life of the colony”. Long may the memory of him be preserved. Quick check of the map and yes, there’s a road named after him too (actually it’s called Purchas Hill road, which is not quite the same thing).