One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)

sights / Parks & gardens

Lonely Planet review

This volcanic cone was the isthmus’ key pa and the greatest fortress in the country. It’s easy to see why: a drive or walk to the top (182m) offers 360-degree views. At the summit is the grave of John Logan Campbell, who when gifting the land to the city in 1901 requested that a memorial (the imposing obelisk and statue above the grave) be built to the Maori people. Nearby is the stump of the last ‘one tree’.

Allow plenty of time to explore the craters and surrounding Cornwall Park , with its impressive mature trees and Acacia Cottage (1841), Auckland's oldest wooden building. The information centre has fascinating interactive displays illustrating what the pa would have looked like when 5000 people lived here.

Near the excellent children’s playground , the Stardome Observatory offers regular stargazing and planetarium shows that aren’t dependent on Auckland’s fickle weather (usually 8pm Wednesday to Saturday; phone ahead).

To get here from the city, take a train to Greenlane and walk 1km along Green Lane West. By car, take the Greenlane exit of the Southern Motorway and turn right into Green Lane West.