Image by Mark Meredith Getty Images
From the top of Auckland’s highest volcanic cone (196m) the entire isthmus and both harbours are laid bare. The symmetrical crater (50m deep) is known as Te Ipu Kai a Mataaho (the Food Bowl of Mataaho, the god of things hidden in the ground) and is considered highly tapu (sacred). Do not enter it, but feel free to explore the remainder of the mountain. The remains of pā terraces and food storage pits are clearly visible.
Until recently it was possible to drive right up to the summit but concerns over erosion have led to restricted vehicle access. Paths lead up the mountain from six different directions and the walk only takes around 10 minutes, depending on your fitness.