Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Base map: NZTopoOnline, extracted May 2005, Crown Copyright Reserved  

A total of eleven people spent the afternoon looking at some of the known features and hidden surprises of the Auckland isthmus’ highest and most prominent volcanic cones, Mt Eden. We set out from The Bracken soon after 1:30pm without having to drive anywhere, walking along Epsom Ave to Owens Rd and one of the entrances to the Mt Eden Domain.

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We went along a well-established track to the end of Batger Rd, and on to a new track completed at the end of last year by Friends of Maungawhau. This traverses the quarried western face of Mt Eden, which the Friends are replanting native trees to bring back its original bush cover.
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This new track then climbed up to above the top of Hillside Cres with views out over St Barnabas church and the city beyond.
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We came out to the summit road and the edge of the crater, but we were not allowed to go down into the crater - this restriction was put in place last year to preserve the crater and stop recent erosion and disfigurement of the crater sides.
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It was obvious what we would be in for as we approached the summit for a quick stop.
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We were able to complete the new path around the crater before we had to put on raincoats and get out our brollies.
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The band of heavy rain that came over cancelled our intention to see the Louis Adolphus Durrieu Reserve, Eden Christian Hostel and the 32 stone steps leading to Valley Rd, and we headed directly to Linda’s home in Bellevue Rd for afternoon tea. Peter, one of the group, had been given a CD of the Haircut Song by Ray Stevens, and we had a listen to that comedy song, followed by Linda’s Parachute worship CD as we had tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits.
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The rain had passed over by the time we left chez Linda to walk up Sherbourne and View Rds to come to the Tahaki Reserve, a popular home to outdoor concerts in the summertime. We took a short bush track leading to a dog exercise area.
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A flight of stone steps led to a mini-Stony Batter where we had a view towards the central city.
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Returning to the Summit Drive we passed the Clive Rd access, blocked off permanently to motor vehicles at the bottom when through traffic became a big problem in the 1980s. We then dropped down to Glenfell Rd via a series of wooden steps.
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The last feature of our tramp was a short walk through the Withiel Thomas Reserve, a small remnant of the original bush cover growing out of the jagged lava flows of Mt Eden.
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We were back at The Bracken by 4:20pm having given our legs a good workout and found many hidden surprises.