Maungakiekie, Cornwall Park or One Tree Hill. Either way it is only a ten minute walk to one of the entrances from my flat, so I frequently pop for a walk. I also walk home through the park after a night shift - I catch the free shuttle bus to the 'other' hospital which sits on the side of the park.

Cornwall Park was presented to the people of Auckland in 1901 by the city's 'founding father', Sir John Logan Campbell. Sheep and cattle graze, there are several broad avenues of various trees, the volcanic slopes rise to the summit of One Tree Hill, the site of Logan Campbell's grave and one of Auckland's most prominent natural landmarks.

The park has great walkways, marvelous kite flying spots, picnic areas and a lovely little visitors centre - Huia Lodge - that often has local artists work on display and for sale. There is also Acacia Cottage, a small building that has been moved to Cornwall Park and was a cottage that John Campbell lived in.

Most importantly there is an wide selection of ice cream at the coffee place (actually quite posh and very lovely looking - must go in sometime) by the visitors centre, so after my walk to the summit to sustain me round the park, I am - in the name of research only - trying all the flavours. Always with a waffle cone - I know how to live!!

Maungakiekie means 'Mountain of the Kieke Tree'. It is now topped by a single obelisk. There was a sacred totara tree that stood until 1976, this was replaced by a pine tree. The pine tree was attacked as a protest over felling the original tree. Despite trying to protect the tree with steel cables, the tree was removed in 2000 (after a chainsaw attack in 1999).

The park also contains the Stardome Observatory which I'm still to visit, but they do various 'shows' each night.


I wrote about my trip to Devonport on the 3rd April post (I think that's the one), here are a few pics. Sorry didn't get one of the group I joined or the birthday cake I ate. It was a lovely walk on a really warm day, walking on the beach was great. The shops were a real treat and reminded me of Battle a bit, but also quite like St Ives. Great second hand bookshops and lots of art places. Will be going back soon.


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