Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends and family and random Internet strangers, this is it: we have returned to New Zealand! Let joy be uncontained, etc.
A while ago I had this conversation, edited as always for brevity and to make a better story:
“Hey Nathan, you should go up Mt. Eden!”
“It’s the tallest point in the area, and you can get some great photos of Auckland from it.”
You can either drive to the top of Mt. Eden or park at one of the many entrance points along the base and then hike up. I chose the second option.
By now you’ve probably added stairs to the list of things I like to photograph. There’s just something about a set of stairs carved into a hill leading up beyond view.
And more stairs :D
You might think that with being so close to the city, Mt. Eden would be all wide, well-trodden paths. But there are some bits which feel positively isolated. The path gets pretty narrow here as well!
Mt. Eden was once a volcano, as were most of Auckland’s hills. Sadly, there are signs asking visitors not to scramble down into the crater. I was, uncharacteristically, obedient.
Walking Southward around the crater, we get our first real peek at majestic Auckland! Yes, it has been a long time coming, but here is another photo of the world’s most photographable city for your ocular enjoyment.
This is the summit! I don’t know about other hikers, but I feel a bit discouraged when I arrive at my destination to find a carpark. I suppose I will just have to settle for the sense of smug superiority that I took the scenic route :)
At the summit is this metal dingus (that’s the technical term) showing distances to Auckland District features (inner ring), parts of New Zealand and the surrounding islands (middle ring) and major foreign cities (outer ring). We see for instance that it is 14,197km to New York. But I didn’t put petrol in the car before I left so I won’t be making that trip today.
And let’s hear it for Captain Theophilus Heale, Inspector of Surveys.
Hi there, Rangatoto! You can tell that I took this photo with my actual camera, since despite paying no attention to proper lighting or balance it’s not completely unviewable. The Nexus 5’s camera is not entirely terrible, but were I to attempt this shot with it the entire top half of the photograph would be a glowy white mass. You can even see the ghostly silhouette of what I believe is the Great Barrier Island out there in the distance.
That is One Tree Hill. I’ve been up One Tree Hill a few times, but I don’t have a lot of photographs. I’ll have to rectify that….
I should have taken this photo with the Canon instead of the Nexus 5, but I still like it even if the photography itself is terrible. If I were truly a photographer, I would schlep back up Mt. Eden at a different time of day when the sun is conveniently to my aft and retake this picture properly. But a photographer I ain’t, so this will have to do.
The suburbs (as suburbs are wont to be) are far more boring than the city — both photographically and existentially. But look at that sky.
You can hike to the top of Mt. Eden in under an hour. Even if you’re intent on exploring every nook and cranny, arriving at 8am will have you done in time for lunch. If you’re interested in getting better photos than the ones I have here (and the even worse ones I spared you from), consider arriving later so the sun isn’t in your face as you’re photographing our lovely city. Either way, it’s a great place to spend part of a day!
Next time we’ll be leaving Auckland behind again, but we’ll be staying in New Zealand. It’s time for a road trip!