Ahh, One Tree Hill. The first place I visited in New Zealand. Well, I suppose technically the first place would be the airport, then Jordan and Brendon’s house, where I was staying, then One Tree Hill. But it’s the first outing I took. Anyway, you know what I mean.
One Tree Hill is a (you guessed it) volcanic cone presiding over Cornwell Park, a large park in the Auckland suburbs.
Recently, Brendon and I took a trip back to One Tree Hill to relive the memories of my first New Zealand trip. Although that makes it sound more dramatic than it actually was; I and my friends have been to Cornwell Park many times because it’s close to a lot of peoples’ houses and has plenty of space. But in this case I decided to take some photos so I can post about this great place.
Also, cool story: our friend Tyson proposed to his girlfriend in Cornwell Park! Wouldn’t be the first proposal to happen there, as we will see.
More like Cow-well park, amirite?
I am right.
You don’t see a lot of stonemasonry walls in the US, at least not where I’m from (with the exception of the wall around Duke’s campus, I guess).
One Tree Hill actually has many trees, but the One Tree is no longer there (it’s a long story). I hear they’re actually planning on replanting the one tree at some point! Anyway, you can see the iconic monument on top of the hill. Mt. Eden may be the tallest hill in the area, but One Tree Hill is the most immediately recognizable thanks to its large obelisk!
These stairs are pretty cool. It kind of reminds me of the image I have in my mind of the stone altar where they sacrificed Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a scene which neither the Andrew Adamson monstrosity nor the much more faithful BBC adaptation got particularly right, in my humble opinion.
Man, I’m like digression central today. Moving on…
There are many bunnies out and about in Cornwell Park as well!
This burnt-out husk is not (nor was not) the One Tree (to rule them all). But you can climb inside the burnt out trunk, if you don’t mind your hands getting a bit black from the charring.
Your options are either winding around the hill at a gradual ascent or going straight up the side. You can guess which one we chose! Straight up it was.
The hills — and even the volcanic cone and smaller dips — are very lush and covered in the trademark vibrant New Zealand greenery.
Once you get up to the top, you can see that writing messages using the many stones lying about is a popular activity. I wonder how many Kims got a fright (or how many boyfriends to Kims had to hurriedly explain it wasn’t for her).
The base of the monument.
The spire. With the clouds so dark it looks quite ominous indeed, as though it should be struck by lightning, or perhaps split in two like the House of Usher.
On a more cheerful note, hey! Another bunny!
Hanging out with some sheep!
And some chickens!
And a…uh…pheasant? I guess? Taken with my usual acuity for avian photography.
The bunnies and the sheep seem to not be bothered by each other. Perhaps its a sort of kinship amongst prey animals. I sent this picture to a decidedly carnivorous friend with the caption “food and other food eating food”.
Anyway, enough of my wildlife photography. Here’s the view from the top:
Auckland’s vast suburbs.
More suburbs…but what’s that peninsula off to the left and the island behind it? That would be Mangere (specifically Ambury Park) and Puketutu Island. We will be going there a few posts from now :)
Let’s Zoom and Enhance the Mangere Headlands to whet your appetite!
Our old friend Rangitoto.
And, of course the world’s most photogenic city.
I hope you enjoyed this look at One Tree Hill and Cornwall Park! This place is special to many Aucklanders, and it’s always good to spend a peaceful moment here among the cows, sheep, rabbits, chickens, pheasants, and lush greenery!
Next time we’re going to explore another part of the Auckland suburbs: Panmure. See you then!