Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Mt Eden: Not a closing but an opening

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  • James Butler,

    My only reservation is that already having a mobility card is a fairly high bar for people who might be mobile on the flat but can’t manage the climb and perhaps a way could be found to accommodate them without letting that concession be abused.

    Could one get a pedicab/rickshaw through the bollards? Would need good brakes, low gears, and mighty thighs...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    If you ever go up to the top of Mt Eden, I highly recommend you do the following: walk down into the middle of the crater and lie down.

    You will be rewarded by the quite amazing sight of the sky completely encircled by the vivid green banks of the crater. It *really* is awesome.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    That cycle route might make it viable to get into town on my bike from Titirangi. Currently, negotiating Gt North Rd between Waterview spaghetti and Blockhouse Bay Rd is just too much of a mortality crap shoot.

    Maungawhau. I was up there with my kids and their cousins from out of town. We're wandering around enjoying the weather and the view. The cousins start wandering off into the crater. Something in the back of my head goes, hmmm, is this ok? I wander after them with a watchful eye. Then a representative of Ngati Whatua (an iwi I have close personal ties with) accosts us. By which I mean, yells at us (like, REALLY YELLS), doesn't explain anything, concludes by calling me a bloody idiot and storms off muttering about me and my bloody idiocy.

    Still love the place. But haven't really felt much like going back since. A truly foul experience of the place I call home.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    walk down into the middle of the crater

    Ah, yes. Maybe not. Despite the bollocking we received, I believe the crater is both tapu and environmentally sensitive.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Back when I lived at the foot of Mt Eden (I could walk to the summit without crossing any roads!), I used to walk up the hill quite a lot. And I can say: getting to the summit on foot is a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience than zipping up in a car. When you reach the top and take in all the majesty of Auckland, it's like, yep, I've earned it and this is my city.

    I hope the summit now gets some new landscaping in place of the old tar seal. There's so much potential!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Still love the place. But haven’t really felt much like going back since. A truly foul experience of the place I call home.

    To be fair, there are signs saying not to enter the crater. It's been prohibited for a long time because of the damage being caused.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    If you ever go up to the top of Mt Eden, I highly recommend you do the following: walk down into the middle of the crater and lie down.

    Yeah, don't. I'm sure it's awesome, but if everyone does it the crater will be destroyed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    And here's the "before" pic, taken in January 2015 by Pippa Coom. She says "all you could hear was car engines."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Ah, yes. Maybe not. Despite the bollocking we received, I believe the crater is both tapu and environmentally sensitive.

    Fair call. (In mitigation, I did this only once 15 or so years' ago whilst visiting Auckland).

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Fair call. (In mitigation, I did this only once 15 or so years’ ago whilst visiting Auckland).

    Of course – and back then there was no such prohibition. I went down into the crater with my kids, like everyone else.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I'm a believer that roads are for people and goods.

    Sometimes that means cars, but if removing the cars means more people get to use the road then that is what should be done.

    My disappointment is that when we got overseas visitors (think middle-aged less than fit scientists) we would routinely take them from the airport straight to the top of Mt Eden. It instantly gave them a sense of the Auckland landscape.

    Now that is just not possible for many of the visitors we get. A disability card wouldn't work.

    While it is only 200m - that isn't an easy 200 m.

    I can still go up there as long as my knees will let me and yeah I like that it won't be full of cars all the time but I'm left feeling that there is a gap in the visitor experience. Mt Eden is special and I recognise that's why it's being protected but I just think there has to be a better option.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to James Butler,

    Could one get a pedicab/rickshaw through the bollards?

    An electric bike/rickshaw service?

    You wouldn't need many to cover those who aren't disabled but still can't do that climb.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My only reservation is that already having a mobility card is a fairly high bar for people who might be mobile on the flat but can’t manage the climb and perhaps a way could be found to accommodate them without letting that concession be abused.

    Yup, it's not going to be fun trying to get my boy up there. I'm not feeling the love for this decision. The parked cars were not beautiful, sure, but trips up that mountain without humping the 100m vertical ascent were like an Auckland birthright I've lost, is how I feel about it*. And the cars were never in the way of the view from the summit, nor from the paths on either side of the parking. I couldn't hear car engines over the howling of the wind and the gabbling of tourists anyway, and I doubt those have changed.

    getting to the summit on foot is a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience than zipping up in a car

    I've done it both ways. I liked the car better. Especially when I had the whole family with me, or visiting friends, or only 15 minutes to spare on the way through. It's certainly a good walk. But it was an awesome drive.

    *I know, of course, that it never actually belonged to me. But that doesn't change that something has been taken away.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    An electric bike/rickshaw service?

    You wouldn’t need many to cover those who aren’t disabled but still can’t do that climb.

    There was a shuttle service for a while after buses were banned. Not sure what happened to it. But yes, some kind of e-bike rickshaw service would be great.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • tony j ricketts, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    "My disappointment is that when we got overseas visitors (think middle-aged less than fit scientists) we would routinely take them from the airport straight to the top of Mt Eden. It instantly gave them a sense of the Auckland landscape"

    I used to do that too when I lived in Auckland, until I discovered the Savage Memorial – such a beautiful place, and with so much to say about NZ,s noble past. good views as well.

    wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Allan MacLachlan,

    It instantly gave them a sense of the Auckland landscape.

    There's still One Tree Hill/Maungakiekie. And where else in the world does a public park incorporate a working farm in the centre of a major city?

    Or if you have the time visit Pukematekeo on Scenic Drive: https://goo.gl/maps/URa5924VMuE2
    I discovered this place on a cycle over Scenic Drive last Spring - gives a fantastic view across the city, and back over the Waitakere Ranges towards the dams.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Allan MacLachlan,

    There’s still One Tree Hill/Maungakiekie. And where else in the world does a public park incorporate a working farm in the centre of a major city?

    Agreed. But Mt Eden gives better views of the city (we can usually pick out their hotel) and Rangitoto.

    The scenic drive is great too, also where else in the world do you have a major city 30-40 minutes from dinosaur trees!!! AND if you have time Piha/Murawai blows away most visitors and you can stop in at some wineries on the way back. But you need the time.

    So yes there are alternatives, but Mt Eden was the best choice and I'm still disappointed there was no halfway ground that could be made to work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Mt Eden was the best choice and I’m still disappointed there was no halfway ground that could be made to work.

    Heh, well, the parking is about halfway up... :-).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The scenic drive is great too, also where else in the world do you have a major city 30-40 minutes from dinosaur trees!!! AND if you have time Piha/Murawai blows away most visitors and you can stop in at some wineries on the way back. But you need the time.

    A couple of times in the past we took friends arriving back directly to Muriwai to stand and face the wind. It was a great thing to do.

    So yes there are alternatives, but Mt Eden was the best choice and I’m still disappointed there was no halfway ground that could be made to work.

    Yeah, it's difficult. But the atmosphere yesterday was amazing. Not having to worry about cars has really changed things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Also, we can still give some thanks, for at least a few decades, that there is a view from Mt Eden at all. Mt Albert is basically an unremarkable stand of pohutukawa when you look North. No need to limit access to the summit - most times I go there I'm the only one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, that would be the one that probably needs no more protection than it has – in that the last stretch is already some steps to be walked up. There's a football ground right near the top anyway.

    It's also a thoroughly unenjoyable ride up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I just think there has to be a better option

    Assorted council staff have been thrashing it out for over a decade. Possibly not.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    I know, of course, that it never actually belonged to me.

    I belong to it, which also does not help.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    ND if you have time Piha/Murawai blows away most visitors and you can stop in at some wineries on the way back. But you need the time.

    I think we have the time - thanks Bart and everyone else for the travel tips! Our trip north for a long weekend at the end of the month now has a lot more structure to it. Looking forward to trying the new cycleways and a ride to top of Maungawhau. Cheers!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Swain,

    I have a question: What do they do with the busloads of tourists these days, now that you can't drive to the summit? Do they make them walk the last 200m, or is Mt. Eden no longer on the itinerary?

    I ask because I was a guide for overseas tour groups a few decades ago, and Mt. Eden was often the first stop straight from the airport. Some of those tourists (only a small fraction, thankfully) grumbled at the slightest inconvenience, and I can just imagine... "No-one told me I'd have to scale a mountain. It's not on the itinerary! It says we'll be driven to Auckland's highest peak, but this isn't the peak, is it?"

    Japan • Since Apr 2013 • 45 posts Report Reply

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