Saturday, 13 February 2010

The moon is up and over ... Maungakiekie

Today is my last day in New Zealand, which I marked by a trip up "One Tree Hill" - a volcanic peak south of Auckland's downtown area...

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The hill has achieved some global fame as result of the eponymous track on U2's album "The Joshua Tree".

That track also (apparently) inspired a TV series of the same name of which I know nothing - save that it is produced by the network responsible for other bright points on the apogee of high culture such as "America's Next Top Model" - 'nuff sed.

There once stood a single tree on the summit (the clue is in the name) but it was twice attacked by crazed Maori activist tree surgeons (in 1994 and 2000), so all that remains is a stump - visible in the following photo...

North Head is visible to the right of the photo, Mt Eden (another volcanic peak) is "above and to the left" of the stump and Sky Tower and the downtown "CBD" area is further left still.

Talking of all these volcanos, the Auckland War Memorial Museum includes an interesting exhibit "A Land on Fire" depicting what might happen in Auckland if one of these sleeping giants wakes up again. Auckland residents should look here if they want something to worry about!

Instead of a conspicuous single tree, the summit does at least sport a nice obelisk...

and a memorial to Sir John Logan Campbell, the "Father of Auckland".

Time to say farewell to the glorious southern hemisphere summer and head back to the UK. I don't mind the 13 hour time difference so much - but I do resent the 23 degree temperature difference!

...-.- de m0xpd

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