Thursday, February 13, 2014

He climbed Ohinerangi first

 The volcanic cone of Ohinerangi was renamed in 1841 by the first Governor of New Zealand. When he arrived here, he climbed Ohinerangi first of all, and like so many men of his day, renamed it after himself: Mt Hobson.
 It was a steep climb we made on a hot day last weekend, but the summer wind is still blowing. On this day it was welcome, not only for its cooling effect but also for the way it created ripples through the silky grass.
 As we climbed higher, we could look east across the Waitemata Harbour, whose name means 'sparkling waters', and glimpse Maungauika (North Head), another scoria cone in the family of volcanoes that once erupted all over Auckland.
 A little higher, and we could look out to Rangitoto, the youngest of the volcanoes and the only one that erupted in the sea. I sailed to this island on my honeymoon when I was barely twenty years old, and climbed to the top.
In the foreground you can see one of the many hollows that dip into the sides of these cones, a sign of the kumara pits created by the Maori for storing their precious staple crop.
 And to the south we looked out towards Maungakiekei, One Tree Hill, the mountain that lost its one tree in a dramatic incident many years ago. But that's another story.
 To the west was the sight I was waiting for: here is Te Kopuke, the cone that I climbed a couple of weeks ago, and showed you on the blog.
 In this photo you can see the terracing created by Maori. I love the way Te Kopuke is tucked into the trees.
What's this? Have Peter Jackson and the Hobbits come to Ohinerangi? No, the crater was excavated in the '50s to created a hidden reservoir. Inside the arched doorway lies an enormous pipe that carries water to Auckland homes.
 Further round, and on our descent we could glimpse Maungawhau through the trees. This is my most climbed volcano, for I used to live in Mt Eden, the suburb that surrounds it.

After climbing up and around Ohinerangi I felt recharged. The energy of these cones is amazing, almost as if their hidden fire is lurking somewhere within them. They also provide breathing spaces, parks that rise upwards, free of the busy activity of the city below.

Note: In my post on January 26 I called this mountain Remuera. This is a later Maori name, a corruption of Remu-wera (the burnt hem of a garment), that was mistakenly used for Ohinerangi.

9 comments:

Hotly Spiced said...

The scenery is beautiful - it's so blue and green. I love the history. This would be a beautiful walk to go on as it seems you can see for miles xx

Juliet Batten said...

Charlie, I'm sure you would love the walk. Maybe you should come to Auckland on your next cruise! Thank you.

Penny O'Neill said...

I feel rejuvenated just reading this, Juliet. You have so much beauty surrounding you. Thank you for always sharing it, especially to us wintry weary ones.

Juliet Batten said...

Penny, you are very welcome, thank you. We are lucky to live in a beautiful city, and it's a pleasure to share it with you in your long, cold winter.

silkannthreades said...

What a beautiful walk. How long does it usually take you?

Vicki Lane said...

Beautiful pictures! I love learning more about NZ!

Juliet Batten said...

* Gallivanta, the walk was beautiful, with view from all directions. We took an hour, but that was with stops to enjoy. It could be done in 30 minutes I should think.

* Vicki, I'm glad you are enjoying seeing NZ scenes.

Thank you Gallivanta and Vicki, good to see you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Just wonderful to see Juliet .. all the best - Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

Thank you Hilary. It was a great walk.