Area & Track History
One Tree Hill is one of Auckland’s biggest volcanoes, its last eruption was around 50,000 years ago. Some would say Rangitoto Island is the biggest volcano in Auckland, but whatever you think there are supposedly 55 volcanoes in Auckland for you to climb, all dating back 250,000 years.
One Tree Hill volcano is just a 6 K drive from downtown Auckland City. If you are just a brief visitor to Auckland, you can catch either a bus or a train from the Britomart center in lower Queen St. Queen St is Auckland’s CBD and where you will end up spending your weeks budget in one day, especially when us Kiwis make the best flat white coffee in the world.
A gentleman by the name of Sir John brought the estate in 1873. In 1901, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, later to be King George V and Queen Mary of England, visited New Zealand. During this visit Sir John, who had been asked to be the honorary mayor of Auckland, gifted the park to New Zealand and named it after the Royals.
As for the famous 33 metre high Obelisk which can be seen from any high-point in Auckland, it is made of reinforced concrete covered in Tonalite from the mighty Coromandel district.
If you look to the north of Cornwall Park you will see the main Hospital for the Northern half of NZ, Greenlane Hospital. Greenlane was set up during world war two for war casualties, the hospital took up 75 acres in Cornwall Park. After the war the hospital was demolished and moved to its present site. On your walk around One Tree Hill you will also see remnants of the NZ armed forces who occupied One Tree Hill during WW11.
But alas, One Tree Hill is no more, a Maori activist named Mike Smith attacked the lone Monterey pine tree with a chainsaw in 1999. He badly damaged the tree and after many attempts to save the historic tree it was removed in 2000.