Auckland, New Zealand
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Mount Eden is the name of a scoria cone and surrounding suburb in Auckland City, New Zealand, situated five kilometres south of the city centre. The mountain is the highest natural point in the whole of Auckland. The English name honours George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland.
The central focus of the suburb is the dormant eponymous volcano whose summit (196 metres above sea level) is the highest natural point on the Auckland isthmus. The majestic bowl-like crater is 50 metres deep. The volcano erupted from two craters 28,000 years ago, with the last eruptions from the southern crater filling the northern crater. Visitors to Maungawhau can explore the amazing features on foot with a Heritage walk.
Mt Eden sees strong tourism use, as it is the highest non-manmade point in Auckland, and provides good views in all directions over the city. The large numbers of coach buses, which previously could go all the way to a parking lot on the top of the hill has been considered to have degraded the top of the cone. In August 2006, a ban on tour buses was announced. They will have to park halfway up the mountain in the future. However, this has in the meantime been partly qualified, with the vehicle ban only to be enforced when a "sustainable, low-impact transport system" is in place.
In pre-European times Mount Eden was utilised as a fortified hill pa by various Māori tribes. Its occupation ended in 1700 A.D when the Waiohua defeated the Tamaki people. The earth ramparts and terraces from this period contribute to the distinctive outline of the hill today.
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