Nothing says spring like green hills and lambs do. And if one needs a proof that spring finally arrived to Auckland, you don't have to look further than One tree Hill or Cornwall Park.
One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie in Maori) and Cornwall Park (two parks that are joint together) are only a short bus ride away from the City and thus make for a popular spot on a sunny day.
I have started my exploring at the south end of the park where the Stardome Observatory can be found. For a small fee you can step inside and have a look around. As it was a sunny day, I have passed the Observatory on my way up to the top of One Tree Hill.
Even though the hill is named One Tree Hill there are in fact numerous trees to be seen. The name comes from the time of the first European settlers. When Auckland was being founded, there was a tree growing up near the summit which gave the hill it's name. The tree was cut down by a white settler sometime in the 1850s. It is somewhat unclear if it was due to vandalism or for firewood.
As all the other hills surrounding Auckland (as mentioned in my previous post about North Head), One Tree Hill is also a volcanic peak. It is estimated to be more than 28,500 years old.
Instead of a tree, there is an obelisk with a bronze statue of a Maori warrior at the top of the hill.
When you make your way towards the top of the hill, you can enjoy the beautiful green fields filled with sheep and cattle. The sounds of the roosters carry far over the park and they make you feel like you are on a countryside and not in a park in the suburbs of the city.
Imagine my surprise when I was taking photos of the amazing views around me and found two roosters hanging on a tree!!
When I have enquired Chloe about roosters in parks, she has told me that apparently a lot of people buy chicks and once they turn up to be roosters instead of the hens, they abandon them in the parks. It is also a regulation that you cannot have a rooster in the city due to the noise they make.
Apparently also no one looks after the loose roosters so I can't help but imagine poor homeless roosters forming little rooster gangs and then hang on trees in local parks.
So yeah, if you visit One Tree Hill, observe your surroundings well and you might just spot a rooster or two!
The animal you most definitely can't miss here is sheep. There are so many of them everywhere! And the little lambs are so cute! There are enclosures all over the domain and you can observe them mill around as you make your way to the top.
On my way down the hill I have found a small gate that allows you to enter the sheep enclosure and make your way to the bottom of the hill via the shortcut instead of the long road that goes all the way around the hill (you can also drive up the hill if you want).
(Van you spot the Sky Tower in the distance? :D)
I got distracted by all the sheep and pretty spots and thus ended up being lost inside the enclosure for probably an hour or so!
But since it was a nice day, no dangerous animals and plenty of sheep, I have just ended up wandering around and eve managed to see two rabbits before I've finally found an exit gate at the Archery Club.
I have then continued my way towards the adjoint Cornwall Park.
The park is full of these cheeky notes. :D
Make sure to keep your distance from the calves as the cows might feel threatened and attack you.
Also, do not approach lambs as they can die of shock when approached by human! Observe from safe distance and everyone will be happy.
My last week of September was dedicated to discovering North of the North island so do keep an eye out for my next blog post about the Bay of Islands.