Before the arrival of the British, the mound was a significant fortified hill settlement for the Maori people that inhabited the area, also known as a pa. It provided refuge for several hundred people, with extensive earthworks modifying the steep upper slopes of the cone.
Now, the prominent volcanic cone offers some of the best 360 degree views of Auckland, while the surrounding area has developed into a quirky and vibrant suburb which is known for its art galleries, boutique shops and café culture.
Visitors can also explore the 5.5 acre gardens located on the side of the mound which are home to many plant collections including perennials, vireyas, camellias, bromeliads and native New Zealand plants as well as waterfalls, rock formations and native birds.
View from the crater
Mount Eden from afar
Places to Visit in Mount Eden
The volcanic crater
The former Maori settlement
Mount Eden village
- Mount Eden industrial area
Unique Things to See and Do in Mount Eden
Check out the art galleries or grab a coffee in Mount Eden Village
Climb to the highest point of Mount Eden and admire the sweeping views of Auckland
Take a guided tour of the Maori settlement
Explore the vast botanic gardens of Eden Garden
Learn about early industry in the area at the Mount Eden Prison, the Quarry and the Colonial Ammunition Company
The history of Mount Eden
The Ngati Whatua tribe is the guardian of the mountain and visitors can enjoy a guided walk - Tamaki Hikoi - of the mountain and its surrounds, led by a tribe member who will unlock the mountain’s rich history.
Visitors will see the occupation terraces, storage pits and housing sites that give an idea of life in the former Māori settlement which was renowned throughout Aotearoa as one of the most elaborately fortified pas in the country.
Maungawhau formed part of a network of pa together with Te Whau (Blockhouse Bay) to the west, Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) to the south and Maungarei (Mt Wellington) to the east.
As a result, the Auckland isthmus, known as Tamaki Makaurau, become the most populous and thriving centre of Maori civilization. The ancient volcanic cone fortress became the citadel of Te Hua Kai Waka who united the various tribes of the Tamaki Isthmus under the confederation known as Te Waiohua. Under his reign, Tamaki saw an unprecedented The period of peace and prosperity that Tamaki saw under his reign that lead to the saying, “Te pai me te whai rawa o Tamaki” which translates as “The wealth and luxury of Tamaki”.
The settlement is thought to have been abandoned in around 1700 AD.
Getting around Mount Eden
The summit of Mount Eden is accessible by foot for those that are fit and able.
Cars can enter the park on the summit road, although heavy vehicles are prohibited, and there is a shuttle service for those with limited mobility.
Public buses operate to Mount Eden Road, but all you’ll need to explore once you arrive in the area is your feet.
Did you know…?
Mount Eden is named in honour of George Eden, the first Earl of Auckland.
George Eden, First Earl of Auckland
Did you ALSO know…?
Mount Eden hasn’t erupted within the last 15,000 years or so and is definitely considered dormant.
Best time of year to travel to Mount Eden
As is true of Auckland as a whole, the best time of year to visit are the shoulder seasons of April and October when the climate is neither too hot nor too cold. It’s best to visit Mount Eden in fine weather as you’ll be spending most of your time outdoors as you explore the area. But even if rain does start to fall, you can always seek shelter in one of the popular cafes to be found at the foot of the spectacular volcanic mound.
Ready to plan your visit to Auckland? Check out these popular guides and trips.