I made it to Love Your Mountain Day a couple of weekends ago.
It was a sweltering summer day, not really idea for a mountain ascent. I wanted to go, but I didn’t fancy being a sweaty mess so I left it a little later in the day hoping it would cool down in the afternoon. It didn’t.
It took about 2 hours to visit Government House, Eden Garden and the mountain itself including the walk to/from my house. All were free entry and there were guided tours for those that were interested.
The tour at Government House was led by a gardener. It was quite cool to listen to someone so knowledgeable and passionate about plants. When someone asked what species of grass it was, I thought it was a joke, but the gardener knew the answer in a heartbeat.
This is the secondary residence of our Governor General.
A big old Redwood Sequoia and 2 Nikau Palms.
The lawns were really beautiful and I thought about our brown, sad looking lawn at home, wondering why 2 lawns in Mt Eden would vary so much. Turns out these lawns have an irrigation system and are watered every second night. The water doesn’t come from the town supply though, but instead a teacup sized amount is continuously pumped up from underground. That is a lot of teacups!
A plant with a proboscis.
I think these are alpine daisies.
There was a huge pear tree. Can you see the fruit?
Walnut tree on the left, pear tree on the right. “Walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs.” Apparently these two trees take a long time to fruit. So they are planted for future generations.
Bamboo growing in the shade.
A huge fig tree.
Fig tree planted on the edge of a bank so that the huge roots are exposed.
Free for the day, but usually $8 to get in. Was a quarry once, but now transformed into a botanical garden. You can walk through Eden Garden to get to Summit Road and head up the mountain from there.
I never knew there was a waterfall in Mt Eden. I love waterfalls.
View to Rangitoto Island – another of Auckland’s 50 volcanoes.
Work being done on the reservoir. We’re almost level with the Sky Tower here.
Into the crater.
Walking down to the centre of the crater isn’t permitted as it damages the crater walls.
But every now and then people go down there anyway and rearrange the rocks to spell something meaningful to them.
Origami cranes in the Wish Tree.
Some of the wishes on the tree: “I wish to win something”, “Wish health wealth and happiness for my family and the community around us.”
Nice to see people are enjoying ‘Love Your Mountain Day’. I just wanted to take a minute to point out a couple of quick things.
The photo named ‘Creepy Tree’ is of a NZ native Kawaka (Libocedrus plumosa), this particular Kawaka is quite special as it is suspected to be the largest native cedar in cultivation! Also, the plant you suspect to be an Alpine Daisy is a Pachystegia insignis, commonly known as ‘Marlborough Rock Daisy’, also a NZ native.
I’m glad you took the time to enjoy this beautiful and historic property. Many people don’t even know it’s there! It is actually open to the public via appointment, for anyone interested: http://www.gardens.org.nz/advancedsearch/?id=38
Thanks for the clarification Rich. Great to hear that the gardens are free to visit via appointment.