Set only three miles south of the Auckland city center, Mount Eden offers a view of the Auckland skyline unlike any other you’ll find in the city.

This 650 ft. extinct volcano is the city’s highest natural vantage point, and it’s a few miles closer to downtown Auckland than neighboring One Tree Hill. Heavily populated during ancient Maori times, the slopes of the mountain were largely abandoned at the time of European arrival. Today the area surrounding Mount Eden is one of Auckland’s most popular suburbs, and the village surrounding the base of the hill houses a burgeoning community of artists.

For those flying into the Auckland airport and providing their own transportation, Mount Eden is a popular stop while driving en route to the city. The 360-degree views from the summit allow visitors to get their bearings, and one of the best free activities you’ll find in Auckland is enjoying a Mount Eden sunset. There is a road as well as a trail which weave their way towards the summit, although any travelers who are visiting on a tour bus can only drive halfway to the top.

For those looking for a longer walk, Mount Eden can also be accessed as part of the coastal walkway. This 9.5-mile trail connects the Tasman coast at Manukau to the waters of Waitemata Harbor, and the summit of Mount Eden provides the best view of the city that is found along the trail.

Or, if bird watching and strolling through gardens seems like a more peaceful way to pass the day, the 5.5-acre Eden Garden lies below  the mountain’s summit. This award-winning garden offers native plant species and a host of native birds, and it’s a shining example of rural landscaping in the heart of the suburban surroundings.

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