Saturday, July 28, 2012

NEW ZEALAND WORKING HOLIDAY 2011: One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie), Auckland

Today I'm grateful for... 

.......having arms & legs that lets me run, jump, dance & work hard so that I can earn money to travel to places where I "use to" could only dream of :-)

Just when you all think I'm over New Zealand already, I'm actually NOT!!! I've still got sooo much to blog about my adventures there though I've already been back for 7 months already :-)

Today, I would like to introduce to you a famous tourist spot and also my beloved jogging spot called One Tree Hill (not the teenage series) or also known as Maungakiekie in the Maori language.

While living in New Zealand, I was staying with my uncle & his family in East Auckland...but I went and live with my boss Darien for 5 weeks in Aug-Sept 2011 to babysit his beautiful daughters...Read my Nanny Diaries here :-D

they are really beautiful children! Blonde hair & Green eyes...Even if I eventually marry a caucasian...I doubt I'll have kids who are blonde haired & blue green eyes....Coz our Asian genes are just too!

Ok! Back to One Tree Hill, One Tree Hill use to be a volcano...NO JOKE! and it erupted many many years ago (at least 28'000 years ago!)
The entrance from Royal Oak
 I lived in Royal Oak, a place really near the city. One Tree Hill is just opposite the Royal Oak Primary School...The school where Gabriella (the lil girl which I looked after) goes to...

Important note for tourist: Maungakiekie, One Tree Hill & Cornwall park is ALL THE SAME PLACE! It's just different parts as This place is 20km wide and is linked to famous Auckland main roads like Epsom, Greenlane, Oranga, and Onehunga. ONEHUNGA is where the factory outlet is located :-D

When people tell you that the Grass is always Greener on the other side....I can guarantee to you that it's true :-D
 Other than the Volcano eruption history which I told you about earlier, there's also a Maori legend of One Tree Hill...

 What I absolutely love about this place is that you can see sheeps frolicking around....other than the beautiful flowers and colorful birds...there are a few cows here and there too :-)

The Peak is usually my daily jogging goal :-D

Going up to the Peak, there is an area where you can see a lot of "Rock Art" with people professing their love for one another though NO ONE is allowed down there....rebels...rebels in love :-D

A lil bit more!

 As you ascend further up, you'll get to see more of the beautiful view of Auckland City :-D
Mama Sheep

Nursing her baby sheeps

And there's 2 of em! :-D

Auckland City

Woo Hoo!

Beutiful ain't it?

Spot Auckland's Sky tower from afar :-D

 Can you see the Volcano? It's called Rangitoto...Rangitoto is Auckland’s largest and youngest volcano – which erupted out of the sea about 600 years ago....

I always loved sitting up here admiring the panoramic 360 degree view of Auckland and also just thinking of my life (since 2011 was a soul-searching year for me)......

 ........Until I read that this place was actually a GRAVE!!! T__T

Taken from Wikipedia:-

On the summit of the hill is the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell surmounted by an obelisk. The obelisk was constructed in accordance with the wishes and provisions in John Campbell's will to commemorate his admiration for the Māori people. Before it stands a bronze statue of a Māori warrior. The stone obelisk was completed by 1940 – the centennial year of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi but the unveiling of the obelisk was delayed until 24 April 1948, after World War II was over, in keeping with Māori custom of not holding such ceremonies during a time of bloodshed.

Tiny sheeps!!!!

More of the history :-D

What is this peculiar looking structure you ask???

Some explanation....

Jeng jeng jeng.....Yes! There's an observatory at One Tree Hill...

 On weekdays, you'll find busses full of school children coming here as part of their school field trip :-)

 People love flying kites at One Tree Hill too...unfortunately, some of it sometimes get stuck on trees :-P
 Flowers at this part of the world are sooo easy to maintain....they just flourish thanks to the beautiful weather
More sheeps!!!

I was chasing those sheeps while taking these pictures...LOL!

 Though the weather is BEAUTIFUL and the sun actually feels damn good on my skin coz the environment was cold BUT DO NOT forget to wear sunscreen!!! I actually suffered sun damage though I always wear long sleeved clothing & a cap! The UV level in New Zealand & Australia is REALLY high due to the Hole in the Ozone layer :-( In fact from the picture above you can see that my face suffered a lot too :-(

 Yet, I would not Trade this experience for anything else in the world :-)
 Some random hikers....
 On weekends, my boss love having brunch/lunch with his friends and bringing his kids to the playground, parks & to the beach....Malaysian kids only knows about shopping malls & IPADs unfortunately....
This restaurant called the Cornwall Park Restaurant was one of the places we visited...a great place to relax, eat and admire the beautiful scenery...I remember there was a Wedding being held at the vicinity nearby...

At the restaurant, colouring "equipments" provided! Hurrah!!! Kids get cranky when they are bored...:-S

 The promotion & the prices :-) in NZD$ of course!
 These were what the kids & chips can NEVER go wrong! even with picky eaters :-)
 Hot Chocolate & Marshmallow :-)
 This Salmon is MINEEE! All Mine!!! :-D
 I ordered the 2 course coz I doubt I could eat sooo much...and it came with this....
Sticky date pudding with Caramel Sauce & Baileys Ice-Cream

It tasted like HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!! I Loved it soooo much! I can't compare it with other places because this was my first time having this foodgasmic dessert called Sticky Date Pudding *Hears Angels Singing*

Any idea where I can find this is Malaysia??? I miss it sooo sooo much!!! >__<"

I still have at least another 6-7 post of New Zealand before I'm done blogging about New Zealand but here's some One Tree Hill Trivia (taken from wikipedia):-

1. Irish rock band U2 wrote a song about the hill, "One Tree Hill", which appeared on their album The Joshua Tree. It was written to honour New Zealander Greg Carroll, an employee of the band who died in a motorcycle accident in Dublin on 3 July 1986.

2. The naming of the teen television drama, One Tree Hill, was inspired in turn by the U2 song.[citation needed] In the series Andy Hargrove hails from New Zealand. His mother moved the family to Tree Hill, North Carolina because of the common name.

3. Asteroid 23988 Maungakiekie was named after the hill by Ian P. Griffin, a British astronomer. The Asteroid was discovered at the Auckland Observatory which is located in the One Tree Hill Domain, a kilometre southwest of the peak.

4. Mozilla Firefox 0.9 was named One Tree Hill by Auckland resident and (at that time) Firefox lead engineer Ben Goodger.

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