Pedestrians, Cyclists, Runners Reclaim Mt Eden (Photos)


Walkers and cyclists reclaimed Mt Eden Mountain (Maungawhau) for a few hours today , when vehicles were banned from going to the summit.

mt eden walk up

I wish it could be permanent. Cars are manageable but those thundering bus coaches make it impossible to walk or run up the mountain safely - and the damage those coaches must be doing to the road and environment is unthinkable.

mt eden closed

Now the cattle have been removed from the mountain and work continues on the vegetation and  other moves to attract native bird life, Mt Eden is a magical green oasis we must preserve at all cost.

The  mountain is the place I always take out of towners first to get a birds eye view of the city. There is something special about being on top of the volcano with the spectacular 360 degree views of the city.

mt eden view

There was talk of the summit of the mountain being closed to coaches with provision for people to be ferried to the top in shuttle buses. But, somewhere in the city council budgets,  it got scuttled and hasn’t been heard of since.

mt eden camera

Today, we got a glimpse of what is possible.

The mountain is closed to vehicles from 9.30am until 4pm, allowing walkers and cyclists to rule.

mt eden cycl;e

The nicely named “Love Your Mountain day” was organized by Friends of Maungawhau, a hard working local volunteer group committed to the restoration and preservation of Maungawhau. Good on you, team. They see the day as about making the mountain accessible to everyone whilst celebrating the cultural and archeological heritage.

The grounds of neighbouring Government House and Eden Gardens are also open. The friends group’s aims include progressively removing vehicles from the mountain and have a transport system for the disabled and others who can not walk to the summit.

It also wants to have all commercial operators ,including buses, pay concessions for the use of the Mountain and to prevent the domination of the mountain by commercial and tourist interests and maintain full public walking access and enjoyment.

mt eden no cars

Back in May, we walked across the Auckland Harbour Bridge to make a point about having walkways and cycleway access, which the transport officials said they wouldn’t consider it for 30 years!

PROTEST: The day we reclaimed the bridge for people

PROTEST: The day we reclaimed the bridge for people

Once the heat cooled down, the transport agency has now become more open to the idea of some sort of access if the funding issue can be resolved.

This shows what can be done by making a point.

I hope today’s annual open day at the mountain could be a catalyst for a change of heart among the civic officials.




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    I went on the Greenpeace march up Queen St yesterday and heard someone comment, “Why isn’t this street for pedestrians all the time”..?

    I couldn’t agree more…

  2. Su Yin says:

    Good post, Jon. Wish I knew about the closure, would’ve totally been there!

    @Jeremy: I was on the bike ride prior to the march and cycling carefree with numbers like that is always awesome. Queen Street is such an unfriendly place for pedestrians. If only the shopkeepers could see the logic in a pedestrian mall instead of thinking “no cars = no business”

  3. Jon C says:

    Sun Yin, thanks. Pity it got so little pre-publicity. The media seemed to ignore it, which shouldn’t be a surprise really. I posted it in the morning in the hope people could catch the event in time.

  4. Luke says:

    Would be good if they could trial this sort of thing on Queen St, maybe on a busy shopping weekend. This would help build the case for longer-term full pedestrianisation of Queen St, and sort out all those silly shop-keepers.
    Maybe the ‘mayor of Newmarket’ could look into this sort of thing for his area as well. Would be perfect for Newmarket station opening.

  5. cierat says:

    We need more of these initiatives!! I think toll gates may be one way to encourage many drivers to leave their cars outside these precious public spaces…

  6. Jon C says:

    Cierat, there’s a good idea! Motorists do hate paying!

  7. Ty Kwang says:

    I really enjoyed how thoroughly you covered the topic. Are there other resources that I should check out?

  8. rtc says:

    There was more than talk of closing the mountain to cars and buses, the council under Hubbard had advanced plans and detailed reports on the damage said coaches were doing to the cone. Banks cut the project on entering office, saying if you can’t see the damage at a glance then why spend money on fixing it.

  9. Kevy says:

    closing the road i hope this never happens
    as an out of towner and unable to scale the hill why should i be put out as that is why the road was built in the 1st place, controlled shuttle i understand to remove big buses but gen cars should never be restricted, i dont want you to stop coming to my area so why should Aucklanders arrogance stop it


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>