Mount Eden Crater | Climbing to the Maungawhau Summit
Although Auckland is known to be a beautiful waterfront city, it may surprise many that just outside the main town center is a volcanic crater. From the Mount Eden Crater (also known as Maungawhau) you will be able to enjoy views of this 160 foot deep cone with the city skyline further out in the distance. If heading to Auckland this is a must do during your trip!
1) Mount Eden Background
Below are some helpful facts about the crater so you have a bit of a background of what it is all about:
- Around 28,000 years ago, there was a volcanic eruption that created the Mount Eden crater and the surrounding areas, as lava erupted out of three different cones.
- The top of the crater is 643 feet / 196 meters above sea level and it goes 160 feet / 50 meters deep into the ground. This is also the highest point in Auckland!
- Maungawhau is the local Maori name for the crater while Eden represents the first Earl of Auckland – George Eden.
- You cannot park at the top of the crater (solely for those with mobility restrictions) but you can park in nearby lots at the bottom of the crater and make the walk up from there.
- Heading to the Mt Eden summit at sunset is a great way to enjoy the view of the city as the sky lights up and the sun goes down.
2) How to Get to the Mount Eden Crater
There are a few ways to go about a visit to Mount Eden depending on your preference – car, walk, bus, or taxi/Uber.
Rental Car: if you have your own rental car, you can easily make the drive to the base of Mount Eden, where you will find a couple parking lot areas. The map down below has the parking lot locations marked.
Walk: the walk from downtown Auckland to Mount Eden is about 45 minutes (around 2 miles / 3 km). If you have the time, you can opt for the walk in one of both directions.
Bus: you can also hop on the local Auckland bus that can bring you from downtown to Mount Eden in 20 minutes. There are several to choose from including the 25L, 25B and 27H routes.
Uber / Taxi: lastly you can grab a taxi or order an Uber to get you to Mount Eden. This should cost less than $10 USD from downtown and is probably the easiest option if you do not have your own car.
3) Mount Eden Parking & Location
If you have your own rental car, you can find parking down at the bottom of Mount Eden hill (on Puhi Huia Road) or by the Whau Café and then begin your walk up from there.
Below is a map with the parking lot locations. Remember, you cannot park on the top of Mount Eden (unless you have a disability) so you will need to park closer to the bottom.
The GPS coordinates for the Puhi Huia Road parking lot are 36°52’23.2″S 174°45’52.1″E and the coordinates for Whau Café are 36°52’30.2″S 174°45’49.8″E.
If taking a Uber/taxi or walking on your own, you can head to these points as well to start your walk up.
4) Where to Stay in Auckland
Auckland offers its variety of accommodation options – from backpacker friendly to super luxury. Below are some highly rated options to choose from at some different price points:
» You can take part of a visit to the Mount Eden crater during a 1 Day Auckland Itinerary (check out the link to learn more!).
5) The Mt Eden Crater Walk
Once you arrive near the base of Mount Eden, you will need to make the 10-15 minute walk up to the summit. While there are several entry points to make the walk up, I started the walk from the Puhi Huia Road and then continued up right up the road to Whau Café.
At the Whau Café parking lot area you will come across a small shop selling real fruit ice cream alongside some other beverages and snacks. You will also find a restroom area right nearby.
From here you will see the entrance point, where the road is blocked off to vehicles and only walking / bicycles is allowed. Follow the road up here, where only after 5 minutes of walking you will reach the Mount Eden crater.
You will circle around the crater and reach the southern lookout point of Mount Eden. Once you reach this spot you will have views of the crater itself with the Auckland skyline further out in the distance.
Not only will you have downtown Auckland views but you will also be able to enjoy the surrounding 360 degree views of the outer Auckland city limits as well as Rangitoto Island way out in the distance.
Once finished up at the main lookout area, you can continue the full circle walk around the crater, as you take in some different angled views of the crater itself and the Auckland skyline.
It is then time to head back down the crater, and off to your next destination around Auckland.
I hope this guide has helped you out better prepare for your trip to the Mount Eden Crater. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in below. Also be sure to check out the other New Zealand itineraries and guides (like this 10 Day North Island Itinerary).
Have fun out there and safe travels!