Mount Victoria, Auckland – Background
This is an ancient volcano, which long before European settlement, was the place where the fortified village, called Māori pā of the local Kawarau tribe, used to exist. The existence of this village can still be seen on the northern and eastern flanks of the hill especially the traces of the terraces which were once protected by palisades of sharpened stakes.
What is there in the Name?
Its name deceives, it gives a mental picture of something which is not there; yes it is not a mountain- in fact, it is more of a molehill than a mountain. Still, its climb which is an easy one and the outstanding views that it provides, make up for this.
This 196-meter high hill is located to the east of Wellington and signposted on Victoria Road, it is just a few minutes from the Esplanade Hotel. This dense forests and its slopes of the place was also used in the movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s the lord of the rings novels.
Mount Victoria is also home to Signalman’s House which was originally used as a means through which the residents were informed about the arrival or departure of a ship. It is interesting to note that though the first signalmen used to live in a tent or a hut, over the years, for the man and his family a Victorian-styled villa was built eventually.
The last signalman breathed his last in 1943; today the villa houses Michael King Writer’s Centre, which is instrumental in supporting and promoting New Zealand literature.
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