Mount Eden, known also as Mangawhau, is the highest of Auckland Citys volcanoes at 196 metres high. Centrally located, it is both a prominent feature of the Auckland landscape and a great vantage point providing views in all directions over the city.
The slopes of Maungawhau were once densely populated by Māori and the crater is known as the food bowl of Matāoho. In 1841, Apihai Te Kawau defined from the summit the boundaries of his 3000 acre gift of land to the Crown that established the city of Auckland.
Mount Eden Domain is protected from damage, as an archaeological site, by the Historic Places Act 1980. During the period of Maori inhabitation, the lower slopes of Maungawhau were used as gardens and living terraces. Early Maori and European activity has already drastically altered the form of Maungawhau, and what remains is a precious tangible record of Maori history. One significant feature is the large, well preserved crater, some 50 metres deep, contained within the summit cone.
At the base of the mountain, on the northeast side, there is a substantial area of native bush. A remnant of this bush still exists on the lava flow in the Almorah Road, Epsom area. Today this bush is composed of karaka, kohekohe, mahoe, ngaio, pigeonwood, puriri, titoki, mangaeo, karamu, rangiora and whau. It is likely that some of these species may have been planted by the Maori inhabitants of Maungawhau. Both karaka and puriri trees are often found in association with village sites.
Vehicle entry is off Mt Eden Road. There are also walkways off Clive Road, Glenfell Place, Batger Place, Hillside Crescent, Rautangi Road and Owens Road. Entry to Eden Gardens is from Omana Rd, off Mountain Road.