Auckland Volcanic Field


New Zealand’s largest city (and my home town), is built upon an active volcanic field. 53 (and growing!) volcanoes make-up this area. Almost all are monogenetic, meaning they erupt once, then become extinct. The oldest eruption occurred 250,000 years ago at Onepoto and the youngest, Rangitoto, at just 600 years ago. The next eruption is only a matter of time.

Unlike most of New Zealand’s volcanoes which are the result of subductive processes, the Auckland Volcanic Field’s origins are from a hot-spot – an area approximately 100km beneath the city that melts the rock and causes it to rise.

The field has produce and incredible diversity of geological wonders including explosive craters, scoria cones, lava flows and tunnels.


Rangitoto is not only the youngest volcano in Auckland (600 years), but also the largest. Rangitoto’s mass is roughly the equivalent of all the previous eruptions combined. The volcanic island is a widely visible landmark of Auckland.



Mount Eden

Mount Eden is one of Auckland most prominent volcanic cones, last erupting 28,000 years ago.


Mount Wellington

Mount Wellington (Maungarei) rises 135m and the second youngest volcano after Rangitoto, forming 10,000 years ago


Mount Mangere

Mount Mangere rises 106m and features a lava dome in one of its two craters. Some of the best examples of Pahoehoe lava flows can be found around the shores of Mangere Domain.



One Tree Hill

The second largest volcano in Auckland, last erupting at least 30,000 years ago. Three distinctive craters make up One Tree Hill.



Orakei Basin

One of Auckland’s explosive volcanoes. The crater (which is a tidal lagoon) is 700m wide and erupted 85,000 years ago.



Lake Pupuke

Another one of Auckland’s explosive volcanoes and much older than Orakei (approx 150,000 years). Features two large craters that connected.



Panmure Basin

Explosive crater and like Orakei, is also a tidal lagoon.



Three Kings

A beautifully complex volcano, erupting 28,000 years ago. Features many cones and mounds. Unfortunately only one of the main cones remains due to extensive quarrying.