This Saturday 11 July we are setting out to walk the length of a lava flow which ran from Te Kopuke / Mt St John to Te Tokaroa / Meola Reef. We’ll start before dawn, so plan to be passing through your neighbourhood between 7am – noon. You are invited to join us along the way.
The lava flow comes from one of the older volcanoes on the Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Isthmus, and is the longest flow in the area. Approximately eleven kilometres from source to toe, it extends into the Waitematā Harbour almost as far as Birkenhead. The flow is buried beneath subsequent lava flows from Maungawhau/Mt Eden and becomes visible beyond Western Springs to Meola and into the Waitemata Harbour. The walk is an extended, day-long drawing: as a group, we’ll be carrying three long thin bronze poles which will make a transitory line through the neighbourhood. These mobile sculptures require us to navigate the terrain carefully, noticing the contours and junctures of urban space and working collectively to make the walk possible.
Start: 6.30am, Te Kopuke / Mt St John
Finish: when we get there, Te Tokaroa Reserve
Celestial, terrestrial: On 11 July the sun will rise at 7.33am and set at 5.20pm, making the day 9 hours and 47 minutes long. On the same day, the moon will rise in the east (75º) at 2.22am and set in the west (287º) at 1.26pm. We might see the passing of the moon in the morning sky. The lunar phase will be a waning crescent. The solar transit will be at 12.26 pm and the moon will be in the southern hemisphere for 11 hours and 4 minutes.
As we walk, the tides will be shifting. When we begin at dawn, moving towards the waters of the Waitematā Harbour, the tide will be moving away from us and towards its maximum low point at 8.43am. It will then turn and begin to rise, moving towards us as we approach Te Tokaroa / Meola Reef. The waters will reach their highest level at 3.10pm, decreasing as the second low tide for the day at 9.16pm.
Matariki: It’s the beginning of a new season, closely following the shortest day on 22 June. During the pre-dawn part of the walk, starting at Te Kopuke at 6.30am, we’ll see the Matariki constellation if the sky is clear. There will be a Matariki ceremony at Te Kopuke and a dawn karakia at the top of Maugawhau, led by Pita Turei.
Birds: Along this route we are likely to hear birds including the native Tui, Pīwakawaka (fantail), Tauhou (silvereye), Riroriro (grey warbler) and possibly see the Kereru (wood pigeon), or New Zealand falcon (Kārearea), and the White-faced Heron nearer the reef. Introduced birds that we might hear include Magpies, Blackbirds, Thrushes and Sparrows.
Trees: Many native trees grow on the volcanic cones of Te Kopuke and Maungawhau and along the walk, as well as species introduced by Europeans. Some of the native trees include Puriri, Rata, Titoki, Pohutukawa, Tī kōuka, as well as the Manawa (mangroves) at Te Tokaroa Reserve. Non-native species in suburbs we’ll be passing include Australian Eucalypts, English Oaks, Elms and Planes, among many others.
Processes of change: The walk reveals glimpses of the terrain as it was formed thousands of years ago, and the ways that this has been built up, quarried down, altered and appropriated by successive inhabitants. Along the way geologists Jeremy Eade and Tracey Marie Howe will discuss Auckland’s unique volcanic context and its impact upon the current terrain.
Time: We are interested in thinking about how different orders of time, including the geological, anthological, historical, and the celestial intersect.
The people who made this walk possible include:
Fiona Amundsden, Sosefina Andy, Alison Annals, Xin Cheng, Paul Cullen, Layla Tweedie-Cullen, Abby Cunnane, Eve Cunnane, Jeremy Eade, Shane Fairhall, Mark Henley, Bianca Hester, Rebecca Anne Hobbs, Tracy Marie Howe, Charlotte Huddleston, Suzie Hunt, Dieneke Jansen, Joe Jowitt, Matt Kambic, Mischa Chaleyer-Kynaston, Jeremy Leatinu’u, Ziggy Lever, Friends of Fowlds Park, Lucy Meyle, Li-Ming, Jennie Palmer, Reba Pinto, Monique Redmond, David Rhode, Carmel Rowden, Deborah Rundle, Maneesha Sakamuri, Mark Schroder, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, Harriet Stockman, Akira Tamura, Aydriannah Tuialii, Pita Turei (leading the dawn ceremonies), Layne Waerea, Sarah Wall, Lynn Wilson.