Parks and Reserves
Auckland is fortunate in that the foresight of the early settlers and the generosity of various citizens have given it large open spaces in the form of parks and reserves. Some of these are of historical importance. Albert Park was originally part of the site of the old Albert Barracks. A marble tablet has been affixed to the remains of the barrack wall bearing the following inscription, “To commemorate the Union and Comradeship of Pakeha and Maori during the Great European War”. The Mount Hobson Domain is one of the numerous extinct volcanic cones which abound around Auckland. In pre-European days Mount Hobson was a point of strategic importance in Maori warfare, as it commanded the approach from the Hauraki Gulf. Remains of fighting trenches and large deposits of shell several feet deep, commonly known as Maori middens, can be seen on the slopes of the hill. Bastion Point, overlooking Mission Bay, was originally a fort and has a commanding view of the harbour. A monument has been erected here over the resting place of the Right Hon. Michael Joseph Savage, the first New Zealand Labour Prime Minister, and there is a sunken garden laid out in formal style. Parks set aside for active recreation include numerous golf courses, Eden Park (rugby football), Carlaw Park (league football) Western Springs Park and Stadium (motor-cycle, midget car, and bicycle racing), Alexandra Park (trotting), and Ellerslie Racecourse. Work on the Zoological Park was commenced in 1929, and its present fine condition is an example of what can be achieved from a treeless, rocky gully. Auckland's finest recreation area is the hundreds of beaches which border the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours, the Hauraki Gulf, and its islands, such as Rangitoto, Motuihi, Waiheke, Ponui, and Kawau. Swimming, yachting, boating, water skiing, and fishing are some of the numerous activities engaged in.