Looking Over One Tree Hill

Dubbed as a “rock band with a conscience”, U2 has earned the respect of many with lyrics that are socially and spiritually significant. In 1987, the band from Dublin released their single “One Tree Hill” and topped the charts in Auckland, New Zealand where it was first released.

No, it isn’t the theme song for the American TV show. One Tree Hill is actually a famous tourist spot in Auckland. The band wrote “One Tree Hill” in loving memory of their friend Greg Carroll, a Maori from New Zealand, who introduced Bono to this spectacular spot on his first night in the country. Consequently, Carroll was buried here.

One Tree Hill is one of five volcanic peaks in New Zealand. It climbs to a height of 182 metres, and serves as a memorial place for the Maori (the indigenous Polynesian people of NZ) and other New Zealanders. The spot was once a nightly party spot for racers until they were banned by the police in 2008. Atop the hill, you can view the Auckland area as well as both harbours.

Auckland is a water-buff’s haven. Recognized as the “city of sails”, it is surrounded by twin harbours, bays, beaches and islands. The Bay of Islands will thrill you with water sports, fishing, and diving to the Rainbow Warrior Wreck. If you’d rather lie on the sand and enjoy the sun, Coromandel Peninsula might be the place for you. It’s ideal for relaxing. You can dig your own pool at Hot Water Beach and soak yourself in a sandy thermal bath.

A great way to enjoy the sun is to take the sightseeing cruise that sails from Viaduct Harbour for GBP 47. Otherwise, nature lovers can trek through the Centennial Memorial Park. This 10,000 hectare park has ranges, streams, and waterfalls, as well as walking and hiking tracks for all ages. There is a beach here where you can take your surf board. Historic sites in Auckland include the Treaty House of Waitangi, The Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Flagstaff Hill and Hole in the rock. Simply put, you cannot miss out on this beautiful city!

When the stars fall from the sky and the moon has turned red over One Tree Hill, we run like a river to the sea…

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