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The walk to Mount Eden

Dec 12th, 2009 by Noor Ali


On the overcast summer morning of 21st of November 2009, 44 Iraqi New Zealanders, both young and old, met at one of Auckland City's most famous parks, Cornwall Park. The walkers were still adjusting to the early wake up and 8am start, however there was excitement in the air as Iraqis from across Auckland were meeting and greeting each other. The bus arrived at 9am and we set off to the starting line at Auckland's Waterfront on Quay Street. After stocking up on some coffee and snacks the team set off. Walking through the central city, then arriving at the suburban area of Mount Eden, we walked up the mountain and decided to have our morning tea at the very top. The 360 views of Auckland were a spectacular backdrop to our team photo. After a short break, we climbed down the mountain, and walked through more suburban areas. We stopped for lunch at a small park, where we had a brief encounter with rain. The day was truly spectacular.


Eventually we arrived at One Tree Hill reserve and at this stage many of the walkers were tired and we had to stop and reconsider walking up this atoll. Among the discussions, a walker, Huthiefa Hussien, made the point that people were suffering in Iraq so to push forward our cause in doing a charity walk we should not back away from the final strenuous part of the walk. A majority vote in the end decided the fate of the team was to walk to the top of One Tree Hill! Subsequently the team was uplifted with enthusiasm and got the second wind it needed to complete the walk. Applause and cheers erupted when we reached the top and we all took 20 minutes or so to wind down and enjoy the views from a different angle. Across the horizon we could also see the top of Mount Eden, where we had come from. It was exhilirating to see the distance we had covered and a sense of achievement flooded our thoughts and conversations.

We began our descent down to the base of One Tree Hill, which was Cornwall Park. We were greeted by bbq'ers who had been cooking sausages since midmorning. The day ended with the team winding down with food and drinks, and some even had enough energy for a game of soccer! All in all, it was a fantastic day for a fantastic cause.

Noor Ali 

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