One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) is a significant site in the history of Auckland city’s settlement. The hill used to be home to the Te Wai ō Huaiwi (tribe) before they were defeated in war; in 1845, the land was sold to the Crown and became One Tree Hill Domain, so named for a pohutukawa that stood alone on the hill’s summit until it was chopped down in 1852. A pine tree was planted there in 1870 to replace the pohutukawa, but it was attacked twice by activists and ultimately removed in October 2000.
Today the only thing on the summit is an obelisk commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; beneath the obelisk is the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell, a prominent Aucklander during the city’s settlement who helped establish the surrounding Cornwall Park. Guided tours typically include a drive up to the summit, from where you can see Auckland city stretch out in front of you.