The Auckland Domain is Auckland's oldest park, and
at 75 hectares one of the largest in the city. Located in the central suburb of
Grafton, the park contains all of the explosion crater and most of the
surrounding tuff ring of the Pukekawa volcano.
The park is home to one of Auckland's main tourist attractions, the Auckland War
Memorial Museum, which sits prominently on the crater rim (tuff ring). Several
sports fields occupy the floor of the crater, circling to the south of the cone,
while the rim opposite the Museum hosts the cricket pavilion and Auckland City
Hospital. The Wintergarden, with two beautiful glass houses, lie on the north
side of the central scoria cone. The fernery has been constructed in an old
quarry in part of the cone. The duck ponds lie in the northern sector of the
explosion crater, which is breached to the north with a small overflow stream.
The Auckland Domain volcano, Pukekawa, is one of the oldest in the Auckland
Volcanic Field, and consists of a large explosion crater surrounded by a tuff
ring with a small scoria cone (Pukekaroro) in the centre of the crater. Its tuff
ring, created by many explosive eruptions, is made of a mixture of volcanic ash,
lapilli and fragmented sandstone country rock. Its eruption followed soon (in
geological terms) after the neighbouring Grafton Volcano was created, destroying
that volcano's eastern parts and burying the rest.
Originally, the crater floor was filled with a lava lake, the western half
collapsed slightly and became a freshwater lake which later turned into a swamp
and slowly filled up with alluvium and sediment, before being drained by
Europeans for use as playing fields and parkland. These origins are still
somewhat visible in that the Duck Ponds are freshwater-fed from the drainage of