This lovely park in downtown Auckland is probably known even by tourists who only come to the city for a couple of days. Albert Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the city of sails and volcanoes. Although there is little to remind you of sails and volcanoes in the park, it is actually located very close to where the crater of one of the early volcanoes of Auckland’s volcanic district once stood.
The site of the long-extinct crater is now home to the Metropolis Hotel and the Victoria Street underground parking garage, and the park itself is surrounded on all sides by busy streets – Wellesley East, Princes Street, Kitchener Street and Bowen Avenue.
Albert Park can be accessed from many different directions. But the most picturesque entrance is from Bowen Avenue and Kitchener Street. From there, a steep path leads up to the center of the park. And already this first acquaintance with the park is impressive, because the path runs between massive ancient trees with sprawling green crowns – strange giants with powerful roots, which look very unusual to the eye of a resident of the central part of Russia.
The central part of the park is decorated with a fountain surrounded by flower beds. The clock-shaped flower garden, which was first laid out in the park in 1953 at the expense of Robert Laidlow, founder of the Farmers retail chain, is particularly notable. There are also several famous sculptures such as the statue of Queen Victoria (1987), a memorial monument commemorating the Anglo-Boer Wars of 1899 – 1902,
As one side of the park faces Princes Street, sitting in the park you can admire the clock tower of the University of Auckland. The University’s campuses are also located there on Princes Street.
By the way, right next to the park and the University of Auckland on Princes Street is one of the best, if not the best, language school in New Zealand – Languages International. More precisely, its Auckland campus.
Until 1880, Albert Park was the site of a military barracks with fortifications. However, at that time there was not so much modern development around, and from the park had a magnificent view of the city and the harbor. And in 1941, in the area of the park New Zealanders built a network of underground tunnels, which were to serve as shelters in case of aerial bombardment. The tunnels were later sealed off and the townspeople forgot about them. Now you can no longer see the coast from Albert Park. Auckland is densely built up with modern high-rise buildings.
Nowadays, Albert Park is a favorite recreational spot for students of nearby educational institutions, of which there are many. It is indeed a pleasant place to stroll through the park during lunch break and after classes, or to lie on the grass, enjoying the beauty of the park and New Zealand nature. All the more reason to forget about time for a while, because if you believe the local flower clock, time stops in Albert Park.