Property developments threat to Auckland lava caves

Wednesday 15 September 2004

A volcanic subterranean world beneath Auckland's streets is being put at risk by property developers.

By The Landlord

Auckland University geography department field technician Peter Crossley began mapping lava tunnels in the 1960s and has spent 30 years documenting all known caves.

He says the unique heritage of the caves is under threat from property developers excavating land for building.

"Unfortunately, there's only a couple left and very few of those are accessible to the public. If we don't make the public aware of them they'll disappear before too long," says Mr Crossley.

Lava tunnels and caves were formed around 50,000 years ago as molten lava flows from eruptions rapidly cooled on the outside to form a solid crust.

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