Since the southern motorway extension was completed in the early 1990's, countless numbers of New Zealanders have driven blithely by a large cluster of boulders in a farm field, unaware of the significance of what they're getting a fleeting glimpse of.

The author driving north on SH1 and passing the obelisk cluster, so familiar to New Zealanders travelling between Auckland City and locations southward.

In June 2005, however, English antiquarian, Stuart Mason decided to stop and have a closer look, so took the motorway turnoff, parked his car and walked back along the fence-line to view the huge boulders. He and Emily were surprised to see very intricate and beautiful bas relief incising on the side of the largest boulder. They later (June 12th) told me of their find and showed me a few photos they'd taken. Obviously there was more to this grouping of large boulders than the average heedless, passing motorist was ever likely to contemplate, unless they'd had considerable experience with megalithic sites, like Stuart and Emily. I decided to head out and have a close look myself, but was thoroughly engrossed in writing a book at the time, so filed the intention away in the "things to do urgently" pile.

About 5-months later, on the 29th of October 2005, I got an email from Paul Walsh, an 18-year old researcher of the many pre-Maori structures and alignments to be found within the Auckland Isthmus. Paul had been atop Mt. Wellington and noted how one of the alignment trenches there targets Rangitoto Island, whereas another aligns onto One Tree Hill. He also checked out one of the trenches on Mt. Hobson that aligned onto Rangitoto. Paul had previously witnessed how the ancient, purpose build equinox alignment, extending from from Stockade Hill to Mt. Albert, works, with the equinoctial sun setting in or rising from the Mt. Wellington crest trench. He was fast getting a clear picture that the 36 volcanic cones of Auckland were not set up to be Maori PA hill fortifications, but were a part of a very sophisticated overland alignment and observatory complex, hill-to-hill. These laboriously carved, former volcanic cones, with their many sighting pits, alignment trenches, cairn and boulder markers, were built by the ancient Patu-paiarehe people, who lived in New Zealand for thousands of years before the coming of the Polynesian - Melanesian Maori warriors.

I later gave Paul directions to the obelisks at Bombay Hill and asked him to check out the incising on the stones there. He emailed me back that one of the boulders at Bombay Hill had 5 BULLAUNS cut into it. Paul had read about the many bullauns we've been finding around New Zealand and was able to immediately recognise what he was looking at, as well as understand the profound significance thereof.

It was time I went and had a look myself.

The huge obelisk boulders at Bombay Hill, with Dion and Luisa sitting atop the largest stone.

This very intricate, hand carved, bas relief incising was first brought to my attention by English antiquarian, Stuart Mason.

1. The large boulder containing five hand hewn bullaun bowls. 2. The intricate pattern incising on the side of the largest obelisk boulder. 3. A smaller boulder with very typical "directional" incising circumnavigating and deeply etched into it, with secondary lines branching off the main line.

One of the five hand hewn bullaun bowls, this one 14-centimetres across and containing water from a recent shower. Irregularities in the walls of the bullauns, detected with a profile gauge, indicated that they had been made by hand and were not the product of a modern boring machine.

The bullauns, although scoured and rubbed to a smooth, attractive finish, proved to be quite irregular in their wall-line shapes, when tested with a profile gauge by engineer, Barry Taylor. His conclusion, shared by others who have inspected the bullauns carefully, was that all five were hand hewn. Small, golf-ball sized cups at the base of each bullaun have partially undercut walls, consistent with someone applying leverage on an irregular stone shaping tool, while scouring the inside of the bullaun with side to side movements..

Barry shows his daughter, Wairua, the "directional" incising and other strange marking found on one of the boulders. The larger obelisks also have serpentile or curvilinear, eel-type incising crossing through them.

English Antiquarian, Stuart Mason inspecting a bullaun bowl cut into a boulder at Taylor's Mistake in the South Island of New Zealand. The use of bullauns, stemming from Neolithic Age ritual cleansing and "holy wells" traditions still practised in Continental Europe and Britain, was equally prevalent in New Zealand. The Pagan European bullaun ritual practices were adopted by the early Christian church and bullaun bowls became the "baptismal fonts" or holy water vessels of the church for baptism, sprinkling or christening rituals.

To see many pictures of ancient BULLAUNS in Ireland CLICK HERE.