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Published: December 30th 2009
Rangitoto another small island a short ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It is actually the largest and youngest volcanic crater in the Auckland volcanic field and there is no doubting that once you arrive as that is what the atmosphere is about hot, dry and empty. I recommend wearing at least trainers and you have to bring your own water and food. The walking is not particularly strenuous but you want to be comfortable. There are also lava caves to explore so if you are up for that bring a flash light.
We decided to take the early morning ferry as it was a sunny day and we had a feeling it might get busy. We were pretty right as lots of people had the same idea as us! The ferry's though are pretty big and I am surprised at how many people they can hold so it is just really a matter of getting there on time.
There are different walks that you can take once there, most people just head to the summit but we took a longer way around taking in a few more of the 'sights'. They all appear to be well signposted and also
tell you how long to each point along the way so no real worries about getting lost. We went on the lighthouse walk to McKenzie Bay and then continued along the road on to the summit. There are nice views over to the mainland, birds and fauna to admire along the way. You pass Flax Point along the way which is a nesting area for gulls. McKenzie Bay is a white sandy beach and would have probably been a good lunch spot at the end of our walk...sigh....maybe we should have done it the other way around, and it is probably a good idea if you want to spend a full day on the island. We did stop for a break though before making our way up to the summit.
You get some great views of the rest of the island and the surrounding area on your way up to the summit and the views from the summit itself were pretty impressive. As we were relatively early to the top we had loads of space to sit and relax to look out and admire the view. On our way down there were many people heading up so it probably
can get a bit busy. On the way down it was pretty cool admiring the dried lava flow making everything look so dramatic. We stopped to go into one of the lava caves and admittedly tagged ourselves onto a group as we did not have a flash light, yes caves=dark, and the space is a bit tiny. It sounds a bit pathetic but I was impressed with myself for going in there because though it was all of 10 minutes to get from one side to the other it can get a bit 'claustraphobically' scary, I kept asking Alberto is he was there like a hundred times! Never mind the 5 year old kid in front of me who was like not bothered!
We ended our day at the bottom having lunch. It ended up only being a half day trip for us on the island but definitely worth it. We basked in the sun for the last half an hour before the ferry arrived to take us back to Auckland. Rangitoto Scenic Reserve Brochure
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