Back in the beginning of our journey, during our two week stint in Auckland, we made a trip out to one of the islands by the city, Rangitoto. It’s a short 30 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland to the island with multiple departures to and from throughout the day.
- Rangitoto is a volcanic island that made it’s grand entrance from the depths of the ocean a mere 600 years ago, making it the youngest island in New Zealand.
- There’s also a Maori legend regarding the birth of Rangitoto that involves a giant couple, the fire goddess, and the god of earthquakes and volcanoes.
- In 2011, the island was declared pest free, meaning no rats, stoats, rabbits, mice, cats, and opossums, allowing native birds to be reintroduced and thrive.
The main attraction on the island is hiking and the most popular hike is the hike to the summit. So essentially everyone on the Ferry gets off and begins walking in the exact same direction and you are forced to see the same people for the next 2 hours. For those who can’t or don’t want to do the hike, I think there’s a shuttle or van service that takes you near the top. The hike is fairly easy with a steep part near the end, but since it’s “easy” and the most popular one there’s a wide range of people on this hike. Some people are wearing hiking or running shoes and some people are in flip flops or wedge boots, it’s a very interesting people watching hike.
The hike is about 2 hours round trip and you can do a little side track to the lava tubes. It’s very well maintained and there’s a boardwalk through part of the volcanic rock field. I’ve never been on a volcano before so I was pretty excited! There’s volcanic rock all over the beginning of the hike and as you get closer to the top there are more trees and coverage. And the very top, there’s a beautiful view of the city and all the sailboats in the water. There’s also a very big viewing platform with plenty of seating to rest, re hydrate, and eat lunch with a view. The lava tube we went through was pretty short and big, so no crouching or crawling necessary which was nice for claustrophobic me. It was definitely a nice little trip away from the City and a new hiking experience for me.