Auckland is home to many treasures. To our horror, Rangitoto Island is one of those treasures that many Aucklanders have not yet taken the opportunity to visit. Google ‘Rangitoto Island’ and the first question that will pop up is “Is Rangitoto worth visiting?” Of course the response is absolutely. The pest-free island is the youngest volcano in New Zealand, emerging just 600 years ago. A short 25 minute ferry ride from Auckland, the island is a popular destination and thoroughly enjoyed by bypassing boaters.
There are multiple tracks to walk on the island, but the most popular is the Rangitoto Summit Track, which treks through native forest to the peak of the volcano. The track winds through lava fields, which aggressively remind you of what once was. The dusty piles of sharp lava and fierce, bouldery rubble line the track, while the path begins to incline. A two hour return, the views over the Hauraki Gulf are priceless and well worth the hike. Once at the summit, the dirt track transforms into a wooden path with a viewing platform – a good place to catch your breath or eat a picnic lunch while taking in the spectacle. The island is also connected to Motutapu Island through a walkway, meaning you can island hop between the two.
Although the magnificent walks are what the island is best known for, it has so much more to offer. The lava caves are 45 minutes up the Summit Track, left behind after a passage of liquid lava. Carefully wander through narrow caves that guide you further into the bush. The jagged edges of the caves tower over you, meaning a torch is absolutely essential for exploring. Rangitoto’s Wreck Bay is also a must-see. Visit the shop graveyard where 13 ships that were abandoned between 1887 and 1947 lay, some of the larger pieces of the wreckage remain today as a heritage site.
Visiting Rangitoto is something you can do all year round. Fullers360 sails to the island everyday, departing from downtown Auckland and bypassing Devonport on the way. With exceptional service, the accessible island is a must do for those visiting the city. Even more of a must do for the locals! This hidden gem is too good not to share.
Visit Fullers360 website for timetables and fares.