New Zealand: Rangitoto Island off Auckland

Today is the only full day in Auckland for Good Mrs and I and we will hike on Rangitoto Island. The island is a less than half hour’s ferry trip away from Auckland’s seafront. It looked like a beautiful day from the verandah of our Auckland hostel called… Verandah. Great place by the way.
View from Verandah Hostel

The hiking on Rangitoto Island as follows:

Good Mrs and I arrived at Rangitoto Island by ferry around 10am.

Welcome to Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island is a volcano island, formed some 6000 years ago. Most recent eruptions from 550-600 years ago. Up there is the shield volcano cone rising 260 meters. Good Mrs and I hiked up there first.

Path to top of the mountain

Readers may already realise that lava features in the hiking pictures for today. This boardwalk is surrounded by lava and leads to a vantage point with descriptions of the volcanic history.

To me, this was a different photo-opportunity with people “popping out” of the lava.

Heads sticking out of lava

Lava, lava everywhere…


Up the hill, a short distance from the top, is the old volcano crater. Good Mrs is pointing down into it.

The volcano crater

Top of the mountain. North Shore and then downtown Auckland behind Good Mrs across the Rangitoto Channel.

The highest point of Rangitoto Island

The views from the top of Rangitoto Island without us. Brilliant 360 degrees views…

Views across Rangitoto Channel towards Auckland

As we enjoyed the surroundings, a Singaporean bloke next to us took out a bottle of champagne, but he didn’t bring any glasses. So he drank directly from the bottle and shared it with others. Among them an Hungarian girl. As he was playing the song “Always somewhere” by Scorpions off his mobile phone. As you do. Yes, we chatted a while, but we were not offered a sip from his drink.

Good Mrs then decided to return on an early ferry while I explored more of Rangitoto Island. The Crater Rim Track displayed 3 different coloured soils in this single picture.


Traps were everywhere on Rangitoto Island. The conservation authorities are serious about preventing a potential weed or animal infestation onto the Rangitoto and the nearby Motutapu Island.


There is a boardwalk, a sort of shortcut, to the top from Summit Road. Which is a gravel road circling part of Rangitoto Island and supports a shuttle bus for visitors not keen on hiking. I walked it as an alternative path to the Lava Caves.

Boardwalk to the top

At one point, I looked across to the adjacent Motutapu Island (not a volcano island). The 2 islands are connected via a causeway, accessible by foot for most of the time. Next time…

Motutapu Island in the distance

Out on Summit Road. Just gravel and good enough for shuttle “bus”, drawn by tractor.

The “main” road

The path closer to the Lava Caves could only be of… lava.

Lava path to Lava Caves

Several lava caves but need a torch to see. I ventured into one of the caves, but had only my iPhone torch for light. Since the ground is of… lava and so not particularly even, I didn’t venture far. Not another injury of shoulder or arm, please…

Inside one of the lava caves

A still study of my gear and one of the signs. Photogenic…?

Backpack, poles and sign

Exiting the lava caves and I made my way down towards the ferry wharf again.

What goes up… must come down…

There were several “bachs” around the wharf. Yep, they call these huts a “bach”. One “bach” was even a museum, but I didn’t venture inside. Probably no classic music on offer anyway…

A “bach”

The return ferry back to downtown Auckland arrived so I better get onboard. Don’t want to be stuck on an island offering no supplies at all. Yep, not even water…

Going “home”…

Bye Rangitoto Island. I wish I had more time for exploration. Next time, I would make a full day of it and walk across to Motutapu Island. Rangitoto Island worth a visit, a great day out. Go there…

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