I don’t think Lara Croft has been to Rangitoto but I think she would like it. Swapping Tomb Raider flares for my phone’s flash, I scrambled, my independent womanly self, through lava caves made up of volcanic rock. What would I find at the end of this short lava caves trail?
Things to consider when visiting Rangitoto
Rangitoto is a 25-30 minute ferry ride from Queens Wharf, Auckland – look out for the big orange building. Ferries don’t depart often so grab yourself a timetable. See the Fullers’ website for more information.
- Adult return ticket for the ferry is $29. You can get 10% off with a voucher found in Auckland A-Z (Free official guide 2014).
- Take some food and drink with you. There are no shops on the island.
- Check the last ferry departure time from Rangitoto! If you miss it you will have to survive the night on the island.
- The main track to the summit takes about one hour (but there a longer tracks to do).
- Take a torch or a phone with a decent light for the caves.
- Trainers or walking boots would be a good idea.
Walking to the summit
Forming through volcanic eruptions and emerging from the sea, Rangitoto is made up of volcanic rock from the summit all the way to the shore. The jagged edged rocks have been cleared to the side for the walkways, so this makes walking easier.
What if I get lost?!
You cannot detour from the track unless you are a complete moron. This walk is well signposted complete with the average time it will take you to get to each destination. Include the lava caves into your itinerary because even the track to the caves gives you a mossy environment to walk in that differs from the main summit track. Additionally, the bird noises are pretty crackers.
For me, seeing the gargantuan crater was a ‘wow’ moment. I can’t decide if the view towards Auckland was more impressive or the tree-filled crater. But this isn’t a competition. Let the gallery below speak to you:
Pretty neat, aye? Auckland isn’t just about city life, so go and have a wonder.
Now I must begin my journey down to the south of New Zealand. Wish me luck 😉