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One Tree Hill in Auckland

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Rangitoto Island

Volcano in Auckland Harbour

Rangitoto Island

By Richard Moore

Where to stay in Auckland
Things to do in Auckland
Book the Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

Rangitoto Island, Auckland



When you visit Auckland three things seem to dominate the horizon.

If you are in the central area then the obelisk-topped One Tree Hill, sadly now without the tree, is the thing to catch the eye.

From the city or North Shore the inspiring point of the Auckland Sky Tower jumps out at you and, if you are on the harbour or an inner city beach, then the majesty of the extinct volcano Rangitoto is hard to beat.

Rangitoto is a dormant - probably extinct - giant and last erupted some 600 years ago.

Rangitoto Island, AucklandIt was created over several years of volcanic activity and now sits at 260 metres high.

The island and its very near neighbour Motutapu are some 10 kilometres to the north of the downtown area and can easily reached by ferry.

The service runs daily and is reasonably priced at just under $40 for an adult and two children.

Taking the ferry on Auckland Harbour is a very pleasant journey and in summer you will be struck by the number of boats out on the water.

Rangitoto Island, AucklandStopping at the village of Devonport along the way the entire journey takes about 20 minutes. It's too short as far as I am concerned.

Once on Rangitoto you will have plenty of tracks to choose from for a walk around the island but the most popular would have to be the one that takes you directly to the top of the volcano.

Be warned the scoria-trewn path is a little hard to walk on and while I saw people in thongs and flip-flops make the journey, a good pair of runners or walking shoes is the way to go.

Also you do need to take your own water up to the top so take a bottle or two on hot days.

Rangitoto Island, AucklandFor lazy, time sensitive or unfit people there is a four-wheel drive trailer that can take you up to the summit. This would have been my preferred mode of transport - with two children beside me - but one promotion got the time wrong so ... it was walkies time.

The walk will take about 45 minutes, or quicker if you push yourself. Along the way you can see waves of scoria surrounding your path.

And it has to be said the 360-degree views from the top of Rangitoto Island are marvellous.

Rangitoto Island, AucklandAlso on Rangitoto are some wonderfully quaint beach houses and lava caves.

Best advice is to get to the island in the morning, make your climb, then hang out for the next ferry, the last of which leaves at 5pm.






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