Rangitoto Island a very popular Auckland visitor destination

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 by Mark Sandiford

Rangitoto's elongated cone shape is an iconic image of the Auckland horizon; it is a natural landmark which holds many hidden gems including a walk to the summit. Here you can gain a spectacular 360 degree view of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf islands.

Rsz _Rangitot And Auckalnd Suburbs

To experience the beauty and experience a trip to Rangitoto and the summit is a must-do and a top Auckland visitor destination for anyone new to Auckland city.

A short, scenic  ferry ride  across the harbour from downtown Auckland brings you directly to Rangitoto. The Auckland Ferry building is in easy access from Kiwi International Hotel and a straightforward walk down Queen St. This easy access makes the island a favourite destination for day-trippers of all kinds - local and international, who come to enjoy the majesty of the site, its geological significance and of course the spectacular views from the summit.

However, do be warned, there are no shops or transport on the island and limited drinking water, so come prepared - bring sun-block, a hat, wear comfortable walking shoes and if you're keen to picnic, pack a lunch.

Plenty to see and do

Rsz _Rangitoto Exploration

Head to the Summit

Walk the 1-hour Summit Track to take in spectacular 360-degree views from the top. If you'd rather not make the climb or got little ones in tow, join a guided tour on the 4WD road train to the top. Rangitoto offers so much in terms of exploration that you should allow for at least four hours discovery time. Within this period, and during your climb to the summit, you will traverse lava rock formations and fields and lush, green forests. About 15 minutes from the summit there is a track leading to the right, taking you to lava caves. These are most definately worth exploring, perhaps call in on your way down - summit first, the rest later?

Go underground

Take a torch to explore the lava tunnels and caves on the Island. The caves are not immensely deep, some are simply shallow caverns in the lava, while others are natural tunnels formed by lava flows, they are however very dark so take a torch. Pluck up some adventurous spirit, have fun and explore but do tread carefully, the darkness and uneven lava flow ground, with twists and turns could be your ankles' worst nighmare.

An added extra

Motutapu Island is a lovely added bonus that is attached to Rangitoto Island by a causeway established during World War II. Loved by hikers and those with an adventurous spirit, there is the option, if you're interested to camp overnight. The Department of Conservation's Motutapu Island campsite is at Home Bay and Fullers' Motutapu Island ferries run directly from Auckland to Home Bay, making your trip home nice and easy.

Rsz _rangitoto _from _afar

Time to explore

The rugged lava fields and dense pohutukawa forest make for a dramatic and 'perfect for exploration', kind of landscape. Venture over the causeway and explore the walking trails on Motutapu Island where there are World War II bunkers, tunnels and gun emplacements.

Water lovers have the option of taking a guided sea kayaking trip from Auckland out to Rangitoto - the adventurous can even try a night kayak, where you head out in the early evening to watch a spectacular sunset from the summit before paddling back in the dark under the stars towards the glowing lights of Auckland city.

Auckland And Rangitoto At Night

A regular daily ferry service from either downtown Auckland or Devonport Wharf makes getting to Rangitoto easy and convenient.  Click here for timetable information. From  Kiwi International Hotel, the Auckland wharf and Ferry Building is a straight forward walk directly down Queen Street.




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