The newest and largest volcano in Auckland, now dormant, Rangitoto makes for a great day trip, only fifteen minutes by regular ferry services from the CBD. An iconic symbol of the city, the view below will be familiar to anyone who has visited Auckland. Hard to miss a 260m high, 5.5km wide volcano in the middle of the harbour…
The ferry runs 3-5 times a day depending on the day of the week and season. Make sure you don’t miss the last ferry home, otherwise it’ll be an expensive water taxi back, and take all food and water you’ll need as there are no facilities (other than a few toilets) on the island.
Most people head straight up to the summit, about an hour’s walk depending on fitness levels. The island is generally a few degrees hotter than the mainland (the volcanic rock heats up in the sun), and the path is quite exposed in places, so if tackling in summer take plenty of water and sun lotion. It’s worth the effort though for views like this of the city and the neighbouring Motutapu Island (connected by small bridge).
There are plenty of steps and handy facilities on the summit to the summit, topped with a black and white trig.
For those unable / unkeen on walking up to the summit there is the Volcanic explorer, a tractor powered approach to getting around.
On my last visit I stayed the night and had the summit to myself at sunset…
There are some pretty cool lava caves to explore.
There is some impressive birdlife on the island.
And lots of sights from a longer 18km clockwise walk around the island.