Rangitoto Island has been on my “walking bucket list” for YEARS! I love walking up mountains so after a spontaneous ferry booking on Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning saw us all step foot on the beautiful volcanic island for the first time.
You’ll want to make sure that you plan for a day! There is so much to see and a whole island to explore so pack a bag full of food and water (there are no shops on the island), a headlamp or torch for exploring the lava caves, pop one some decent walking shoes and grab a morning ferry over from the city.
As soon as you step onto the island, start heading up the summit track to the top of the island. The track takes you through 600 year old lava rocks, Pohutakawa trees and bush. The track up to the top is gradual and in some places, you don’t really notice you’re climbing up a mountain so if you’ve got a relatively ok level of fitness then it is totally doable.
Izzy had no issues getting to the top but then again, she is a 4.5-year-old (I wouldn’t recommend kids any younger doing it) with endless amounts of energy! There are places you can stop along the way to check out the views and have a bit of a break should you need it.
Once you get to the top, you’ll have a 360-degree view across Auckland, out to Waiheke and if it’s a super clear day, you’ll even see Little Barrier Island and the hills of the Coromandel- it is absolutely breathtaking. There are plenty of seats at the top so you can soak up the views and sit down to have a bite to eat before making your way to the bottom.
On your way back down, you can veer off the summit track and head off to explore the lava caves. You’ll need a headlamp or a torch to do this and if you’re claustrophobic then you’ll probably want to avoid these! They’re quite dark and a tad confined but they are an awesome part of the island’s history.
If you’ve got enough time once you get to the bottom then you can adventure around the western side of the island and even have a quick dip before jumping on the ferry home. The last one leaves at 4.15pm so make sure you’re at the terminal before then!
Rangitoto Island is absolutely bloody beautiful and is most definitely one to pop on the list of things to do in Auckland!
You can find more information about Rangitoto Island HERE.