Yesterday, after 2 days of torrential rain and howling wind that was reminiscent of a Cape Town winter, the Auckland skies finally cleared. We decided to make the most of the gorgeous weather and took a ferry to Rangitoto Island, which we can see from our window:
Rangitoto is a dormant volcano and a Kiwi landmark. It was my bright idea to try and walk the circumference of the island before ascending to the summit. It looked smaller on the map! I would love to say that the 1.5 hour detour led us to magnificent hidden treasures and views, but unfortunately, it didn’t. The old lava fields of basalt rock were interesting at first, but with the sun beating down on us the walk soon turned tedious. And, I am ashamed to say, I soon turned whingy. Poor Hicksy.
Our spirits lifted when we stumbled across the old family baches, beach houses dating back to the 1920s, scattered along the Rangitoto coast. The beautiful houses have been painstakingly maintained by the Historic Conservation Trust, and are a treat to explore.
Eeeeventually we reached the starting point of the climb to the summit. This was a bit more interesting, with views of Auckland becoming increasingly spectacular as we climbed. The final part of the 2hr walk was on a boardwalk, which was lovely and easy on my unfit legs. The summit was well worth the walk (maybe without the detour) with panoramic views of the Auckland skyline and surrounding islands.
We had our cheap and satisfying lunch of salami sandwiches and headed back down to have a look at the lava caves. The lava caves were probably the coolest part of Rangitoto, if you’re into dark, drippy, confined spaces. No, really, they were fun to navigate, especially since Hicksy forgot the torch. Luckily the spiders in New Zealand aren’t dangerous.
By now it was time to head back to the docking station to catch the last ferry home. The walk down was much more interesting than the walk up, mostly due to it being downhill. We caught the ferry just as the famous New Zealand weather turned nasty and headed home for some well-earned homemade vegetable soup.