After arriving back from the UK we decided we should really see all the local sights and this was one of our first adventures. We couldn’t have gone at a better time as our eyes were used to grey skies and dirty cities so we fully appreciated the natural wonder of the island and the absolute trippy factor of climbing a volcano. I couldn’t get over the piles of volcanic rock either side of the path, you really do feel like you’re in a prehistoric world as opposed to a 25 minute boat ride from downtown Auckland.  

There’s plenty of options for detours along the way including a Lava Cave track (!) We certainly weren’t going to miss out on that shit so decided to steer off the main path for a bit on the way to the summit. If you do the same, don’t be fooled by the one small cave that all the international tourists stop at for selfies (seriously).  If you keep down the same track then you’ll find much bigger caves that you can actually walk through. We had to tell people to keep going as loads of them were turning back to the summit track after the lame little cave.

Also, don’t do what we did and turn up empty handed. We had no idea that we’d spend as long as we did out there but once you’ve taken a detour or two and been trekking for a good couple of hours it’s inevitable that hunger will strike. As they remind you when you’re stepping off the ferry (helpful) there are no shops on Rangitoto so if you get hungry or thirsty then you just have to suck it up. Never have I eyed up someone’s squashed sandwiches and warm fruit more than when we got to the top. Still, the views back to the city more than made up for my hanger.

As it is quite a mission in terms of getting out there, spending a good few hours wandering and boating back, I’d recommend tackling this one during Spring or Autumn as it would be stifling treading that black volcanic rock in the heat of Summer. Make sure you wait for a clear day too so you can see right back to the city and pick out all the landmarks.

If you have visitors with you then you should definitely get your return ferry to Devonport and show them around what must be the most adorable little settlement in Auckland. I mean, look at how quaint this place is – we took this from the boat as we stopped by on our way to Rangitoto.

Rangitoto island walk in a nutshell:

Cost: $30 per person (for the ferry). It takes about 25 minutes from downtown and is a beautiful ride out past Devonport.

Toilets: Yes at the start of the track.

Good eats nearby: NONE. Bring everything you need with you.

Time needed: 4 hours

Difficulty: Easy, it’s a relatively steady climb with hardly any steep bits.