Saturday, October 20, 2007

Trip to Rangitoto

There are a few sites around Auckland that are ubiquitous. If you spend time on the north shores just west of downtown (the central business district, or CBD) then you see the volcanic Rangitoto Island frequently. It popped out of the harbour ~600-800 years ago while the local Maori watched. I decided to spend my saturday hiking around Rangitoto - here are some pics.
You leave Auckland from the ferry docks downtown. This pic is of the ferry when docked at Rangitoto Pier after I got off. I hiked up to the summit first, on the way I turned off to see some lava caves and there were some of these giant ferns (yes, that's a 6m high fern) along the "track" (not path, not trail). I crawled through the caves, of course ;)From the summit you get a wonderful view back at Auckland and around at the numerous islands that surround Auckland. That's another ubiquitous site around Auckland in the picture above - the SkyTower.

Rangitoto was used as a fortification during WWII in case of Japanese attack (as well as just about every other Harbourside hill...) so you see a lot of old bunkers.

I hiked off the backside of the summit (where there is a big inverted cone at the top) to MacKenzie Beach, then around back to the Rangitoto pier. Along the way the red cooler above caught my eye and I went out on the lava shore to investigate. Along the way I found a very nice soccer (err, football) as well! What a scavenger's dream a lot of the flotsam from Auckland must end up here. I left the cooler but Pa. gets the ball when she arrives...

I missed the 1pm ferry back (there are only a few each day, ~10am, ~1pm and ~4pm - if you miss them you have to wait for the next, even overnight it seems!) so I had some time to kill. So I went exploring in a "kidney fern glen" - which was a lovely place with the above plants everywhere and some isolated benches for reading.


Marlene said...

When we visit this is where I want to go.... MOM

Margie Davis said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog and wanted to know if it's okay if I use your picture of the "kidney fern glen" plants as my screensaver. It's a beautiful picture!