Day 16 – Volcano walk and trip to the park

After yesterdays disappointment missing the ferry to Rangitoto we made sure we were up and at the ferry terminal in plenty of time today for the 10-30am crossing. The journey was only short but as soon as we got there it was clear this was a special place. It literally is just tons and tons of dried lava with new trees and shrubs growing from it. There are lots of paths around the island but we plumped for a 7 mile walk along the coast then up to the summit and straight back down the main path. Immediately we see the black lava flow frozen in time and you realise the force and destruction this will have caused. Rangitoto is thought to have erupted from the sea 600 years ago so its relatively new and that would explain why there is so much black rock on show. As we walked along the beach we also got great views of Auckland city and then we came across the Rangitoto Beacon lighthouse and McKenzie bay which is a lovely tranquil corner of the island with black sand.

We take lunch here then head off up the track. The higher we get the more dense the shrubs and trees become. At 5 miles there is a turn off for the summit which is a wooden boardwalk with 300 steps to the top. It seems to go on forever but then we arrive at the edge of the crater which is now just full of trees and bushes. The birdlife is also quite prominent up here too with green Kakapo and quite a few Tui’s with their distinctive call. Another 20 steps further up is the highest point on the island with a trig point and this is a truly amazing viewpoint with 360 degree views of the rest of the island, Auckland itself and the many other islands around here.

I could stay here all day looking at this especially with the clear blue skies. But we have to get back for the ferry or we will be stuck on the island for the night, not good when there is nowhere to shelter here as its unpopulated. The path down is a little more direct and rough and soon we are at the harbour. A short wait for the boat and we are on our way back to the city. This has been a real treat and we will come back here on our next trip down under to walk the rest of the island.

After catching the train back we then meet up with Manny and take little Reilly down to the park for an hour. Its the same park where we did the parkrun on that first Saturday and is teaming with ducks, Takahe, sparrows and black swans. After throwing some bread down for them we are soon bombarded by them all and it actually got a bit scary. Reilly loved it watching everything move, he really is very inquisitive and can’t take his eyes off anything that moves. Linda’s face is again lit up with joy as she plays with him and carry’s him around. Precious moments that she can treasure forever.

After Manny made us tea, Chris then took us to a bar that served nothing but beer and desserts and wow what a choice. A great way to end another fabulous day.