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The Mysterious Volcanic Island of Rangitoto

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Rangitoto at sunset, Auckland, New Zealand
Rangitoto at Sunset, Auckland
Photographer: Fay Looney
(www.faylooney.com)

Rangitoto Island is one of the most unforgettable features of Auckland's inner harbour, and a popular tourist destination.

Located in the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto Island is the largest, youngest and one of the least modified of about 50 volcanic cones and craters in the Auckland volcanic field. It erupted from the sea in a series of dramatic explosions around 600 years ago, but is today an extinct volcano. The volcanic fireworks that accompanied it inspired local Maori tribes to call it 'Sky of Blood'.

Today, Rangitoto dominates the local seascape and is a public reserve managed by the Department of Conservation.

Take a train to the top of Rangitoto or hike up the 260 metre high summit to witness the spectacular 360 degree views of the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland cityscape.

Rangitoto activities and attractions include:

  • Summit views
  • Volcanic crater
  • Unique rock formations
  • Lava flows and caves
  • Pohutukawa forest
  • Unusual plants
  • Views of Hauraki Gulf
  • Gull colonies
  • World War II sites
  • Coastal and forest walks

Rangitoto can be enjoyed as a guided tour, or visitors can walk to the top independently.

There is a daily water taxi service to and from Rangitoto Island, however there is no accommodation or food services on the island so be sure to check ferry times and not to miss the final ferry for the day. Alternative transport to Rangitoto Island from the Auckland mainland is very expensive.

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