What is it? There are approximately 50 volcanoes in the Auckland region, with Rangitoto Island being one of the most iconic landmarks in Auckland's city skyline. Sitting majestically off the coast, Rangitoto’s distinctive symmetrical cone rises 260 metres over the Hauraki Gulf. Rangitoto emerged from the sea approximately 600 years ago in a series of fiery volcanic explosions. It is the youngest volcano in Auckland and sits right next to the oldest island, Motutapu, which is estimated to be more than 160 million years old
(Rangitoto as seen from Devonport)
Where? A volcanic island located 8km north east of Auckland
Getting there Board your Fuller’s ferry at Queen’s Wharf in Waitematā Harbour. The ferry takes 25 minutes to reach Rangitoto Wharf Alternatively, you can kayak from Devonport or Takapuna Beach which takes around 2 hours
Ferry price $33 return. Early Bird (7.30am departure) $23 return. Check the ferry timetable here.
Book in advance? Bookings are essential as not to miss out
When is best to go? Pick a dry day, not too hot as you will be trekking. Choosing the early bird deal is worth it as it’s cheaper and not as busy first thing
What is there to do? You can go on a guided 4WD road-train guided tour and enjoy commentary about the history and geology of the island (at an additional price) Or take the Summit Track which winds through lava fields and native pōhutukawa forest to the peak. At the top, take in panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf across to Auckland. There are informative signage displays along the way. Explore the islands lava caves which were left behind after the passage of liquid lava. Check out the historic Bach (pronounced ‘batches’) community (very modest holiday home or beach house) near the wharf
How long should I spend? 4- 5 hours will be plenty of time. Bear in mind the last return ferry departs at 3.30pm / 4pm
What to wear Have good walking shoes, and make sure to wear sun cream. Bring your bathers and towel if you plan on getting in the water during the warmer months. Temperatures can change quite rapidly regardless of the season so bring warm layers and a rain jacket
What to bring Plenty of water, snacks and lunch- note there are no food outlets on the island, and a torch/ head torch for the lava caves
What to take home Your rubbish as there are no bins on the island this includes left over food
What to expect The ground can be rough and uneven when the track crosses the lava fields. The volcano is a sizable height so yes there is quite an elevation to walk, saying a moderate fitness is required. The looped track is 7km long and will take around 2 hours to complete
Pest- free island In 2011 Rangitoto was declared pest-free of the seven mammalian pests that had caused damage to the plants, trees and native animals. This has since seen native forest birds flock back and thrive.
Important pest-free island info
Please check your bags for stowaways, such as mice, rats, Argentine ants and Rainbow Skinks to name a few.
Ensure your footwear, clothing and bags are clean and free of soil and seeds.
Your lunch must be packed in a rodent-proof/ sealed container e.g. hard plastic.
No open bags or boxes will be allowed on-board. Everything you bring must be sealed or zipped closed.
Take rubbish off the island with you.
Rangitoto makes for a great day’s escape from Auckland city and the different landscapes are interesting and a joy to walk amongst.