-22 Days on the Road
Every time we meet people new to Auckland and they are looking for something relatively cheap and fun to do, we always suggest they get their butts to Rangitoto Island. This time we decided to join some of those people, our friends Spencer and Jessica. The trip would be a good opportunity to practice with our camera equipment for our upcoming New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year. Plus, it would be a great half-day hike before we have to install the new water pump in our campervan. More on that nutshell later…
What is this island you speak of?
Rangitoto Island is just a quick ferry ride away from Auckland Central, only costing about NZ$30 return. Plus, the iconic island is like no other in Auckland, with rugged lava fields, lava caves and covered in forest. What’s not to love? You can find out everything there is to know about Rangitoto and its adjoining island, Motutapu, in our Guide to Rangitoto Island and Motutapu Island.
Sounds awesome, let’s go!
The first thing Robin did when he jumped off the ferry is go to film some birds. Well, not so much film as terrorise them. Point is, this just goes to show how abundant the wildlife over in Rangitoto is. The island is “pest-free” meaning that you will see a lot more native birds here than most places in New Zealand.
After Robin was pulled away from the birds, we began our steady climb up the volcano, passing though fields of black volcanic rock. The well-trodden track then became surrounded by more and more forest, with tree roots fighting their way through the track itself.
Delving into the lava caves
Only 30 minutes later, we had emerged at an opening with a side track to the lava caves. Unfortunately, our favourite lava cave was literally swarming with kids when we arrived there. Dang it! Why did we have to come here on a school holiday?!
Because there is nothing more scary than kids in a cave, we decided to hit a quieter cave. This cave had such a cool opening halfway through where cave walls were covered in moss and tree roots. Because 360 degree images speak louder than words, here’s a 360 image of that cave for you to play around with:
School holidays, man…
Back on the Summit Track, only 10 more minutes to the grand finale! Like from any summit in scenic New Zealand, the views were pretty amazing. However, so many people were here! School holidays, man…
Nevertheless, the crater rim track appeared foolishly deserted – this is where you get the best views! We let the drone capture the beauty. (Check out the 360 image below). There’s not much to say for the rest of the Rangitoto Track, other than return the same way, capture great photos, and enjoy the fact that going downhill is such a relief!
Back at the campervan, we run into trouble…
There was still light in the day, so once we got back to Auckland we installed the new water pump in the campervan. The new pump made a slight improvement from the original mentioned in our last post by spluttering out the water in powerful bursts – you know the kind where the water then splashes out of the sink and onto your crotch so it looks like you’ve weed yourself? Yeah… We’ll obviously work on adjusting that water pressure.
The next thing to try is the hot water! But, oh wait… You guessed it. That doesn’t work either. Even a certified gas guy that is working with our DIY friend, Dom, was puzzled by the outdated system. So… that’s another part we have to order and install later. Goddammit!
Oh well, until that NEXT part arrives, here’s a birds-eye-view of the Rangitoto crater in virtual reality!
Of course you do! As we said, we fully recommend anyone visiting Auckland to take a trip to Rangitoto Island, or even camp on Motutapu Island right next door. Read all about it in our Guide to Rangitoto Island and Motutapu Island. And for more things to do in Auckland on a backpacker budget, be sure to check out 14 Free or Cheap Things to do in Auckland.
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See you next time!