Rangitoto, auckland harbour, mackenzie bay
After purchasing out tickets from the politely challenged girls in the booth we make the 10.30am ferry to Rangitoto just in time.
This ferry also happens to part of the Auckland Harbour Cruise which means we had some guy on the mic system that must have done this tour way too many times droning on (describing the delights of the harbour).
Luckily, this dreary monotone drove us outside...and we ended up being very thankful for this as we were just in time to see a school of dolphins.
The ferry trip took just over 20 minutes. On arrival we headed left on the road to Mackenzie Bay. It doesn’t take long to discover that the green volcano you see from Auckland sure is different once on it. Actually its a fairly barren black/red hard rock. This place is still interesting all the same, but as bush lovers, we tended to miss the denseness and green hue of the bush.
On the road to Mackenzie Bay there were quite a few deserted baches to explore (although looking in the windows there is bedding in them and some had cut firewood ready) . It really does make you wonder why no-one can stay there any more.
This road also has lots of views of Auckland City and plenty of boats passing by. We decide to stop randomly for tea and golden crunch biccies. After about 1 ½ hrs we arrive at Mackenzie Bay. This place is a lovely sandy beach with Pohutakawas looking out at the stripey lighthouse and the coast in the background. This seems the perfect place for a spot of lunch and another cuppa.
Fuelled up we headed to the summit. It’s about 1 hr to the top with scarce tree cover (we were glad it was only winter as this rock was heating up) with views getting better as you got higher. At the top the views are most impressive with a panoramic view of Auckland City and the harbour. The only thing that marred this, is that being on an island serviced by limited ferries we had to share this view with way too many people and screaming children.
After taking in the view we headed down towards the wharf. About 1/3 of the way down we detoured to the left to check out some caves. Here there were a few more trees and some pretty interesting rock formations to explore and caves to climb through. After about an hour we made it back down to the Wharf (about 4 hours from starting out), with plenty of time for the ferry. Our feet were a tad sore as walking on rock is a lot less forgiving than mud. It was an uneventful trip home and slightly amusing waving to the people still on the island that didn’t make the last ferry as it was too small to take everyone.
Level of Difficulty
Easy - bit of climb to the top
Total Loop Time
4 hours (Winter 2011)