A mountain with hiccupsAuckland, Spring 2011
Jambo! Kia ora!
March 6th started with breakfast and sneakily making extra pb&j sandwiches for our picnic lunch atop a volcano. Yes, a volcano. We walked down Queen Street to the ferry terminal only to find that our 10:30am ferry had just left. Naturally I decided that it was necessary to take a photo documenting our predicament…but wait, no need for disappointment, the ferry turned around, picked us up and dropped us off at Islington Wharf to begin our adventure to climb Rangitoto!
✭Some facts about Rangitoto:
-Rangitoto Island erupted from the sea about 600 years ago.
-Rangitoto is the last and largest volcano to be formed in the Auckland volcanic field.
-Rangitoto literally means ‘bloody sky’ in Māori, but it is derived from the phrase “Te Rangi I totongia a Tamatekapua” – “the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed”, a reference to the injury of a chief during a battle fought on the island.
::imagine a volcanic island with a fascinating landscape of rugged lava formations and bush land::
The hike wasn’t hard, especially because we stopped every 20 minutes or so for a picture break. Our first detour on our trek to the summit was to explore some lava caves, which turned out to be intricate underground cave systems that you squeeze through! Not to worry, we made plenty of time for Lord of the Rings themed photos.
After exploring 3 or 4 lava caves, we continued up to the summit. From the top, we were able to see beautiful 360 degrees views of Auckland and the Hauaki Gulf Islands. After several more tourist photos we sat down on our picnic blanket for lunch.
Our original plan was to make the 3:45pm ferry home but the island had other plans for us. We strolled quite leisurely back to the Rangitoto Wharf, arriving at 3:30. It wasn’t until we overheard some fellow trampers mention another wharf that we realized we were at the wrong wharf. The last return ferry from Rangitoto leaves at 5pm from Islington Wharf which was located 1 ½ hours away from Rangitoto Wharf. No more photos, no more leisure, no more talking, we jogged back across the island in record time… 1 hour 23 minutes. The 5pm ferry also meant that we would be cutting dinner time at our residence hall really close so we had to power walk up Queen Street back to IH (International House). Our frazzled group of 8 ran into the dining hall panting but just in time for dinner. We were all completely famished and to this day roast chicken, potatoes and gravy have never tasted so good!
Thanks for reading!
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