Auckland, New Zealand

January 10-11, 2018

Rangitoto 

This island was formed approximately 600 years ago by a volcanic explosion. The volcano was at the bottom of the ocean when it began erupting. The eruption caused it to move upwards, towards the surface of the water, at a rate of 5km/hr. After 24 hours the island had broken the surface and continued to rise to create the island that exists today. Legend says that there were Maori people on the neighbouring island of Motutapu that witnessed this entire event.

Today, the island is a natural reserve and accessible via ferry. There are no stores and very few homes on the island. According to a park ranger we spoke to, the current residents of the island will not be able to pass their land down to the next generation anymore, ceasing the continuation of people living on the island.

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On the way up

It took an hour to hike to the summit of the volcano.

GPTempDownload 8.jpgGPTempDownload 7.jpgThe mouth of the volcano is filled with vegetation now, isn’t nature neat?

At the summit there were stunning views of the neighbouring islands and Auckland on the main land.

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Then we walked through the lava caves.

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Pictures don’t really do it justice, they were super cool.

We continued on and found a new path across tons of volcano stuff (I don’t know what to call it, just check out the pic) and eventually ended up at Wreck Bay.

GPTempDownload 4.jpgBasically giant BBQ rocks

Suitably called, because this is where the military willingly abandoned obsolete ships during WWII. We couldn’t see any of the ships because they were long since sunk, but the view was pretty nice.

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We then continued on to quickly step foot on the neighbouring island Motutapu that was connected to Rangitoto via a small bridge.

This is taken from the Mantutapu side of the bridge

After this we hurriedly began walking back across the island to the ferry wharf as the last ferry comes at 4:30pm and if you are left on the island you receive a fine and transport back to the mainland would cost 200$. At this point it was 3pm and the last sign we saw said it would take us 2 hours to walk back to the wharf. Oops. Thankfully, we ended up hitching a ride with a lovely park ranger back to the ferry and avoided a hefty fine. New Zealanders are remarkably kind to tourists.

Waiheke (January 11, 2018)

Waiheke is another island accessible from Auckland via ferry. This island consists of a village called Oneroa with several restaurants, shops, and luxurious looking homes. We walked into town from the wharf and immediately found the beach.

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 Oneroa beach was in a lovely inlet filled with sailboats and happiness.

We went into the water, lounged on the beach, and rented a SUP board.

If y’all ain’t never seen joy, this is it ^^

All in all, lovely afternoon. We then hit a local burger joint and shared a to-die-for veggie burger, cold beer, and unbeatable view.

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And that was my day on Waiheke.

-XO Kristiane

 

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