Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island – main image

There are many natural wonders in New Zealand. One of them is Rangitoto Island, pure volcanic lava where Christmas trees grow and many birds live. It was bought from the Maori for £ 15.

Rangitoto is an island that was reborn about 600 years ago after experiencing a huge volcanic eruption. The vegetation that now extensively covers its surface grew slowly over the raw volcanic lava flows.

Take the ferry to Rangitoto

The island is a huge local attraction, drawing tourists to New Zealand's Auckland - and beyond. A ferry runs twice a day, thanks to which those willing can see this extraordinary creation of nature up close, protruding over the sea level for more than 260 meters. It is located 10 km from the center of Auckland and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes.

There are no shops on Rangitoto so make sure you bring food and drink with you. One of the options for exploring the island on your own is to travel by a rented off-road car or a car with a trailer, but you should take into account the relatively high cost of such an undertaking.

Life brought in the wind

Rangitoto is the perfect example to prove the stubbornness of life. At first there was nothing on it but a barren space. With time, mosses timidly entered here, then plants sown wild from seeds brought by birds and wind. Gradually, the soil became more fertile, providing conditions for the life of more complex forms. Today, Rangitoto is rich in plant abundance, including rare species such as kidney fern or unusual hybrids. The island is covered with the world's largest forest of Christmas trees (pohutukawa), and you can also see the symbol of New Zealand - the kowhai tree. Thanks to the hutukawa in December, Rangitoto dresses in a beautiful red, and in spring the kowhai showers it with intense yellow flowers.

Although there are not many potable water tanks here, the island is home to many species of birds. The Rangitoto Coast is home to New Zealand's largest black-billed gull colony . There are also, among others, owl, fan fan and gray bush.

Former Life on Rangitoto

Currently, Rangitoto is uninhabited. After buying it from the Maori for the amount of £ 15 at that time, Europeans began to gradually remove the local population, banning them from building houses and forcing them to leave the island. During World War II, the army was stationed here - there are remains of fortifications and some buildings. On the coast there are still simple wooden houses with furnishings used by the indigenous people. Their descendants founded The Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust to protect their heritage.

The volcano that changed the face of the island is sleeping today. His heart went out. From the top there is a great view of the entire Rangitoto and Auckland. The surrounding islets in Hauraki Bay, Motutapu Island and the Coromandel Peninsula stretching above it are also beautifully visible.

The trip to the volcano takes about an hour. During the walk, you can leave the route to see the caves - their interiors make a great impression on tourists. The fanciful forms that can be seen in them are due to the lava flows following one after the other.

Just before the summit we will see a crater, lush with forest. The memory of the big bang that took place here is the lava that covers the entire island - both dried tongues and jagged rocks of various sizes. The last word, however, belongs to vegetation, which has made it clear that time affects everything.

Rangitoto Island – image 1
Rangitoto Island – image 2
Rangitoto Island – image 3
Rangitoto Island – image 4

A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)

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