Rangitoto is the youngest and largest of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones, and is home to the world’s largest pohutukawa forest.
Rangitoto island is Auckland’s most iconic island, with its distinctive symmetrical cone and superb location just off the coast. Only a short scenic ferry ride across the harbour from downtown Auckland, the island is a favourite destination for hikers and day-trippers. Emerging unexpectedly from the sea some 600 years ago, it is the youngest and largest volcano in the Auckland volcanic field.
Take the guided tour option on the 4WD road train or walk up to the summit on foot (approximately 1 hour each way). See the black lava caves on your way up and bring a torch to explore them with the kids. The views from the top are spectacular – you’ll be able to see everything from the emerald islands of the Hauraki Gulf to the rugged horizons of the Waitakere Ranges in the west and Hunua Ranges in the east.
Water lovers can take a guided sea kayaking trip out to Rangitoto – the adventurous can even try a night kayak, heading out in the evening to watch a spectacular sunset from the summit before paddling back in the dark under the stars towards the glowing city lights.
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A regular daily ferry service from either downtown Auckland or Devonport Wharf makes getting to Rangitoto easy and convenient. Click here for timetable information.
Functional facts: No population, toilet facilities, walking tracks, daily ferries. Visit the Department of Conservation site to find out more.