So as I mentioned on one of my posts, I went hiking in Rangitoto Island with Louis. We wanted to do that last year actually, for our first anniversary, but the weather seemed bad, and so we decided to do it for this year’s second! I just want to say that if you’re the adventurous type, hiking with your boyfriend is a fun experience. There’s just this wonderful sense of accomplishment when you reach the summit. And the fact that you’re both physically climbing a mountain together is amazing…that, or I’m really just sentimental.
Anyway, we spent the night before researching in my room about the island, the ferry schedule, and what we needed to bring. I looked up a couple of blogs too, and that was really helpful. It kind of gave us an idea of what to expect. We bought food for the trip and prepared the tuna sandwiches for the morning. We also purchased a small torch that was attached to a headband for lava caves.
It was advised by Fuller’s as well to contact the ferry first before you leave in the morning (just to make sure the weather was alright). If you are planning to make a trip there, click here for the ferry schedule and other important notices. You can take the ferry from Devonport or the CBD too. We took the 7:30 am ferry in the CBD. It’s good to get the early ferry too because they give out a huge early bird discount!
But because Louis and I struggle to get up in the mornings, we actually almost missed our ferry! We ran, together with a father and his adorable little toddler, and thankfully, the ferry didn’t leave! We were the last on board!
Now on to the hike. Rangitoto island, is volcanic one, and it hails from a series of eruptions, roughly 600 years ago. Rangitoto actually means Bloody Sky in Maori. The name commemorates the death of a tribe’s captain.
As first time hikers, Louis and I decided to follow the main path going to the summit a.k.a the Summit Track. There were tons of lava rocks on the way. It’s hard to imagine the island being nothing but a burning pit of endless lava rivers before it became this sustaining piece of land.
After an hour or so, we finally reach the first point of interest- the giant crater from which the island came forth. It was a romantic notion really, to be able to see where everything has come from- the land, the trees, the rocks. The crater is filled with vegetation now but it retains its basin-shape which I think is really amazing.
After viewing the crater, we continued the short but steep walk up the summit. It was extra challenging because by then we were already tired…plus we had heavy backpacks! TIP: Pack late. Haha! We came extra prepared, bringing a matt, umbrellas, extra shirts, and of course food and water. I guess we could have survived with just the food and water (we had around 3 litres of water), plus our camera gears. Sunglasses helped, and because it was quite chilly when we went there, water-proof jackets were good too. Oh, and for a more exciting adventure, bring a torch (you’ll see why later). Anyway, on to the summit!
After resting for a bit, we headed down the path leading to the lava caves. I was quite excited for this. You get to go through naturally formed lava caves without any tour guide or artificial lighting inside. It’s untouched. That’s why if you ever plan to explore the caves, bring your own torch. We bought a special one the night before.
The path going to the caves was really rocky, which is again why I emphasize that the less you bring, the better. At this point, Louis and I switched backpacks- I carried the heavier one so we could both balance better. Before arriving at this particular cave, we saw a narrower one where a group of other explorers were contemplating on going in. The entrance was too tiny (in fact, you had to lie down to get in!) for both of us… I felt myself freaking out! So we went looking for the other cave I read about in the blogs which had a wider entrance. It was a long walk inside, and you’d be fooled by the thin strip of light near by. I thought it was the exit, but no, it was only an opening from above.
So after the caves, we basically headed back to the pier. We sat by a field and ate our lunch… explored another section and ended up getting lost. That bit was fun too.
And finally, it was the end of our trip. We head back to the ferry, feet aching, backs sweating, but personally, I felt really happy and refreshed! I would definitely want to go hiking again!