Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rangitoto Island

We bid farewell to Kathy and Paul this morning as they flew to Sydney today in preparation for their flight from Sydney to Los Angeles and then Minneapolis tomorrow morning. After they left, we walked down to the harbour to see all the sailboats. Auckland is known as the "City of Sails" due to its abundance of sailing vessels. It has hosted the America's Cup a couple of times, in fact.

A little after noon we took a ferry to Rangitoto Island. The island was formed by a volcanic eruption around 600 years ago, and now rises 850 feet over the Hauraki Gulf. It is a public reserve managed by the Department of Conservation. There are no permanent residents on Rangitoto, but in the early 20th century a small community lived in baches (simple holiday houses). A few remain today.

We hiked up the path to the summit lookout, which was about an hour's walk uphill. It was challenging due to the incline and the loose rocks. The lady at the ferry terminal told me my walking shoes would be okay, but she lied. I should have gone back to the apartment for my hiking boots which have more support as well as better insulation from the rocks.

The views from the top were great, and we enjoyed the many birds we found on the island. The fact that so much plant material sprouted out of lava is amazing to me. A few things were still blooming despite the fact that it is fall here.

Once back in Auckland we went back to the harbour as there is an industrial area that has been redeveloped into walking paths, shops, restaurants and playgrounds. It was very interesting to check out. By then our feet were killing us, so we came back to the apartment to eat dinner and do laundry. We head for home tomorrow!

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Oh, I love the bache and the birds on Rangitoto.