Monday, 9 April 2012

Rangitoto Island - Easter Long Weekend

We have been very lucky to have had great weather for the last couple weeks and have done our best to get out and enjoy what Auckland can offer. We started our long weekend with a Mediterranean brunch. Jess went for a Vanilla Apricot Risotto and I opted for Moorish Eggs. Everywhere we go we keep finding amazing places to eat and different foods to try.

After brunch we decided to lounge around in the sun by the Viaduct Harbour. The Sky Tower is a great landmark because we can generally wander around using it at a homing beacon for getting back to the flat.

The following day we decided that we would hit up Rangitoto Island. Rangitoto is a 600 year old volcanic cone that is visible from Auckland. It can be reached by a 30 min ferry ride from Auckland Harbour. There is no concession service on the Island so you need to pack your own provisions. We ran out of food and water and were close to either cannibalism or re-hydrating by pulling a Bear Grylles and making Pee Martini's. Luckily we hitched a ride on an earlier ferry and made it back to civilization without incident.

I was eager to go to Rangitoto because I have recently re-read Jurassic Park and liked the idea of traversing a jungle covered island with a map and my imaginary dino’s in pursuit... (Jess is rolling her eyes).

The map provided was great because it clearly marked all the routes and the estimated time to reach each destination. The description of Rangitoto as “rugged” is a drastic understatement, and begins as soon as you step on the main path up to the summit. At the halfway point there is a fork where you can split off and check out some lava tubes. We were glad we had our head lamps with us.

We thought we were clever by not following the crowd to the top right away but it turns out that nobody goes anywhere other than the top to the bottom.The views were amazing.

Being optimistic we decided to make our way down the far side of the crater and check out Boulder/ Wreck Bay. This is where the “ruggedness” of the island really shined. The path is all baseball sized volcanic rock that ended up being as easy to walk on as marbles on ice with razor blades in between. Our shoes ended up looking like they were devoured by a dog and I ended up with ankle cuts from shuffling around in the rock. The worst part of it is there is nowhere flat to rest your ankles. The strategy was to keep going until finished and distract ourselves by creating survival plans, (see the previous comment about Bear Grylles).

Once the 5 hour trek was over, we dipped our feet in the cool water and reminisced about the many potential broken ankles... we had completed the Rangitoto adventure and were very proud of ourselves.

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