Rangitoto Island Visitor Information
Rangitoto thundered up from the seabed seven hundred and fifty years ago, and Polynesians dwelling nearby were still feeling its blast in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Rangitoto is the last and largest of the volcanoes that shaped the Auckland region - two hundred and sixty metre's high and five kilometres in diameter.
Composed entirely of lava and cinders, the island has no soil worth the name and no water.
On sunny days, the surface temperature there can leap to seventy degrees Celcius
Part of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, the volcanic island is a dominant landmark of Auckland, which soars above the city skyline.
As new land, the islands natural and geological attributes, have been fascinating to botanists, one of whom ungrammatically termed it 'the most unique island in the world.
Over two hundred native plant species, including forty ferns and twenty orchids, miraculously find sustenance in the fissured and fragmented moonscape.
Launches carry day-trippers to the island to tramp, browse, picnic and swim.
The four kilometre climb to the summit offers impressive views of city and gulf.
Nearby to Rangitoto is Browns Island, its lava flows now drowned by the risen sea.
Its grassy and sheep-grazed slopes are marked by the walls and trenches of Maori fortification.
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Rangitoto visitor Information