New Zealand Volcano Treking: Auckland
Trip Start Nov 23, 2009
9Trip End Jun 10, 2010
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Our first couple days in Auckland have been incredible and we are just now getting used to the much faster pace of life here in the big city, as compared to Fiji. As soon as we left the Auckland airport and started looking for transportation to our hostel, we got a great first impression of New Zealand. We headed to the taxi line up to ask for a quote for a trip downtown and were quickly turned off by the quote of 70 dollars! We headed for a bench to regroup and weigh some options when all of a sudden a stranger walks up and says "Hey those taxis are a rip off, go take one of the express shuttles, its more than half the price." "Awesome! Thank you very much", we say then head over and hop in. The whole way to our hostel we get a complete rundown on what to see and do in Auckland by some Kiwis sitting just behind us. Great start indeed.
Well basically the last couple days have been spent exploring city and eating chicken and lamb kebabs, which are unbelievably popular here
Some of the best things so far have been the fact that our hostel is in the middle of the Auckland China Town, so almost half are meals have either been Japanese, Chinese or Korean! haha. The museum was actually really awesome as were the indoor gardens and we've got a taste for riding the public transportation all around.
By far the best though was the day trip we took today to Mount Rangitoto, which is a huge volcano just a 30 minute ferry ride from Auckland. As you approach the island you see no infrastructure, just a giant mountain covered in thick green vegetation. It takes an hour to trek up to the crater and summit, hiking up sharp volcanic rocks and dirt paths through the forest. There's even a section where you can explore lava caves!!! As lava poured down the mountain after the eruption it bored holes and tunnels into the ground. Upon completion of the eruption the lava drained from the tunnels leaving them empty and intact and ready for exploring. Luckily, Austin had his headlamp with him enabling us to travel through the pitch black dark tunnels. The hike up and down the extinct volcano are incredibly peaceful, the only sounds are the forest surrounding you and the panoramic view from the top is incredible!
Tomorrow we journey by bus to the north of the island and begin our traveling throughout the country!