I decided to do one of the longest walks round the island, so took the McKenzie Bay route, which passed Flax Point, a breeding ground for black backed gulls. When I got there, there was only one gull there! But I looked around and spotted this amazing bird, which I later found out was a Pied Shag. He was beautiful, and I sat watching him for at least half an hour, before having to move on
. If you miss the last ferry, you have to stay on the island overnight, so I was keeping a close track of time. After another hour or so of walking, I came to McKenzie Bay, a deserted black sand beach, which was lovely. I would've had a swim if I'd had time. But I ate my lunch there and rather begrudgingly moved on to my walk to the summit. Once you get off the gravel road, you come to a really cool board walk that takes you up to the summit, with some amazing views. Then finally you reach the crater, which is massive, but filled with trees. It was pretty tough getting up there, so I was quite glad to sit down and have a rest next to the crater (I'm just massively unfit!). I then walked a short distance to the summit to see the views from the top. They were great, but I couldn't see much because it was so grey and foggy! It was then a bit of a race to get down, so I didn't miss the ferry. But I had time to stop at the lava caves, which were fantastic! I had to climb down into these pitch black tunnels, and tried not to fall flat on my face whilst scrambling over the rocks. I had to use my camera flash to see where I was going!
Finally made it down the volcano, and didn't miss my ferry. As soon as I got on the ferry it started pouring with rain, so I got soaked on my way home. But a fantastic day, and Rangitoto was really worth the visit.
Managed to book my myself a cheap ticket on the ferry to Rangitoto on Wednesday. I wanted to get the earliest ferry so I'd have the most time there time, so got up on in the rain, and caught the 9.15. Luckily by the time I got there the rain had mostly stopped, and was a light drizzle, which was quite nice, as it was so hot! Rangitoto is Auckland's youngest volcano, and was created around 600 years ago. Since then vegetation has grown over the volcano, and it's now covered in bush, but the ground is still rocky lava!