- Walk to the summit of Rangitoto – don’t forget your camera!
- Take a torch and explore the WW2 bunkers and gun emplacements
- Enjoy the beaches and walking trails of Motutapu Island
- Check-out the world’s largest pohutukawa forest
- Both islands are DOC-managed recreation reserves
- Rangitoto and Motutapu are joined by a causeway established during WW2
- Rangitoto Island is the youngest and largest volcano in the Auckland Volcanic Field
Rangitoto is Auckland’s most iconic island, with its distinctive symmetrical cone and superb location just off the coast. Only a short scenic ferry ride across the harbour from downtown Auckland, the island is a favourite destination for hikers and day-trippers. Emerging unexpectedly from the sea some 600 years ago, it is the youngest and largest volcano in the Auckland volcanic field.
Rangitoto Island has long been a favourite day-trip and boating destination for Aucklanders. Take either the guided tour option on the 4WD road train or walk up to the summit on foot. While it’s not a walk for the faint-hearted, it is family friendly. Keep an eye out for the lava caves on your way up, though you may need a torch to explore them with the kids. The views from the top are spectacular with the sparkling blue waters and emerald islands of the Hauraki Gulf, to the rugged horizons of the Waitakere Ranges in the west and Hunua Ranges in the east.
Lying next to Rangitoto Island adjoined by a causeway established during WW2, Motutapu Island is a popular hikers' destination. Visitors need to arrive prepared – there are no shops or transport on the island and limited drinking water. There are great opportunities to explore WW2 bunkers, tunnels and gun emplacements, and spectacular views of the city and Hauraki Gulf. Make sure you pack a picnic and your togs to make the most out of your trip to Motutapu Island. If you're interested in staying the night, the Department of Conservation's Motutapu Island campsite is at Home Bay, and Fullers' Motutapu Island ferries run from Auckland to Home Bay.
View Rangitoto & Motutapu Island in a larger map