Rangitoto Island is right off the coast of Auckland and only a ferry ride away. You're probably thinking, "What's so cool about Rangitoto?" Well, what's so cool about Rangitoto is that the island is actually a volcano! Auckland is called the "city of volcanoes" so you had to expect us to be checking one out while we were there. We decided to go with Fullers 360 tours to get the full experience. They have tons of ferries to surrounding islands and tours you can go on as well. You can hop on a ferry to take you to the island and then hike the trails on your own, but I love to learn more about the island and it's rich history and that's exactly what we received from this tour. We purchased our tickets online, but there was an area at Pier 4, the area where the ferry is, to purchase tickets to any of the tours Fullers has going on. New Zealand takes their islands seriously. We had to brush off our shoes before boarding the ferry and make sure our bags were completely closed. We weren't sure why we needed to keep our bags closed, we guessed trash, but they later explained that rats were sneaking onto the islands in peoples' bags!!! WHAT?! Andrew and I couldn't believe it. We were like how the heck was a rat just nonchalantly sneaking into someone's bag, but I guess it happens.
We took the ferry over to Devonport to pick up any other passengers then we were off to Rangitoto Island. The ferry ride is about 25 minutes and it gives you a gorgeous view on the way. You're able to see Auckland from a distance and many islands off the coast. Once on Rangitoto Island, we joined our tour guide who drove us around the island. He didn't drive us completely to the top (we still had to do some hiking up to the crater from the path), but it was so worth it for the incredible view we got. I mean breathtaking. It was unreal. The entire island seemed to be covered in lava rock which was pretty crazy to see. I could have sworn some of the rock was steaming too!
Our tour guide was hilarious! He taught us all about the island and its rich history. Once we made our way around the island, our tour guide brought us back to where the ferry dock was and we had some time to explore before we headed back to Auckland.
What I thoroughly enjoyed most about the tour was that our tour guide lived on the island for half of the year and able to really tell us about the island and its past.
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