Day 24, February 20-Auckland, NZ-Day 2                       Rangitoto Volcanic Island

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Early this morning we left the ship and took a ferry to Rangitoto a volcanic island near Auckland. The carving to the left is at the apex of an arch that welcomes visitors to the island.

Rangitoto is the youngest and largest of Auckland's 48 volcanic cones, and is home to the world’s largest pohutukawa forest.

Rangitoto was formed by volcanic eruptions going back 1000 years but the last eruption was about 600 years ago. There is no soil only volcanic rock and no streams or water. The plants and trees that have grown on the island have pushed up through the rock and rely on rainfall to quench their thirst.

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After we disembarked from the ferry we walked a bit and met our guides John and Bob a few meters past the beginning of the trail. We boarded the tractor pulled tram for a ride to the top of the volcano.

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The views along the way to the top were magnificent. The forest is filled with different plants and trees and it’s hard to believe anything can grow in the volcanic rock (below left).

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We could only go so far before we had to get off the tram for the ten minute climb up the stairs to the very top of the crater.

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We had a wonderful, if tiring, day on Rangitoto.

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© Surveyor of the Passing Scene