Rangitoto island was on our schedule for the day. We ran to the dock to purchase our ferry tickets (30NZD Auckland->Rangitoto Return) but missed the ferry we intended to catch. So as we waited for the next ferry to arrive, we walked over to Westfield mall to do a little souvenir shopping and grab lunch. Since I’ve been down under, I’ve been really intrigued with the aboriginal culture of the Maori. I love the symbols and the meaning and wanted to find myself a pendant. I had no luck finding one in Australia that I truly loved but I got a nice seal or whale bone fish hook (hei matau) necklace for myself. The fish hook’s meaning in Maori culture signifies abundance, strength and determination. It is believed to bring peace, prosperity and good health. It harbours good luck and energy, and is believed to provide safe journey over water. It’s a good luck charm by travellers, boaties, fishermen and surfers.
The ferry ride was nice but very chilly riding on top. We got to the island and began our hour hike to the summit. Basically, Rangitoto Island is an inactive volcano with black soil and loads of volcanic rock. The hike was long but not too long. The paths are uneven as you are stepping on jagged and odd shaped volcanic rocks. My feet and knees cried in pain for a bit afterwards. There are also lava caves that have formed and are great to explore however we didn’t bring a “torch” aka flashlight but luckily a nice family lent us a torch to explore it ourselves. After we finished the cave, it was a gruesome slope of a hike to reach the summit where we could look into the core of what use to be an active volcano. Mind you, we felt we were running out of time so we rushed back to the docks to catch the ferry and return the torch to the family. The rest of the evening was spent walking around town and we visited the Skytower. We were too late to see Toi O Tamaki (art gallery) so we found ourselves at Jimmy Wong’s for dinner and then headed back to the hostel.
We decided to skip Bay of Islands because it is far North from Auckland and for a pickup it would be an extra 100 on the tour price. Instead we decided to take the link bus over (1.70NZD a ride) to Newmarket (the south point) to do shopping. Breakfast at Massimo. We tried to shop for a bit then made out way to Auckland Museum (25NZD). It’s a nice museum with 3 floors and many exhibits to see. I purchased a beautiful jade fish hook necklace from the gift shop here and its one of the more appealing ones I’ve seen. We spent a good 2-3 hours here exploring. After that, we walked up to Parnell Rd; another shopping area but by the time we arrived it was roughly 430PM and stores were closing. We ate dinner at La Porchetta (167-171 Parnell Rd) and wanted to get Movenpick Ice Cream after but alas, we decided to order 2 medium pizzas, a jug of coke and garlic bread thinking with our eyes over our stomach.