Auckland, New Zealand

We spent our first day in New Zealand, a glorious sunny day, hiking up the harbor volcano called Rangitoto.

Kia ora! We are now in New Zealand, after a pleasant flight from Sydney.  We had a fantastic first day, Sunday, with warm weather and sunny skies.  We took the ferry out to Rangitoto island, a small volcano which popped up out of the harbor only 600 years ago.  Read on!

Auckland NZ: many sailboats out, with Rangitoto in background.

There is evidence that Maori were living on the island right next door, judging by their footprints in the ash layers.  Now, the hike is a curious mixture of forest and open fields of jagged jumbled aa lava.  The forest is amazingly mature for such a young volcano, but the neatest trees (to me) were the tree ferns… imagine ferns the size of trees!  

The kids had a great time staring down the crater and, later, crawling through lava caves.

Kids explore a lava tube at Rangitoto Island, Auckland, New Zealand.

From the top there is a panoramic view of Auckland harbor and indeed most of the coastline to the north.  On this beautiful day, the harbor was filled with sailboats, reminding us why Auckland is called the City of Sails (and the one-time home of the America’s Cup).

view of Auckland from the summit of Rangitoto Island.

The next day Pam took the kids to an amusement park while I visited the University of Auckland to give a talk.

Check out the photo gallery.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2021, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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