The World Around Us

Volcanic Rangitoto Island

Country: New Zealand by Lisette


Close to Auckland you will find a little jewel of an island if you love hiking. Rangitoto Island has a myriad of walking trails and is easy to reach with the ferry. The island came to life around 700 years ago after a series of volcanic explosions. Because of its unique volcanic landscape, the Pohutukawa forest, an endemic coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family that is unique to New Zealand, is amazing with its red flowers shining luminous.

Black lava stones can be found along some trails (see picture), so amazing for me who has never seen volcanic land. You can also walk, or better said crawl in the dark, into lava tubes that are left behind after the passage of liquid lava. It suffices to write that I didn’t crawl into anything and stuck to walking practically every path there was to take.


Wikipedia taught me that Rangitoto Island has all stages from raw lava fields to sparse forests. Because lava contains no soil, native flora are transforming the island. This is for example why the young forests currently do not support a large bird population with the exception of kākā, the parrot native to New Zealand.

Because there’s not much on the island, you are advised to bring all necessities with you such as lunch, drinks, and a torch. For more information about Rangitoto Island, visit its website here.