Rangitoto

Today Pierce, Lyssa and I got up at the crack of dawn to make it to Rangitoto for the sunrise. I woke up at 6am and on my walk down to the ferry station it was still dark out. To add to it, today there is a triathlon going on in Auckland so the majority of the roads were closed testing my brain at that early hour for which detours I needed to take.

Rangitoto is Auckland’s largest and most recently dormant volcano. It is separate from the city by the Rangitoto Channel and is a short 15 minute ferry ride from the CBD. Rangitoto was formed by a series of eruptions 500 to 600 years ago and the entire island is filled with lava caves and lava stones. As the ferry was pulling up to Rangitoto the sun was just waking up and we all knew it was going to be a beautiful day.IMG_2539

When we turned to begin our journey up to the summit we saw a full rainbow and I was in awe. This was the first time I have ever seen a complete rainbow.

547834_10152784221065151_223892421_nThe beaming sun and enormous rainbow were a false illusion because five minutes later the rain came pouring down. We continued on our journey up and the rain flip flopped between heavy rain and a drizzle. When we reached the top we sought shelter in a little hut and waited out the storm. When it stopped raining we went outside and to our surprise the clouds had completely taken over the city and our visibility was no more than 10 feet in front of us. Back inside we went. 40 minutes later and we were able to see the Sky Tower and all that Auckland has to offer.

Pierce surprised us by bringing his tripod and we had a very fun photo shoot at the top of Rangitoto.

 

535030_10151562083578658_447760791_n 541650_10151562083643658_1416058340_n 555069_10151562083603658_1170818897_n 558946_10151562083913658_1541819319_nAfter we captured the 360 degree view of the city we decided to explore the island some more and head down to the lava caves.529071_10151562083818658_176502878_n

The proper term for the caves is “lava tubes” which are formed when “low-viscosity lava flows and cools on the outside due to contact with the ground and air, to form a hard crust on the outside while still allowing lava to flow through the inside, creating a ‘tube-like’ appearance.”

552960_10152784223300151_462757886_nWe all turned our flashlights on and hopped in! The caves were pitch black and we would not have been able to walk through them if we did not have some form of light.IMG_2604

I was so focused on the ground and concentrated on each step that I completely forgot to watch out for the sharp lava “icicles” that were hanging. Walking right into one, I lost my balance and really hurt my head. You would think when something hurts that bad you would be more careful the next time, nope. It happened another two times and my head was very sore for the rest of the day.

IMG_2618

I had a great time exploring Rangitoto and a lovely day with Lyssa and Pierce!46622_10151562083878658_2051406336_n

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