Conquering the climb on Rangitoto

Department of Conservation —  03/11/2017

Have you ever been in awe of someone pushing themselves to achieve something incredible — something they didn’t think was possible?

That’s exactly what it was like on Rangitoto Island last Friday as more than 150 inspiring walkers conquered the climb to the summit.

150+ walkers ready to board the Fullers ferry.

150+ walkers ready to board the Fullers ferry

A Green Precription

This diverse group of Aucklanders were brought together by Sport Auckland through the Green Prescription programme, a health professional referral programme that supports patients to get outdoors, get physically active and live a healthier lifestyle.

Sport Auckland provides the Green Prescription service for adults in the Auckland region and partnered with DOC to provide last week’s experience on Rangitoto Island.

Arriving at Rangitoto Island.

Arriving at Rangitoto Island

Arriving by boat

The enthusiastic walkers arrived at the ferry terminal on a drizzly and grey day. This did little to dampen their spirits as they were determined to challenge themselves to push through their mental and physical barriers and complete this beautiful short walk right on Auckland’s doorstep.

Auckland from the ferry.

View of Auckland from the ferry

The ferry crossing was smooth and took only 25 minutes! A big thanks to Fullers who supported our enthusiastic walkers by looking after the trip over to the island and back. The Fullers ferry heads to Rangitoto Island four times a day so the island is really easy to get to.

The waharoa o Peretu – welcoming visitors to Rangitoto Island.

The waharoa o Peretu – welcoming visitors to Rangitoto Island

An island getaway

Rangitoto Island truly is a magical place. The volcanic rocks from the most recent eruption (550 years ago) can still be seen along the climb to the top. Half-way up the native forest provides some much-needed shade and feels like something out of a fantasy novel.

There was no need to race to the top, so the walkers took their time to learn about the history of the island and appreciate the natural beauty along the way. Island Ranger Charlie Barnett was along for the walk to answer questions and point out some of the features along the track. Rare saddleback/tīeke could be seen darting amongst the tees and the melodious song of tūī could be heard along the way.

Completing this walk was an entirely new experience for many of the walkers, but their grit and determination shone through. Cheers rung out from the summit as they completed their rocky climb to the top.

Green Prescription walkers reaching the summit.

Green Prescription walkers reaching the summit

The view from the top wasn’t the usual Instagram-worthy scene due to the mist and drizzle on the day – but that didn’t worry our walkers who felt a massive sense of accomplishment.

One walker said:

“It’s a big achievement, I was going to give up as I just saw too many stairs and I just thought it was too high, but my mate over there told me to carry on. It’s a big achievement.

Smiles from walkers at the summit of Rangitoto Island.

Smiles at the top!

The event was a chance to celebrate DOC’s new set of Short Walks and Day Hikes aimed at getting more New Zealanders outdoors, experiencing some of our best walks and connecting with nature.

Enjoying the view from the tihi/summit.

Enjoying the view from the tihi/summit

Thanks again to Sport Auckland for helping create such a wonderful day and Fullers Auckland for getting everyone there and back again.

DOC ranger Charlie Barnett talks to visitors about the island.

DOC ranger Charlie Barnett talks to visitors about the island

Short Walks and Day Hikes

The Rangitoto Summit Track is one walk in our new set of Short Walks and Day Hikes being promoted to encourage more New Zealanders to get out and explore some of our natural wonders.

From native bush, to glaciers, urban volcanoes, lakes and coastlines, no matter where you are, or how long you’ve got, there’s a walk for everyone: