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Rangitoto Circumnavigation, Auckland

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Rangitoto CircumnavigationBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Melissa Franklin

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly


Beginner - Intermediate

3:00 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



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This route circumnavigates the island to avoid the big crowds that are often going up the summit track. Go left once past the toilets after you get off the ferry and follow the gravel road (Mckenzie Bay road) around the bottom of the island. About 5km into the run you will see the road go left or right (towards the summit). If you go left you will head down to Mckenzie Bay beach to give you views of the north shore and the lighthouse. Returning to the road, head towards the summit.

Once near the top you will head up the boardwalk (stairs) to reach the crater rim and get the views. Once you have had enough of the views (or the crowds at the top), take the track that goes down past an old gun house and follow this around the crater rim until you get back to the boardwalk, but instead of going back down the stairs, take the summit track downwards.

After running down the summit track for about 300m you will see a track going to the left. Go left and follow this to the lava caves. Explore the lava caves. Once returning from the lava caves, instead of taking the route all the back to the summit track, you will see a track going to your right about 100m from the lava caves. Go right here and this will take you back to the Mckenzie Bay road. Once there you will go right and this will become the summit road. Follow the summit road to Islington Bay road (go left) and continue on Islington Bay road until you get to Islington Bay (this is the alternative docking for the ferry in bad weather).

You could also head over to Motatapu Island for further adventures if you wish. From here, head back along Islington Bay road and then turn left on Yankee Wharf road. Follow this road to a wharf and continue past it until you see the coastal track sign and follow this track back to the ferry (there is one point near the start of the coastal track that the track continues straight ahead and but the coastal track goes right here. Go right otherwise you will end in a dead end).

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Features of interest

Amazing views of Auckland and coastal areas. Lots of volcanic rocks and some lava caves to explore.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 35%

Easy Single Track: 10%

Gravel Road: 55%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each

Rangitoto Romp

Rangitoto Romp

Length: 14.20km

Western Rangitoto

Western Rangitoto

Length: 13.50km

The Rangicircum

The Rangicircum

Length: 19.50km


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  • Access

    Catch the Ferry from downtown Auckland (or Devonport) to the island. You can look at the ferry times on Fullers web page.

    If going from downtown Auckland, park in the Downtown carpark and its an easy walk across the road to the Ferry terminals.

    0 km

    0 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    The gravel roads are easy to navigate, but the tracks are a little more tricky as the volcanic rock sometimes doesn't make the "track" obvious where is it.

    Generally good.

    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.

    No fresh water anywhere!

    Very very hot in summer. The black volcanic rock heats up and this heats you up. Very exposed at times. Windy and cold at the summit in winter.

    Volcanic rock hurts ALOT if you fall over. Watch your foot placing!

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