Rangitoto - Motutapu Double V2Beginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Sarah Jackson
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushCoastalOpen farmlandsVolcanic
Beginner - Intermediate
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Start from main Rangitoto wharf and follow road right until reach sign for coastal path to Islington Bay. Follow this for around 3.5km to Islington Bay (warning - very uneven scoria underfoot, but worth it for glimpses of coastal views). From Islington Bay continue to follow path up inlet past old baches until you reach the causeway and the (unsealed) road - around another 1.3km.
Cross causeway via bridge and head uphill on road for short stretch until you see the footpath sign on the left for Administration Bay/Motutapu Outdoors Centre. Cross fence using step-stile and follow 4WD track. Look out for path heading off left after a couple of hundred metres! Follow orange poles and markers cross-country to Administration Bay (not very well trodden but plenty of markers).
Skirt around private Outdoors Centre using path along fence down to beach. Continue along beach to Sandy Bay - whole track is about 5.3km. Take signed route up from Sandy Bay to Northern Junction - this part has yellow, not orange, poles! Watch out for first pole after beach as it's easy to miss (uphill on right after fence crossing.) Around 1km to Northern Junction. Follow either road (left) or Rotary Trail (right on road 100m then left) down to Home Bay. Rotary trail is shaded and nicer, and has 2 options. Around 2km via trail to Home Bay.
From Home Bay just follow the Island Causeway route back over Motutapu to the causeway (around 6km) then take the unsealed road all the way up to the summit, following green DOC signs. Option for detour to lava caves on the way up. The last bit is all steps but worth the climb, and whole road is around 4.5km of hot slog.
Enjoy the summit views then race down via the nice wide track signed Rangitoto Wharf - bottom section is all scoria but graded, and it's only about 2.5km.
Cool off in tidal pool or sea, and refresh with a cold beer on the ferry home!
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Features of interest
Stunning scenery, volcanic trails, swimmable bays, historic gun emplacements, historic homesteads, lava caves, native birds
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 30%
Gravel Road: 30%
Start from main wharf (ferry drop off point) on Rangitoto. Or you could do it from Home Bay on Motutapu!
Fullers ferry from Auckland CBD several times each day. 7.30am is $15 cheaper so recommend.
Rangitoto tracks are very easy to follow but the northern tracks on Motutapu only have coloured poles and may be across unwalked farmland. Just keep an eye out for the poles and triangles!
Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
No water on Rangitoto. May be done at Home Bay but untreated. Take lots as there are pretty much no streams either. You can buy drinks on the boat though.
Very hot and dry in summer. One section on Motutapu (partway along route to Administration Bay where you turn inland and cross a small gully after a footbridge) would likely be very boggy after rain.
Scoria on Rangitoto is very tricky underfoot and cuts badly if you fall - suggest cycle gloves and tough trail shoes.
Cows on Motutapu.
Post run indulgence
Cold beer and snacks
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