Rangitoto - Motutapu Double Intermediate
Submitted by Orla Seymour
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
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This run is a gem!
Off the ferry and straight into it! As a warm up, take the first right (do not go up the Summit Track) and head on Islington Bay Road towards Motutapu Island. 6ks on a relatively flat, gravel road will see you reach Motutapu. If you enjoy more technical terrain (rock hopping), instead of Islington Road, you can follow the coastal track to Motutapu - this will make the run a couple of k's longer.
Once on Motutapu Island, follow the road up to the left for approx 700 metres, then turn off onto trail on the left. You will follow this trail past the Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp. Stick to the coastal road and follow the Pohutukawa Trail, which continues on to Billy Goat Track as far as Billy Goat Point - Pause - Enjoy the view and take a selfie! This is approx 13ks in. Backtrack on yourself, and take a left on to Wetland Track. Maybe stop at some of the beautiful bays on the way.
At Waikarapupu Bay, take the trail closest to the coast (I don't know if it has a name?) instead of Wetland. You will end up on Station Bay Access Track. Continue on to Motutapu Island Road, following the signs for Home Bay. This is the 21k mark. There are toilets here. See a big, single track hill ahead of you to the left of the toilets?? Yup, you're going that way! That's Motutapu Walk Way. Take a detour down to the left on Emu Point Walkway - you will be rewarded with more delightful views! Up and out of the bay, a left turn on to Motutapu Walk Way, and soon you're back on Rangitoto! 28ks in....
Head back on Islington Bay Road towards the ferry terminal, and after 3ks, turn right on to Summit Track. A bit of a climb and you're at the top of a volcano! Enjoy the Crater Rim Track and the gorgeous views up the very tippy top. Follow the single summit track the whole way back down to the ferry, and there you have it! A great day out on two islands! On the way down you can take a very short detour to the Lava Caves - bring your head torch to make the most out of it!
Don't forget to trig-bag on the way!! A nice refreshing swim at the end is MAGIC!
I have been known to stash a chilly bin of goodies near the ferry terminal - towel, togs, extra water, food..... Works a treat!
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Features of interest
Emerging from the sea just 600 years ago, pest-free Rangitoto Island is the youngest volcano in New Zealand.
At 178 million years old pest-free Motutapu is one of the oldest land masses in the Hauraki Gulf. The island has lived an exciting life - it was intensively settled by Maori, it hosted massive Victorian picnic parties, and was a base during WWll. You will see many bunkers on the way around!
The islands are connected by a small bridge.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 35%
Gravel Road: 15%
Straight off the ferry and start running!
Can only be reached by boat. Check out fullers.co.nz for timetable. Tickets are $33 return, and on Saturdays and Sundays they have return tickets on the 7.30am sailing for $20. You can also get on/off in Devonport.
Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
No water really available on the islands. You will need to carry quite a bit. Motutapu in particularly is very exposed and can get exceptionally hot. Best to stash a chilly bin of goodies near the wharf! There is a tap available beside the toilets in Home Bay but best not to rely on it though as I would imagine it dries up during summer.
Sometimes the ferries don't run in very bad weather. Motutapu is very exposed and has a lot of damage done to it after the cyclones earlier in 2017
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