On our first day in New Zealand, we took a ferry to Rangitoto. Rangitoto is a shield volcano that is was formed about 700 years ago. The name Rangitoto comes from the Maori word for 'bloody sky. It was overcast, but even though the weather was dreary, the volcano still looked very impressive from the ferry.
Once we landed on the island, the whole group squeezed into a tram pulled by a trailer. We got to see several batchs, small holiday homes, on the beaches surrounding the volcano. Most of them were from the 50's, and today no more can be built on the island. They were very small, probably one or two rooms at most, but it is a great location! While we were going up, we passed huge a'a lava fields. It was awesome to see such dramatic evidence of the volcano's activity. After almost falling out of the tram we finally got to the end of the tram ride. Then after climbing a considerable amount of stairs we reached the top. There were also many pohutukawa trees, and flax that only grows in extremely clean air. The top had great views of the crater, which was covered in vegetation, and of the surrounding waters. There was an old survey station was and a World War II observation post at the top. We walked around the crater and then came back down the volcano. After descending we walked around in the a'a lava field which proved treacherous. Then we went to the first beach of the trip. There was a wrack line with some Neptune's necklace. There was also a lava tube that had cooled on the beach. After the beach we went back Rangitoto, it was certainly a great way to beat jet lag!