Climb a Volcanic Island, Just a Ferry Ride from Auckland
In the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto Island is just a short, not to mention highly enjoyable, 25-minute ferry ride from Auckand. The unpopulated island is actually a shield volcano that is the youngest (only 600 years old!) in the Auckland Volcanic Field.
Rangitoto Island is like an unspoiled wild world—so far removed from the city, but just under an hour away. The summit walk takes you up the side of the volcano, passing this odd landscape of black rock and green trees that have managed to grow out of it. It's recommended you give yourself at least an hour to make it the 2 km uphill to the crater. There are a number of interpretive signs and interesting things to see along the way.