This morning I was going to visit Rangitoto island which is a dormant/extinct volcano. It last erupted something like 800 years ago. Auckland sits on a huge lava field an a lot of extinct/dormant volcanoes. Its kind of like Yellowstone NP, its not a matter of if but when an eruption occurs here and the longer it is the bigger the eruption. OK so doom and gloom over… sort of. I was told the ferry was sold out for sunday. Given the island is uninhabited, they only seem to do few ferries for those that like a bit of a tramp (thats kiwi for bushwalking/trekking).
I instead had to settle for picturesque Waiheke island instead. Pronounced Why-Hickey, similar in sound to the Hawaiian beach Waikiki. Apparently Waiheke is #35 in places to visit according to the NY times. I let my better judgement go and agreed to do a combined ferry, tour and bus pass ticket, basically because it was the same price as a ferry and bus ticket. I don’t know why I do these things, I really hate this kind of tour, 40-50 crammed into a bus and carted around the island we were allowed out once to take a replica photo that accompanied the #35 in the NY times listing. Of course I then got on the bus, to find someone who didn’t like their seat had taken mine. Seriously!
The tour kind of stopped at Onetangi, allowing people to either catch a regular bus back, or to continue on and get off at Oneroa or just go back to the ferry. I got off at Oneroa and found somewhere to have lunch. The island is like one big coast town, with holiday houses and regular residents all living there. Apparently property is not that cheap anymore….
Another interesting thing was that large numbers were getting off the ferry on a sunday having either spent the night there or to collect lots of wine from the vineyards and put them in their Chili bins (thats kiwi for esky). The ferry on the way back stopped at Devonport, which is directly opposite Auckland and has a couple of old volcanic hills which look to have a good view of Auckland. I might go up them tomorrow.