New Zealand is part of the ‘Ring of Fire’ that stretches around the edge of the Pacific Ocean and where a large proportion of the Earth’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. You can spot the Auckland volcanoes dotted across the region – just look for the tell-tale green pastures – and many of them are also home to lush parkland just perfect for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.You can explore by foot or, for the complete experience, hop on the Fullers Volcanic Explorer tour, where you’ll enjoy a scenic ferry ride across the harbour and a fascinating guided tour on a 4WD road train to the top. You’ll walk through New Zealand’s largest Pohutukawa forest, see the lava caves and be blown away by the breathtaking views from the 260 metre high summit.
Rangitoto is Auckland’s most recently formed volcano, coming unexpectedly into existence about 600 years ago as a result of violent eruptions. Amazingly, although the island’s lava field contains no soil in the usual sense of the word, more than 200 species of native trees and flowering plants, more than 40 kinds of fern and several species of orchids grow on the island.
At 196 meters high, Mount Eden – Maungawhau in Maori – is the highest of the Auckland volcanoes. Drive or climb up to the summit for a stunning expansive outlook over the city and the Waitemata Harbour beyond. The Ngati Whatua tribe is the guardian of the mountain and you can enjoy a guided walk – Tamaki Hikoi – of the mountain and its surrounds, led by a tribe member who will unlock the mountain’s rich history.