35. Maungarahiri/Little Rangitoto

Little Rangitoto

Little Rangitoto Reserve (thanks Google)

Little is the word! Such a small one as volcanoes go (originally 70 metres high) but very good usage of the land being home to an adventure playground, a skate bowl and a very cool flying fox. The grounds themselves are nicely contoured and on the north side part of a lava rock wall is exposed. Of course, like many other Auckland volcanoes, quarrying has had a major impact and the lovely green land you see here now is built on refuse.

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Little Rangitoto Reserve

I parked on Upland road right by the sign and was immediately drawn to the rock wall on the south side.

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The rootless lava flow exposed at the face of the old quarry

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Fluid lumps of magma erupted rapidly and when falling back to the ground…

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…joined to other molten lumps of magma to from a small “flow” with no connection to the lava source deep inside the volcano.

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Many vesicles (small holes in the rock) which would’ve once contained gases dissolved in the magma but which burst of solution on eruption

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A wall of rock hiding behind a curtain of greenery in the south-east corner

After examining the rocks for a few while I made a quick tour of the other recreation equipment…

Needless to say It was over in a matter of minutes and I ended up atop this grassy knoll in the centre. As volcanoes go it’s short and sweet but if you’re looking for a flying fox this one’s hard to beat.

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Takarunga (left) and Rangitoto (right) on either side of the tree

Previously that day I’d already been down to the mangrove/mudflat area on Shore road trying to figure out were the ribbon of lava from Little Rangitoto might be… though I’m not entirely certain if I found it or not.

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Maybe part of the lava from Maungarahiri that flowed down to Hobson Bay

A note on the names. Maungarahiri is Maori for hill of the sun’s rays. Little Rangitoto is presumably a reference to it’s outline appearing similar to that of Rangitoto Island, which can be seen from the highest point.

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