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.


Little Rangitoto Reserve

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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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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