Firstly here is a bit of general information for everyone that is useful if you are planning a trip to Rangitoto. It is still important to remember that we traveled in January 2017 and over time prices and times may vary so your own research is still the best bet.
Having just returned from a week in Hawkes Bay with family we may have been a little crazy as this adventure meant a very early 4.30am wake up and travel to Auckland to catch a 7.30am ferry out to Rangitoto, however we did it anyhow. We arrived at 7.15am, purchased our tickets and got on board with 5mins to spare before the Ferry left Central Auckland. The Ferry even at that hour was packed full of locals and tourists out for a day on the Island. Once arriving it was a walk to the top we were there for. The walk to the summit is an easy one for most people and takes 1hr. The track is well kept by DOC and definitely well used, we encountered both the very young and old on the walk to the summit.
The geology of the island is still very young. The island grew between 600 and 400 years ago. There are areas where plant life hasn’t begun to grow yet except lichen. However there are plenty of Pohutokawa trees that flower with a beautiful red glow – New Zealand’s natural Christmas tree.
Using the trig as the centre prop for the dipole we were up and on the air relatively quickly however HF propagation was not apparent and many of our contacts came from the VHF handheld. Only one contact was had on 14 MHz and none on 7 MHz. However having 6 contacts in the log it was enough to claim the point for Rangitoto and we headed back down to look around the baches on display and wait for the ferry.
Summit – ZL1/AK-016 Rangitoto Island
Height – 260 mASL
Access – Ferry from Fullers ferry terminal, downtown Auckland. From the warf follow the track up the hill to the summit.
Nominal time to summit – 1 hour walk to summit.
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – 3g coverage on Spark and Vodafone network.
Summit Marker – Trig station, viewing platform and gunnery building.
Land Access Permission – Not required – DoC Land.