Today the outdoors is now primed more than ever for some exploration and discovery. We have no excuses for getting outside more- regardless of how busy we see our lives to be, or how far it is to travel to the trail. Auckland City is known for many things, but access to the outdoors is not really one of them, yet we feel that Auckland gets a fairly bad ‘rep’ for outdoors sports, and are passionate about exploring close to our homes to find our own adventures.
One only needs to travel to the many islands off the Auckland coast to find unique and challenging running experiences to witness the majesty and greatness of mother earth. This playground is quite frankly- bonkers with the magic all around us, if we just care to explore. There is nothing quite like exploring trails close to home with new surprises and hidden ‘gems’ rounding the next corner of the trail. Today we headed to Rangitoto that’s a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand. The 5.5 km wide island is an iconic and widely visible landmark of Auckland with its distinctive symmetrical shield volcano cone rising 260 metres (850 ft) high over the Hauraki Gulf. Best of all it’s just a 15 minute ferry from downtown Auckland.
The whole island is harsh, volcanic scoria that require tough shoes and it can be very hot during Summer months, and by 8am the temps were increasing steadily, with our water bottles were emptied quicker than planned. The trail varied from well made path and boardwalk to technical and rocky (especially on Coastal Track section), from mostly open and exposed trails to lush tree and fern covered tracks. Some stunning views from the top of the island are a great reward along with a dip at the dock area while waiting for the limited ferry service back to the busy city centre.
Adventuring this wild place so close to home, sharing it with friends, who then share it with others is what this place needs, and deserves. We really feel that this beautiful place is a real hidden gem of Auckland, and being joined to Motutapu island a fantastic place to spend a whole weekend exploring and camping for a new generation of adventurers to discover the treasures of this trail, that’s Rangitoto Island. Feel free to join the GPR wilderness team to join us on some adventures, and Total Sport run the popular DUAL off road event which covers both of these amazing islands if you want to run it at an event.
If you like the running swag- we are taking limited orders for the Run or Die tech tops and shorts for delivery March at the store. The Wilderness Team truckers are also available in the store here.
Photography is by Paul Petch an Auckland City based commercial photographer, art director and producer. Runner is Ethan Lowry (who also shot a few frames).
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