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No feet of clay on this icon

posted 28 Dec 2015, 22:56 by Sandra Kirby
Today we used part of the gift from you guys for Tony's birthday and went on the Rangitoto Island tour. It was amazing.  Think you are getting at least 2 posts on this as Tony is also blogging 
Weather today was a bit cooler which was a relief for us as the island has no water and limited shade - particularly at the top. Being the height of the tourist season and two huge cruise ships berthed we were not the only people who chose to do this today - ferries were packed and island busy.  
Rangitoto, in case you have forgotten, is the volcano that you see for Mission Bay and is an Auckland icon.  
Because it is a volcano the ground is lava flow - looks like mud in the photos but is black and hard.  Incredibly the island has the largest pohutukawa forest - the pohutukawa are able to root in the lava and then create enough opening in the rock for other plants to grow too. Definitely no clay at the feet of this idol - it's all basalt.
Tractor took us most of the way up the cone and we walked the last 20mins to the summit.  Tony will be posting much better photos.
There are two pieces of information that Inthought were interesting. 
Hauraki is the Maori name for the gulf around Auckland - name means winds from the north which 100 or so years ago were the prevailing winds.  Whether as a result of climate change or something else the prevailing wind is now from the north east so really Hauraki Gulf should be renamed Hau Marangai Rawhiti

This is the only island in the Hauraki Gulf, and volcano in Auckland that did not have either a Maori settlement or pa - probably because there is no fresh water on the surface of the island - there is a source of fresh water under the island in the form of a Ghyben-Herzberg lens - a geographical feature where rain water falls through the holes in the basalt rock (lava) and sits on top of the sea water underneath so you can pipe it - but not obvious.