It was raining when I woke (again!) but the sun emerged as I walked to the ferry terminal.
The ferry was really full for this trip over to the island, and it seemed like all semblance of a peaceful time on the walk was gone. However, as it turned out, only a minority of the huge group of international students actually climbed to the top.
The peak lay ahead and uphill, but the climb was much easier than I had anticipated. It started off at a very gentle slope, wending its way past scoria that had little vegetation. Kidney ferns were growing strongly at certain points.
To our surprise, the vegetation grew more lush as we ascended. Contrary to what I'd imagined, the higher crater area was formed by the original eruption, and the lower slopes were formed from more recent craters.
It wasn't nearly as hard climbing as I had imagined, and before long we were at the summit, enjoying splendid views of the city of Auckland.
As we descended we could feel it getting colder and greyer. But we were just reaching the wharf at the same time as the ferry before it actually rained. As we left the island we could see it disappearing into the misty rain, as too was the container ship we passed as we headed back into the ferry terminal.
It was a great day. I heartily recommend a trip across to Rangitoto to anyone visiting Auckland.