If you're anchored up in Islington Bay, which is located between Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands, there are a number of great tramping options on either island. One that I recommend is to walk from Islington Bay to Home Bay on Motutapu Island via the Motutapu Walkway. Once you get to the start of the walkway, it is 4.2kms to Home Bay and the estimated walking time is 1 hour 30 minutes one way, although you can probably do it in less if you walk briskly and don't stop to take in the views. Which would be silly. Take your time and enjoy. Partway along the Motutapu Walkway, you have the option to take the Emu Point loop track out to the site of the old Emu homestead. Probably adds another 3kms or so to your walk, but you're not in a hurry, so why not. Unlike the approx. 600 year old volcanic Rangitoto Island, Motutapu dates back 180 million years and has a "Jurassic" feel to it in some parts. Much of the island is covered in pasture, but the native bush is being restored in parts through the efforts of the Motutapu Restoration Trust. There are also Maori archaeological and World War II sites which you can explore as you wander across the island.
|View from the causeway out to Te Tauroa and Gardiner Gap.|
|The landscape on Motutapu is very different from Rangitoto with lots of trees and cleared grassy areas.|
|One of the advantages of going the wrong way and being on the wrong side of the fence line is that you can look out over to Islington Bay and Rangitoto Island.|
|Some of the pasture land. The cows and sheep do a good job keeping everything mowed and tidy.|
|Don't forget to look back from time to time. There is Rangitoto Island and its volcanic cone.|
|You can see Home Bay now. You're in the final stretch. Just follow the yellow poles down the hill to the south end of Home Bay by the campground. That's the ferry coming in with trampers, campers and conservation volunteers.|
|This little fellow's name is Mint Sauce or Minty as the kids call him. He is wearing a bowtie and I think he has been adopted by the farmers. He runs after the little kids to play with them. Cute. I want one.|