After arriving in Auckland, I ferried to Rangitoto Island Reserve across the bay. The deep green sea stretched around the island as I followed a path that wound passed oyster beds flourishing on lava rocks thrust from the volcanic cone six hundred years earlier. Climbing over jagged outcrops that covered the entire island, a bellbird called.
Enclosed by tea trees, the route rose and fell as I drew near the lava cave. I’d been fascinated by lava caves ever since I first read about them. Now I was standing at the entrance to one. Inside, the rippled walls slanted, forming an arc at the apex. Dark and musty, the cave extended into the unknown. At one point, an opening in the roof of the cave lit up the uneven floor.
After the lava cave, I reached the summit of Rangitoto with a 360 degree view of Auckland on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. On my return route, the trail was lined with red lava stones suspended like Christmas lights, blowing in the breeze. I had to laugh because I’d travelled half way around the world to see the same rocks I’d laboured over to remove from my front garden.