Tony and I have kayaked to Rangitoto on 2 occasions – once in tandem kayaks and then in our own individual kayaks, and I can really recommend it for a great day’s outing. If you’re not feeling super energetic, then grab a mate and go tandem. It’ll take roughly 45 minutes to get across to Rangitoto (watch out for big boats as you cross the channel). While it’s great to do this during the summer months, and have a swim when you get to the island, the winter days are often sunny and settled, and the trip can be just as satisfying.
You must take a picnic lunch and plenty of water with you, and relax on the beach when you get to Rangitoto (there are no shops!) We generally walk to the top and enjoy the views over the Hauraki Gulf. It’s a pleasant walk and can round off the day very nicely.
If you’re new to kayaking, and you don’t own one, you can hire a kayak from Canoe and Kayak North Shore (based in Constellation Drive) and you can even take kayaking lessons from them if you want to build up some confidence first.