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Welcome to Rangitoto Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

The youngest of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto emerged from the sea around 700 years ago in a series of volcanic explosions. Rising to a height of 260 metres the circular island presents the same uniform appearance and is visible from most parts of the mainland. Rangitoto's name has been translated to mean the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed, relating to a major Maori battle at Islington Bay about 1350. Rangitoto is an icon of Auckland city.

Situated about 8 km northeast of Auckland and connected to Motutapu Island by a causeway, Rangitoto is a large island of 2311 hectares with a wonderful volcanic landscape that supports over 200 species of moss, plants and trees including the largest Pohutukawa forest in the world. It was purchased by the Crown in 1854, set aside as a recreation reserve in 1890 and for over 30 years the island's volcanic scoria was quarried and shipped to Auckland. Between 1925 and 1936 prison labour built roads on the island and a track to the summit.

There are some 10 or so short and long walks around the island and from the summit there are magnificent views of the Hauraki Gulf, the Waitemata Harbour and Auckland city.

Rangitoto Islands' unique geological and natural attributes are of international interest. What is less known is that the three Bach Settlements of Rangitoto Wharf, Islington Bay and Beacon End are also of national importance.

The bach communities on Rangitoto Island were built in the 1920's and 30's and consist of private holiday dwellings and boatsheds as well as communal facilities such as paths, swimming pool, community hall and tennis courts. Built by families, using the scarce resources of the Depression era, the buildings demonstrate the 'kiwi' do-it-yourself, jack-of-all-trades attitudes of the times.

As a result of a prohibition order on further buildings in 1937, the remnants of the communities reflect this specific time in Auckland's development and as a result they are part of local history involving typical New Zealanders in a unique environment.

Because other bach communities, which were prevalent throughout the country, have virtually disappeared, the Rangitoto bach settlements are irreplaceable artefacts of New Zealand's architectural, and social history and therefore are important beyond their locality.

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Museum Bach Opening Hours

Bach 38 Museum at Rangitoto Wharf will be open by appointment
Opening times are from the first Fullers ferry of the day to the last ferry of the day.

Open other days by appointment -

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Latest Additions

Education Pages

New content added to the education pages here>>

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Rangitoto Scouts

Photos of the Scout Camps in the 1930s, 1948 and 1951 here>>

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Rangitoto Wrecks

Photos of the wrecks here>>

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Rangitoto Ramblings

The latest newsletter is available here>>

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Gareth Cooke Photos

Gareth has taken a series of photos of the Rangitoto Baches and wrecks view his online gallery here>>

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From the TVNZ Archives

A Summer Place

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Photos of Rangitoto Island submitted by the public on Flickr are here>>

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Rangitoto Island Biosecurity Standards. Find out what you need to know here>>

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The Environmental Care Code and Water Care Code can be found here>>

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New photos have been added to the galleries here>>

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Charitable Trust

The Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust is Charities Commission registered - our number is CC28141 - so all donations over $5 are tax deductible. View certificate here>>
More information on societies and trusts here>>

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Major financial sponsor
AMP Financial Services Limited

Weather for Rangitoto today
Check out what the weather is doing over the Auckland area.

Tide reports -
Check out the high and low tide
for Auckland area

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Heritage Notes
Restoration / #38 / #114
Membership / How to join
Submit / Stories & Photos
Bach 38 / Open Day Images

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Key facts about Rangitoto Island

Maori name: Rangitoto, derived from the phrase 'Te Rangi i totongia a Tamatekapua - the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed'.

Location: Auckland City, map reference NZMS 260: R11/762888

Height: 260 m

Age: Formed about 600 years ago
(ca 1400 AD)

Volume lava: about 2,300 million cubic metres (equivalent to 468,000 Olympic sized swimming pools)

Volume tuff/ash/pyroclastics: about 19 million cubic metres (equivalent to 3,800 Olympic sized swimming pools)

Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust

August 2008

Removing Pests from Rangitoto and Motutapu
Newsletter Date: July/August 2008
Volume 1, Issue 1

The benefits
The project is an exciting development in the restoration of these inner Hauraki Gulf islands and builds on the successful eradication of possums and wallabies, the replanting of parts of Motutapu and efforts to control weeds on both islands. Removing all animal pests would create a safe habitat (more than 3800 hectares over both islands) for many threatened plants and animals. Species such as kiwi, kaka, tuatara and mistletoe could be reintroduced. It would relieve pressure on the islands’ native bird populations such as the endangered NZ dotterel, kereru and white fronted tern. Rangitoto’s unique pohutukawa and rata forest would be able to grow undisturbed by rodents and rabbits. Rangitoto and Motutapu could join the ranks of other popular pest-free islands such as Tiritiri Matangi, Motuora and Motuihe, enhancing the conservation and recreation values of the Hauraki Gulf as a whole. Because the two islands are so close to the mainland, there would also be spin-off benefits for the biodiversity of the wider Auckland region.
Is it possible?

This is the most complex island pest eradication DOC has ever attempted. Some of these pests have never been removed from such a large area or from such rugged terrain as found on Rangitoto. Preventing pests reinvading will also be a challenge. However, with DOC’s experience of some 50 island pest eradications, it is believed to be possible. Support from those that use the islands will be crucial to achieving this goal. The Auckland Regional Council, with its experience in mainland pest control and ‘open sanctuary’ projects, will also be supporting the project.

How would it be done?
A feasibility study is underway to determine how best to eradicate pests on Rangitoto and Motutapu. Stakeholders and users of the islands will be consulted as part of this study. It is likely the operation would begin by targeting rodents with rodent baits (containing brodifacoum) applied by helicopter. Rangitoto is too rugged for the whole island to be baited from the ground. Experience has shown that the use of poison baits is the only way to remove rodents from large islands. Trapping generally fails to get rid of all rats because trap-shy animals survive to repopulate the island. Rats are highly vulnerable to brodificoum (a common rat poison). However, native species are generally not interested in eating the baits or are not vulnerable to brodifacoum.

Other techniques such as trapping, hunting, the use of dogs and the localised use of other toxins would need to be used to target feral cats, stoats, hedgehogs and rabbits. The results of the feasibility study will inform how the operation would proceed.

How would it affect public access?
The eradication will probably require a period over winter with no public access to the islands. Public use of the islands long term would not be affected, although visitors would be expected to take part in biosecurity checks to help keep the islands pest-free.
Time frame

A date for eradication has not been set. If the results of the feasibility study are positive then the operation will take place within the next five years. Getting rid of possums and wallabies from Rangitoto and Motutapu took nearly a decade and eradicating all other animal pests is expected to take at least four years to complete.

Keeping the islands pest-free
The long-term success of this project will depend on everyone helping to prevent pest reinvasion. Anyone visiting Rangitoto and Motutapu would need to take precautions and undertake simple checks before they leave the mainland, as they do before visiting other pest-free islands such as Tiritiri Matangi and Motuihe.

How you can find out more
Please contact Richard Griffiths, Rangitoto/Motutapu Pest Eradication Project Manager, ph 09 445 9246 or email: rgriffiths@ for more information.

Update: Resource Consent hearings have been held; Richard Griffiths has had to satisfy a raft of conditions for the pest eradication including disconnecting water supplies from roofs to tanks, flushing roofs after the bait drops and re-connecting. RIHCT fully support DoC in their endeavour to make Rangitoto Island pest free.

The naming of baches
It was fashionable in the early colonial days to name your big house in recognition of success in the new country. Often these names harked back to the British origins of the owner – sometimes his home town or indeed the same as the house/estate they had left behind e.g. Cumberland, The Mews.

Names given to baches did not aspire to reflect either wealth or ‘Britishness’. The bach was a place for holiday, for hospitality and relaxation which is shown in the names given. Sometimes they were a play on the owners name – Lamb’s Joint and Jolly Miller others were welcoming; Flounder Inn, Kumonin, Dew Drop Inn, others embody the carefree holiday atmosphere; Dinawearie and Why Worry

Please let me know if you can
add to the list.

11 Lauriville
12 Heartease
14 Dinawearie
16 Why Worry
17 Bo’ness also called Jolly Miller
22 Little Coogee
26 Lambs Joint
30 Inverness
54 Whare Taare
55 Whare Rai
58 On the Rocks 72 Fairholme
78 Kumonin
79 East Wind
90 Way Worry
91 Waitanui
93 Lazy Days
96 Aracadia
97 Rocky Nook
98 Dew Drop In
103 Flounder Inn
118 Hazel

By: Susan Yoffe

Why Worry?

There are only two things to worry about

Either your are sick or you are well
If you are well there’s nothing to worry about
If you are sick there are two things to worry about
Either you get well or you die
If you get well there is nothing to worry about.
If you get die there are only two things to worry about.
Either you go to heaven or you to hell
If you go to heaven there is nothing to worry about
If you go to hell you will be so darn busy shaking hands with your friends you wont have to worry.
So Why Worry?


Here we are again 2 years down the track with work on Bach 114.

We have re-roofed to weatherproof the Bach and re-clad the places where needed on the outside of the building to aid weatherproofing. The bach is now very dry inside.

Peter Woolnough has rebuilt many of the old windows including installing new runners on the side verandah window, fitted new hinges and catches where needed.

John White has run new lighting cables throughout the Bach when the roof was exposed, the aim simplicity ,but has yet to connect up which would be a winter job.

A new tank stand has been erected and a new 400 gallon plastic tank installed and plumbed into place. The old square tank will be out up to be an overflow tank

Most of the outside of the building has had its 2nd coat of finishing paint on it.

The kitchen has been washed, sanded and has had 2 undercoats of paint applied. The kitchen cupboard over the sink has been rebuilt by Allan Cutler.

Sliding windows in veranda have all been rebuilt and re-glazed as well a new track system installed. Parts of this room have also been painted and interior windows re hinged and broken glass replaced.

A start has been made on the ‘Generator Tower’. We have cleaned out the area & worked out what materials would be required & have them stored inside ready to start on the exterior and interior ablution block.

We still have a lot of work before completion of Bach 114, but mainly it is small jobs from hereon in.

The Trust would like to thank all those people who have contributed or assisted us with the restorations over the last 2 years. Your contributions have been our backbone and guidance of achievements to date.

We missed you too Thorsten.

By Alan Godsall
Maintenance Corner

Restoration of Tennis Pavilion, Islington Bay
Recently Department of Conservation contractors have been working on the Tennis Pavilion at Islington Bay. They have replaced the top concrete on top of the walls, treated the reinforcing iron, replaced the concrete lintels in the doorway, rebuilt the concrete capitals on the stone pillars on the front verandah, rebuilt the foundations of the chimney (which was in imminent danger of falling away from the building) and re-pinned it to the building. The trip at Queens Birthday was the last to use the Pavilion before it was closed for restoration.

Why was this done?
When the Pavilion was built iron was used in the concrete sections of the structure. Over time salt has made its way through the concrete causing the iron to rust and then to expand. As the iron expanded it broke open the concrete; this is known as spalling (to break up into small chips, flakes, or splinters, or to cause stone, or masonry to break off in flakes), rendering the structural integrity of the concrete portion unsafe. With out this remedial work, and because the spalling of the concrete was so bad the possibility existed the building would be closed in the near future for safety reasons.

The contractor took great care to look after the specially laid floor as they used acrow-props to lift off the entire roof to access the concrete top sections of the walls.

The contractor also made a surprising discovery. To pin the chimney back to the building access was required in the chimney. They found to their great surprise that the original? Shacklock coal range was still inside; it had been board up with a thick ‘cardboard’ which had then been plastered over and painted grey.

The Trust has offered to restore the Stove.

Story by Dave Veart

Bach Communities Tour
Sun 21*, Wed 24, Sun 27*, Wed 1*, Sun 5, Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust introduces the history of the bach communities built in the 1920s and 30s.

Learn about the unique botany of the island. The tour ends at Bach 38 where a traditional hospitality of tea and scones is available for $4. Tours marked with * will be accompanied by a member of the Auckland Botanical Society. Ferry times: Auckland 9.15 and 12.15 Devonport 9.25 and 12.25 Return from Rangitoto 1.45 and 3.30 Tours 10.00am and 1pm. Meet at Department of Conservation visitor shelter. Bach 38 will be open on other days of the week also.

Islington Bay Tour Sat 27 only, 9.15am ferry. Join a guided walk around archaeological sites in the Islington Bay area. Learn more about the history of the Islington Bay side of Rangitoto Island. Visit occupied baches and also two baches currently being renovated by Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust volunteers.

Gold coin donation requested plus discounted ferry fare for the tours.

Special General Meeting of the Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust.

When: Saturday 2nd August 2008
Where: “Ryders Museum”, 177 Riversdale Road, Avondale
Time: 2.30pm
Dinner @ 5.30pm
Followed by a movie

$20 a head for dinner/movie
$10 a head SGM dinner/movie

Ph (09) 279 9819 or 634 1398
By 29th July to book

New Ferry Service to Islington Bay—Starts Labour Weekend

The new ferry service will start with a trial at Labour Weekend departing 10 a.m. on Saturday 25th October returning at 3.30pm. This day trip comes with catered lunch, morning and afternoon teas for $45. There is a cash bar on the ferry. It will be repeated on Monday 27th October. For those staying the weekend the return fare will be $35 including complimentary morning and afternoon teas on board.

The “Riverhead Ferry”. from Hobson West Marina berth 6 on the Northern side of the parking area beside the old navigation bridge West of the Maritime Museum. North Shore passengers can board at Stanley Bay Wharf at 10.10 a.m. There is unlimited car parking beside the wharf.

Booking is essential phone 376-0819 or 021-171-1346. Auckland Heritage Festival September/October 2008

Maritime Trust excursion.

A lunch excursion organised by The Maritime Trust at Queen’s Birthday weekend attracted 74 people to the Tennis Pavilion at Islington Bay A full “Kawau Isle” was joined by an overland party who travelled from Rangitoto Wharf courtesy of DoC and Islington bay locals in a promotion for a new ferry service.

Guest speakers included Susan Yoffe, George Farrant, Phillip MacDonald, Tony Meggitt and Russell Greenwood. Oldest guest, Molly Carter, drew the raffle which was won by Suzy Godsall. A sumptuous lunch, at the bargain price of $10, with cash bar, were provided by the ferry company.

Special thanks are due to the guest speakers and to all those who opened their baches and welcomed visitors. A large contingent from Devonport and Ponsonby U.3.A’.s greatly enjoyed this hospitality, many were visiting Islington Bay for the first time.

Natural History of Rangitoto Island
Written by the Auckland Botanical Society and illustrated with detailed colour photos, this book will delight anyone who has an association with Rangitoto.

It starts with the geology, climate and the history of botanical studies on Rangitoto.
Vertebrate and invertebrate fauna are covered and further chapters describe vegetation patterns, trees ferns, shrubs and climbers.

Every living creature and plant (except humans) from seashore to the summit is illustrated.

While Latin names are given the language is easy to read and comprehend by those who have but a casual curiosity of the flora and fauna on Rangitoto.

We have copies for sale at Bach 38; cost $30.

Be at our Special General Meeting with your money and get a raffle ticket or three and win a copy of this wonderful book.

Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust
PO Box 13 374
Auckland 1643
(09) 634 1398