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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

April 2002

Wonderful articles, lots of news and some important dates, so read on.

This Sunday April 14th a music recital by well-known pianist Geoffrey Hinds is being held at 118 Pupuke Road, Birkenhead at 2pm. Tickets are $10 per person (including afternoon tea) and are limited to 30 people. Geoffrey has selected a range of music from classic to contemporary based on the theme 'To The Island'. Proceeds from the afternoon are being donated to the Trust so please come along. Ring Hilary on 418 4920 in the evening to book a place.

It is with great sadness we convey to you the passing of Grace Eagles on 14 March 2002. Grace and her husband Colin first went to Rangi with friends who owned the fishing lodge at Mackenzie's Bay - it was an Easter Weekend. The two women went down to Rangi Wharf by ferry with the children, the luggage and a pushchair and walked three miles to Beacon End. The husbands came down that evening. Despite this rugged introduction, Grace was enchanted; - the full moon came up and the tide was in and the wallabies came around. It was beautiful. (From the Trust archive when Grace spoke to Susan Yoffe in 1997) Very soon they bought a little bach that the family have cherished for nearly fifty years. Thank you Grace for sharing your memories. Our deepest sympathy to Lois and family.

FUNDING: - We were unsuccessful in our funding application to the Southern Trust, but we continue to apply to other organisations as we find criteria that we fit into. Time will tell whether we are successful but we continue to hope. During the inorganic clean up the piano was re-instated in the Islington Bay Hall. Application is being made for funds to make a lockable cover to protect it from dirt and sticky fingers. The piano is in remarkably good condition for its age and you never know it might again be heard playing in the Hall. Anyone that knows of a group/organisation that we might fit in their criteria please let the Trustees/Committee know there are always project/ideas that we have in mind.

FROM ALLAN GODSALL (maintenance): - Because the funding didn't come through from Southern Trust we were in the embarrassing situation of apologising to Mitre 10 for not being able to buy their fine products. However the Trustees did come to the party somewhat and it was decided to use the Rainforest Express donation and some membership donations to let me spend $1000 on items required for working bees on the island. I am happy to report that the Trust now owns a BBQ with gas bottles, gas burners and lamps and a whole lot of other things which mean we can feed, provide hot water and light those who come and help at the working bees. This was put to the test at Easter and was judged a success by those who sampled the sausages etc.

We have held two working bees since Anniversary weekend. 16/17/18 March - Lyn, Dave and Mathew did another weekends work on the sheds at bach 38. All the framing went up, re-nailed purlins to rafters ready for re-roofing. More framing to the back wall with iron being replaced with what was left of Dimond donation and some more iron from Mike Richards - very gratefully received along with some timber that was extremely necessary to continue the job - Thank you Mike and Sue Richards. Thank you also to the DoC staff for transporting all the timber, iron and BBQ to the island and then to the Bach.

Easter weekend 29/30/31 March - Progress was made on the sheds with more framing completed, although the weather wasn't the kindest the BBQ was put to good use in the evening. We are trying to find weatherboards at the right price to fix the one corner of the bach before the next stage can be started.

Behind the scenes some very important people operate on these working bees and without whom all work would stop - a big hand to the ladies who make tea, coffee, sandwiches, scones etc and wash all the dishes and do it all again - Lennie, Shirley, Sue, Joan - a very big thank you. Also Sue has taken on the task of finding funding for the small things we need for those working bees - you know sausages and bread, postage, ferry tickets etc. Don't forget to fill in you donation invoices - they are starting to add up, Shirley is keeping a running total.

Appeals for unwanted items but needed by us- filing cabinets (we are starting to collect/generate paperwork that needs storing), a large kettle for boiling water, a skillet for cooking on the gas burners and some heavy curtaining material to replace the rotten blinds in Bach 38 or any old ones of the rollup variety we can use for repairs.

CONCESSION:- Serious request for help - Elizabeth need one or two people to assist her in the Trusts application for a concession for the management of the Bach Communities. The concession document is extremely detailed and she would appreciate anyone who can spend some regular time following up letters and contacts. This is of the up most importance we have a finite time in which to accomplish it.

ARTICLES OF INTEREST: - An article by Paul Titchener Islington Bay will be in the next Marine Scene. Should you come across any other articles in magazines etc please retain a copy and send it to Susan for our archive. Also photos/postcards- old ones in particular.

AGM: - Remember the next meeting of the Trust will be our AGM - June/July - details in the next newsletter. We are trying to arrange a speaker on antiques and collectables to inform us what we should look out for before we throw things away - one mans trash is another mans treasure as the saying goes.

WEBSITE: - On hold at present

TRUSTEES/COMMITTEE; Elizabeth - 634 1398, Shirley 279 9819, Susan - 445 1894, Jim - 446 6228, Allan - 634 0161, John - 811 8875, Hilary - 418 4920, Lois - 480 5989.