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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

January 2002

The New Year is well and truly in and now the Trust gets really busy - read on and catch up with all the news. Try and make time to participate in at least one of the upcoming activities. See you there!

It is very important that as many people as possible come and help. The intention is to have the bach re-roofed in ONE DAY. We have a qualified builder who is donating his time, all the iron (new, donated by Dimond) flashings, guttering and replacement timber. The iron will need priming, temporary scaffolding erected, cups of tea made etc, so don't think there wont be a job for you! Seriously we do need all hands on deck. Come down on the 9 o'clock ferry and join in.

We still need roofing paper - part rolls, anything. Also roofing iron in good condition to replace the sheds roof. Sandpaper, paintbrushes etc would also be gratefully received.

This has been organised by US, and is an all out attempt to remove all the hard rubbish from Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands. There will be 6 30m3 bins placed around the island for rubbish to be put into. There will be 4 smaller 3m3 bins to put glass in and several hazardous waste bins.

If you are a leaseholder/caretaker, this is your opportunity to clean out the inside of the bach, under the bach and all of the sheds - fridges, old stoves, roofing iron, water tanks, bottles etc, can all be removed. If there is any pesticides, kerosene, creosote, old paint etc that is in unusable condition, this will also be disposed of. If there is anything of heritage value - old bach items in good condition, parts of stoves that can be put to good use or used in a museum, please hold onto them.

On the 16th and 17th Beacon End and Islington Bay/Gardiner's Gap will be done. If you come down by ferry you will be transported to those areas or use your own transport and meet at Islington Bay wharf. On the 23rd and 24th, Rangitoto Wharf area will be cleaned up, use the ferry to meet at the wharf. A HAZARD BRIEFING WILL BE GIVEN BEFORE THE START OF EACH DAYS CLEANUP. Bring your own gloves, wear good shoes, an overall or similar, sunhat etc. Further details closer to the time - ring Elizabeth ph 6341398 or email if you are interested. Try to organise a group of you to come on one day and let me know how many so I can tell Fullers and DoC.



WHAT? A 3.5-hour trip on a scenic railway through the forest of the Waitakere Ranges, passing through several tunnels and traversing a high viaduct.
Sunday 17 February (don't worry- the Rangitoto cleanup is on the 16th, 23rd and 24th!)
WHERE? Meet at Jacobsen's Depot (signposted on the left hand side of Scenic Drive, about 4 km from Titirangi- if you get to Arataki, you've gone too far!).
WHAT TIME? Train departs at 9:30 am, but you should be there about 9:00 to park your car, etc. The trip finishes at 1:00 pm.
WHAT DO I BRING? BBQ lunch and utensils (BBQ hot plate and covered seating provided), camera, clothes for the weather on the day.
WHAT DO I DO TO BOOK? Ring John and Heather WALSH (09 8118 875- evenings) to confirm, then send $20 per person (this includes a donation to the Rangitoto Trust) to the Walsh's at 1332 Huia Rd, Huia, Waitakere City 1250.

TRUSTEES/COMMITTEE; Elizabeth - 634 1398, Shirley 279 9819, Susan - 445 1894, Jim - 4466228, Allan - 634 0161, John - 844 8875, Hilary - 418 4920, Lois - 480 5989.

Thank you to all that came to the end of year function it was a wonderful evening. And a special thank you to all those that have already turned out to the working bees held over the New Year.