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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

July 2002

Accompanying this newsletter you will find the Notice of Meeting for this years AGM, and nomination forms. Apologies for the short notice

The AGM for 2002 is being held on Wednesday the 10th of July at 7.30pm at the Marine Rescue Centre, Mechanics Bay, Auckland.

Please come, these meetings are important for several reasons - it is a chance to have your say in the running of the Trust, it is a good time to meet people who have the same interest as you. Annual reports, Financial Accounts and Minutes of the Last AGM will be available at the meeting. It is now too costly to send out this amount of paper to all are members. Please ring Shirley if you would like copies and/or need to put in an apology.

We have an excellent speaker lined up although at time of writing not yet confirmed. He is an antique collector and restorer and we have asked him to give us advice on selecting, restoring, and displaying items for the museum we wish to put together at Rangitoto Wharf. He will have lots advice for those who have 'old things' but have no idea whether they are 'valuable things'.

Newsletter: Do you still want to receive our newsletter, if you don't please give Shirley a ring and she will take your name off the mailing list. This does not mean you cease to be a member - you are still important to us. Likewise if you have moved or wish to have your newsletter sent somewhere else please let Shirley know.

The newsletter is slowly getting bigger. This A3 format is actually cheaper to print than 4 separate pages and with over 100 members to keep in touch with, we are always looking at cost effective ways of getting them to you. The format of the newsletter is changing; we are going to include articles on specific subjects to do with Rangitoto each time. After a few years these will become the basis of library for people wanting information. We will tell you the next topic in advance so if you have any stories or photos that you would like included you can send than to us either by email or to PO Box 13 374 Onehunga. We will return any photos to you, we just need your permission to copy and print them. Next Topic: TRANSPORT

Website: Andy Heyward, one of our members has very, very kindly spent a lot of his spare time (which is in short supply having a new baby in the house) putting together a website for the Trust. Under construction at the time of writing, with more photos and material to be added it can be viewed at . Please have a look, encourage your family and friends to look too.

Using geocities as the host site does not cost the Trust anything but you do have to put up with advertising material on the same page. Andy has information available on other methods of hosting it that cost around US$25 per year - do we have a sponsor? Seriously this is an vital method of getting the Trust and its activities across to the public.

Other Media: The Trust has received some good press lately, with articles in a number of magazines. Look out for Paul Titchener's article in the April/May Marine Scene on 'The Islington Bay Ball' and in the latest issue of eVibe, a children's environmental publication put out by the ARC (included in this newsletter) and lastly an article by Greg Treadwell on the Rangitoto Island as a place to visit with mention of the Bach Communities, to be published in the Gulf News and available on the ferries.

And who can forget the wonderful picture on the front of the NZ Herald a few weeks ago, with the elderly couple sitting eating dinner in their modest wooden bungalow on Takapuna Beach with 'that' view of Rangitoto and the accompanying article on the loss of baches around NZ's coast. It shows that what the Trust is doing is very valuable, saving not only buildings that are important to NZ but also the way of life. Angela Woolnough's book on Rangitoto is available from the Trust and Susan Yoffe's thesis from Auckland University, Anthropology Department.

Fishing Competition: Speaking of the way of life, the Bach Communities were and are not just a collection of buildings, they 'hosted' an idiosyncratic way of life - the NZ Holiday. The Trust has always seen saving the community spirit as important as saving the buildings, which is why we have collected so many oral histories and photos, memorabilia etc. The Trust would now like to invite Members to participate in a typical community event - The Annual Fishing Competition. See story for more details.

Wanted: We need a very large teapot, several filing cabinets for records and old curtains in good condition.

Got: We have sourced a computer for the Trust to do accounts and keep records on. The Trust has also spent a sum of money on tools and equipment for the restoration of Bach 38. Included in the purchase was a BBQ, gas lamps, gas bottles etc. They have come in handy feeding the volunteers who have slaved away at the working bees and it will put to good use again at the Fishing Competition. A large Thank You to Allan Godsall for organising all of this.

Missed Out: The Trust has not successful in any of its funding attempts to the Chisholm Whitney Family Trust or Auckland City. We always seem to fall through the criteria somewhere or are not considered crucial enough. It can be very dispiriting, but funding can only be got if you apply. Many Thanks to those who contributed time and support to these applications.

Restoration Progress: Bach 38 has been rejuvenated over the last few months. New roofing iron for the bach and sheds, new shed doors, in fact new sheds. A small group of extremely dedicated volunteers have worked tirelessly in making Bach 38 weatherproof and secure. Donations of materials, iron, weatherboards, bargeboards, paint etc have been very gratefully received. A large thank you must go to Allan Godsall for organising all this and to Mathew and Lyn for their expertise. Also to Alan and Shirley for the tea and lunches at their place. You will all be able to see the progress when you come to the Fishing Competition. Allan would like to remind you all the next Working Bee is the 6th of July and to the person who offered the marine ply, it is needed now.

Fire Safety: The Trust was informed by DoC staff of a case where people using a bach lit a fire in the open to burn rubbish, then left to walk to the summit and back. No fire should ever be lit on Rangitoto in other than an approved place and certainly not left unattended.

Requested: If you have a photo to do with Rangitoto that would make a really good postcard, the Trust would like to use it to raise funds. Ring Allan for details.

Heritage Workshop: Recently, the Trust was invited to a DoC staff presentation on Heritage, presented by Sarah MacCready, Paul Mahoney and Dave Veart. Elizabeth, Jim and Allan attended, learnt a great deal, met other invited groups and had an opportunity to meet various DoC staff. The Trust has also been invited to the Annual Heritage Workshop in Wellington in September with a view to presenting a paper on Bach Communities.

Permits and Concessions: Following on from the Heritage Workshop, your Trustees met to discuss the next step in the concession process. Jim and Elizabeth then met with Sarah, John Galilee and Ben Sheeran of DoC to talk through Permits and Concessions. The Trust has been advised to apply for a 5-year permit to allow for activities on Rangitoto Island. This includes running a vehicle, selling goods, holding special events, accommodating volunteers when restoring baches etc - in fact the only thing we can't do is land a plane or build new baches!

A concession application would follow after this, when the Conservation Management Strategy for Rangitoto has been reviewed and amended to allow the Trust to manage the Bach Communities. Work has started on the permit process and the Trust hopes to have it to DOC before Xmas. Next Meeting When Paul Mahoney of DoC Heritage is next in Auckland, we will arrange for him to show his fascinating slide presentation on huts, train stations projects.

Contact Phone Numbers: Jim - 4466228, Elizabeth - 6341398, Shirley - 2799819, Susan - 4451894, Hilary - 4184920, Lois - 4805989, John - 8118875, Allan - 6340131