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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 2006


This is the FIRST newsletter of the year, so you haven’t missed one.  Your volunteer team has been busy so read on. 

Happenings since Xmas:-

Bach 114
- Great work has been happening at 114.  You can see from the photos what has been achieved so far. More volunteers are needed on a regular basis.  Don’t forget it is every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month.  Ferry tickets and the tea are free. Ring Allan Godsall 634 7020 or 634 0161 or email him to get put on the volunteers email list.  We will need a larger group of volunteers soon as it is planned to replace the whole roof with new iron and use the old iron to do up the generator shed and tower.  The iron and all the paint necessary are already waiting.

Bach 78
Work has started in earnest again on Bach 78 with Harry much better after his illness.  Islington Bay is a hive of activity with volunteers which is great for the coming spring/summer visitor season.

Bach 38
- Since its official opening a small band of volunteers have continued to open the bach to the public on the weekends. Our work gets very many favourable comments and a lot of people have very wistful looks on their faces when they look at the view from the front doors. We have been keeping a note of how many people come through and it makes for interesting reading.

There have been a number of organised trips to the bach and some have included morning or afternoon tea with
scones, jam and cream for a donation to the Trust.  If you know of a group that would like to have a guided walk and tea at the bach let Susan know.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust
- It is 50 years since the Trust was formed.  There is lots of event s planned and RIHCT was involved in a seminar in July called Domestic Maters – Understanding and Conserving Our Homes.  It was great to be able to show off al our hard work in a static display with Stephan Brookbanks models and a power point talk on Bach Culture which raised lots of memories with the 70 plus people there.  Further details on events happening go to or

Pest eradication on Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands.
- Last month the Trust was invited by the Minister of Conservation to a trip to Motutapu Island where he announced the approval of funding to remove all pests from both Rangitoto and Motutapu over the next 4 years.  All hedgehogs, rats, mice, cats, rabbits and stoats are being targeted in the plan.

AMP Financial Services


Current Happenings:-

 – 14th July 2006.  See notice with this newsletter.  Apologies for the shorter than usual notice.

Heritage Week.
- Auckland City will again be hosting Heritage Week after the success of the one in 2005.  This year it is has been extended to include two weekends...  The dates are; the 16th to 24th September.  The Trust has offered to be involved again and we will be putting out a newsletter closer to the time.  If you live in Auckland City look out in the City Scene or go to or our own website for further details closer to the time.

AMP Financial Services


It was 1997 when the Trust was formed and next year will be our 10th anniversary.  We hope to celebrate with the opening of Bach 114 and 78 but any other ideas would be gratefully received.

Please update your contact details

Because we ask that you join the Trust only once, it is likely your contact details are out-of-date.  Please take the time to fill the attached form below and send it back to us. - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.

Don’t forget our website – there are a lot of new stories and photos.  Andy is doing a grand job of keeping the website up-to-date and interesting.


Elizabeth Andrew – 634 1398 Newsletters,,
Shirley Collins - 279 9819 Treasurer,
Membership and Wharf rep,
Susan Yoffe – 445 1894 Archives,
Hilary Noall – has moved to Whangarei,
Lois Eagles –443 5536 Beacon End rep,
Allan Godsall – 634 0161 Maintenance,
Jim Mason – 446 6228 Patron.

First Aid

There have been times over the last few months that visitors to the island have needed first aid treatment.  If Bach 38 is open there is a first aid kit available.  We ask that you fill in the health & safety book and write a note about what needs replacing.