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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)

Maintenance Report for 2010

This year we have carried out a lot of work on Bach 114 and we are nearing its completion. It's been a busy year and a learning year. Working bee's have been well supported yet some bee's only 2or 3 people have been available, still progress was made.

Maintenance report photo 01

During the year we had a meeting between Nick Turoa and Anna McKenzie of DoC, Auckland City building inspectors and the NZ Historic Places Trust. Their job was to inspect what we have been doing to the baches and they are compliant with the requirements. Swings and roundabouts I was smacked on the hand for not having a smoke alarm within 3 meters of any bedroom, yet I was praised for having a fire extinguishers near any fire source and fire blanket. These must be seen and be available at all times. The final outcome was - we are doing a fantastic job.

Maintenance report photo 02

We have all the bedrooms, lounge, and kitchen painted now all with two finishing coats and looking great. Most of the exterior paint work is finished except some final finishing's around some windows and the front door area and trims and surfeit. We also need to paint the veranda floor.

We have built a new tank stand and now have the two tanks up. Our drinking tank is intended to overflow into the second tank and be used as washing water for the laundry. At present we are running galvanised piping underground from this tank to the tower. We have also altered grey waste water from the ablution block so as to allow cleaner water to flush out any toilet smells away. During the year we arranged for Allan Cutler and his mate Peter to re-build the base of the tower exterior wise. Also that they could if time was available to build the interior framing for the concrete wash tubs, base for toilet system and shower framing. All this was done and only the final connections remain.

Maintenance report photo 03

When we replaced the roof we also ran new wiring throughout the bach. John White has now fitted all the fittings and we have included extra exterior lights for the back door for safety reasons. John with all his skill has rebuilt the meter board and connected it to the batteries and the solar panel. Thank you to Muriel and Peter Cavanaugh for donating the special batteries for the solar system.

Maintenance report photo 04

Peter Woolnough has been busy with rebuilding and installing all the windows. This been done by a real tradesman and has the finish of a new window rather than a repair. Peter has also done a lot of intricate paint work around the front windows etc. Allan Cutler has completed a lot of jobs such as the spouting, flashings, tank lids, safety rails and anything that was required.

Lyn Trainor and Alan Collins re-roofed the shed and repaired the back where it looks someone had tried forcing their way in. During the year there was a lot of people no yet mentioned who have contributed and assisted with all this work I wish to pass on the Trusts grateful thanks as it is with them that others have been able to finish what was started.

Maintenance report photo 05

We have made a start on Bach 78 this year; we have measured the roofing iron requirements and purchased them. We have also purchased the nails etc and given a list of required timber specifications for pricing. We have also moved our scaffolding over to there. The boat shed holds all of our concrete requirements for footings etc. We are waiting the final go ahead from the Auckland City building inspectors and a report from Jeremy Treadwell our conservation architect for the project before we make a concerted start.

Maintenance report photo 06

Not so long ago DoC contracted some stonemasons to repair the path around from Islington Bay to Yankee Wharf. I was cheekyenough to ask Rodway if the path between Islington Wharf and Bach 80 could be repaired. He said he had no say but referred me to Dave Veart at DoC. Finally I got hold of Dave and told him there was this area which was broken away that they use Bach 80 for party's and with no lights at night to see around the path it was dangerous. Result - was next time we went down the path was finished. As you will know DoC are repairing the summit track from Rangitoto wharf to the summit. I asked Peter Smith as to how much gravel they would be using and the reply was that they will mine 250 metres. I asked them to crush 20 metres extra and to drop 10 metres at each end of the paths at Rangitoto wharf and we will spread it for them. The reply was basically tough luck it not in the planning etc.


Maintenance report photo 07

Last but not least thanks to DOC for all there assistance through the year with the shipping of freight and the use of a vehicle all of which was of great help. AND TO ALL I HAVE FORGOTTEN I THANK YOU FOR WITHOUT YOU WHAT AND WHERE WOULD WE BE.


Maintenance report photo 08

Help required: Allan is finding it very difficult to walk over the rocks to and from the working bee's and around the baches. The next day he is usually bedridden from back pain. He would like a person to help him oversee the next bach project. Allan will still do all the ordering and organising but just needs a person on the ground so to speak every working bee. You do not have to be a chippie or plumber by trade but someone who understands how baches are built and can help Allan plan what needs to be done at each working bee. Added bonus – you get to work with a great group of volunteers.

Maintenance report [pdf] 1.67mb