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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

March 2003

This is the first newsletter of the year. A six pager - so there is plenty of reading.


Next Member Meeting
1st April 2003
7.30pm, Meeting Room 1
Marine Rescue Centre

Easter Raffle and Supper
(please bring a plate or drink)

Speaker - Angela Sharplin - Projects Administrator, Brent Evans - Environmental Scientist and Antoine Coffin Iwi Liaison Manager for Heritage, Auckland Regional Council
Our chance to find out what the ARC does, what they can offer and how we can use their resources.

2003 Working Bee Schedule

Apr 19th (0912) May 17th (0758)
Jun 21st (1246) Jul 19th (1128)
Aug 16th (1016) Sep 20th (1358)
Oct 18th (1327) Nov 15th (1216)

We have managed to negotiate a fare discount with Fullers for volunteers on the working bee. The tickets are $14 and are available only through the Trust. Please ring Elizabeth for your ticket.

So to all members who may occasionally have a day to spare we would love to have your company. Not every job requires a special skill; we have a range of tasks both inside and outside that just require time. So ring Allan to find out what is scheduled next. April will be paint preparation.

These working bees are ideal opportunities for groups such as Venturers to fulfil their Duke of Edinburgh service awards so pass this information on to those who might be interested.

Materials List: Thank you to those who responded to the materials list - your donations are very gratefully received. Many thanks to Alan Weatherall for the cache of 1920's goodies - someone will be along soon to pick them up. Also to the Bell family who have donated 10 litres of oil based primer paint.

From Allan: Help we now have a hole in the kitchen floor. On Saturday I was called and spun around only to find my foot through the floor and lino.
My usual call for the newsletter is for building materials especially 4x2 and 3x2 for scaffolding, 6 bags of cement, 2x - 2400x1200x12mm tanalised plywood preferably C/D, 1x - 2400x1200x7mm or 9mm tanalised plywood again C/D would be good enough, sugar soap, 2 litres satin polyurethane, pull type paint scrapers or for those coming at Easter working bee BYO and paint brushes suitable for painting weatherboards.
Inside we need cleaning materials too; - soft inside broom, squeeze mop and refills, floor cleaner, hand soap, detergent, dettol, thick plastic for lino protection, any old blinds-the pull down type.

We are at the stage of having our Health and Safety document audited externally. After that we will be able to present the permit application to the Department for assessment. It has been a long road but we are nearly there.

Long Lost Friends: Just before Xmas long time Rangitoto leaseholder Mamie Watson died. Our sincere condolences to Mame's family many of whom are well known on the island.

Crimson Trails: Project Crimson opened their first 'Crimson Trail' on Rangitoto Island on the 14th December. The Minister of Conservation Chris Carter was there with Rudd Kleinpaste as MC. We took the opportunity to clean up and open up Bach 38 for the day as a museum. It was extremely successful with lots of wonderful comments about our hard work.
This made us realise that we should do this on a regular basis so…

Museum Open/Volunteers needed: We have decided to open Bach 38 to the public the Sunday following each working bee. Purpose: - to inform the public of the Trust's work, show the public a typical Bach, increase membership and obtain donations and support.

To do this we need a volunteer to run it and we offer full training to those that are interested and a discounted ferry fare for one person each time. Take the 11am Fullers ferry sailing and either close for the last sailing or if it is quiet the 2.20pm sailing. If interested please call Susan.

Accounts: These have come back from the auditor with a 'clean bill of health'. Many thanks to Michael Elliot of Haze Knight for undertaking the audit for us and to Shirley who keeps our accounts in pristine order. Copies of the accounts will be available at the next meeting.

Next Members Meeting

A Night to Remember
Westwind Cinema at Ryders Junction - Dinner and a Movie
Friday 30th May
$25 per single, $45 per double. BYO.
The film has not been chosen yet, so when sending money to Shirley please list two choices of movie.
54 places are available, so be in early.
Drinks from 6pm, Dinner at 7pm

AGM - Tentatively set for 17th July.

Fishing Competition Results:
Biggest fish: Darcy Leigh CULLEN
Most fish: Sheldon CULLEN both received Gone fishin'' prizes.

Largest fish: John SNEDDON,
largest snapper - none caught!
Most fish John SNEDDON and Lesley POULGRAIN 1 each!!!!!!,
Booby prize (toilet Seat) - Vicki SHORE she caught a pohutukawa trying to cast her hook!
All had a great time and a fantastic sheep on a spit, donated and cooked by the Motutapu arm hands

YOUR COMMITTEE - Don't hesitate to ring any of them if you have any questions, need brochures etc.

Elizabeth Andrew - 634 1398 Newsletters,
Shirley Collins - 279 9819 Treasurer,
Membership and Wharf rep,
Susan Yoffe - 445 1894 Archives,
Hilary Noall - 418 4920 Islington Bay rep,
Lois Eagles - 480 5989 Beacon End rep,
Allan Godsall - 634 0161 Maintenance,
John Walsh - 811 8875 Chairman,
Jim Mason - 446 6228 Patron.