Click to return home

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.

Become a fan Bookmark and Share

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 -

line break

Latest Additions

Education Pages

New content added to the education pages here>>

line break

Rangitoto Scouts

Photos of the Scout Camps in the 1930s, 1948 and 1951 here>>

line break

Rangitoto Wrecks

Photos of the wrecks here>>

line break

Rangitoto Ramblings

The latest newsletter is available here>>

line break


Gareth Cooke Photos

Gareth has taken a series of photos of the Rangitoto Baches and wrecks view his online gallery here>>

line break

From the TVNZ Archives

A Summer Place

line break

Photos of Rangitoto Island submitted by the public on Flickr are here>>

line break

Rangitoto Island Biosecurity Standards. Find out what you need to know here>>

line break

The Environmental Care Code and Water Care Code can be found here>>

line break

New photos have been added to the galleries here>>

line break

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>>

line break



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

line break


Heritage Notes
Restoration / #38 / #114
Membership / How to join
Submit / Stories & Photos
Bach 38 / Open Day Images

line break

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

May 2003

Second newsletter for the year - don't forget to book your tickets to the Movie Knight!!!!!!

Movie Knight
See over the page for details

2003 Working Bee Schedule

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

Don't forget we have some discount tickets available. Please ring Elizabeth for your ticket. Last time venturers from Waitemata District came and worked very hard. We would like to say thank you to those two young people.

FROM ALLAN - Queens Birthday weekend will be an extra working bee. There are a lot of jobs still to do both inside and outside and tidying up around the Bach as well. We now have two first aid kits. One is a large OSH standard kit and the other a smaller 'travelling kit'. If you use anything from them please let Allan now so that replacements can be got. Don't forget the Bach is open to the public on the Sunday after the working bee.

Awards: The Trust has been nominated in two awards. We nominated ourselves for the E-awards from the Auckland Regional Council for the clean up we undertook in February 2002. Winners are announced on June 5th.

The ARC nominated us for a Green Ribbon Award from the Ministry for the Environment, in the category of raising awareness of environmental issues. Finalists are announced in late May with the winners presentation also on June the 5th but in Wellington.

Fund applications: We have applied to the ARC EIF fund for money towards an upgrade of our website. We should here by the end of June whether we have been successful. Your Trustees have also been working very hard on an application for a sponsor. We will know about this by early June.

AGM - Tentatively set for 17th July.

Previous meeting: We would like to thank our visitors from the ARC, Antoine and Brent for talking to us about the role of the ARC, the new rating scenario and Rangitoto. We all went home with some lovely posters and a good deal to think about.

YOUR COMMITTEE. The Trustees have pleasure in announcing that Allan Godsall and John Walsh have accepted positions as Trustees of Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust.

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.