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

November 2001

With Xmas fast approaching, we still have lots to do so read on and catch up with all the news!

VANDALISM We suffer again at the hands of others who have nothing better to do than make work for folk. Over Labour Weekend, 21 windows were smashed in the front of Bach 114 (Turners next to the Hall). Believed to be the work of three teenagers it has cost the Trust and its sponsors at least $1000 to get them repaired. Speed was necessary to prevent weather damage to the inside of the bach and it was not an easy job getting the measurements and arranging glazing. The windows being of the fine sash type have not been easy to repair.

Wednesday 5th of December
Pre Xmas Get Together
Marine Rescue Centre Mechanics Bay @ 7.30pm
A last chance to get together before the hurly burly of Xmas.
No speakers or elections, just a drink and a nibble and good conversation with like-minded people.
Please bring a plate, something special to drink or a donation. Tea and Coffee provided

SIGNS of PROGRESS Using the last small amount of a Grant it was decided at the last Committee meeting to have made signs that can be attached to any project that we have in progress on Rangitoto Island. The signs measuring 600 x 800 will have our logo on them with the words 'Restoration Project' by the Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust, and a contact email and postal address. There will be room for sponsors logos and a warning that it is a Construction Site and Authorised Personnel Only. We hope that this will
a) give us an enhanced profile on the island,
b) elicit more enquiries regarding our activities and provide sources of archive material
c) prevent vandalism.

ON SITE WORKSHOP Jeremy Treadwell (conservation architect) has kindly offered to facilitate a workshop on the island to be held on one day of the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of December at Bach 38 (Taylor's at Rangitoto Wharf). We have been donated the iron for the roof and Allan Godsall has funds available for the rest - timber etc. The idea is that Jeremy will work through the Conservation Guidelines, explaining their intent and how they are applied to bach restoration. This will enable us to work with confidence knowing that we are doing the right thing and utilising the skills our members have without the need to have an expert on site on a continuous basis.

If you are interested in attending the workshop ring Allan on 634 0161 in the evenings and he will fill you in with the details.

REPAIRING THE DAMAGE Allan and his trusted accomplices put to right the damage caused by the burglars reported in the last newsletter. He has a photographic record of the damage done - not a pretty sight - and has made the bach much more secure.

INORGANIC CLEAN UP Planning is underway to have an inorganic cleanup on both Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands in February next year. We have received funding from two organisations so far, Zero Waste Trust and the ARC Environmental Initiatives Fund. Further applications to others are in the pipeline.

It is anticipated that the clean up will take place over two weekends. We will need volunteers from our members to work at least one full day on the island. We have had offers of help from other organisations already. All volunteers will be provided with safety equipment, all you will need is proper footwear and clothing e.g. overall and boots.

If you would like to add your name to the list ring Elizabeth on 634 1398 and leave a name and contact number. Please in the interests of safety we ask that no children be involved. There will be a letter going out soon to all leaseholders/caretakers with more details on what can be removed, where to put the rubbish and specific dates. Please note that the clean up will not remove any household rubbish.

ASB TRUSTS Approaches have been made to the ASB Trust with regard to securing long term funding for the majority of the Baches. The dialogue between the Donations Assessors and ourselves was extremely useful and set in motion the items below.

PRO FORMA INVOICE The ASB Trusts noted that we run 'on the smell of an oily rag' and this will have an adverse effect on our ability to raise funds for organisational costs etc. Of course this situation comes about from the generous nature of our members. So you will find with your newsletter a pro forma invoice that we are asking you to fill in anytime you do something for the Trust and don't charge us. Shirley will keep a separate ledger of all these invoices to show funders what we have raised by way of donated time and materials. The latest kind donation of A4 paper is an example of this.

CONCESSION To obtain funding from ASB Trusts and others we need to have in place a formal concession agreement with the Department of Conservation. We have twelve to eighteen months to have it completed.

WEBSITE The ASB Trusts thought the idea of a website had merits and that they would consider a funding application - no guarantee of course. It was agreed by your committee that further planning should get underway.

MEETINGS A very enjoyable time was had by all at Ryder's Museum with a great dinner and a wonderful film. Planning is already underway for another outing - on the ARATAKI RAILWAY in the Waitakere Ranges in March next year. Don't forget to mark this and the next meeting on the 5th of December on your calendars!

NEW FERRY TIMETABLE A new Rangitoto timetable is now in effect.
Departs AKLD @ 9am, 11am, 1pm & 3pm.
Departs RANGI WHARF @ 9.25am, 11.25am, 2.20pm & 4.20pm.
Everyday incl weekends & public holidays.
Fridays Mail Run @ 7.00pm.
Check regarding Islington Bay.
Coffee Cruise now Island Hopper

TRUSTEES/COMMITTEE Elizabeth - 634 1398, Shirley 279 9819, Susan - 445 1894, Jim - 4466228, Hilary - 418 4920, Lois - 480 5989, Allan - 634 0161, John - 844 8875.

For those of you unable to attend the next meeting have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.