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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

November 2003

Christmas is fast approaching, and it has been a successful year for the Trust, roll on 2004!

Christmas Get Together
Wednesday 3rd of December
Marine Rescue Centre
Mechanics Bay @ 7.30pm

A chance to get together, no speakers or elections, just a drink, a bite to eat and good conversation. So come and celebrate with other members and visitors the successes of an extremely busy year. Please bring a plate, something special to drink or a donation. Tea and Coffee provided. Don Linden's collection of children's stories from the radio in a celebration set willl be raffled on night - a great prize.

AMP Launch on October 1st
Even though the weather was marginal, it was a great day of celebration and reminiscences. From the ferry trip out on the Glen Rosa, the blessing at the Hall, the short but memorable speeches, invitations to see baches by their owners and "traditional" bach food and the return journey, it was a wonderful day.
TV One did us proud and showed a lengthy clip on the 6 o'clock news and David Steemson of Radio New Zealand hosted a 20min piece on Auckland Issues later in the month.
We would like to thank AMP Financial Services for hosting the launch and look forward to many other activities and events with them throughout the term of the sponsorship.

Maintenance Report and Working Bee Schedule for 2004 - see attached page.

We are on the final countdown for our non-notified concession to work on Rangitoto Island. We have been invited to speak to it at the next Auckland Conservation Board on the 12th December. A full concession will be applied for at a later date.
Part of the concession includes our Health and Safety documentation. This has been fully audited by Ray Kendall of Waitakere City Council. Grateful thanks to both Ray and Waitakere City Council for their time and expertise in helping us out for this important section.

Visitor Facilities in the Hauraki Gulf - Recreation Opportunities Review
The Department of Conservation are currently reviewing visitor facilities e.g. wharves, camping grounds and tracks around NZ. The discussion document was released in September and contains important information for those who use the Gulf. To copy contact DoC or visit There are some important decisions e.g. wharf closures, new camping grounds and walking tracks, being made about Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe and Browns Island. It is important that members make themselves aware of the proposals. Ring Elizabeth if you would like to know more. Submissions close on 31st January 2004 and can be made online.

Annual Fishing Competition
Wednesday 31st December
Start Time: 10am sharp.
Finish Time: 12 noon sharp.
Judging: 12.30pm.
Auction: All fish will be auctioned. That's if any are caught this year!
Rules: Two lines per person.
Fishing between Iliomana Light and Target Point only. If using a boat must have appropriate lifejackets etc. (ARC bylaws apply). No undersized fish allowed.
Who: Members and families, invited guests, friends and especially children.
What to bring for afterwards: There will be a BBQ with meat provided for lunch, so bring you own accompaniments and drink.
Prizes: Best Story- Booby Prize; Largest Snapper- Buchanan Trophy; Longest Fish-Pennant; Most Fish- RICHT Trophy.
Children's prizes/lolly scramble.
Getting there: Check with Fullers in case they have changed to their summer timetable.
Aim: To have fun, do what we used to do, involve the children and meet each other.
Contact Allan Godsall for any further information. Please return all trophies.
Weather: The event will not be cancelled

DoC Weed Control Programme Summer 2003 -2004
This year Rhamnus will be the major target but other invasive weeds will be targeted in the bach areas. Spray will be coloured blue and there will be no spraying around the bach from midday Friday to Monday mornings or across the Christmas/January period.

Motutapu Restoration Trust
Across the causeway at Islington Bay, Motutapu Island is being re-planted by an enthusiastic Trust with a re-newed sense of strategic direction. The website is and like us welcome volunteers for their activities including propagation and planting.

Rainforest Express
A great time was had by all on the trip in October and what a wonderful day after all the rain. The dam was overflowing which made a spectacular sight. By popular request this will become an annual event.

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 - 844 8875 Chairman,
Jim Mason - 4466228 Patron.

Website: Take a look it. It is growing under the excellent care of Andy Heyward. Please submit photos and stories direct to Andy for inclusion on the website.

Wishing all our Members a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.