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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 2005

HELLO EVERYONE                                                                                          

The last newsletter of the year, just in time for the Christmas Celebrations!………


Christmas Get Together

Tuesday 29th of November

Marine Rescue Centre
Mechanics Bay @ 7.30pm

A chance to get together, for a drink, a bite to eat, good conversation and memories.  So come and celebrate the culmination of an extremely successful year.

Please bring something special to eat.
Tea, Coffee and juice provided. 

Special Guest – Camilla from the Auckland Art Gallery is coming (after we ran out of time at the AGM) and talk about looking after your precious paper memories.  Please bring examples that you would like her to look at.

Visitors are very welcome – please pass the invitation onto other people who might be interested in Camilla’s talk

Maintenance Update – an excerpt from Allan’s’ logbook

Working bee on 12th Nov 2005:
Great crowd appeared, we had John White. Peter Woolnough, Allen Collins, Roger French and his father Trevor, Thorsten. Joan, me and Susan while both Shirley Collins and Angela Woolnough tended to Bach 38.

Susan & Joan cleaned down the wall of the kitchen and stored stuff into jars. Thorsten removed front door and back door and redressed the bottoms so as not to rub on the floors; he also made up a mounting above the stove to hold the utensils. Once Roger returned from Rangi Wharf with extra materials we needed, was helped by Thorsten to remove rotted section of flooring at the front door. Peter and John checked last remaining pile and boxed it. John and Trevor removed front vertical panels and bolted 4X3 H4 timber to the piles under the house and started the timber rack system. Allen and Peter removed rotting corner boxing and some of the weatherboards and removed the single window that needs replacing completely and spliced a new section of framing. This has been protected by building paper and a sheet of ply on the inside.

Working bee on the 26th Nov we will complete the timber rack made the door and mount.  It was decided a single door swinging away from front step is best. Then we will restack the timber there and make a start on the scaffolding and start on the Eastern wall properly.

My trip to the Island 29th is only to clean the section of dried Rhamnes trees cut by DoC and stacked around the back 114 creating a fire hazard. Takapuna young Rotarians are coming to do this and DoC will have the 3 ton trailer down at the tennis courts to be loaded.

AMP Financial Services


Working Bee Schedule for 2006 Now we are working on Bach 114 at Islington Bay the working bee weekends are now the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month. This means we have transport to Islington Bay courtesy of the DOC. The last working Bee for 2005 will be the 10th of December and at the end of the day there will a sausage sizzle for the volunteers.

2006 will start on the 14th of January but none on the Anniversary weekend.  After that the schedule resumes as per normal.  Please contact Allan by email or phone (he now has a cellphone 027 3091766).

Heritage Week – a success Heritage week was a success, we had a lot of visitors through Bach 38 and many were impressed with the work at the Prison Camp.  To the volunteers who opened Bach 38 and gave talks and walks – A big Thank You.

Annual Fishing Competition On the suggestion of those who know the fish best, it has been decided to move the annual Fishing Competition to Easter.  Apparently the fish bite better then?!  The usual format and informalities will still apply.

Prison Camp Look out for the new sign that shows the way to the Prison Camp site on our open weekends – this was made with the funding from the Waiheke Community Board.  A new brochure on the Prison Camp has been written.  A copy accompanies this newsletter

Islington Bay Wharf is 80 years old This amazing fact comes from a newspaper report that has just recently come to hand.  An excerpt from that report is below:

The New Zealand Herald of 7 December 1925 reported on the opening of the first wharf at Islington Bay, built by the ‘week-enders’.  The glowing account of the facility, the cheerful co-operation and undoubted successful future of the bay, filled an entire column.

Previously the weekenders had hired a launch to take them to the bay and used a punt to reach the shore.  For the official opening by the Mayor of Devonport, the wharf was ‘bunting-festooned’ and an afternoon tea followed.  Here are some excerpts:

‘The outstanding feature of the Islington Bay settlement is the co-operative spirit that has envisaged and accomplished improvements.’

the Domain Board were approached with a request for assistance in the construction of a wharf.  A vote of £20 towards this was the result.  To the design, and under the supervision of Mr. J. Loch, the little community toiled through the week-ends, contributing liberally from their own pockets towards the cost, and Saturday saw the culmination of their efforts in the official opening of a structure of which they are justifiably proud.’

‘Aucklanders, in their laudable desire for seaside summer residences, have come to realize that here is waiting undeveloped and unboomed, a big area that offers attractions more varied than are to be found in most parts of the Gulf’.

‘There was a consensus of opinion among the visitors that the people of the city had no idea of the charm of the spot, and that its progress in the future would be rapid.’

While the current structure is not actually 80 years old the original stonework can still be seen.

YOUR COMMITTEE – Don’t hesitate to ring any of them if you have any questions.

Elizabeth Andrew – 634 1398 Newsletters,
Shirley Collins - 279 9819 Treasurer,
Membership and Wharf rep,
Susan Yoffe – 445 1894 Archives,
Hilary Noall – ph N/A Islington Bay rep,
Lois Eagles – 443 5536 Beacon End rep,
Allan Godsall – 634 0161 Maintenance,
Jim Mason – 446 6228 Patron.


Plea for help/assistance

The Trust needs new committee members and Trustees.  Trustees meet 2 to 3 times year and the committee meets once a month.  We need new skills particularly administration to help up move the Trust forward.  Please ring Elizabeth if you can help.


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