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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

October 2003


A newsletter to read again and again with the best news the Trust has had so far - so read on

Donated materials
The Trust would like to say another very big thank you to Jenkin Timber Ltd who continues to donate specialised timber for the restoration of Bach 38. And to Marley Rainwater Systems who have donated water collection and grey waste systems for Bach 38 a VERY BIG THANKYOU. Look on the signboard outside Bach 38 for the names of companies and individuals who have sponsored our work.

Oxford Charitable Trust
Thank you to the Oxford Charitable Trust for their generous donation of $2000 towards the Trusts purchase of a computer system for membership records and accounts and a scanner needed for archiving 35mm film and negatives, old photos and documents.

Community Post
You will have noticed that your newsletter came in a community post envelope. Thank you to NZ Post for the donation of 200 post paid envelopes towards our communication expenses.

Extra special working bee - October 10th to 18th.
We have the materials and contracted some expert help so we are planning to have a week long working bee.
The tank stand and tanks and spouting will be done before the pohutukawa blooms. The missing sections of floor and parts of the kitchen ceiling will be repaired. The bach will be rewired, back door safety rail replaced and the chimney checked.
Members are invited to come and spend a day onsite during the week; there is plenty to do with both big and small jobs.
Ring Allan for more details.
Time will be made to get into practice for the annual fishing competition.

New Website
We have the funding and a very willing volunteer in Andy Heyward and now a brand new website. is the new address, put it on your favourites list. Andy is keen to get feedback and submissions so please take a look.
All working bee dates, wanted materials, heritage pages and newsletters are available online. Future developments will include education pages in a downloadable format and more of our archives.
Look out for a 4th of August copy of the New Zealand Womans Weekly, in it is an article about Andy and his home town of Haumoana.

Last scheduled working bees for 2003
Oct 18th (1327)
Nov 15th (1216)
If the weather is totally obnoxious and you are unsure of whether the working bee is on - please ring Allan to confirm (634 0161 - leave a message with Anne).
Don't forget the Bach is open to the public on the third Sunday of the month and whenever we have a working bee. - look out for the new signboard near the wharf on open days. Come and have a look.
A special thanks to all those who turned up and cleaned Bach 38 for our special visitors and to DoC staff for removing the rubbish to a central collecting point for our next big clean up.

The Trust would like to pass on its condolences to the family and friends of Di Stewart and Stella Francis. Di as a heritage advisor and member of the Civic Trust helped our Trust during its initial formation and Stella as the Auckland Regional Conservator bought many of the parties together for discussions during the early years. Heritage has lost two dedicated people.

Wanted List
Rakes both leaf and standard, shovels, spades, yard broom, wheelbarrows, bayonet lamp fittings, bunk beds, mattresses and bedding and a couple of smaller bookshelves.

Previous meeting
We would like to thank Paul Mahoney for being such a wonderful speaker at our AGM. His selection of photos and stories were enlightening and reinforced the course of action we are following to fulfil the Trust objectives.

National Historic Heritage Workshop
Jointly run by the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust the theme this year is "sharing our success stories to improve heritage outcomes". To be held at the Auckland Art Gallery from Tuesday 11th to Thursday 12th November, for further information ring Susan or Elizabeth.


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 - 443 5536 Beacon End rep,
Allan Godsall - 634 0161 Maintenance,
John Walsh - 811 8875 Chairman,
Jim Mason - 446 6228 Patron.

The next newsletter will have more details about the fishing competition, working bees for next year and more detail about the Trusts future plans.

Rainforest Express Trip
Waitakere Ranges
Saturday 11th October
Start: 1.40pm for trip briefing (gate locked at 1.50pm)
Finish: 2.30pm
After the trip: visit Arataki Visitor Centre for:-video presentation on Waitakere Ranges (20mins)- light meal (bring finger food and drink)
Fare: $20 per adult (33 places available) $10 per child (10 places available)
Payment ASAP to:
John Walsh
1332 Huia Road, Huia
Waitakere City
Send a self-addressed envelope with your cheque so that a map can be posted back as confirmation.