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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)

Restoration projects ( Bach 38 l Bach 114 )

Bach 114 - Islington Bay.

1st October 2005 We have started on Bach 114. We tightened up our security of the building by repairing the back door and securing the windows on the side. We needed to do that as that's way we got in ourselves as I had left the key at 38. We also checked our new generator out and tried to get the gas fittings correct for the cooker, it needed a piece to replace the regulator as it is self regulating. We lifted up the set squabs to find they had storage lockers so we fitted tee hinges, hasps and staples and padlocked so we can store our power tools and tools of value in there. On the other side we store all our nails and bolts etc as we planned before of what the requirement would be and had prepurchased as with all the timber. We have also gone around the Bach and planned requirements for the spouting. ON 20th Sept I went to Marley NZ seeking sponsorship again which was granted hence we saved $1200.00 plus. When we arrived at 114 on 15th Oct it had been delivered and place inside 114 by DoC boy's.
Allan Godsall


15th October 2005 Those present John White, John Samson, Peter Woolnough Thorsten, Joan, and Susan Allen Collins Allan Godsall. Rebuilt bottom step to the back door. Checked and cleared around faulty piling. Jacked up and levelled the flooring and braced. Removed rubble and stuff from foundations, boxed and poured concrete base with wire tie downs inserted This is so concrete will have time to cure before we lower or replace piles next working bee.

John checked wiring access and will need to create a manhole in lounge area so as to get into main wiring.We received all the spouting material we asked for. This was a donation again from Marley New Zealand valued at $1200.00 Plus

I went to check over bach78 as I was given drastic reports of the state of health it was in. Harry has done a good job. In the area where he has replaced timbers he has painted. The front door is padlocked and secured. Back porch door though needs to be dressed so door will close easier and will have to be made as the back door.  The actual back door has been kicked in and will need to be rebuilt or replaced. Boat shed that has iron missing is because Harry is in the process of doing it. The Eastern side has been replaced and he has stripped the southern side. All of the work that Harry has done looks very good and well done.

At 114 we need to purchase a few items mainly cleaning materials
Peter has asked for 10 X gang nail 2” X 6”for bearers etc
Kitchen requires all cleaning materials, Cloths, soaps, Liquid detergents, tea towels, brush and shovel, Brooms and sink plug 38mm.  Also a collection of rubbish bags and bins.
We also need a kettle, teaspoons and other cutlery. Neverong ant bait and rat poison would be other items required. Large containers with lids to store cups and food until we reduce rat and ant intakes. Also next trip down to 114 we need to take silicon sealer for temp repairs to the roof and chimney flashing.

bach 11424th October 2005 OK all you happy chappies now that the your over the long weekend its time to remember next weekend is another working bee. We should be ready to lower the Bach and hook up the strapping.  We need to create an opening in the lounge ceiling to allow John access to internal wiring. We need to get all the old water tanks up from under all the old tree clippings and if possible I'll try and see if Clinton could arrange for the 3 ton trailer to be left on the flat where the generator was. Don't worry we will have work for everybody both inside and out. We will need to clean out the tower or the room under it. any rotten wood left lying around can also go on the trailer for burning.

12th Nov 2005 Great crowd appeared we had John White. Peter Woolnough, Allen Collins, Roger French and his Father Trevor, Thorsten. Joan , Allan Godsall and Susan while both Shirley Collins and Angela Woolnough tendered 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 amounting 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. 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.

26th Nov 2005 Another days work done by Trevor, John, Jim Hillary, Joan and Alan. We removed nuts off the bolts we did last time and fitted washers and retightened Nailed the small piece of flooring and dressed to size refitted hasp to door and drilled and replaced hole guild to floor. Made up door for under the house for our timber storage area. fitted hinges and hung off 4X2 bolted to one of the house piles. Also refitted the vertical boards removed to give us access to make our timber storage racks. Fitted new hinges to 2nd set locker and hasp and staple and made it lockable. Kitchen windows were washed down and a curtain rod fitted and a curtain hung to stop people standing on the top step and seeing what we have in the kitchen.

It has been decided that the timber and spouting stored in the lounge well stay there over the Christmas period or until we secure the under house area. We must erect a sign saying it's a construction area as kids have been reported playing underneath it. All in all it was a constructive weekend for the few that were able to turn up. We were to expect thunder storms and heavy rain and strong winds and man did she blow. We went direct to Islington bay as the boat couldn't land at Rangitoto Wharf which meant we didn't waste time loading people and material and driving.

28 October 2006. Things are starting to look good thanks to the small hard working  team of regular volunteers.The east wall is all but finished and all that's left is the scribes and flashings and the finish paintjob.Well done Peter. The north wall was claded by Allan and Alan Cutler and the tank stand has been planned out. Christine and Barbara (114 last offical residents) undercoated the kitchen (walls and ceiling) and helped as requested.Most of the other paint i.e exterior wall and the windows were there handy work. The west wall now has its rebuilt windows back in and sliding like never before. John  has started the wiring of the lights and the rebuilt fuseboard has been mounted back on the kitchen wall. Alan Collins has been painter, carpenter, glasier and entertainment commitee and general gofor assisted by John. Joan has kept us going with refreshments and allows us to stop for these but only just long enough. So although the veiw from the front looks great don't be fooled as there are months of work left to do at the present rate. Get well soon Roger (fell of his pushbike can you believe and broke his arm just to get out of working on 114)

We have lost a couple of treasures in Thorston (moved to Nelson) who's major contribution was appreciated and Janet who put her hand to carpentery, painting or whatever(blisters to prove it) We have the past regulars pop over on occasions and every now and then a new face, but there is a need for more workers especially when we put the new roof on.DOC have been the lifeline with getting the material there and  transport for us. Without them we would be bu****ed.

Prior to Christmas 2006 most of the exterior walls were claded with only finishing around windows etc. to do. They have been 50% primed but because of a lack of workers the continuation of them is on hold. The 10th and 11th of March was the big one which now sees 114 with a new roof and the bach rewired. With Alan Cutler in charge the team worked brilliantly in the very hot conditions which included wife Christine, little Alan, big Allan (we had to be careful calling for Alan) Trevor and his friend Bob, Derek and Bobbe(ex bach 78) Jim, John, Keith,Joan and Barbara. Sunday saw the numbers drop to seven but the back had been broken by then.

Apart from Christine who worked on the roof, the other ladies keep us supplied with cool water, tea and coffee as required otherwise we would have collapsed from dehydration or heat exhaustion.The next step is the barge boards, spouting and tank stand.There's always sanding and painting to do, outside to tidy up like the old timber thats been removed and dropped, general rubbish, old iron to sort out that can be reused for the tower so any one reading this feel  free to come along and help.

As a reminder we go down to 114 on the second and fourth saturday of the month. If in doubt ring Allan Godsal on 6340161 or email John at Thanks again to DOC for the use of the vehicle and transporting the material down to Isslington Bay.

October 2007 Work has been a bit slow due to weather and numbers but the tankstand is finished and the north spouting is up along with one tank so we don't have to cart water over from 38 anymore. The next step is the plumbing which could be done next fortnight. The exterior walls have at least one coat of paint on them and we have started on the windows. The east side is all but finished with the surfeit machined and put up by Peter, the west wall is next. The yard has sort of been tidied up. The kitchen has one coat of paint on walls and ceiling and the missing and broken ceiling panels in bedroom 2 and the lounge have been replaced. the front of the bach will now become a priority i.e. spouting and painting windows, along with the back steps, hand rail and the back porch roof. We still have all the inside to refurbish so feel free to give us a hand and it will be much appreciated.