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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)

Auckland Heritage Festival 2010.

About the event

Auckland Heritage Festival.

This year's Auckland Heritage Festival will be back from 18 September to 3 October 2010.

Auckland Heritage Festival is an annual celebration of our city's heritage that typically involves a programme of more than 100 exciting, diverse and interactive events.

The festival encourages people of all ages to celebrate, embrace and learn about Auckland city's unique natural and cultural heritage. It is part of our long-term campaign to protect Auckland's heritage assets.

There really is no other festival in Auckland that offers such a rich array of events. From volcanoes and islands, to machines, animals and buildings - the stories of Auckland told during this festival amaze and astound locals and visitors alike.

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Rangitoto Island bach tour and cream scone tea

The Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust invites you to tour the bach community at Rangitoto Wharf 1920-1980s. An easy guided walk gives an insight into the history of Rangitoto holidays, the people and way of life. The tour finishes at the UNESCO Heritage Award winning Bach 38 for a traditional afternoon tea of cream scones and jam. After the tour, RIBCA will have some baches open for visitors. The tracks are not suitable for pushchairs and enclosed footwear is recommended.

When: Sun 19, Sun 26 Sep, Sun 3 Oct

Time: Tours 10am-noon, 1pm-3pm

Tickets: Special Auckland Heritage Festival ferry fare: Adult $28.75, seniors $26.75, children $9.40 (5 to 15 years old inclusive) • Including guided walk and cream tea (bookings essential)

Book: To book this tour and your ferry tickets, contact Fullers on 09 367 9111 or visit

Rangitoto Island – Islington Bay tour

Learn about the history of the baches on this side of the island by visiting the current baches in use by the Islington Bay community. Also explore archaeological sites in the Islington Bay area with the option of a guided walk out to the Boulder Bay shipwrecks.

When: Sat 25 September

Time: 9am-4pm

Where: Islington Bay, Rangitoto Island

Cost: Gold coin donation. Ferry fare additional. Please refer to the Fullers listing in this programme
for more information on fares.

Bookings: Bookings essential. Contact Fullers on 09 367 9111 or visit

Bring: Bring food, water, walking shoes, wet-weather gear. A medium level of fitness is required for the Boulder Bay walk.

For more info phone 021 281 0130 or visit

Download a pdf of the Festival Programme [here] 2.61mb

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North Shore Heritage Festival

North Shore Heritage Festival
Rangitoto Bach Tours

The Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust invites you to tour the bach community at Rangitoto Wharf. An easy guided 2 hour walk gives an insight into the history of Rangitoto holidays, the people and way of life. The tour finishes at the UNESCO Heritage Award-winning Bach 38 for a traditional afternoon tea of cream scones and jam. The tracks are not suitable for push-chairs and enclosed footwear is recommended.

WHEN: Sunday 5 September and Sunday 12 September.

TIME: Ferry departs Auckland City at 9.15am and 12.15pm, Pier 2 Ferry Terminal or Devonport Ferry Terminal at 9.25am and 12.25pm. Ferry departs from Rangitoto Island at approximately 12.45pm and 4.00pm.

TICKETS: Adult $28.75, Seniors $26.75, Children $9.40 (5-15 years inclusive).

TO BOOK: contact the Fullers call centre on 09 367 911