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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 info@rangitoto.org
Opening times are from the first Fullers ferry of the day to the last ferry of the day.

Open other days by appointment - info@rangitoto.org

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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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AMP

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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Archives

Newsletters
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)

Environmental Care Code

Protect Plants and Animals
Treat New Zealand's forest and birds with care and respect. They are unique and often rare.

Remove Rubbish
Litter is unattractive, harmful to wildlife and can increase vermin and disease. Plan your visits to reduce rubbish, and carry out what you carry in.

Bury Toilet Waste
In areas without toilet facilities, bury your toilet waste in a shallow hole well away from waterways, tracks, campsites and huts.

Keep Streams and Lakes Clean
When cleaning and washing, take the water and wash well away from the water source. Because soaps and detergents are harmful to water-life, drain used water into the soil to allow it to be filtered. If you suspect the water may be contaminated, either boil it for at least 3 minutes, or filter it, or chemically treat it.

Take Care With Fires
Portable fuel stoves are less harmful to the environment and are more efficient than fires. If you do use a fire, keep it small, use only dead wood and make sure it is out by dousing it with water and checking the ashes before leaving.

Camp Carefully
When camping, leave no trace of your visit.

Keep to the Track
By keeping to the track, where one exists, you lessen the chance of damaging fragile plants.

Consider Others
People visit the backcountry and rural areas for many reasons. Be considerate of other visitors who also have a right to enjoy the natural environment.

Respect Our Cultural Heritage
Many places in New Zealand have a spiritual and historical significance. Treat these places with consideration and respect.

Enjoy Your Visit
Enjoy your outdoor experience. Take a last look before leaving an area; will the next visitor know that you have been there?

Water Care Code

Find Out First
Find out and follow the regulations governing recreational use of waterways and access. They are designed to minimise conflict between users and protect everyone's health and safety.

Stay On Established Tracks and Use Existing Facilities
By using existing facilities, where these are provided, you run less chance of disturbing wildlife and damaging riverbanks and foreshores.

Take Care of Your Gear
Careless use of equipment can harm wildlife and other users.

Remove Rubbish
Litter is unattractive, harmful to wildlife and pollutes water. Plan your visit to reduce rubbish, and carry out what you carry in.

Dispose of Toilet Waste Properly
Improper disposal of toilet waste can contaminate water, damage the environment, and is culturally offensive. Use disposal facilities where provided or bury waste in a shallow hole at least 50 metres away from waterways.

Be Careful With Chemicals
Use chemicals sparingly, and refuel with care. Dispose of cooking and washing water well away from the source.

Respect Our Cultural Heritage
Many New Zealand waterways have special cultural, spiritual or historical values. Treat these places with consideration and respect.

Take Only the Food You Need
When taking food from the sea or freshwater don't overdo it. Sustain life in our waterways by taking only what you need and no more than the legal limit.

Consider Plants and Animals
Remember we are only visitors to water environments. Other animal and plant species live there all the time.

Consider Other People
Respect other visitors ... everyone has the right to enjoy the environment in safety.

Protect the environment for your own sake, for the sake of those who come after you, and for the environment itself.