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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)

Rangitoto Ramblings

Latest Newsletter

The latest Rangitoto newsletter is now available online.

Combined reports for AGM 2013 : : Trustee Report 2013

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Rangitoto 'could blow again'

Rangitoto explosion

As reported on Stuff

Auckland's Rangitoto volcano could be set for future eruptions when it had been thought to be placid, new research suggests.

It was thought that Rangitoto was formed by eruptions 500-550 years ago but University of Auckland scientists now say it has erupted intermittently for a much longer period - about 1000 years until two major explosions about five centuries ago.

Lead researcher Phil Shane said it could blow again.

"We cannot rule out long-lived activity in the future, or eruptions at sites that have experienced previous activity.

"The Auckland volcanic field could be going into a new mode of operation. If so, we need to think about hazard planning and risk in a very different way."

The findings were important to understand the risks posed by volcanoes in the Auckland area and perhaps elsewhere, he said.

It was previously believed that basaltic volcanoes erupted suddenly in a new location each time, and only live for a few years, but this new finding was that they could be active over a much longer period than that, he said.

The information was found only because the researchers took an entirely new approach in their study.

Most studies use radiocarbon dating to determine the age of samples taken directly from a volcano, but these researchers examined ash in the sediments of nearby Lake Pupuke.

They studied the chemical fingerprint of tiny volcanic glass shards in the sediment that had built up over time and were able to determine when the eruptions occurred.

Human activity had disrupted the younger sediments in the lake bed so the scientists could not say with confidence whether there was any further activity at Rangitoto in the past 500 years, and they planned future work to address this.

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Rangitoto Baches

A short DOC movie on the Rangitoto Baches by AUT student Kylie Newman.

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Rangitoto Bach Restoration and Museum – volunteering

tea and scones

Visit Museum Bach 38 and bach community at Rangitoto Wharf and learn the history of this unique piece of kiwiana. Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust is restoring some baches, recording oral histories, collecting photos and interpreting the history.  Learn how you can assist with the work in any of these fields.

 Dates: Sunday 9 and Sunday 16 September, 2012

Time: 10am – 4pm

Fullers ferry leaves Auckland 9.15 and 12.15, Devonport 9.25 and 12.25. Return via Devonport 12.45 and 4.00pm.

 Ferry Fare: Adult $27 Child 13.50

What you will need:  Lunch if staying all day. Water.

 Cost:  Free.  Tea and gingernuts available for gold coin donation.

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Rangitoto Island roadside story

Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides that follow major road trips in New Zealand. The stories cover the places you'll pass along the way -- their people, their history, their cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit http://www.mch.govt.nz/roadside/

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Rangitoto Island Wrecks

Rangitoto Island Wrecks

The coastlines of Hauraki Gulf islands were once used as dumping grounds for obsolete ships. With rapid changes in technology, ships quickly became outdated and uneconomic to maintain.

Nowadays, obsolete vessels can be cut up and the materials recycled, but in the past disposing of unwanted vessels was a problem. The easiest solution was to drive them ashore where they would be out of sight, and leave them to rot or rust away.

Wreck Bay and the adjacent coastline of Rangitoto is a graveyard for at least 13 ships that were dumped on the island between 1887 and 1947. Read more>>

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Scouts on Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island Scout Camp 1948

Early photos of the Scout Camps on Rangitoto Island in the 1930s, 1948 and 1951.
More images and information here>>

 

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Saddleback nesting

Saddleback Eggs

The annual bird count has just been completed on Rangitoto Island and it is all good news. Researchers report seeing Saddleback and hearing Kaka and Kakariki. 15 Tieke were sighted, with 7 pairs, a single male bird has visited the Blue House on Motutapu. Also a female is using a nesting box and three other have made natural nests.

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A summer place

Take a look at this documentary from 1995 in the TVNZ archive - it features many Rangitoto baches.

Synopsis: This beautifully-shot documentary is a social and architectural history of the great NZ bach (or crib for those south of the Waitaki). Maggie Barry tracks their evolution from workers’ cottages to a fully fledged icon in danger of extinction: as the blind eye turned by councils that made them possible becomes a thing of the past, and the coastline becomes too valuable to allow ‘just anyone’ to erect a shack on it. The Kiwi spirit that created the building is celebrated; and bach enthusiasts interviewed include Sam Hunt, Keri Hulme, Karl Stead and Rawiri Paratene.

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Release of Takahe and Saddleback

Takahe

Motutapu and Rangitoto islands were today (27 August 2011) officially declared pest-free wildlife sanctuaries following a successful eradication programme that first started 20 years ago.

They will now become home to takahe, with aims to have them house the largest population of takahe outside of Fiordland.

DOC has removed nine animal species from the islands. Possums and wallabies were eradicated in the 1990s. Ship rats, Norway rats, stoats, mice, feral cats, hedgehogs and rabbits have now been removed with the completion of a major eradication operation that began in June 2009.

To mark the occasion Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson made the first release of threatened native wildlife on Motutapu Island -  including two breeding pairs of takahë and 20 saddleback.

Read more on the news article

Watch a video of the release

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Latest Rangitoto Photos on Flickr

A group has been setup on Flickr to showcase all your photos of Rangitoto Island. This is a public group and anyone with a Flickr account can add photos. This is another way fans of Rangitoto Island can share their photos and comment on others. Feel free to join in.

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Travelling to Rangitoto Island

Please remember when visiting Rangitoto that the island is pest free.

Please check your bags prior to boarding for rodents, insects and other pests.
Footwear must be checked to ensure they are clean and free of seeds.
More information can be found here>>

Biosecurity Standards

Find out about the new standards for Doc managed Islands in the Hauraki Gulf and take a look at the Environmental Care Code and Water Care Code.

 

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Major financial sponsor - AMP Financial Service Limited

Major financial sponsor
AMP Financial Services Limited

 

Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust

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