About Rangitoto Island
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.
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.
In 2018, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust claimed rangatiratanga through the Supreme Court. Giving the Trust exclusive rights, to conduct commercial tours on the Rangitoto and Motutapu motu (islands) in the Hauraki Gulf for at least five years.
Gallery of Rangitoto Island images: click to enlarge
Getting to Rangitoto
Staying on Rangitoto