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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)

Restoration projects ( Bach 38 l Bach 114 )

Restoration projects on Rangitoto Island.

Bach 38 Rangitoto WharfUpdate on Restoration of Bach 38 to 18th November 2003 from Allan Godsall and other interesting developments and dates to note

Special thanks to Peter Woolnough for his donation of a shovel and rake and to the member who donated the contractors' wheelbarrow, which will be extremely useful.

Thanks also to Matthew Alley for his week of work on constructing the tank stand and doing the weatherboards all around the house. It is not until you get into the job you realise all the extras needed to done. With the weatherboards off we found we needed to spray inside the wall with 'Metalex', make up some new wall studs and all that. We had to remove the lounge window as the sill fell apart when it was opened. That has since been repaired and reinstalled.

Again thanks to Peter for the two days he has put into flaring the bay windows, one more day and they will be finished for his goal of doing them before Xmas.

The flashings have been delivered to finish the water tanks and that was completed last week. The water tanks now stand proudly on top, when full they will hold 4 ton of water! The tank stand has been specially constructed to look like the old one on the outside but strengthened on the inside to take the weight.

The flooring was also delivered and last weekend the middle bedroom floor was replaced with new timber of the same width and we used recycled timber to replace a rotten (actually chewed out totally by borer) section in the kitchen. Such is what you find when you lift lino. Unfortunately borer also likes old newspaper and very little of what was under the lino was in good order but a framed collage will be made of the more interesting pieces.

The final colour of paint is now on several walls and is looking the part. The front doors have been measured and are currently being made.

Next the plumbing will be done to fit gutters and downpipes to the watertanks and from there to the sink inside and the grey waste removed. That only leaves at least 24 other things to do!! Oh I hear you say we need to stop for the fishing contest so there will be no painting around the windows on that day!!!

Still needed if you have these spare: Leaf rakes, spades, shovels, yard brooms and another contractors type wheelbarrow. For inside we are looking for mattresses and bedding, a small bookshelf and anyone who has an old Tilly lamp the 500 model to use as spares.

We recently purchased a 6kVa second hand/basically new generator so that we can run power equipment and lighting, in fact just about anything which will make working bees and celebrations that much easier.
The last big working bee of the year has been held and there will be a well-earned break over the Xmas New Year period. Allan has set the 2004 working bee dates, which are usually the 3rd Saturday/weekend of each month and are listed below. Please put them in your diary
January 17th - February 21st - March 20th - April 17th - May 15th - June 19th - July 17th - August 21st - September 18th - October 16th - November 20th.

It is nearly always the same people who come to the working bees, please if you haven't come before try to make at least one next year, it is a lot of fun, not hard work - you only do what you can - and it will make big difference to the project. Shirley has been keeping figures on the umber of volunteers that come, how many hours they put in and the amount of donated material. It makes very interesting reading.

Next year we start restoration of bach 114 (pictured at right) at Islington Bay, so keep a lookout in the newsletters for dates. We also will be starting a weeding and pest removal programme to help DoC particularly in the Islington Bay/Gardiner Gap area.

For those who are interested in getting to Islington Bay either to a bach, working bee, Motutapu etc, the possibility exists to join the Motutapu Restoration Trust volunteers when they have their propagation days. They need at least 20 people on the Fuller s ferry, so that after leaving Rangitoto wharf it will go on to Islington Bay. These trips are usually alternate Sundays throughout summer, the next ones being 23rd November 7th and 14th December, with January to be announced. For further details and to give the Trust an idea of numbers ring Belinda Vernon on 522 0919 or 021 570 845.

Allan Godsall has the timetable for the DoC boat Hauturu for 2004, when it will be visiting Rangitoto Wharf and Islington bay. If you have any material to be donated please ring Allan so that he can coordinate delivery to Devonport with a sailing day and make sure there is some one at the other end to help get it off Hauturu.

Re-roofing bach 38Re -Roofing Bach 38 - Rangitoto Wharf
Working Bee - January 26th 2002


Wasn't it great seeing everyone working together at the working bee on Saturday January 26th? Wasn't it just like reliving the community spirit of days gone by? Everyone who was able to be there, did whatever his or her abilities dictated. Those who had the knowledge and skills and/or head for heights were up on the roof, ably assisted by those on the ground readying the "Coloursteel" by cutting and priming it. Over at Collins' bach the ladies working there were kept on the go by a continuous round of making refreshments and then washing up after the hungry hordes had vanished.

We can't show too much appreciation to those who did the 'dirty work' and to those who kept them fed and watered. I can't speak in any great detail about the actual roofing teams (apart from the fact that there seemed to be a lot of talk going on), but I know the amount of work that went into the refreshments. Shirley Collins kept the fire going on a hot day to make the tea and wash the dishes, only to sit down for a rest, looked at her watch, and realised that she only had ½ hour before it was time to start on the next round. Lenny Sullivan and others spent hours making sandwiches and scones and muffins (loved the lemon ones).

Re-roofing bach 38Perhaps this effort is made even more special by the fact that every item of food has to be carried down to Rangitoto. And we can't forget the fact that many of those who supplied perishables, such as butter and milk, don't have adequate or, in some cases, any refrigeration. Once again it's a reminder of the community spirit of yore. In fact in some ways we had it easier in days gone by, when we had the shop and the boats had a more convenient timetable. Remember when on a Wednesday, there was enough time between boats to go to Auckland, do your shopping, catch a movie and then head back 'home' to Rangi for the night? I don't, but I'm reliably informed that it did happen.

So, to everyone who got stuck in at the working bee, give yourselves a pat on the back, for a job well done. Roll on the next cyclone.

Sereena Burton
"Whare Taare" bach


The Bach in 1948Update on Restoration of Bach 38 by Allan Godsall - May 2004
We have finished all the weatherboards; all of the surfeit; roof; corner boxings and our workshop. Inside we have replaced the middle bedroom flooring and parts of the kitchen flooring as well; punched and filled. Kitchen and front porch have had there ceilings repaired. All wiring has been replaced for 12 volt lighting throughout. The water tank stand is completed with the 2 X 1639 litre tanks full of water and supplying our kitchen. We have yet to install our new front doors but that's not too far away . Once this has been done then we only need to paint the exterior to complete the outside. A start has been made on replacing window hinges so they can be opened with safety. We are also sanding and filling window facings and cabinetry ready for shellacking. We need to paint both the kitchen and 3rd bedroom; The lounge and other 2 bedroom ceilings all need to be scraped; sanded and painted. All the ceiling battens need varnishing as well. We will have to build a step in front of the front step for occupational health safety reasons. Its quite a high step and when you step down you are inclined to slip underfoot. It may even require a safety rail like what we have at the back door steps. We have now received some pieces of carpet which we can use as walkways around our lino as protection requested by our Auckland Historic Conservation Specialists. We also have on hand material to make new curtains for all the rooms. Last remaining areas to be done will be the rebuilding of the shower and toilet area. THEN, It's off to work on Bach 114 but before this our heritage builder; architect and advisers will have to go and assess our requirements and costings. We will also check on Bach 80 and install a water supply so we can use as accommodation while Bach 114 is worked on.; This will be a golden opportunity for our other workers to experience the night life on the island like we do. It's also give a period where they can meet with the locals and socialize. This work period is over the weekend as boat leaves Auckland 7. PM Friday night and returns 5 PM Sunday afternoon.

Sadie Biddulph in 1950Since our last annual report we have completed the removal of rotten weatherboards, the replacement of rotten framing sections. We have completed the Bay window roof and corner boxing. Lyn & Arnold have completed the installation of the spouting. We’ve completed the tank stand. Installed both water tanks and fittings. Connected the water supply from tank to kitchen tap. A waste water & overflow drain system has also been completed. Peter has finished the surfeit. John has re-wired the Bach and tested the electrical lamp fittings. John has also made and installed a new substation. The chimney has been checked and passed safe for fires. The middle bedroom's floor has been replaced and floor joist sprayed with metalex. Sections of the kitchen flooring has also been replaced and treated as well with metalex. Ceiling parts in kitchen and front porch have been replaced. Lounge window has been removed and rebuilt and reinstalled. A start has been made on replacing the window hinges. Patching the ceiling in 3rd bedroom and a start has been made to sanding and priming the kitchen.

Maintenance Report September 2004 Now we are nearing the completion on Bach 38 our home, workshop, and on-island office. The toilet block will be completed in September, the solar power is just waiting for Able Solar people to install later this month. John our electrician with his gofa Jim have completed all the power connections and tested so no trouble there. We need to complete waste water system which should be well on its way by the 18th Sept. The last part of the safety rail should be completed on 18th Sept. Once this is completed then the bach will be occupiable. We still have smaller jobs to do like, fitting back the safe in the kitchen. The rebuilt kitchen window and the replacement of the sink bench. This will necessitate a slight alteration to our plumbing. We will make a new step in the front of the existing step to make it an easy step down After all this has been done we only have to complete the painting inside and out and finish up with a woman's touch. There may be items required once we are finished so if you think of any let someone know.
We are now looking at a start on Bach 114 so on 18th September we will do a scoping tour measure up for materials and get prices etc so you can say we will officially make a start as of Sept 18th.

Bert and Fay Biddulph in 1948Maintenance Report October 2004 Special thanks to all our volunteers who have pushed the restoration of Bach 38 through the winter months which has kept us in front of the 8 ball. Again thanks to Matthew for his input, sponsorship, scrounging and work. What a lot of people don't know is that he shifts house every time he comes down. He brings his large hand truck with 2 big toolboxes as well as 1 large box of Drills and the guns usually, 2 air operated guns large tool bag with saws, levels and compound mitre saws then all his bedding etc and if that's not enough some lengths of timber or something else he's thought we will need to complete a job. So Matthew a very big thank you.
We are now nearing the completion to the restoration of Bach 38. As it stands now the Bach is occupiable. Power is on and going. Water working etc. It's just those little finishing touches like re-puttying some windows, Painting some windows, painting around the window flashings and the sills. Re-fitting the kitchen window in properly, the sink bench and plumbing and a new front step. The outside of the building needs to be sanded in places were we have used filler and primed all this before 25th November when Nestlé's NZ are sending down 12 people to paint the whole place.
Thanks to all who came down to Islington Bay on the 18th September with all the people from YHA for clearing the section and measuring for the required materials we will need. Since then I have collated what you have said adding up all the sides and sourcing the best prices for it. It doesn't seem much but when you can save $1000 plus just on the cost of timber alone it makes it all worth while.

Bert and Sadie Biddulph in 1950December 2004 The Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust thanks you all for the special efforts you have made in assisting with the repairs to Bach 38 this year. As you know we as so close to its completion that we have accessed Bach 114 which we will make a start on in the new year.
As most of you know, with Bach 114 we will have to stay nights so we will be staying at Bach 80 for this. There will be a need for you to bring a sleeping bag and your meals. We will be trying to get DoC to do a shuttle run there and back some weekends but as they don't work weekends we will have to grovel like you've never scene before.
Special thanks goes to Kirsty for her crew at the YHA for helping with assessing Bach 114 and measuring its requirements. Also special thanks to Joanne and Alana at Nestlés for their help to finish the painting of Bach 38. To all you regular workers special thanks for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you all next year
Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Best of luck to all in the fishing contest
Allan

Official Opening of Bach 38 took place on Saturday 16th April 2005 >>> More info