Being in the Hauraki Gulf, means that walking or driving to Rangitoto has never been an option. Public transport by way of ferry was one of the ways and there are stories about different boats and rival companies throughout the last century. Below is a ferry timetable for the "Blue Boats" from 1978. It is interesting to see that they visited Islington Bay every day and had a Wednesday service as well.
Of course you could always have your own boat or small dinghy with seagull outboard to get you and your family across with supplies. There is a story of a family wanting fresh chickens for Xmas dinner so they put them in cages and took them across by dinghy. Apparently the chickens became thoroughly seasick!!
Blue Boats ferry service
It is not unknown for seaplanes to have visited the island. The archive has pictures of the Sunderland flying boats in Islington Bay sheltering from Auckland's inclement weather when it made it impossible for them to tie up at Mechanics Bay.
The photo on the right is from one our member's is without a description - does anyone know anything about this small seaplane at Rangitoto Wharf? Graeme Poole of the St Johns Ambulance also recounts the day he missed the ferry to do his duty at Islington Bay so hired Capt Fred Ladd to take him in his seaplane!
Seaplane at Rangitoto Wharf
Don't forget what are now the vintage cars of today were the buses, taxis, cars and trucks of the Turner family or Reg Noble and don't forget the time the Rangitoto Domain Board dignitaries visited in 1930 and drove their nine baby Austin cars from the ferry along the wharf and around the island to inspect the road when it was finished.
There was also the need to get around the island, bicycles were used and Lois Eagles from MacKenzies Bay recalls her father 'importing' a bicycle then later using its wheels on a little wooden cart he built to hold all their luggage - with her on top - which he pulled along behind him. This inventiveness has seen all manner of wheeled contraptions made from reusing pram bodies with or without the baby part, small cart-wheels, wheelbarrows and three wheeled trolleys. Vi Leech recorded quite a number in her photo albums and below are some of them.
Cars on the island
Bus on Rangitoto Island
Transporting your luggage island style
Three wheeler trolley
Wheeled things at a shed