Rangitoto Island is the largest, youngest and one of the least modified of about 50 volcanic cones and craters in the Auckland volcanic field. It erupted from the sea in a series of dramatic explosions around 600 years ago, and is now extinct. It dominates the local seascape and a visit there is like stepping into another world. The island is a public reserve managed by the Department of Conservation and is famed world-wide as a botanical gem.
Rangitoto is a taonga (treasure) with many special places. National reserves like Rangitoto protect natural, historic and cultural heritage for all New Zealanders, and help safeguard the biodiversity of the planet. The tangata whenua of Rangitoto have a spiritual, cultural and historical relationship with their taonga. Rangitoto's name is derived from the phrase "Te Rangi i totongia a Tamatekapua" - the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed. Tamatekapua was chief of the Arawa canoe which arrived about 1350 and was engaged in (and lost) a major battle with the Tainui at Islington Bay. Day visitors are welcome, and can explore the island via a network of tracks and roads. Rangitoto is joined to Motutapu Island by a causeway.
You can visit these sites and features on the island:
# Summit views
# Volcanic crater
# Lava flows and caves
# Pohutukawa forest
# Unusual plants
# Views of the Gulf
# Gull colonies
# World War II sites
# Coastal and forest walks
A number of private ferry operators run trips to Rangitoto Wharf and some to Islington Bay Wharf, including:
Fullers runs a scheduled ferry service to Rangitoto -
phone +64 9 367 9111.
Abalone Cruises operates an on demand service for group bookings -
phone 0800 RED BOATS / +64 9 579 9574.
Plan & Prepare
Do not light open fires. They can easily get out of control.
Take your rubbish off the island with you. There are no rubbish disposal facilities on Rangitoto.
Do not remove or disturb any plants or historic artefacts.
Keep to the tracks so you don't disturb plant life, or endanger yourself on the lava.
Non-compliance with these conditions may result in prosecution.
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.
Rangitoto Island is in the Hauraki Gulf.
Rangitoto wharf closed 17 September to at least 19 October 2012 The Rangitoto wharf will be closed to enable major construction work for a new wharf. Fullers ferries will be diverted to the Islington Bay wharf. Please be advised that due to low tides there will be no Fullers ferry services to or from Rangitoto on Monday 15, Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 October 2012. All other sailings and the Volcanic Explorer Tour on the island operating as normal.