Rangitoto Island Travel Guide

  • Rangitoto Island: approaching by ferry
    Rangitoto Island: approaching by ferry
    by SWFC_Fan
  • Climbing volcanic Rangitoto Island
    Climbing volcanic Rangitoto Island
    by SWFC_Fan
  • Looking out from the summit of Rangitoto
    Looking out from the summit of Rangitoto
    by SWFC_Fan

Rangitoto Island Things to Do

  • Wreck Bay (Boulder Bay)

    This is one of the lesser known walks on Rangitoto and is more uneven than the summit tracks. Boots or good walking shoes are needed. Your shoes will most likely bear the scars of this walk.The start of the track is on the road to the summit from Islington Bay beyond the junction to Yankee Wharf and took us about an hour each way with children. The...

  • Summit climb

    If you have a half day on Rangitoto, you must do the summit climb. It takes anywhere from 35 minutes (me) to an hour or more (most people) to get from the ferry terminal to the top. Once there, you will find benches on which to rest and eat your snack or lunch, and from where to admire the 360 degree views all around.Fullers Ferries also operate a...

  • Explore the Lava Caves

    There are a number of lava caves on Rangitoto, which you will come across during your walk (I think you will miss them entirely if you take the tractor-train). The caves are not deep - some are simply shallow caverns in the lava, while others are natural tunnels formed by the lava flows. The tunnels are very dark! I was only persuaded to continue...

  • The Hauraki Gulf

    The Hauraki Gulf has more than 1,500 sq. nautical miles of cruising and has been the perfect venue for the America's Cup yacht race. There are many sheltered anchorages and deserted beaches around the numerous islands.

  • Wander amongst the Baches

    In the 1920's and 1930's, three 'bach' communities were developed on Rangitoto Island at Rangitoto Wharf, Islington Bay and Beacon End. The baches were comprised of private weekend or holiday cottages, bungalows, and boatsheds. Built by families during the Depression, the architecture of the baches shows how the people made do with what they had,...

  • Spectacular Views

    Once reaching the summit you will have 360 degree views of Auckland, the North Shore, Whangaparaoa Peninsula and the outer islands in the Gulf. The cone of the crater is steep and 60 metres deep.

  • A Distinctive Icon

    The island is fairly unique because its quite symmetrical in shape. It has become a local icon to Aucklanders. The Island is right at the entrance to the Waitemata Harbour . The distinctive shape can be seen all over Auckland.

  • Island History

    The Crown purchased Rangitoto in 1854 and it was designated a public domain in 1890. During the 1920s and 1930s prisoners built the stone walls, handpacked roads and trails on the island. Some of the Bach sites which were built and leased to help pay for island developments. Are now preserved as historic buildings. During World War II there were...

  • Pohutukawa Forest

    The island is covered in pohutukawa trees, which are regarded as the New Zealand Christmas tree. In fact the island's predominantly pohutukawa forest is the largest in the country.

  • Old Lava Flows

    As you tour back down the island you will drive past bare lava fields, lava caves, pillars and tunnels and different types of lava flows which are remnants of the Islands volcanic activity. Amazingly even with these seemingly barren areas, the island hosts over 200 species of native trees and flowering plants. There are more than 40 kinds of fern...

  • Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

    The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is considered to be one of the most biologically and geographically diverse marine parks in the world. Rangitoto is just one of the 48 islands within the park which is administered by the Department of Conservation.

  • A Steep Climb But Worth It

    The tractor ride will drop you off at the bottom, 900 metres from the summit, and you will return there to catch your ride back down again.There is a good hike via a boardwalk to the summit. There are handrails to assist you but if you’re not fit, its quite a climb.


Rangitoto Island Transportation

  • The easy way to Rangitotos summit

    My personal recommendation is to walk to the summit yourself if you possibly can. If you are moderately fit and able it is an easy walk, taking around 2 hours to complete the round trip (longer, of course, if you explore, take photos, and generally take your time). Fairly new boardwalks make the previously difficult lava fields a breeze. However,...

  • Getting to Rangitoto Island

    I am very fortunate - some friends dropped me off at Rangitoto from their boat and picked me up later after I had climbed it and they had enjoyed a days fishing. However, you can get there just as easily via the local Fullers Ferry. From the Downtown Auckland ferry terminal, it takes about half an hour to reach Rangitoto, or you can also get here...

  • Ferries from Auckland to Rangitoto

    Ferries connect the volcanic island of Rangitoto with downtown Auckland several times each day.I caught one of these ferries, operated by "Fullers", for a day-trip during my visit to Auckland in March 2006. The following information is correct as of that date:TimesFerries to Rangitoto depart from Auckland's ferry building daily at 9:15am, 12:15pm...


Rangitoto Island Favorites

  • A bird in the hand at Rangitotos summit

    The summit of Rangitoto is a large plateau which has been boardwalked, with places to sit and relax after your climb. The view, of course, is superb, with views out to the Hauraki Gulf and beyond - from here you can see Great and Little Barrier Islands in the distance, nearer Waiheke island, Browns Island, Motutapu, and Auckland itself.All this I...

  • A Military History

    Auckland took great care to defend itself from enemy attack during the Second World War, and Rangitoto was fortified along with neighbouring Motutapu Island, Devonport, Waiheke Island (at Stony Batter) and Aucklands Bastion Point. There is still a great deal of evidence left from this time on Rangitoto. There was an ammunitions and mines store on...

  • Rangitotos Bach's - iconic Kiwi History

    For generations, families have been building small holiday homes on Rangitoto - recycling bits and pieces to create a family retreat from the city. In New Zealands North island, these holiday homes are known as baches - on the South island they are more commonly known as cribs.At one point, there were around 140 baches on Rangitoto, but over time,...


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Explore Deeper into Rangitoto Island
Take A Bumpy Ride
Things to Do
Getting to the Island
Map of Rangitoto Island

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