"Rangitoto, Island Volcano" Rangitoto Island by allikat

Rangitoto Island Travel Guide: 20 reviews and 49 photos


The island volcano of Rangitoto was the first landmark pointed out to me when I came to to Auckland to live. Sitting out in the Waitemata Harbour, this now extinct cone looks exactly the same no matter which direction you view it from, with it's bush-covered slopes spread out around the summit like a flouncy skirt.

It is the newest of Aucklands 40-plus volcanic mounds, having burst into life some six or seven centuries ago, meaning it was the only one to have been witnessed by humans, namely the local Maori people living on neighbouring Motutapu (to which Rangitoto is joined via a narrow causeway). All of Aucklands volcanos became extinct shortly after their eruption - the plateau simply pops up a new one when the need arises. Apparently, another one will be along soon (that is, soon in geological terms).

The last 150 years have been a busy time for Rangitoto. After being sold to the Crown by its Maori owners in 1854, it has seen prison labourers quarry it's volcanic scoria, been used as a fortified military base, welcomed generations of Kiwi holiday-makers and is now one of Aucklands most popular day-trip destinations. The summit is easily reached for a fantastic view of Auckland city, seen with the Waitakere Ranges as a backdrop. Rangitoto should feature as a 'must-do' in any itinerary that features a few days in or around Auckland

  • Last visit to Rangitoto Island: Jun 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 22, 2006
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