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Auckland gem: Rangitoto Island

Published: 28 December 2017

Catching a ferry to Rangitoto Island to explore this iconic Auckland landmark is the perfect summer day trip.

Rangitoto is the largest and youngest of the cones and craters in Auckland's volcanic field. The island is steeped in Māori history - it was used as a lookout over the Hauraki Gulf in times of war and as a parrot reserve.

You can hike to the top of the maunga (volcanic cone) for one of the best picnic spots in Auckland, or check out the world's largest pohutukawa forest. During low tide you can walk along the sandbar to Motutapu Island.

On Motutapu, you can stay at Home Bay campground and enjoy hearing kiwi calling at night.

More info

  • Help maintain the island's environment by ensuring your boat and gear are free of pests before you visit.
  • Ferry timetables and information on travelling to the summit by tractor are available from Fullers.
  • Book a campsite at Home Bay on Motutapu Island.


  • Kidney Fern Glen, 45 minutes return
  • Coastal Track from Rangitoto Wharf to Islington Bay Wharf, 5 hours return

Visit the Department of Conservation for information on walking tracks.