Rangitoto Island and Motutapu Island

Hauraki Gulf and Islands

Visit Rangitoto Island, Auckland
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Don’t leave Auckland without a trip to the region’s youngest volcano, Rangitoto Island.

Just a short scenic ferry ride across the harbour from downtown Auckland, the island is a favourite destination for day-trippers, who come for the spectacular views from the summit.

Walk from Rangitoto to neighbouring Motutapu Island and go exploring. ​

Rangitoto Island & Motutapu Island highlights

Rangitoto Island & Motutapu Island ferry

​Top picks

Head to the summit
Walk the 1-hour Summit Track to take in spectacular 360-degree views from the top of Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s most iconic natural landmark.

Climb aboard
If you’d rather not make the climb or you’ve got little ones in tow, join a guided tour on the 4WD road train to the top and learn about Rangitoto’s fiery past.

Go underground

Take a torch to explore the lava tunnels and caves on Rangitoto Island. The rugged lava fields and dense pohutukawa forest make for a dramatic landscape.

Meet the neighbour
Venture over the causeway to explore the walking trails on Rangitoto’s neighbour, Motutapu Island.

Go exploring
Explore Motutapu’s World War II bunkers, tunnels and gun emplacements, and take in the spectacular views of the city and Hauraki Gulf.

Visit Rangitoto Island & Motutapu Island | Hauraki Gulf Islands

Why visit?

An icon of the Auckland landscape, Rangitoto Island has long been a favourite day trip and boating destination for Aucklanders and visitors alike.

Hop on the ferry - it’s just a 25-minute trip across the harbour from downtown Auckland – and head to the top. The panoramic views from the summit of this 600-year-old dormant volcano are breathtaking, so you’ll want to have your camera handy.

Take the time to visit neighbouring Motutapu Island. Explore the walkways, and bring your swimwear and a picnic.

Discover Rangitoto Island & Motutapu Island - Hauraki Gulf Islands

Learn more

​Emerging unexpectedly from the sea some 600 years ago, Rangitoto Island is the youngest and largest volcano in the Auckland volcanic field. You can take either the guided tour option on the 4WD road train or walk up to the summit on foot. While it’s not a walk for the faint-hearted, it is family friendly. 

Make sure you arrive prepared – there are no shops or transport on the island and limited drinking water. Bring sunblock and a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes.  

Motutapu Island is a favourite hiker’s destination and is attached to Rangitoto Island by a causeway established during World War II. Motutapu is mainly pasture land and looks strikingly different from its neighbour Rangitoto. 

If you're interested in staying the night, the Department of Conservation's Motutapu Island campsite is at Home Bay, and Fullers' Motutapu Island ferries run from Auckland to Home Bay.

Visiting Rangitoto Island Visiting Motutapu Island

 

Icon unpatrolled beachIsland beaches are unpatrolled beaches. Stay safe - never swim or surf alone.

 

Water Safety

Visitors and locals alike enjoy the vast range of aquatic activities that the Auckland environment offers, whether at the beach, lake, river or pool, boating, fishing or diving.  Please be aware that water presents a potential hazard, for safety steps you can take when enjoying yourself in, on and under the water please click here.

Beach Safety

Auckland beaches are beautiful and are great places to visit but please be aware they can present a potential hazard - for safety steps you can take when enjoying yourself at Auckland’s beaches please visit Water Safety New Zealand. Surf Life Saving New Zealand patrol over 80 of New Zealand’s busiest beaches each summer, please click here. Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags as they identify the safest area to swim when an active lifesaving patrol is on the beach. Never swim or surf alone on an unpatrolled beach.