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Rangitoto (1905)



Photos (2000)

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Rangitoto Island is located in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland Harbour. 

Rangitoto is the youngest of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto emerged from the sea around 700 years ago in a series of volcanic explosions and rises 260 metres high. The Maori name Rangitoto, is derived from the phrase 'Te Rangi i totongia a Tamatekapua - the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed', relating to a major Maori battle at Islington Bay about 1350.  114

The Rangitoto lighthouse was first built in 1882 20 1887 17  the concrete tower was the first lighthouse to be built using Wilson's Portland cement and was intended to be painted with red and white bands. 20

But because of disagreements between the Auckland Harbour Board and the Marine Department, the light was not lit until 1905. 20  The lighthouse was first illuminated by a gas light supplied by the Railways Department, in 1925 the light was replaced with an incandescent lamp. This in turn was replaced in 1926 with a acetone acetylene light. 20

The acetylene was produced by dripping water onto carbine. A water tank was mounted on the tower to hold the water. 17

In 1929 a underwater cable was installed and the light was electrified. 20

in 1960 the tower was painted in the intended paint scheme of red and white stripes. 20

After a cable fault in 1982 the lighthouse is now powered by solar power. 20



For information on Rangitoto Island:

Rangitoto Island Historical Conversation Trust

Department Of Conservation



Fullers have tours to the island. It's a 30 minute ferry ride from Auckland. Take the 4 wheel drive tour of island to summit which includes good views of harbour and lighthouse, the driver will stop close to the lighthouse for photos on way back.

Alternately, hike 2 hours to the light but there is no water or food on the island and it is always hot, dry and dusty.

Fullers has 3 trips per day in summer and the ferry passes close to Bean Rock Lighthouse on the way back.


See reference page for more details.


Island North
Province Auckland
Location Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto Channel
Number K3744
Date Commissioned 1905 20
Date Decommissioned
Latitude 36 47' South 20
Longitude 174 49' East 20
Elevation Above Sea Level 21m 20
Height 21m 20
Character Flashes red every 12 seconds 20
Range 7 N. miles 20
Construction Red concrete tower with white bands 20
Converted Kerosene To Diesel
Converted Diesel To Mains Electricity 1929 20
Present Tower Original
Date Visited 3 February, 2000


Principal Keeper From To




Assistant Keeper (1st) From To





Additional Sources:

114Rangitoto Island Historical Conversation Trust




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Text and photographs. Copyright 1999-2013 Mark Phillips. All rights reserved.

If anyone has any information on this light please contact me.

Last Updated: February 21, 2011