heading to Rangitoto Island

Volcanic Landscape

Rangitoto Island sits majestically just off the Auckland coast, a short 25 minute cruise from downtown Auckland. Visible from Mission Bay to Cheltenham Beach, this 600 year old volcano boasts a unique landscape of rugged lava crops, lush native bush and sandy coves. Walk to the top for spectacular 360 degree views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf islands, or hop on board our Volcanic Explorer road train tour for a guided island experience.

Māori know Rangitoto Island as ‘Te Rangi i totongia a Tamatekapua’ – the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed, in reference to a major eruption that formed the volcanic peak, as well as a battle that occurred between warring tribes fought on the Island. Walking to the summit takes about an hour at an easy pace. Lookouts along the way provide some stunning views as you climb, and you can do a detour to explore the lava caves. Other tracks that skirt the coastline are sign posted from the wharf and vary in length and difficulty, so plan your visit in advance and make sure you leave enough time to return to the ferry wharf.

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Ferries depart regularly throughout the day.

Use our Journey Planner above to see when the next available ferry is. 

Journey time approx. 25 minutes from downtown Auckland.

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At least 4 to 5 hours.



  • Good walking shoes, sun block and a sun hat.
  • Change of clothes, swimming gear and a towel.
  • Plenty of water, snacks and lunch.
  • A light rain jacket, depending on the time of year and conditions.
  • A torch may also be useful if you wish to explore the lava caves.
  • Rangitoto has no shops, so the last opportunity to buy food or drink is on the ferry.
  • There are no rubbish bins on pest-free islands. If you bring food, please remember to take it off the island with you.



This island is pest-free and provides a sanctuary for our native wildlife. Please help to ensure the island stays pest-free.  Our vessels are licensed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Auckland Council to visit islands in the Hauraki Gulf. We run a biosecurity system on all our vessels which meet the criteria to hold a ‘Pest-Free Warrant’ for the Hauraki Gulf.

What you need to do to prepare for your trip to pest-free Rangitoto Island:

  • Please check your bags for stowaways such as: mice, rats, Argentine Ants and Rainbow Skinks to name a few.
  • Ensure your footwear, clothing and bags are clean and free of soil and seeds.
  • Your lunch must be packed in a rodent-proof/ sealed container e.g. hard plastic.
  • No open bags or boxes will be allowed on-board. Everything you bring must be sealed or zipped closed.



From time to time, adverse weather conditions require us to sail into Islington Bay Wharf instead of Rangitoto Wharf. This means there are some changes to your walking time on the island.

It may take up to an extra hour to walk to and from the summit from Islington Bay, and the track is shared by vehicles including our 4WD road train. We recommend you plan your walk accordingly and note the time of the last ferry off the island.

If you are unsure of which wharf we will be sailing to, please call our customer service team on 09 367 9111 on the morning of your departure.


Please check the time of the last ferry at the start of your trip – a clock on the wharf will indicate the last departure.

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