A guide to Rangitoto, the volcano under a blood red sky

Learn about Auckland’s largest and youngest volcano – Rangitoto.

The name – Rangitoto – is te reo Māori for “blood red sky”.

Rangitoto is a basaltic shield volcano that erupted after the arrival of Polynesians in the Auckland region (c. 1280 AD).

Among the island’s volcanic features are overlapping lava flows on the lower slopes and lava tunnels linked by lava trenches on the south-eastern flanks. This creates a broad based volcano with shallow slopes creating a shape similar to a shield. It’s shape makes it perfect for climbing with children!

The summit scoria cones are steeper and rise from a “moat” at the top of the lava slopes.

Two outer cones – North and South – flank the Central cone and crater.

Summit scoria has been formed by “fire fountaining”.

Rangitoto is considered an “oceanic” island because its flora and fauna derives from long-distance dispersal.

The Guidebook for Rangitoto Island Field Trip was created in conjunction with the Dynamic New Zealand, Dynamic Earth: Auckland 2017 Annual Conference of the Geoscience Society of New Zealand.


Guidebook for Rangitoto Island Field Trip, Auckland, 2017 Cover
Guidebook for Rangitoto Island Field Trip, Auckland, 2017

Publication Date: 28/11/2017