Introduction

Visitors to Auckland will soon be able to enjoy a new multi-day walking experience on Rangitoto and Motutapu islands – the Rangitoto Motutapu Haerenga – A Journey through Sacred Islands.

Date:  24 April 2013

Walking up the boardwalk, Rangitoto Island. Photo copyright: Rob Suisted.
The boardwalk to the summit, Rangitoto Island

Visitors to Auckland will soon be able to enjoy a new multi-day walking experience on Rangitoto and Motutapu islands – the Rangitoto Motutapu Haerenga – A Journey through Sacred Islands.

The Haerenga is being developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) and iwi in partnership with other stakeholders. Visitors should be able to experience the Haerenga by next summer.

Mayor Len Brown announced the development of the new three-day visitor experience this morning at TRENZ 2013, New Zealand’s largest tourism tradeshow currently on in Auckland.

"Walking to the summit of Rangitoto is already one of Auckland’s most popular daytrips for locals and visitors alike, but Rangitoto and Motutapu have so much more to offer and the Haerenga is a chance to discover the contrasting landscapes and histories of the two islands," he said.

"We are thrilled to be working alongside the Department of Conservation and iwi to develop this exciting new experience in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf."

DOC Auckland Conservator Sean Goddard says the Haerenga will be more than just a three-day walk.

“It’s an opportunity to visit and explore Auckland’s largest and most diverse island sanctuaries. These pest-free havens are home to many rare species, and visitors may see a takahe or hear a kiwi call. They can also learn about the cultural significance of the islands, see the incredible restoration of Motutapu, and even volunteer."

Iwi representatives Ngati Paoa, Ngati Whatua and Ngai Tai were closely involved in developing the concept for the Haerenga.

Ngai Tai Chairman James Brown says the Haerenga will enhance the kaitiakitanga and the connection of nga Mana Whenua to the islands and people from around the world.

“This initiative advances the manaakitanga (hospitality) interests of iwi and enhances our cultural revistalisation. We have a commitment to caring for and replenishing the environment which sustains all of us. The restoration of the islands’ native flora and fauna is a key part of this project that provides iwi an opportunity to further protect the many sacred sites of the islands,” he said.

“The development process of the Haerenga has shown the benefits of working together and as our iwi say – there are exciting times ahead.”

Day one of the Haerenga will take in the summit of Rangitoto and explore the volcanic landscapes. Day two will explore the cultural significance and ancient landscapes of Motutapu, the sacred island where history is revealed in the landscape. Day three will be an opportunity to learn about the restoration of Motutapu, stroll through regenerating forest and support conservation work.

The Rangitoto Motutapu Haerenga – A Journey through Sacred Islands will be a cornerstone of a new national range of high-profile multi-day walks announced on Monday by the Department of Conservation. 

The new walking range will offer rich experiences at stunning locations around New Zealand. The walks will be easily accessible and aimed at people keen to explore without needing to be self-sufficient.

More information

  • The Haerenga is designed as a three-day experience, (done together or separately) as an alternative to or a follow-up experience from the current half/one day Rangitoto summit walk    
  • Each day is distinctly different and emphasises the contrasts and connections of the islands
  • The islands are connected by a short causeway built during WWII, so visitors can easily walk between the two islands


Related links

Contact

Amy Cameron
DOC Communications and Engagement Advisor
Phone: +64 275 111 222

Jo Mackie
ATEED Destination Communications Manager
Phone: +64 021 227 7062

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