One of the most delightful things about Rangitoto, a huge dormant volcano in Auckland’s Hauraki harbour, is the collection of historic baches (holiday homes). Despite tough volcanic ground and no utilities over a 100 baches were built in the 1920s and 30s by hardy kiwis looking for a holiday home across the harbour from the city.
In the 1970s and 80s they started to be pulled down to return Rangitoto to it’s original state. Thankfully given how few historic buildings New Zealand has (the oldest surviving building dates from only 1821) the policy was changed so that they can be handed down within families, but not sold.
The ones that remain are wonderful examples of traditional Kiwi baches, quite different to the modern mansions that litter Omaha Beach.
The Rangitoto Island Historic Preservation Trust have done a fantastic job preserving the history of the island, including plaques describing those baches that were removed. Often during the Auckland Heritage Festival they open up a number of baches and provide tea and scones!