Sunrise over Rangitoto Island, Milford Beach, Hauraki Gulf

Auckland’s best-known landmark, Rangitoto Island dominates the Hauraki Gulf a few kilometres offshore from downtown Auckland. A basaltic shield volcano, Rangitoto was formed through a series of eruptions just 600 years ago, which makes it a very young volcano in geological terms.

Rangitoto is the youngest of about 48 known volcanic cones or craters that are scattered throughout the Auckland region, in an area known as the Auckland Volcanic Field. Geologists consider the field to be active, meaning that future eruptions are likely. However the volcanoes that already exist are all extinct; they are classed as ‘monogenetic’ meaning that they generally only erupt once. Future eruptions within the Auckland Volcanic Field are therefore most likely to be from new (and presently unidentified) centres, which poses a rather unique risk to the Auckland region as a whole.

Auckland’s eastern suburbs offer outstanding views towards Rangitoto Island, and this summer sunrise photograph is typical of the early morning scenes that can be enjoyed from beaches throughout Auckland’s North Shore.

Sunrise at Castlepoint

View south from Maunganui Bluff

Pingao on dunes, 90 Mile Beach

Evening twilight over Rangitoto Island

Coastal cliffs, Tongaporutu

Piha, West Auckland

Pingao, Mangawhai Heads, Northland

Castlepoint Lighthouse at sunrise

Coastal cliffs at sunset, Tongaporutu

Australasian gannets, Muriwai

Sand dune, 90 Mile Beach

Twilight over Mt Taranaki

Pools at low tide, Oakura Beach

Waves on rocks, 90 Mile Beach

Australasian gannet colony, Muriwai

Wreck of the "Gairloch", Oakura Beach

Sunrise over Rangitoto Island