Auckland Volcanic Field – what you need to know

What to know about the Auckland volcanic field 

The Auckland volcanic field is made up of over 53 volcanoes and these volcanoes are extinct. This means they will not erupt again with the exception of Rangitoto Island, which is dormant.

Dormant means a volcano has had no volcanic activity for many years, and in the case of Rangitoto Island the last recorded eruption was more than 550 years ago.

As a result, you will now find many holiday homes on Rangitoto island, and it is a popular tourist destination for day trips year-round.

  • The current volcanic activity level = 0
  • Volcanic activity = no volcanic unrest

The Auckland volcanic field is an area of monogenetic volcanoes covered by much of the metropolitan area of Auckland. A monogenetic volcanic field is a type of volcanic field consisting of a group of small monogenetic volcanoes, each of which erupts only once in it’s lifetime.

The 53 (approx) volcanoes in the field have produced a diverse array of maars (explosion craters), tuff rings, scoria cones, and lava flows. No volcano has erupted twice with the first vent eruption to have happened 248 000 years ago. The field is fueled entirely by basaltic magma, unlike the explosive subduction-driven volcanism in the central North Island, such as at Mount Ruapehu and Lake Taupo.

North head and Rangitoto
North head and Rangitoto are both volcanoes in the Auckland Volcanic Field
Map of the field drawn by Hochstetter in 1859