Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..


Travelling from Auckland or Whangaparaoa to Tiritiri Matangi, the typical 'whitish' cliffs of the Auckland area shine out in the sun. These are the familiar 'Waitemata Group' rocks. They are made up of mainly alternating layers of sandstone and mudstone, interspersed irregularly with thick beds of volcanic debris flows. The Waitematas were laid down in a submarine basin between 22 and 18 million years ago. During that time, volcanic activity began to the west of Auckland, the only remnants being the Waitakere hills. The Waitemata basin was then uplifting about 17 to 15 million years ago and erosion began.
In contrast to the Waitemata Group rocks, the cliffs on Tiritiri Matangi are darker and less clearly stratified. These rocks are much older, part of what is called the 'Greywacke Basement' of New Zealand. These rocks are also mainly mudstones and sandstones which were laid down on the deep ocean floor between 270 and 150 million years ago. They were compressed, fractured and folded in higher temperatures and pressures as they were buried beneath many kilometres of rock. Subsequently, about 100 million years ago, during the early cretaceous period, these rocks were uplifted and began eroding. They later formed part of the basement of what was to become the New Zealand continent. The greywackes, of which Tiritiri Matangi is a part, are known as the 'Waipapa Terrain'.

Greywackes underlie the whole of Auckland. Faulting and uplift to the east of the city have exposed these on Tiritiri Matangi, as well as on Motutapu, Waiheke, and in the Hunua Ranges which are uplifted Waipapa greywacke. Most of the Waitematas which overlay Tiritiri Matangi have been eroded off since the basin was uplifted. They are now only seen on the north east tip, unnoticeable to most visitors.  

Helen Holzer

Photograoh by Kay Milton ©