Every trip to and from Waiheke Island passes Rangitoto, an extinct volcano in the Hauraki Gulf that erupted 800 years ago much to the surprise of Maori living on nearby Motutapu. Rangitoto is now owned and maintained as a reserve by the Department of Conservation. It has a small number of old bachesholiday cottagesthat were built in the 1930s and some park buildings. Prisoners built hard-packed roads and trails in the 1920s and 1930s. Dramatic black lava flows are interspersed with Pohutukawa trees that have taken root. Besides the volcano itself, the main attraction of Rangitoto is its spectacular views including all of the Hauraki Gulf, the harbour islands, the city of Auckland and much of the coastline to the north and south.