Armchair travel just got better, with the addition of two premier destinations in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf on an online image gallery.

Google has loaded onto its Street View site numerous pictures of the volcanic Rangitoto Island and the wildlife sanctuary Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Through Google Maps, users can click into 360-degree panoramic photos taken along tracks and at individual sites on the islands.

The 18kg Trekker backpack used to take pictures on Tiritiri Matangi. Photo / Google
The 18kg Trekker backpack used to take pictures on Tiritiri Matangi. Photo / Google

"People all over the world can now get up close with two of Auckland's most iconic islands without stepping foot on a ferry," the internet giant says.


"The images were collected using the Google Street View Trekker - designed for use in locations only accessible by foot.

"The Trekker is a backpack fitted with 15 camera lenses that collect images every 2.5 seconds, and weighs in at around 18kg."

"The imagery includes Rangitoto's crater and summit view and Tiritiri Matangi's walking tracks, lighthouse and resident takahe."

Google has already loaded onto Street View pictures of other New Zealand landscape gems and tourist magnets, including high on Fox Glacier, the Tasman Glacier and its lake at Aoraki/Mt Cook, and the Milford and Routeburn tracks and other Great Walks.

For the Hauraki Gulf pictures, Google worked with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development.

ATEED general manager (destination) Steve Armitage said, "The islands of Auckland's Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf are among our tourism jewels.

"Rangitoto and Tiritiri Matangi are superbly managed examples of our unique landscapes, fauna and flora, and conservation efforts. So it's fantastic for visitors to be able to access up-to-date imagery of the islands, trails and things to see and do."

Google said it helped the tourism industry by expanding its online reach to almost every country in the world.