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Goat Island Marine Reserve

Goat Island Marine Reserve: Our most recommended tours and activities

Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

1. Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

Begin your tour by meeting the team at the Goat Island Dive and Snorkel Center. Here, your friendly staff will get you kitted up with a mask, snorkel, fins, and a wetsuit. You will then drive in your own vehicle 2 miles (3km) to the Goat Island Marine Reserve, where you will meet with your snorkel instructor. Learn about the history of Goat Island and the marine life you are likely to meet at New Zealand's first marine reserve. The experience starts with an introduction to using the equipment and some snorkeling and swimming techniques. Before jumping in you'll receive a full, thorough safety briefing. Everyone will make their way to the water.  The group will stay in shallow waters while getting used to the equipment and the strange sensation of breathing while looking around underwater. Once everyone is feeling confident and comfortable, the group will make their way out to sea to continue the adventure. After the tour, you will be able to use the equipment for the remainder of the day to carry on exploring at your own pace. You will be part of a natural aquarium, with many varieties of colorful fish and marine life including Blue Maomao, Snapper, Eagle and Sting Rays, Blue Cod, Octopus, Kahawai, as well as Crayfish. Sometimes Dolphins or Orca visit the reserve and will often play with the snorkelers.

Goat Island Marine Reserve: Full-Day Dive Charter

2. Goat Island Marine Reserve: Full-Day Dive Charter

Join a full-day scuba dive charter and dive in the beautiful marine reserves of Goat Island or Te Hāwere-a-Maki, New Zealand's first marine reserve established in 1975, on a small-group tour. Discover the bustling marine life beneath the water's surface, including jack mackerel, crayfish, red moki, eels, blue maomao, and much more on two dives at different depths.  Marvel at the variety of marine life habitats from rocky shores exposed at low tide to deep reefs, underwater cliffs and canyons, as well as sand flats. Watch the seaweed forests sway with the waves and the light playfully touch all that surrounds you beneath the sea. Goat Island and the Tawharanui Marine Reserve, off the North Island's northwest coast, are both excellent sites for certified divers, whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, there is something for everyone here. 

From Leigh: Goat Island Advanced Guided Snorkeling Tour

3. From Leigh: Goat Island Advanced Guided Snorkeling Tour

Experience the perfect way to advance your snorkeling skills on a guided snorkel tour around Goat Island. Set off to discover a beautiful underwater world alongside a certified instructor as you practice advanced snorkeling techniques. Begin with a fitting of your snorkeling equipment, which includes a mask, snorkel, fins, a wet suit, and weight belt. You will then drive in your own vehicle 3 km to the Goat Island Marine Reserve to meet with your Instructor. Learn the history of Goat Island and get introduced to the marine life you are likely to see in New Zealand's first marine reserve. After a full and thorough safety briefing, head down to the water and begin the tour. Start in the shallow waters and, once everyone is comfortable with their equipment, begin to explore the rest of the reserve. Stop and put new learned techniques into practice, like duck diving under the surface, equalizing your ears, and clearing your snorkel. After the tour you will be able to use the equipment for the remainder of the day, so you can keep practising and enjoying the reserve on your own.

Leigh: Goat Island Guided Diving Tour for Certified Diver

4. Leigh: Goat Island Guided Diving Tour for Certified Diver

Join a guided diving tour for certified divers around Goat Island and set off to discover the beautiful underwater world of New Zealand's first ever marine reserve alongside an experienced dive master. Begin with a fitting of your diving equipment at the dive center. You will then drive in your own vehicle 3 km to the Goat Island Marine Reserve to meet with your dive master who will be your guide for the day. Learn the history of Goat Island and get introduced to the marine life you are likely to see in New Zealand's first marine reserve. After a full and thorough safety briefing, head down to the water and begin the tour. Do one long dive in a shallow reserve with the opportunity to stay underwater for 70 to 80 minutes, dependent on individuals' air consumption. Explore further out into the bay and see the true beauty this magical place has to offer. Swim amongst huge snappers, red moki, goat-fish, triple fins, and schools of parore, kahawai, sweep, silver drummers, trevally. There are also crayfish, octopuses, stingrays, and, on lucky occasions, dolphins, seals, and orcas can also be seen.

From Leigh: Goat Island Introductory Diving Experience

5. From Leigh: Goat Island Introductory Diving Experience

Experience the perfect way to try diving for the first time on a half-day trip from Lehin to Goat Island. Learn the basics of diving with expert instructors, practice breathing and diving techniques, and set off to discover a beautiful underwater world. Begin with a class theory lesson where you will learn about the equipment and safety of diving and get fitted into your gear. Once at the dive site, do a final check with your instructor who will make sure you're feeling ready for the dive. In shallow water, learn how to breathe and how to use the equipment. Become comfortable with safety skills before heading to deeper water to explore the colorful marine life and unique seascapes.

Leigh: Goat Island 30-Minute Clear Kayak Rental

6. Leigh: Goat Island 30-Minute Clear Kayak Rental

Paddle through the stunningly clear waters of the Goat Island Marine Reserve and see a variety of fish such as snapper (tāmure), red moki (nanua), blue maomao, eagle rays (whai keo) and stringrays (whai). Extending from Cape Rodney to Okakari Point, the marine reserve is located only 800 meters offshore from Goat Island. Meet your hosts directly on the beach at Goat Island who will provide a full safety briefing and all safety equipment. Then, enjoy a 30-minute paddle in your "Clearyak", allowing you to marvel at the marine life that swims just below you.

Other Sightseeing Options in Goat Island Marine Reserve

Want to discover all there is to do in Goat Island Marine Reserve? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Goat Island Marine Reserve

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8 reviews

This is really something that I would suggest everyone does. It's an amazing experience that everyone in the family can participate in. I will most definitely be going again. The staff were amazing too, friendly and knowledgeable.