Goat Island is New Zealand's first marine reserve, created in 1975 and officially opened in 1977. Extending from Cape Rodney to Okakari Point, the marine reserve includes the waters 800 m from shore including Te Hāwere-a-Maki/Goat Island.
Marine life now flourishes in an area where fish populations were once greatly reduced. Crayfish and snapper are now abundant and the reserve has become an important breeding and nursery area for many species.
It is a marine mecca that offers the best snorkelling opportunity close to Auckland. You can also explore the reserve by kayak, in a 'Clearyak' which is a 100% clear kayak.
The clear waters are home to a variety of fish such as snapper (tāmure), parore, red moki (nanua) and blue maomao. You might even see eagle rays (whai keo) and stringrays (whai). The fish in the reserve are abundant and friendly.
Last summer - this lucky 'yakker was treated to an impressive display from dolphins - wow! 🐬🐬🐬🐬
Beneath the waves you may see seaweed forests, sponge gardens, and all the creatures of the rocky shore.
You may be left wondering what Goat Island has to do with goats??? Goat Island is named after the goats released by early European seafarers, to provide food for those who became marooned. These days, you're much more likely to see dolphins than goats!