- Glass Bottom Boat – tours at the marine reserve, world renowned for its abundant marine life.
- Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre – visitors of all ages can explore, discover and experience unique marine environment from a large tide pool of marine creatures.
- Goat Island Dive & Snorkel – hire or buy snorkel and dive equipment, guided snorkelling, dive experiences and courses from entry to professional levels.
Diving and snorkelling
Beneath the waves is a variety of habitats with its own creatures: seaweed forests provide nurseries for scores of coastal animals, while deeper waters host sea squirts, anemones, sponges, and tube worms.
Safety note: It is recommended that visitors swim or dive in pairs. Snorkelers, particularly those who are not strong swimmers or used to swimming in the open sea, are strongly advised to wear a wetsuit or life jacket, or take another flotation device such as a boogie board when snorkelling in the marine reserve. Beginners should keep near the shore to avoid the deceptive currents and rips in this bay.
Explore rock pools
At low tide you can find many varieties of fish, shellfish, sea stars, crabs, and other creatures.
Kayaking and canoeing
If you don’t want to get into the water, you can see the marine reserve by kayak, or kayak around Te Hāwere-a-Maki/Goat Island. This island, 800 m offshore, is included in the marine reserve. Kayaks can be hired at Leigh, and on Goat Island Road on the way to the marine reserve.
Safety note: Inexperienced paddlers should take care with the sea conditions and currents.
The nearest boat launching ramp to the marine reserve is in Leigh Harbour (also called Omaha Cove), just below the township of Leigh. Boaties are welcome to navigate and anchor carefully in the reserve.
Extra caution may be needed in some areas because of the number of divers and swimmers. Do not exceed five knots within 200 m of the shore or a dive flag, or within 30 m of any other boat or person in the water.
Boats can enter the marine reserve after fishing outside its boundaries, but fishing rods should be stowed out of sight while visiting the marine reserve. Remember, do not feed the fish or discharge anything into the water.
Kiwi Guardians programme
Take your family on a Kiwi Guardians adventure. Kiwi Guardians is a free, fun and easy way for 6-10 year olds to get to know this special place - grab a map, go and explore, and earn a reward! More about Kiwi Guardians
Find out about the region, and book accommodation, guided trips and experiences.