Nature and conservation
Long and Kokomohua Islands are nestled inside the entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound. They are attached to each other by a largely submerged reef, which surrounds and extends northeast from Kokomohua Island for almost 500 m.
Northeast of Kokomoua Island several rocky pinnacles rise to just below the surface from relatively deep water. Here you can see schools of fish such as butterfly perch and tarakihi, and the occasional rock lobster.
The area covered by the marine reserve has been monitored almost continuously since March 1992, one year before it was established. Large blue cod are abundant in the reserve and show little fear of divers, frequently biting fingers and anything else that catches their eye.
Hector's dolphin are often seen in Queen Charlotte Sound
Paua in Long Island - Kokomohua Marine Reserve
This report presents data collected from Long Island-Kokomohua Marine Reserve and adjacent control sites over a period of 22 years (1992 to 2014).
Long Island monitoring report (PDF, 2,660K)
Know before you go
The reserve is accessible by boat only. It is 35 km from Picton, or 30 minutes to several hours travel, depending on sea conditions and your type of boat.
Divers and boaties should be wary of unmarked reefs, and tidal changes. Currents are particularly strong around the charted rock in the reserve's north and strong winds can quickly make the sea choppy.
There are no jetties on Long Island, but craft can land at an obvious bouldery point on the south-western shore. It is also possible to land in a bay on the island's eastern side, where concrete generator sheds remain from a World War II submarine detection system.
There are no easy landing sites on Kokomohua Island.
Boat services operate on Queen Charlotte Sound from Picton. Further information on them is available from Picton Visitor Centre.
Marine reserve rules
Within the Long Island - Kokomohua Marine Reserve, all plant and animal life is totally protected. No fishing or shellfish gathering from either boat or shore is allowed.
Nothing should be removed from the sea floor or shores. It is not permitted to discharge any effluent or other fluids, and please do not litter.