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.
Large blue cod are abundant in the reserve and show little fear of divers, frequently biting fingers and anything else that catches their eye.
Monitoring: how marine reserve status has helped sea life
This report presents data collected from the marine reserve and adjacent control sites over a period of 22 years (1992 to 2014). Long Island monitoring report (PDF, 2,660K)
The reserve is only accessible by a private or a charter boat. It is 35 km from Picton and can take anywhere between 30 minutes to several hours travel, depending on sea conditions and the type of boat.
Places to stay
There are a number of DOC campsites in the area you can stay in while exploring the Long Island - Kokomohua Marine Reserve. Check out campsites in the Queen Charlotte Sound.
Know before you go
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 is available from the Picton Visitor Centre.
Marine reserve rules
To help protect marine life inside the reserve, remember:
- no fishing of any kind, either from a boat or from shore
- no taking or disturbing any marine life, inlcuding shellfish and seaweeds
- no taking of any part of the sea floor, including rocks and shells
- no feeding the fish as it disturbs their natural behaviour.
Penalties for failure to comply under the Marine Reserves Act 1971 include confiscation of equipment, vessels or vehicles, fines and imprisonment.