Weather permitting, a glass bottomed boat operates from the beach. Snorkel gear is available for hire near the beach or from the Leigh township.
Under the water
Snorkeller and blue maomao at the
Cape Rodney to Okakari Point Marine
The best way to experience the reserve and its inhabitants is to get into the water with them. Those with a mask and snorkel can explore the rocks close to shore while divers can visit deeper areas further out.
Cape Rodney-Okakari Marine Reserve offers some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities close to Auckland.
Note: Snorkellers, 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.
On the shore
In most shallow areas of the reserve, particularly the rocky platform near the main beach, you will see many varieties of fish, invertebrate life and seaweeds. Please do not feed the fish as this changes their behaviour and makes them aggressive and hard to study.
Students examine life on the rocky shore
at Cape Rodney to Okakari Point Marine
At low tide you can explore the rocky shore. If you turn over boulders to look underneath or pick up animals, make sure you place them back carefully afterwards otherwise the creatures may die.
Marine Discovery Centre
The Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre is run by the University of Auckland and is part of the Leigh Marine Laboratory, the hub for the University's marine science activities.
Open to the public, the centre features state-of-the-art displays on the nature of life under the sea, a tide pool tank and information about scientific reseach carried out at the laboratory. Group bookings and school education visits are also available.
The nearest boat launching ramp to the marine reserve is in Leigh 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 metres of the shore or a dive flag, or within 30 metres of any other boat or person in the water.
Boats can enter the marine reserve after fishing outside its boundaries, but it is recommended that fishing rods are stowed out of sight while visiting the marine reserve. Remember, do not feed the fish or discharge anything into the water.
Goat Island on Auckland NZ website for more information on Goat Island activities