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Activities in Tāwharanui Marine Reserve

North Island saddleback/tieke. North Island saddleback/tieke

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 drop onto the reefs further out.

View a map of the marine habitat (PDF, 1,310K)

Tāwharanui’s white sandy beaches and clear waters are great for swimming. The most popular swimming beach is Anchor Bay, where toilets are available. It is also a popular spot for surfing if there's a swell on the east coast.

At low tide the kids can explore the rock pools. If you turn the boulders over to look underneath or pick up any sea creatures, remember to put them back carefully afterwards, otherwise creatures beneath them may die.

Tāwharanui’s beaches make a great place for a family picnic. The regional park is also a working farm, so children can enjoy seeing the sheep and cows.


The nearest boat launching ramp to the marine reserve is at Omaha. 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.

Diver and moray eel.
Diver and moray eel

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 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.

Tracks and walks

Tāwharanui Regional Park offers excellent day walks ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours through native bush, along the coast or across farmland.


  • No fishing of any kind is permitted.
  • Do not take or disturb any marine life, including shellfish and seaweeds.
  • Do not remove any part of the sea floor, including rocks, shells or washed up seaweeds.
  • Do not feed the fish as this disturbs their natural behaviour and can make them aggressive.
  • Do not exceed five knots in a boat or on a jetski within 200m of the mainland, a dive flag, or within 50m of a boat or person in the water.
  • Dogs are not permitted in the Tāwharanui Regional Park or the marine reserve at any time.
  • Please take your rubbish away.
  • Do not light fires on the beach or on the grassy areas.


Find out more


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Auckland places



Mahurangi / Warkworth Office
Phone:      +64 9 425 7812
Full office details

Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 9 379 6476
Address:   137 Quay Street
Princes Wharf
Auckland 1010
Full office details