This list of all New Zealand marine reserves takes you through to marine reserve information in the parks and recreation section. View a map.
Akaroa is visited by many marine mammals including the world’s smallest dolphin, the Hector’s dolphin. The Akaroa Marine Reserve lies at the mouth of the harbour and is easy to visit as the township offers numerous water-based tourist activities.
Antipodes Island is the most remote of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands, 750 km southeast of the South Island.
The Auckland Islands - Motu Maha Marine Reserve covers an area of about 484,000 ha in the Southern Ocean, providing breeding grounds for Southern right whales, New Zealand sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins.
At first view, these bleak subantarctic rocks appear anything but bountiful, but they are some of the most densely populated rocks in the Southern Ocean.
Campbell Island/Moutere Ihupuku is the eroded remains of a shield volcano, characterised by large cliffs, boulder beaches and a few sandy bays. It lies 660 km south of the South Island, and it is New Zealand’s southern most island.
Cape Rodney-Okakari Point lies north of Auckland. The marine reserve offers some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities close to Auckland. Visitors can also enjoy swimming, kayaking and walking on the beach.
Fiordland’s ten marine reserves border the Fiordland National Park and are a fantastic example of protected natural environments.
Hautai is New Zealand’s most remote mainland marine reserve - two days’ walk from the nearest road end, in an area with no formed walking tracks. Its purpose is to protect representative marine habitats and animals of the southern West Coast.
The reserve sits near the township of Kaikoura, at the point where the undersea Kaikoura canyon approaches close to the land. Visiting the reserve is an unparalleled opportunity to see whale, dolphin and seabird species, and often in large numbers.
Horoirangi Marine Reserve lies north of Nelson city along the eastern side of Tasman Bay. The reserve is a great place for walking, exploring the intertidal zone, snorkelling, diving, kayaking and boating.
Kahurangi Marine Reserve lies off the far northwest of the South Island. Walkers on the famous Heaphy Track in Kahurangi National Park can enjoy a stroll along its southern reach.
Kapiti Marine Reserve is popular for its abundant sea life including blue moki, kingfish, seals and dolphins. It's also home for some top dive spots include the Hole-in-the-Wall underwater archway.
The Kermadec Islands Nature Reserve and Marine Reserve, located about 1,000 km northeast of New Zealand, is the most remote area managed by DOC and can only be visited with a special permit.
Just 20 km north of Auckland lies the Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve. The reserve protects a variety of coastal habitats: sandy beaches, rocky reefs, estuarine mudflats and mangroves.
Tucked away in the Marlborough Sounds, Long Island - Kokomohua Marine Reserve is a great getaway for the whole family. Relax on a sandy beach, explore rocky reefs and admire the distinctive landscapes of the Marlborough Sounds.
Mimiwhangata Coastal Park near Whangarei is home to recovering bird and marine species.
The Motu Manawa-Pollen Island Marine Reserve protects 500 hectares of the inner reaches of Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.
This 1,800 ha marine reserve encloses a typical slice of the north Taranaki coastline, as well as the possibly unique sponge gardens of Pariokariwa reef.
You will see many of New Zealand’s most charismatic marine animals at Pohatu Marine Reserve, which hosts both penguin and seal colonies. The drive to Pohatu is rough and should only be attempted by 4WD.
Beneath the waves at the Poor Knights, the caves, arches, tunnels and sheer cliffs provide a great variety of habitats to explore.
Punakaiki Marine Reserve surrounds the pancake rocks and blowholes at Dolomite Point, one of the most distinctive landscapes of the West Coast. It covers much of the coastline at the edge of Paparoa National Park.
The 1,404 ha Tapuae Marine Reserve is on the rugged Taranaki coast close to New Plymouth and adjoins the Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Protected Area. It hosts a diverse and flourishing range of sea life.
Taputeranga Marine Reserve is only 6 km from Wellington’s city centre. It's very accessible and offers snorkelling, diving and walking opportunities.
This small marine reserve (16 ha) has been created as an educational site because of its accessibility, variety of habitats, and simple beauty. This is one of the best places to see Hector dolphins without the need for a boat.
Tāwharanui Marine Reserve is good for families, with pōhutukawa lined beaches, good swimming and rockpooling. It runs along the northern side of Tāwharanui Regional Park (on Takatu Peninsula) and is a 90 minute drive north of Auckland.
Te Angiangi Marine Reserve protects a piece of the central Hawke's Bay coast.
Te Matuku Marine Reserve protects one of Waiheke Island's largest and least disturbed estuaries, along with an area outside Te Matuku Bay in the Waiheke Channel.
The Volkner Rocks are three volcanic rock stacks attached to White Island.
This is a special marine reserve as it's home to eight different marine habitats including inshore reef, rocky intertidal platforms and sediment flats.
Enjoy swimming and snorkelling in the Abel Tasman National Park. It is renowned for its golden sand beaches, intimate coves, and excellent summer weather.
Tuhua (Mayor Island) is a collapsed volcano on the edge of the continental shelf. The marine reserve surrounding it is a wonderful dive spot, with a mixture of shallow reef and deepwater environments.
Enjoy snorkelling and kayaking to explore the reserve’s marine wildlife. It has crystal clear waters teeming with fish, penguins and a variety of marine flora.
Fed by two lagoons and the Waiho River, this marine reserve forms a protective buffer for these waterways and wetlands. It lies alongside parts of Westland Tai Poutini National Park and Te Wāhipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.
Westhaven is the first estuary in New Zealand to be protected by a combination of marine and wildlife reserve. The landscape is a rare combination of lush native coastal forest and tidal channels.
Visitors to this marine reserve will see sandy flats, reefs, boulder and many different sea creatures and plants that live there. Take a walk along the coast to see the very popular Hahei and Cathedral Cove.
The marine environment in the Whangarei Harbour is of distinctive quality, and two marine areas are set aside for protection around Motukaroro (Passage) Island and at Waikaraka.