The reserve offers good snorkelling, offering excellent opportunities to view large rock lobster, snapper and other coastal species up close.
There is a snorkel trail at Gemstone Bay. Four marker buoys with information panels depicting which species inhabit each area are anchored from 50 to 165m offshore. For example at buoy three, snorkelers can expect to see marblefish, butterfish and red moki hiding in the seaweed. The position of each buoy coincides with different habitats within the bay.
Snorkelling at Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve
Sea kayaking allows you to explore the area in more depth. Bring your own kayak or rent one from a local commercial operator.
Boaties please take care if anchoring. Waste, ballast and sewerage must not be discharged within the reserve. Observe the five knot speed limit within 30m of other vessels or people in the water, and within 200m of the shore or any vessel flying a dive flag.
Hahei and Cathedral Cove beaches provide safe swimming as long as you remember to observe the usual rules.
All of the reserve is suitable for diving. Please take care to avoid damaging underwater features or marine life. Fishing or removal of any plants, animals, shells or rocks is not permitted within the reserve.