Fiordland marine reserves A-Z

Fiordland’s 10 marine reserves are found from Milford Sound in the north to Preservation Inlet in the south. They range in size from 93 to 3,672 hectares, and in total include over 10,000 hectares of inner fiord marine habitat.

The reserves border the Fiordland National Park and are a fantastic example of natural environments protected from the peaks of mountains to great depths of the fiords.

Two of the ten reserves, Te Awaatu Channel (The Gut, Doubtful Sound) marine reserve and Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) marine reserve, were initially proposed by the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen and formally established in 1993. The other eight reserves were established in 2005 as part of the management measures proposed by the Guardians of Fiordland.

Click a marine reserve below to view detailed information about it.

Regional map
Piopiotahi (Milford Sound)Te Hapua (Sutherland Sound)Hawea (Clio Rocks)Kahukura (Gold Arm)Te Awaatu Channel (The Gut)Kutu Parera (Gaer Arm)Taipari Roa (Elizabeth Island)Moana Uta (Wet Jacket Arm)Taumoana (Five Fingers Peninsula)Te Tapuwae o Hua (Long Sound)

Piopiotahi (Milford Sound)

Wandering anemone on sea rimu.

Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve in Fiordland encompasses 690 hectares of marine habitat.

Te Hapua (Sutherland Sound)

Black flounder, Fiordland Marine Area, Photo:E.Farelly.

Te Hapua Marine Reserve is possibly the least studied and the least visited marine reserve in the Fiordland network.

Hawea (Clio Rocks)

New Zealand fur seal swimming in the Fiordland marine area.

Hawea (Clio Rocks) Marine Reserve, part of Fiordland's network of reserves, covers 411hectares of marine habitat. The near-vertical rock walls of ‘Turn Round Point’ are a special feature of the reserve.

Kahukura (Gold Arm)

Red coral, Milford Sound, Fiordland Marine Area.

Part of Fiordland's network of marine reserves, Kahukura (Gold Arm) Marine Reserve at Charles Sound covers an area of about 464-hectares. Providing a number of important marine habitats, red and black corals are also abundant here.

Te Awaatu Channel (The Gut)

Yellow Zooanthids, Fiordland Marine Area Photo;Steve Wing.

At 93 hectares, Te Awaatu Channel Marine Reserve is the smallest marine reserve in Fiordland.

Kutu Parera (Gaer Arm)

Marine Reserve survey diver Photo:Erin Green.

Fiordland's 433 hectare Kutu Parera Marine Reserve is located at Gaer Arm in Bradshaw Sound. A number of marine habitats are found here, including estuarine habitat at the entrance of the Camelot River.

Taipari Roa (Elizabeth Island)

Taipari Roa (Elizabeth Island) Marine Reserve

Fiordland's Taipari Roa (Elizabeth Island) Marine Reserve covers an area of about 613 hectares in inner Doubtful Sound. The reserve is home to unique bright yellow glass sponges.

Moana Uta (Wet Jacket Arm)

Teraster starfish, Fiordland Marine Area, 2004.

Fiordland's Moana Uta Marine Reserve at Wet Jacket Arm, spans from the head of the sound to Entry Island. The 2007 hectare reserve features the highest known density of black coral in the fiords.

Taumoana (Five Fingers Peninsula)

Paua on reef. Photo: Jamie Quirk.

Taumoana Marine Reserve is situated next to Five Fingers Peninsula at the entrance of Dusky Sound. The reserve contains some of the only wave exposed rocky reef habitat that is protected in Fiordland.

Te Tapuwae o Hua (Long Sound)

Red-Banded perch, Fiordland Marine Area, Photo:Steve Wing.

At 3672 hectares, Te Tapuwae o Hua (Long Island) Marine Reserve is the largest reserve in Fiordland.


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Learn more

Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Didymo controls in Fiordland National Park


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 Fiordland places


More information on these marine reserves in Fiordland is available from:

Te Anau Office
Phone:      +64 3 249 0200
Full office details
Murihiku / Invercargill Office
Phone:      +64 3 211 2400
Full office details