This reserve covers two sites – Waikaraka, and Motukaroro/Passage Island at Reotahi. Waikaraka is one of New Zealand’s richest mangrove environments and attracts abundant birdlife. Motukaroro covers reef and sandy seabed habitats. It is notable for its diverse sea sponge populations.
Students at nearby Kamo High School applied for the reserve using their own research, funds, and consultation with the community. The process took 16 years (1990-2006), with thousands of students contributing during that time. This achievement may be unique in the world and is an outstanding example of community-driven conservation.
View the Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve brochure (PDF, 1,220K)