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)
Learn about the different marine habitats protected by the two sites - Waikaraka and around Motukaroro / Passage Island at Reotahi.
Boating, kayaking or snorkelling are great activities within the Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve.
While there is no DOC-managed accommodation immediately near the Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve, you can find many beautiful places to stay in Northland.
Find out how to get to the reserve, view a map showing its location and boundaries and review the rules and regulations that must be followed once there.
View maps and find out about the boundaries of Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve.
Total fire ban
There is a total fire ban within the Kaipara and Whangarei Districts, effective from 1 February 2015 until further notice.
Alerts for Northland places