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.
DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map
Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.
Walking track categories
Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:1. Plan your trip2. Tell someone3. Be aware of the weather4. Know your limits5. Take sufficient supplies
Alerts for Northland places
Tips for driving on unsealed roads