Scorpionfish. Photo: Warren Farrelly.


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)


Whangarei Harbour is located on Northland's east coast, about 160 km north of Auckland.

Find out more


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


Whangarei Office
Phone:      +64 9 470 3300
Full office details