Urchin and anemones
Image: DOC


The Volkner Rocks are three volcanic rock stacks attached to White Island.


View map and boundaries of Te Paepae o Aotea (Volkner Rocks) Marine Reserve

The Volkner Rocks rise 112 m above sea level in a stark and forbidding group. Beneath the water they are colourful and prolific.

The rocks are of cultural significance to Ngati Awa and other iwi of the Mataatua waka. Traditionally they are the departure place for the spirits of people of Mataatua descent. 




Find things to do and places to stay Te Paepae o Aotea (Volkner Rocks) Marine Reserve

The underwater scenery and marine life in the marine reserve is spectacular. Underwater visibility is generally excellent due to low levels of sedimentation and run-off, but can drop to less than 6 m during seasonal phytoplankton blooms.

You can snorkel in the lee of the pinnacles and among some reef channels. A number of recognised dive sites are also located within the marine reserve.

Please remember all animals and plants, and the sea bed are totally protected.

  • No fishing, netting, hand gathering, taking or killing of marine life.
  • No polluting, disturbance or damage of marine life or the sea bed.
  • No removal of any natural material from the marine reserve.

Be aware, the Volkner rocks were formerly used as a bombing range by the New Zealand Air Force. Most of the ordinance has been removed but some may remain. If you notice anything resembling a bomb or missile in the marine reserve you should not touch it, note its location and inform local DOC staff immediately.

Protect our marine reserves
  • No fishing of any kind.
  • Don't take or kill marine life.
  • Don't remove or disturb any marine life or materials.
  • Don't feed fish - it disturbs their natural behaviour.
  • Take care when anchoring to avoid damaging the sea floor.


Opotiki Office
Phone:   +64 7 315 1001
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   easternbop@doc.govt.nz
Address:   70 Bridge Street
Postal Address:   PO Box 326
Opotiki 3162
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