Tuhua (Mayor Island) is a collapsed volcano on the edge of the continental shelf. The marine reserve surrounding it is a wonderful dive spot, with a mixture of shallow reef and deepwater environments.

Place overview


  • Boating
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • 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.

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Tuhua (Mayor Island) Marine Reserve

About this place

Nature and conservation

Tuhua (Mayor Island) is a collapsed volcano on the edge of the continental shelf.

The eroded volcanic forms extend beneath the water, creating a network of lava columns, caves and angular boulders. A dense canopy of kelp and other seaweeds covers the crevices, giving shelter to many colourful organisms.

At Orongatea Bay there is a shallow rock platform suitable for snorkelling. It is enlivened by bubbles from underwater hot springs. Offshore the bottom drops away to 50 m at the North East Arising. This drop off is close to the continental shelf and reveals the typical depth related patterns of plant and animal distribution.

The marine reserve has mixture of shallow reef and deepwater environments. Warm currents bring subtropical visitors, and there are dense schools of kingfish and pink and blue maomao, among many other species.

Getting there

For many people the most convenient and ready access to the marine reserve is by charter boat. 

Diving or sightseeing excursions can be arranged through local operators.

Know before you go

Tuhua's distance offshore (35 km from the Tauranga Harbour entrance) and the location of the marine reserve at the more exposed end of the island, mean particular care is required when planning and undertaking trips there.

Weather and sea conditions can change rapidly. Make sure you advise a responsible person of your intentions, including your destination and time of return.

Make sure you are well-equipped.

The reserve adjoins a restricted fishing area one nautical mile offshore around the whole of the island. Set nets (including gill nets) and long lines (lines with more than three hooks) are prohibited within this area, but all other legal fishing methods are allowed. Normal daily limits apply.


Tauranga Office
Phone:   +64 7 578 7677
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   253 Chadwick Road West
Greerton West
Tauranga 3112
Postal Address:   PO Box 9003
Greerton West
Tauranga 3142
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