Part of Fiordland's network of marine reserves, Kahukura (Gold Arm) Marine Reserve at Charles Sound covers an area of about 464-hectares. Providing a number of important marine habitats, red and black corals are also abundant here.

Red coral, Milford Sound, Fiordland Marine Area.
Red coral, Milford Sound

The Kahukura marine reserve at Charles Sound covers an area of about 464 hectares and was one of eight reserves established in 2005 as part of the management measures proposed by the Fiordland Marine Guardians.

The reserve provides a very sheltered habitat away from the influence of ocean swells. It encompasses the inner fiord reaches of Gold Arm, including estuarine habitat associated with the Windward River outflow and broken rocky reef habitat, with large submerged boulders around Fanny and Catherine Islands. It includes rock wall and terraced rock wall habitat at Old Point providing a sheltered habitat for a diverse community life.

Spectacular red and black corals are abundant, and on bright days with clear water these can even be viewed from a boat.

Know before you go

  • Live rock lobster caught from the wild, outside the reserve, can be held in cages for up to two months within a specified area of the reserve.
  • Storage only of open rock lobster pots and cages is permitted within a specified area of the reserve.
  • Despite the above rules, the taking of marine life in the reserve is not permitted.
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