Sailing off the coast of Long Island – Kokomohua

Image: Danica Stent | DOC


Tucked away in the Marlborough Sounds, Long Island - Kokomohua Marine Reserve is a great getaway for the whole family. Relax on a sandy beach, explore rocky reefs and admire the distinctive landscapes of the Marlborough Sounds.

Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Boating
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • 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 Long Island - Kokomohua Marine Reserve

About this place

Nature and conservation

Long and Kokomohua Islands are nestled inside the entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound. They are attached to each other by a largely submerged reef, which surrounds and extends northeast from Kokomohua Island for almost 500 m.  

Northeast of Kokomoua Island several rocky pinnacles rise to just below the surface from relatively deep water. Here you can see schools of fish such as butterfly perch and tarakihi, and the occasional rock lobster. 

Large blue cod are abundant in the reserve and show little fear of divers, frequently biting fingers and anything else that catches their eye.

Getting there

The reserve is only accessible by a private or a charter boat. It is 35 km from Picton and can take anywhere between 30 minutes to several hours travel, depending on sea conditions and the type of boat.

There are no jetties on Long Island, but craft can land at an obvious bouldery point on the south-western shore. It is also possible to land in a bay on the island's eastern side, where concrete generator sheds remain from a World War II submarine detection system. 

There are no easy landing sites on Kokomohua Island. 

Boat services operate on Queen Charlotte Sound from Picton. 

Places to stay

You can stay in a number of DOC campsites in the area while exploring the marine reserve. Campsites in the Queen Charlotte Sound.

Know before you go

Tangata whenua may access the reserve to remove nephrite and serpentine (subject to any required resource consents).

There is no affect to any person's rights of ownership in respect of the wreck “Elsie”.

Divers and boaties should be wary of unmarked reefs, and tidal changes. Currents are particularly strong around the charted rock in the reserve's north and strong winds can quickly make the sea choppy. 


Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 5
Nelson 7042
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