A few dolphins in the Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) marine mammal sanctuary
Image: Catherine Peters | ©

Introduction

Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary is a popular place for boats and other water activities. This sanctuary comes into effect 15 December 2021.

Highlights

The Bay of Islands is declared as a Marine Mammal Sanctuary under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978. This was gazetted on 17 November 2021 by the Minister of Conservation and comes into effect on 15 December 2021.

Read the full gazette notice.

Find things to do and places to stay Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary

The Bay of Islands is a popular destination for boating. The Bay of Islands provides recreational boaties with a mixture of stunning scenery and a diverse range of marine life.

The Bay of Islands is a marine mammal sanctuary. Help protect marine mammals by following the instructions for vessel users.

Restrictions and maps for boating and vessels.

Diving

The Bay of Islands unique landscape provides a range of opportunities for diving. It’s a summer hotspot for divers wanting to experience the range of marine ecosystems that exist in this area.

The Bay of Islands is a marine mammal sanctuary. No one is allowed in the water within 300 m of a marine mammal – diving is included in this. Help protect marine mammals by following the restrictions and guidance for diving.

Diving restrictions to keep marine mammals safe in the Bay.

Snorkelling

The Bay of Islands is perfect for snorkelling, with a number of sheltered bays and unique landforms.

It’s also a marine mammal sanctuary, which gives marine mammals space for their natural behaviours free from human interactions. This means there are restrictions for swimming and snorkelling when marine mammals are present.

No one is allowed in the water within 300 m of a marine mammal – snorkelling and freediving is included in this.

Snorkelling restrictions to keep wildlife safe in the Bay of Islands.

Swimming

The Bay of Islands is a summer hotspot, with warm clear waters perfect for swimming. The islands have many walking tracks, which lead to sheltered bays. These are the perfect way to cool off on a hot summers day.

It's a marine mammal sanctuary. Help protect marine mammals by following the restrictions while swimming.

No one is allowed in the water within 300 m of a marine mammal – swimming is included in this.

Swimming restrictions to keep wildlife safe in the Bay of Islands.

The Bay of Islands has a long history as a fishing destination. Fishing and gathering kaimoana is a common activity while in the Bay of Islands.

Fishing is allowed in the Bay of Islands. However, the marine mammal sanctuary has restrictions for vessels and it's important you know these before you go.

Restrictions for boating in the Bay of Islands.

The Bay of Islands provides great kayaking opportunities, with various islands to explore. The islands are predator-free, so be sure to check your kayak and gear for animals before you leave the mainland.

The marine mammal sanctuary restrictions apply to all vessels including kayaks and canoes.

Boating and vessel restrictions in the Bay of Islands.

Contacts

Pewhairangi / Bay of Islands Office
Phone:   +64 9 407 0300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   bayofislandsbooking@doc.govt.nz
Address:   34 Landing Road
Kerikeri 0230
Postal Address:   PO Box 128
Kerikeri 0245
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