Napier, Nugent, Meyer, Dayrell and Chanter islands seen from Raoul Island.

Image: Danica Stent | ©


The Kermadec Islands Nature Reserve and Marine Reserve, located about 1,000 km northeast of New Zealand, is the most remote area managed by DOC and can only be visited with a special permit.

Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Boating
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • 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 Kermadec Islands

About this place

Nature and conservation

Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary

In 2015, the New Zealand Government proposed a new ocean sanctuary in the Kermadec region of the South Pacific Ocean.

At 620,000 sq km, the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary would be one of New Zealand's largest and most significant fully protected areas.

More about the sanctuary on the Ministry for the Environment website

Kermadec Marine Reserve map with WSG84 lat/long coordinates boundaries | View larger (PDF, 512K)

Marine Reserve

The Kermadec Islands are the visible surface of a chain of about 80 volcanoes, stretching for 2,600 km between Tonga and New Zealand.

Raoul Island is the biggest of the group, which begins at the southernmost L’Esperance. While the other islands and islets are smaller, several of them harbour important bird colonies.

The marine reserve was created in 1990 and is one of New Zealand’s largest marine reserves, covering 745,000 ha. It supports New Zealand’s only truly subtropical marine systems, and historically low levels of fishing have left this environment largely undisturbed and abundant.

The Pacific and Australasian tectonic plates collide along the Kermadec Trench, lifting and buckling the Australasian plate and sinking the Pacific plate. The volcanic chain is formed by the Pacific plate melting as it sinks beneath the Australasian plate.

Marine reserve map and boundaries

Use the WSG84 coordinates (map provided) to ensure you do not fish within the boundaries of the Kermadec Marine Reserve.


Getting there

The Kermadec Islands are 1,000 km northeast of New Zealand. The islands are remote and can only be accessed by private boat or charter vessel.

Know before you go

The islands of the Kermadec Group are all of international conservation significance. All the islands in the Kermadec group are extremely fragile, and cannot withstand even low numbers of visitors. 

A permit is required to visit the land. This is only available to people who propose to undertake work to assist in the management or understanding of the islands' ecosystems.

The waters around all the islands and rocks, out to the edge of the Territorial Sea (12 nautical miles) are a marine reserve. All marine life in this area is protected.

For more information on the requirements for land and marine access see visiting the Kermadec Islands with a permit.


Whangarei Office
Phone:   +64 9 470 3300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   2 South End Ave
Whangarei 0110
Postal Address:   PO Box 842
Whangarei 0140
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