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.

For boundaries, tide and other information download the MarineMate app.

Find things to do and places to stay Kermadec Islands

Anchoring alongside Raoul Island will give you a chance to see birds found nowhere else in the world. You may be lucky enough to see tropical birds such as the red-tailed tropic bird or masked booby.

Many seabirds breed on the Kermadec Islands. You might spot species such as the black-winged petrel, white-naped petrel and white-bellied storm petrel when cruising around the islands.

Most people stop near Raoul Island on their way to Pacific islands further north. The journey of about 1,000 km takes most boats 4-5 days. Boaties are welcome to navigate through the Kermadec Islands Marine Reserve.

All vessels intending to go inside 1000 m from mean high water springs of any of the islands are required to have a clean hull. There are restrictions on anchoring (PDF, 4,000K). A special permit is required to go ashore on Raoul Island. Camping is not permitted on the island. If travelling from mainland New Zealand to an overseas destination you may also need special NZ Customs clearance to stop at the Kermadecs.

Note: Due to biosecurity concerns, it is only possible to visit Raoul directly after leaving the New Zealand mainland. You cannot visit Raoul Island on the way back from the Pacific Islands, ie Tonga or Fiji.

The spectacularly clear, subtropical waters of the Kermadec Islands offer some truly outstanding diving. However large swells and strong currents can make diving hazardous in many places. A variety of venomous shellfishes and fishes (e.g. cone shells and lion fishes), as well as crown-of-thorns star fish and numerous urchins also require divers to take care and remain aware of their surroundings.  Galapagos sharks are abundant and may be encountered, sometimes in large numbers, almost anywhere around the islands. 

Snorkelling is probably best in Boat Cove, Raoul Island, and in Boat Harbour, Meyer Islands.  Snorkelling off Fishing Rock on Raoul Island you might be surprised by a large spotted black grouper rubbing up against you! These fish can grow up to 1.8m in length and probably live for over 50 years.

Diving is most varied around Raoul Island and includes relatively sheltered shallow coves, boulder shores dropping onto sand at 20-30m depth, exposed headlands and islets with sheer drop offs and overhangs, as well as isolated offshore pinnacles.

All divers should take care to avoid inadvertently damaging corals and other marine life.

Read what it's like to live and work on Raoul Island from some of the DOC workers stationed there on DOC's Conservation blog.

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.


DOC Customer Service Centre
Phone 0800 275 362
Address DOC offices
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