Sugarloaf Islands
Image: Hannah Hendriks | Creative Commons



This Marine Protected Area comprises 749 ha of seabed, foreshore and water around the Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands. It offers some great recreational opportunities.

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

Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Protected Area borders Tapuae Marine Reserve. Be aware the rules of these adjoining areas differ. You can't fish or remove marine life or natural material within Tapuae Marine Reserve.

Find things to do and places to stay Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Protected Area

The islands and reefs in the Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Protected Area are close to Port Taranaki in New Plymouth and are a popular diving spot. The deep water is home to a variety of marine life and the scenery is spectacular. In summer and autumn underwater visibility can reach 20 metres so these are the best times to dive.

Dive shops and the New Plymouth Sports Fishing and Underwater Club regularly dive the area and can provide advice on the best locations and conditions. Divers must display a dive flag while diving to alert boat operators of their presence.

Before you dive, think DEEP:

  • don’t drink alcohol
  • equipment must work properly
  • exercise and fitness - make sure you’re fit and healthy enough for the dive
  • partner up, never dive alone.

Learn more about staying safe underwater on the Water Safety NZ website

Recreational fishing is a popular activity in the Marine Protected Area. Individual fishers are restricted to one rod with a maximum of three hooks. Set netting and long lining are banned. Species taken include kingfish, kahawai, snapper, blue cod, trevally, blue moki, sweep, red gurnard and tarakihi. Normal recreational size and bag limits apply.

Game fishing for tuna, marlin and mako shark is popular further offshore during summer and early autumn.

You cannot fish in the northern boundary of the Tapuae Marine Reserve

The Marine Protected Area borders the northern boundary of the Tapuae Marine Reserve. You cannot fish or remove marine life or natural material within the reserve.

Whether you are fishing from rocks or from a boat, always:

  • do your research on the place and weather first
  • wear a life jacket and communication devices
  • take a friend and tell a friend

Water and boating safety


Taranaki/Egmont National Park Visitor Centre
Phone +64 6 756 0990
Address 2879 Egmont Road
Egmont National Park 4386
Hours Visitor centre hours and services
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