Located in the Bay of Plenty region
Jet boating is welcome.
Tuhua (Mayor Island) Marine Reserve is a popular dive spot. It's renowned for its high water quality, unusual mix of deep sea and subtropical fish, and stunning geological features.
At Orongatea Bay there is a shallow rock platform suitable for snorkelling.
For many people the most convenient and ready access to the marine reserve is by charter boat.
Diving or sightseeing excursions can be arranged through local operators.
Tuhua's distance offshore (35 km from the Tauranga Harbour entrance) and the location of the marine reserve at the more exposed end of the island, mean particular care is required when planning and undertaking trips there.
Weather and sea conditions can change rapidly. Make sure you advise a responsible person of your intentions, including your destination and time of return.
Make sure you are well-equipped.
The reserve adjoins a restricted fishing area one nautical mile offshore around the whole of the island. Set nets (including gill nets) and long lines (lines with more than three hooks) are prohibited within this area, but all other legal fishing methods are allowed. Normal daily limits apply.
Tuhua (Mayor Island) is a collapsed volcano on the edge of the continental shelf.
The eroded volcanic forms extend beneath the water, creating a network of lava columns, caves and angular boulders. A dense canopy of kelp and other seaweeds covers the crevices, giving shelter to many colourful organisms.
At Orongatea Bay there is a shallow rock platform suitable for snorkelling. It is enlivened by bubbles from underwater hot springs. Offshore the bottom drops away to 50 m at the North East Arising. This drop off is close to the continental shelf and reveals the typical depth related patterns of plant and animal distribution.
The marine reserve has mixture of shallow reef and deepwater environments. Warm currents bring subtropical visitors, and there are dense schools of kingfish and pink and blue maomao, among many other species.
Tuhua (Mayor Island) is a wildlife refuge and is administered by the Tuhua (Mayor Island) Board of Trustees. Opportunities to enjoy the island's unique character and wildlife must be pre-arranged.
Read marine reserve monitoring reports produced by DOC and other agencies.
Auckland and parts of the Waikato are at Level 3. DOC huts and campsites are closed in these regions. The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.