Te-Whanganui-a-Hei was one of the earliest marine reserves to be established, the first in the Coromandel and one of the first nationwide being put in place in 1992. One of the more famous reserves in the country, it is also one of the most popular, being accessible by both land and sea. Home to the white sandy beaches and stunning white cliffs of Cathedral Cove, spectacular islands forming the boundary and abundant marine life, this reserve has a lot to offer.
Since becoming a no take zone, the reserve it is abundant with marine life. Gemstone bay is home to a large school of resident snapper, who swim amongst the snorkel trail and make for a very interesting snorkel. Throughout the marine reserve you will also find many other fish species including blue cod, trevalley, red moki, wrasses, goat fish, blue mao mao, demoiselles plus crayfish, kina, stingrays, eels, octopus, soft corals and more. There are small caves, rocky reefs and overhangs, kelp forests and sandy flats full of marine life ready to be explored.
Snorkelling is one of the best ways to explore the reserve. Our skippers can provide snorkelling in a few different areas within the reserve, all dependant on sea conditions, snorkelling skill level, water clarity and marine life. The decision where to snorkel is often made in the middle of the tour. Masks and snorkels are provided on board, but you are always welcome to bring your own.
Education on sustainability, ocean health and responsible fishing practices is a huge part of what we do. This is made possible by the perfect example of a healthy, balanced eco system we show our guests inside the marine reserve. Sustainability will ensure future generations will have a healthy ocean to explore and enjoy.
What We Support…
We proudly support and donate to several charitable trusts who are helping to protect, preserve and raise awareness about the Te Whanganui A Hei Marine Reserve.
The Friends of Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve Trust was established in 2010, primarily to raise funds for the marine reserve and to facilitate the educational program, Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) to schools in the upper Waikato and Hauraki region. The Trust actively seeks funds through grants and donations to provide this program to schools free of charge. The trust strongly believes educating our tamariki on the marine reserve and raising awareness about conservation is top a priority in order to protect our ocean and marine life.
Hayley is an active trust member and assists with donations for The Friends of Te Whanganui A Hei Marine Reserve Trust.
The Hahei Reserves Management Group is responsible for the planting of trees around Hahei and on reserve land. Recently, they have established a MOU with DOC to take on weed and pest control at the Cathedral Cove Reserve. This group is driven by dedicated volunteers with a passion towards the reserve, planting native trees in and around the reserve, plus removing invasive weeds and pests from the area.
We have adopted the procedure to annually donate to the Hahei Reserves Management Group so they can purchase native trees for planting.
What you can do…
Both these amazing organisations rely on donations to continue to provide these services. If you would like to support the protection, preservation and help raise awareness of the Te Whanganui A Hei Marine Reserve you can do so on our booking page by adding a $2 donation to your booking.
Please click on the link to make donations or for further information.
©2020 Glass Bottom Boat Whitianga