Experiencing Marine Reserves have had a busy season empowering and educating kiwi’s through a number of snorkel events. The final event of the year will be held at the famous Poor Knights Islands on Saturday 18th of May. Teaming with Dive Tutukaka it’ll be an action-packed day of guided snorkel tours, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking in arguably one of the best diving spots in the world. Tickets are still available here.
Thank you to all of those that have already got behind this awesome organisation. If you’re not already convinced about getting involved, please read on, and enjoy these trip reports from successful events run recently.
Maitai Bay: The 5th annual Maitai snorkel day was enjoyed by 225 participants and after a year of rāhui/no take protection this site is blooming. In this short time, Maitai Bay has changed from a desolate kina barren to a regenerating ecosystem with huge numbers of juvenile snapper, schools of yellow eyed mullet and some pretty feisty leatherjackets. The kelp forest hasn't come back yet but it's only a matter of time and we can't wait to see how the site looks like next year! This event wouldn't be possible without our primary sponsor Foundation North and our event partners DOC Far North and Far North Surf Rescue. We had a record number of 40 volunteers on the day and with their help we were able to run the day smoothly and effectively.
Waiheke: It's a season for breaking records - 191 participants joined the Waiheke Snorkel Day held at Enclosure Bay, the previous max had been 110! Participants were treated to schools of parore, baby snapper and spotties galore. Huge thank you to the The Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation and Waiheke Local Board for making it all possible. Our volunteers are amazing, and we can't run these events without you.
Goat Island: We had 200 participants who saw the resident huge snapper at NZ's oldest marine reserve. Big thank you to The Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation for funding this event and to the University of Auckland and to DOC for their support.
Ngā Motu - Taranaki: Taranaki had their second EMR Community Snorkel Day this summer and boy, was it a goody! We were lucky enough to have the photographic talent of EMR Deputy National Coordinator, Lorna Doogan. She made the trip from Auckland to check out our EMR events and our local marine environment. It was a perfect time to visit with flat conditions and good visibility! Thanks to the 80+ people who came along this morning and expressed their excitement for Experiencing Marine Reserves! This event was funded through the Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society and wouldn't be possible without our fantastic volunteers.
Mokohinau: Our first outer Tīkapa Moana snorkel at the Mokohinau Islands was a success. 10 lucky participants were chosen for this subsidised trip on Gulf Eco Adventures. It was a 2-hour trip out to the island group which was made longer by a sighting of a Bryde's whale on the way. We arrived at the western side of Hokoromea Island where we swam through archways, got ha-wrassed by Sandager parrot fish and spotted a blue fish. Then it was time for lunch and a tiki tour into the chasm on Pokohinu (Burgess Island). Our second snorkel site was on the northern side of Edith Passage where we were treated to a squad of squid. Our last snorkel site for the day was on Motukino (Fanal Island). As we anchored a school of blue mao mao was feeding on the surface which we swam out into. Huge short and long tailed rays were gliding over the ecklonia forest. All in all, an amazing day out on the ocean! Watch this space for our Winter Adventure Club- Spaces limited.
Rotoroa: Wrapping up the Auckland snorkel days for the 2018-19 season was the Rotoroa snorkel day. Even with some pretty torrential rain in the morning 98 people were treated to a beautiful day snorkelling on a pest free island and a bonus kiwi release! A huge thank you to The Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation and the Rotoroa Island Trust for their support of the day.