Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, New Zealand

The Hauraki Gulf is a coastal feature of New Zealand's North Island.  The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is the only marine park in New Zealand and stretches over 1.2 million hectares.  While the area is very much protected, it is also a popular tourist attraction and there are plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Exploring Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

For those who don't mind getting wet, a trip into the water should definitely be on the cards.  Whether you are a qualified diver or simply wish to snorkel through the shallower areas, the marine life below the waves is truly remarkable.  Because the fish and sea life are so well protected, they seem to sense this and they are far from shy.  Your trip under water will allow you to get a glimpse of some larger species including mature, large crayfish.

If you prefer keeping your feet on try land, you can still explore various islands that fall within the reserve.  Each of these islands has its own list of attractions, sights and activities.  Just like the colourful life below, there are a number of different birds and animals that call these islands home.  Keep your eyes open for some spotted Kiwis, brown Teals and other species.

Things to do in Hauraki Gulf

There are a number of activities in this area for both visitors and locals. If you are a climber and fancy a challenge with the reward of a stunning view, you can navigate your way up the recently active volcano of Rangitoto Island. 

A popular spot for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts is the Tiritiri Matangi Island.  Here you can get fairly close to some of the rarest local species.

Wine connoisseurs can visit Waiheke Island, visit the wineries and vineyards on an escorted tour, whilst sampling the local brew. For an enlightening experience and the chance to learn more about the local colonial history, you can make your way to Kawau Island by means of a floatplane.

Additionally, locals often enjoy taking part in the famous America's Cup yacht race.  If you are in the area as they pass, you can enjoy watching a portion of this fantastic race.

Diving, snorkelling and other water activities are obviously also high on the list for locals and visitors.  There really is no better way to fully enjoy this area than by venturing into the water.

The local activities in this area mean that anyone can make the most of a holiday here.  Whether you are an experienced diver or first time snorkeller, the waters await!  There are even plenty of tour companies ready and waiting to show you around and take you on family friendly adventures.