Taking the Family to TeTaupwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve

4th November 2014

If you are fortunate enough to own a boat that you can take the entire family out in, head to TeTaupwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve. With over 2,400 hectares of coastline, there is certainly lots for you to explore. Practically everything about TeTaupwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve is varied. Whether you like to see seaweed in all its glory or fish, you won’t walk away disappointed.

What to do at TeTaupwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve

With a low tide and lots of deep pools, you can happily take a gaggle of children to TeTaupwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve and release them to do some paddling. Clearly, some observation is needed, but you don’t need to worry about a suddenly fast tide coming along and sweeping the little ones out to sea. While you are wandering between the rocks, you can peer into the pools to observe crayfish and other small creatures.

As the tide is low for most of the day, this is a great place for children to go swimming and snorkelling. While snorkelers may not come across brightly coloured reefs and corals, there are plenty of small fish for you to observe. Ultimately, this is all little ones need to remain enticed with an area. If you venture a little further out, there are some corals on the rock hangs. In addition, you may see some scorpion fish and nanua.

Romantic couples aren’t left out from the TeTaupwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve activities either. If you have 90-minutes to spare, you can complete the beach walk as the sun sets. Alternatively, you may want to ascend the cliffs together to see the remains of a long abandoned village. From there, you can take in the view of nearby islands and landscapes.

While exploring, try to look out for signs indicating which areas are private. As a Marine Reserve that is home to human inhabitants, it isn’t open for everyone to explore. Watching out for signs ensures you do not make the embarrassing mistake of wandering onto someone else’s land.

Make the Most of Your Stay at TeTaupwae o Rongokako

The tides are low most of the time, but like anywhere in the world, you do need to look out for changing sea conditions. When the tide does rise a little, a current may drain the reef platform. As such, you should plan any paddling or snorkelling activities around the tide.

Numerous nearby harbours and landing points are available for those who want to take their boat to the area. Checking out the Department of Conservation’s boundary map is the best way to determine where is appropriate for you to land.

If you expect to camp at TeTaupwae o Rongokako, you may be left feeling a little disappointed. However, you can stay at Anaura Bay, which is about 40 minutes’ drive away. For city-based accommodation, try Gisourne city.

As a Marine Reserve that is calm and full of shallow waters, TeTaupwae o Rongokako is perfect for a family day out. As it is 40 miles away from the nearest accommodation, you should expect to spend a day there if you are not local to the area. Make all the right provisions with regards to going to the toilet, eating, and staying clean while at the reserve.

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