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Pacific Coast Highway road trip: East Cape Te Araroa

Rongokako Marine Reserve

Rongokako Marine Estuary Rongokako Marine Estuary

The marine reserve has been awarded kiwi guardian status (Department of Conservation programme) and is a very special place. This is an ideal place for families and kids with the tidal flats, river flow and rock pools creating safe places for water play. The main beach is primarily an ocean surf. There are no lifeguards. There are toilets and a picnic area.

Rongokako Marine Reserve picnic area

The marine habitats are an inshore reef, rocky intertidal platforms and sediment flats.

Diving and snorkelling is permitted at low tide in channels and pools. Look for

anemones, small fish and the large crayfish. Do not remove any marine life as it is protected.

Underwater visibility can be low, but if you strike a calm day the deep channel running through the reef is a good place for scuba divers or snorkelers to see species such as blue moki and crayfish. During the incoming and outgoing tide, there can sometimes be a current in the channel draining the reef platform. If you plan to snorkel or scuba dive in the channel, check the tide times beforehand and plan your dive accordingly.

The reef system is accessed via Pouawa Beach which is adjacent to the well known tourist attraction Dive Tatapouri. At Rongokako Marine Reserve the marine life does not compete with tourists walking the reef system several times a day. Look for signage indicating the Marine Reserve and beach, Pouawa. The road is narrow, sandy and rutted. There is off road parking on SH35 however care is needed in the popular summer season.

TIP

Approximately 16 km from Gisborne and the bay before DIVE TATAPOURI

 

JOURNEY FINISHES IN GISBORNE

Rongokako Marine Reserve, Gisborne Kiwi Guardians award
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