Northeast of Auckland far offshore, the snorkeling off the Kermadec Islands, especially Meyer Island, is known for its amazing corals and the numerous Galapagos sharks abound. While snorkeling Kermadec Islands, you may also encounter yellow perch, blue maomao, yellow grey drummers and Galapagos sharks.
The uninhabitated Kermadec Islands are located about 1,000 km northeast of New Zealand (about a five day boat ride). The Kermadec Islands Nature Reserve and Marine Reserve is the most remote area managed by New Zealand Department of Conservation and can only be visited with a special permit. Boats are welcome into the reserve, but on-island camping is prohibited.
The waters around the Kermadec Islands are considered exceptionally clear with high visibility. But, there are strong currents and some large swells making for challenging snorkeling. Plus, there are a variety of venomous shellfishes and fishes such as lionfish, crown-of-thorn starfish and cone shells. The best snorkeling is Boat Cove at Raoul Island and Boat Harbour at Meyer Islands.
To reach Auckland by air, fly into Auckland Airport (AKL), which is located south of Auckland.
Overall, Kermadec Islands is the 2nd most popular snorkel dive spot of all 10 snorkeling dives in New Zealand.