South of Wellington, the snorkeling in Taputeranga Marine Reserve is renowned for the Island Bay Snorkel Trail. The underwater snorkel trail is marked by yellow buoys. It starts just to the east of the marine reserve welcome sign on The Esplande. Start snorkeling out to the first yellow buoy. The best time of day to explore the Island Bay Snorkeling Trail is about 1-2 hours before high tide. During Taputeranga Marine Reserve snorkeling, you may encounter blue cod, banded wrasse, octopus, lobster, crabs, anemones, starfish and seahorses. There are over 180 fish species in the reserve. With the cool water in Island Bay, you may want to use a wetsuit when snorkeling.
The Taputeranga Marine Reserve is located about 6km south of Wellington in Cook Strait on the south coast. There are two boat ramps available in the reserve and they are located in Island Bay and Owhiro Bay. To reach the snorkeling near Wellington on the north island of New Zealand, fly into the Wellington International Airport (WLG), which is located to the southeast of the city center. There are regular public buses from the city center out to Island Bay.
Overall, Taputeranga Marine Reserve is the 6th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 10 snorkeling dives in New Zealand.