Tonga Island Marine Reserve Snorkeling

The 3rd most popular snorkel dive spot in New Zealand.

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Northwest of Nelson in Tasman Bay, the snorkeling in Tonga Island Marine Reserve is known for its amazing marine life. Located inside of the Abel Tasman National Park, there are several scenic coves to snorkel with colorful branching red algae. The Tonga Island Marine Reserve is only accessible by hiking in through the Abel Tasman National Park, by shuttle boat service, or by kayaking.

If you plan to hike into the snorkeling coves, there is a carpark in Awaroa and the trail runs along he coast. When hiking, keep in mind that you need to cross the Awaroa Inlet within 2 hours of low tide. It takes about a full day to hike from the carpark to reach the snorkeling sites. If you plan to kayak, the nearest boat ramp is located at Totaranui. Sea kayaking is a great way to explore many snorkeling sites. But watch out for the afternoon winds and keep in mind that there is little shelter from frequent storms.

The best snorkeling is between Foul Point and Tonga Quarry near the rocks. During Tonga Island Marine Reserve snorkeling, you may encounter moki, wrasse, snapper, cod, dolphins, seals and penguins.

To reach the snorkeling on the south island of New Zealand by air, fly into Nelson Airport (NSN). Alternately, you could fly into Christchurch on the south island, or into Wellington which is just across the straight and accessible by ferry into Nelson.

Overall, Tonga Island Marine Reserve is the 3rd most popular snorkel dive spot of all 11 snorkeling dives in New Zealand.


Local Contact(s):  DOC +64 3 546 9339; Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle +64 3 527 8688

Recommended Book:  "Snorkeling New Zealand" from Lonely Planet

Recommended Map:  "New Zealand Adventure Map" from National Geographic

Best Season:  Dec. - Feb.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  Abel Tasman Campsites +64-3-546-8210.

Reference Source:  click here

Article Source:   Best Tonga Island Marine Reserve Snorkeling Review

GPS:  -40.899018, 173.054673

Date Published:  12/8/2012

Date Updated:  8/3/2016

ID:  24920

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Tonga Island Marine Reserve Snorkeling Map


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