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Goat Island snorkelling

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Leigh is a small village 92kms north of Auckland. It is part of the Rodney District, just out of the Auckland Region.

One of its features is the Goat Island Marine Reserve, a popular destination for people wanting a quick getaway from the city — around a quarter of a million of them a year! They love its beaches, cafes, lunch bars and peaceful environment.

A wonderful place to stay is Rowntrees Leigh Accommodation, a few minutes from the Goat Island Marine Reserve. It offers seclusion, privacy and security, coastal walks and excursions beneath the water.

A spacious studio guest room has views across gardens and trees to nearby hills. It is on the upper floor of the main home with its own entrance and parking space. There are kitchen facilities and dining and lounging areas. Continental breakfast is available on request.

It has queen bed, ensuite, television and DVD player and movies, refrigerator, microwave and tea and coffee making facilities.

There are some delightful fine dining restaurants not far from Rowntrees, as well as casual cafes and vineyards.

Goat Island is one of New Zealand's best dive sites. Known as the Coastal Aquarium, you can scuba, snorkel and kayak from the island's reserve beach.

It has been a marine reserve since 1975 and is home to a wonderful variety of marine life such as blue cod, snapper, crayfish, anemones, sponges and sea squirts. These creatures swim in an undisturbed world with visibility between five and 20 metres. It's heaven for divers and underwater photographers.

Fish species have flourished and the local coastline outside the boundaries of the reserve have also benefited from the 'no take' restrictions. Enjoy the sea life in a variety of habitats from rocky shores which are exposed at low tide, deep reefs, underwater cliffs, canyons and sand flats.

Goat Island Dive has eco tours aboard 'Apollo' during November to April on Mondays and Wednesdays. On the way out there is a talk about the marine reserve and the different species that live there. For those not wanting to get wet there is plenty to see and do. Walk around the rocks at low time and you will come across Blue Maomao channel, butting through the rocks. You can also stroll to Pakiri Beach to rock flats and rock pools with many critters the tide has left behind until it returns.


A one hour drive from Auckland.


Goat Island snorkel, fin and wet suit hire starts at around $19 a day.

Rowntrees Leigh accommodation has a studio room for around $125 a night, including breakfast

Air New Zealand has flights to Auckland.

One-way fare from;
  • Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, $239
  • Adelaide, $399
  • Perth, $499

Valid for sale until May 7, 2007 for travel between May 15 to December 15, 2007. Prices quoted correct at April 19, 2007

More information

Goat Island Dive
142a Pakiri Road,
Leigh, New Zealand
Ph: + 64 9 422 6925
Fax: +64 9 422 6926

Rowntrees Leigh Accommodation
45 Goat Island Road,
Leigh, New Zealand
Ph/Fax: + 64 9 422 6047

Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476

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