Hardy European pioneers founded the beautiful city of Nelson, New Zealand in 1842, although this..Nelson Lakes National Park Information
The Southern Alps find their beginning in Nelson Lakes National Park, 102,000 hectares of mountains..Abel Tasman National Park Information
It would be hard to imagine a more perfect piece of coastline - clear turquoise waters, golden..Golden Bay Information
Before you lay eyes on Golden Bay, you'll enjoy an amazingly scenic road journey. The long, slow..Abel Tasman Coast Track Information
Mostly within the boundaries of Abel Tasman National Park, the Abel Tasman Coast Track combines all..See all locations in Nelson Region
One of the major attractions of Abel Tasman National Park, Tonga Island Marine Reserve includes sandy beaches, boulder headlands, rocky reefs and small estuaries. The reserve is named for Tonga Island, which is offshore from Onetahuti Beach.
Foot access to the reserve is along the coast track from north or south. The nearest carpark is at Awaroa. Allow a full day for the return trip, because it’s only safe to cross Awaroa Inlet two hours either side of low tide.
In summer and autumn, the best snorkelling is around the rocks between Tonga Quarry and Foul Point. Scuba divers should target reef systems in the north of the reserve, at about 15 metres depth.
The underwater environment is notable for the attractive film of pink algae that coats much of the rock and the abundance of grazing animals, such as kina and turban shells. Caves and crevices on the reefs may conceal a crayfish passing the day in secret or a conger eel lurking in the dim light. A torch will illuminate a colourful array of animals encrusting the rock surfaces. Look out for the more common inshore fish - wrasse, blue cod, snapper, tarakihi and moki.
At any time of the year, sea kayaking is a great way to explore the reserve. Sea-kayakers can discover Mosquito Bay and Shag Harbour - beautiful coves that the walking track doesn’t reach. From a kayak you could also encounter dolphins and penguins. Seals are common around Tonga Island, especially during winter when they travel north on their annual migration.
If you’re on foot, the small estuary behind Onetahuti beach is a good place to see herons, oyster catchers and other wading birds. At the southern end of the beach the track climbs around a small headland to Tonga Quarry, where granite was quarried early this century. Continue down the coast to the beautiful arches at Arch Point. There is a good variety of seaweeds here, visible at low water. There are also rock pools to investigate.
Nestled in the Southern Alps of New Zealand on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the..Milford Sound Information
Described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by..Christchurch - Canterbury Information
Float above the plains in a hot air balloon or soak in relaxing thermal pools. Enjoy the excellent..Fiordland Information
Watch the mountains shake off winter and start to warm up for summer. Waterfalls are invigorated..Dunedin Information
The city of Dunedin was built with the riches of the gold rush, consequently it has one of the best..Otago Peninsula Information
Flanking the southern edge of Dunedin's extensive harbour, Otago Peninsula is high and rugged on..Akaroa Information
An easy drive south-east of Christchurch, Banks Peninsula is the South Island's most interesting..Doubtful Sound Information
Sometimes called the 'Sound of Silence' Doubtful Sound is the deepest (421 metres) and second..Tauranga Bay Information
n the coastline about 16km south west of Westport, you will find Tauranga Bay and the Cape Foulwind..Marlborough Information
Marlborough is full of activities for you to enjoy. No matter your budget and interests, there is..Hokitika Information
Hokitika was first settled in 1860, after the discovery of gold on the west coast. It was an..Central Otago Information
Central Otago is a region touched by history, with a powerful landscape of ancient mountains..Dunedin - Coastal Otago Information
Dunedin’s legendary gardens at Glenfalloch and Larnach Castle, are a profusion of colour and..Lake Wanaka Information
Lake Wanaka is a place to take a deep breath and relax. Protected from the outside world by the..Southland Information
Southland comes to life in spring. Crisp frosty mornings give way to bright sunny days. Bird life..See all locations in South Island