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  • How do I get to Goat Island?
    To get to Goat Island from Auckland, follow SH1 to Warkworth, and then follow the large brown Goat Island Marine Reserve signs from Matakana through to Leigh and then onto Goat Island. Check out Travel time on Google Maps.
  • Are there places to eat at the Reserve?
    There are no food outlets at Goat Island, however there are plenty of places to eat in Leigh and Matakana- ask the staff for their recommendations!
  • Do I need to catch a ferry to get to Goat Island?
    No. There is no ferry to Goat Island. Goat Island is a small island around 60 meters from the mainland.
  • Can I bring my dog with me to Goat Island?
    No. It is a Marine Reserve so dogs are strictly prohibited both on the beach and in the picnic areas. Please leave your dog at home!
  • Are there toilets and shower facilities at the reserve?
    Yes. There are both toilets and outdoor beach showers (no hot water) facilities at the reserve. There is no drinking water, and there are no BBQ´s- however there are picnic tables where you can enjoy your lunch.
  • Where can I park?
    There are 2 carparks available for you to park your car at the reserve. Please refer to the carpark map here.
  • What is a Marine Reserve?
    A marine reserve is a type of marine protected area. In a marine reserve, the collection, removal, feeding and killing of any marine life is prohibited- including shells or sea urchins. Goat Island was the first marine reserve in the world- where everything from the fish down to the grains of sand are protected!
  • What fish will I see at the Reserve?
    Snapper! Goat Island is known for its very big and friendly snapper. Other species of fish you´re likely to see while you´re in the water are: sweep, leatherjacket, travelly, piper, silver drummer, kahawai, red moki, goatfish, spottys and hiwihiwi (kelpfish). You may also see eagle rays, stingrays and octopus!
  • Do I need to get into the water to enjoy Goat Island?
    No you don’t! There are variety of activities to do at Goat Island, like the Goat Island walkway, rock pools and the Marine Discovery Centre. Come talk to our friendly staff in the shop for more information.
  • Is there public transport available?
    No. You will need your own transport. We recommend hiring a car for the day and enjoying the other incredible sights while you are up here.
  • Do I need to book prior to on the day for a tour?
    Bookings are essential for the tours, otherwise we cannot guarantee availability.
  • What do I need to bring with me?
    Sunscreen (we prefer reef-safe - you can buy this in store), your swimming costume, a towel, your driving license/ ID, drinking water, a packed lunch. if you are booked on a dive charter you will need to bring with you your dive certification.
  • Do you have disability support?
    Yes this is available on special request. Please contact us so that we can arrange a tour to suit your needs
  • What are your operating hours?
    As we are a seasonal business, our operating hours do change. Please click here to view our current operating hours.
  • How do you book a tour?
    You can book a tour online, over the phone or in store. However we recommend you book either online or over the phone as we cannot guarantee availability if you book on the day.
  • Are you open during Christmas and New Years?
    Yes we are, however are closed on Christmas Day (25th December).
  • Is there a minimum age for your water activities?
    Yes. To hire our gear, children need to be a minimum of 2 years old. For our beginner snorkelling tours children need to be 8 years old- children aged under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult. For our advanced snorkelling tours, children need to be 10 years and older- children aged under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult. For our try dives, children need to be aged 10 years and older, with under 12´s accompanied by an adult.
  • Do I have to make a booking for gear hire?
    No, but it is recommended that you do- especially in summer, as we cannot guarantee availability. One of the benefits of booking your gear online prior to your visit to the reserve is that we will contact you to reschedule if the weather is poor.
  • How long can I hire gear for?
    Gear hire is for the full day, until 5pm. There is an after-hours option available for a small additional fee- you can talk to our staff about this in-store or you can check this option when booking online.
  • I don´t want to book on a tour but can I still hire gear?
    Yes you can! You can book your gear hire online or in store, however we recommend booking online prior to your visit as we cannot guarantee gear availability.
  • Can I snorkel with my glasses?
    We have prescription masks available for hire- please contact us so that we can discuss your needs. if you know your prescription you can also select it as an extra when you book in so the correct mask will be waiting for you.
  • Do I need to know how to swim to snorkel?
    If you’re not confident in the water or if you’ve never been in the ocean before, we recommend you book onto our beginner guided snorkel. Our friendly guides will teach you how to be comfortable in the water at a comfortable pace.
  • I am a confident snorkeler, and I’m looking to improve my skills. What are my options?
    We recommend you to book onto our advanced snorkel tours, where we will introduce you to freediving skills that will allow you to experience the underwater world with even more confidence.
  • What gear is included in the Guided Snorkel Tour?
    All equipment needed for snorkelling is provided in the Guided Snorkel Tour. This includes your mask & snorkel, fins and wetsuit.
  • What is snorkeling?
    Snorkeling is when we use a mask to see and a tube called a snorkel to breathe with our face in the water. This allows us to observe the marine world and the life it contains while becoming more confident swimming in the ocean.
  • Can I snorkel or dive while on my period/menstrating?
    Absolutely! If you feel uncomfortable about diving or snorkelling while on your period, you are more than welcome to talk to our female instructors about this and they will ensure you´re comfortable prior to you getting in the water. We would recommend either using period-proof swimwear, tampons, or a menstral cup.
  • How long does a Guided Snorkel Tour go for?
    Please allow 2.5 hours for our snorkel tours (both beginner and advanced) as this time includes, getting your gear, our briefings and time spent in the water. We usually spend an hour in the water.
  • I want to get into diving, but I´m not sure if I´m ready to commit to a course.
    We recommend you book our Try Scuba Diving Experience. It´s a half day try dive experience at Goat Island Marine Reserve. We will teach you how to use the equipment and how to stay safe underwater, while also enjoying the magic of the marine reserve!
  • How long does a Guided Dive go for?
    Please allow half a day for this activity. This allows enough time for getting your gear, our briefings and time spent in the water. Because it´s a shallow water dive, your dive may last up to 80mins- depending on your air consumption!
  • Do I need to be a good swimmer to be able to scuba dive?
    You must be able to swim at a medium level and feel confident in the ocean to be able to scuba dive. You must also be medically fit to dive
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