Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand 2018

 

The Poor Knights Islands lie about 20 miles offshore from New Zealand's northeast coast. They, and the surrounding 800m of sea were made a no-take marine protected area (MPA) in 2007. Although (like Goat Island) there continues to be some poaching, the reef fish here have recovered to a large extent. In January 2018, my friend Chun Wai Ho (Singapore) and I spent a day at anchor here; several times we saw a pair of large yellowtail kingfish cruising calmly by under the boat. We anchored on the western side, in a small bay were the two largest islands of the group meet. It was a rocky bottom, so we used an anchor retrieval line, just in case. Anchor depth was 16m; rather deeper than I like. Just to the south of us there was a large sea cave, Rikoriko, apparently the largest sea cave (by volume) in the world.

 

  

 

 

 

Scenically, the islands are amazing. The land itself is a strict nature reserve; tourist landing is forbidden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small fish are abundant.

 

 

10-second movie x 400

 

Wai photographed this "thing" which was over 3m in length. I have no idea what it was. 

 

 

The steeply-sloping sides on most of the submerged rock do not encourage snorkelling, although there are a few shallow patches. Two companies run tourist boat services from the nearby Tutukaka Harbour. The surface water temperature when we were there was 20 celcius. Wai and I used 3mm wetsuits.

 

 

 

 

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