Parininihi Marine Reserve

This high energy coastline environment is home to a special collection of rare and exotic sponges.

One of New Zealand’s newest marine reserves is also one of the country’s most isolated and tempestuous, with an ever-changing environment and ‘high energy’ coastline. Parininihi is an 1800ha section of the wild North Taranaki coastline in the shadow of the towering White Cliffs. It's constantly thrashed by the turbulent Tasman Sea, creating ever-moving sand and a changing environment. The waters are home to a variety of fish species such as blue cod, blue moki, red moki, gurnard, john dory, kahawai, red cod, terakihi, trevally and snapper.

It has also been reported to have a large rock lobster population. As well as having a special place in the history of Maori, the reserve is also renowned for its collection of rare and exotic sponges - Pariokariwa Reef has been rated as one of the top sponge spots in the world. The marine reserve officially joined New Zealand’s marine reserve network in October 2006. It can be accessed by boat from the Tongapurutu River, Urenui River, Waitara River (bar crossings), or by traveling one hour north from New Plymouth boat ramp. There are no charter boats servicing this area - you should always check with Coastguard for weather and sea conditions.Within the reserve boundaries, all marine life, habitat, objects and structures are protected.

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