Peering into the rock pools at Te Angiangi Marine Reserve is an inspired way to spend a sunny day.
Te Angiangi Marine Reserve is located on the Hawke's Bay coast, east of Waipukurau. At low tide a broad rock platform is exposed, making it easy to view a fascinating range of marine life. Distinctive rock pool plants and animals include golden limpets, large beds of Neptune's necklace, pink coralline seaweed, eel grass, small fish, crabs, juvenile paua and kina (sea urchins).
The reserve is well suited to snorkelling, particularly in the sheltered waters of Stingray Bay and Shelly Bay. During calm conditions, experienced snorkellers and scuba divers will have no difficulty swimming off the edge of the intertidal rock platform.
Below the waves there are about 138 hectares of reef to explore. The most spectacular underwater scenery is found in depths of 9-15 metres south of Aramoana. Dense Ecklonia kelp forest covers most of the reef, which is broken in places by long sandy guts. Common reef animals include paua, opal shells and reef fish such as red and blue moki, butterfish, banded wrasse, marblefish and sweep. Crayfish (rock lobster) are also an important part of the reef community. Colourful nudibranchs (sea slugs) and large schools of butterfly perch and tarakihi are found at depths of 24-36 metres.