To the south east lie the Aldermen Islands, 12 nautical miles off the coast of Tairua. Here the volcanic origins of the region are evident by the vertical spines that soar from the sea floor, eroded remains of lava from a catastrophic eruption. These spines rise like organ pipes from the sandy bottom, providing rich feeding stations for sea life. Some pinnacles barely pierce the surface, so local knowledge is essential for navigating these waters. The underwater caverns, gullies and tunnels are majestic, world-class dive sites. The islands themselves are a wildlife sanctuary, home to several species of endangered reptiles which can be seen sunning themselves on the sheer rocks, alongside vivid nudibranch. The Aldermen encompass 134 hectares, providing a vast underwater playground filled with wild beauty.