The Glass Bottom Boat, 'Aquador', runs trips at Goat Island Marine Reserve, world renowned for its abundant marine life. Goat Island Marine Reserve was the first marine reserve in New Zealand and has been protected for more than 37 years, situated just outside Leigh, a small coastal village, 80kms north of Auckland.
The Glass Bottom Boat, run by Christina and Ivan Blackwell has been operating safely for over 15 years and is fully surveyed to carry 49 passengers. Our purpose-designed and built 11-metre Glass Bottom Boat gives you the best possible view of the marine life both above and below the water. The two 5-metre long glass panels with seating all around have been specially designed to ensures a good view from all seats. The boat is boarded via an easy access ramp and allows safe and dry embarking and disembarking from the left hand side of the beach at Goat Island Marine Reserve, where you also get your ticket.
Parking is available in the Department of Conservation (DOC)’s car parks above the main beach, where there are toilets available. Tickets for the Glass Bottom Boat are purchased on the beach, on the left hand side, before departure or from the boat, depending on the day. On our popular trip Around the Island we show you fish, marine life, reef and caves. A range of bird life can also be seen around Goat Island. The commentary is educational and informative on all marine creatures during your trip. Each trip is different and unique; you never know what marine life you will see.
Goat Island Marine Reserve or its proper name: ‘Cape Rodney to Okakari Point Marine Reserve’ was the first marine reserve established in New Zealand in 1975. It protects 547 hectares of sea and shore, spanning from Cape Rodney to Okakari Point, including the waters around Goat Island and 800m from shore. Goat Island Marine Reserve is run by DOC.
Marine reserves are designated areas of sea and coastline, and are 'no-take' areas. All marine life is protected and it is prohibited to take, kill or collect anything from the beach or water. Take only photos, rubbish and memories. Leave only footprints. Now the marine life has been left to recover and flourish and fish life is back to what it used to be like before the area was fished-out and many varieties can be seen.
Leigh Marine Laboratory at Goat Island Marine Reserve is part of The University of Auckland. Scientists from all around the world come to Leigh Marine Laboratory to study at Goat Island Marine Reserve.