Goat Island near Leigh is the home of New Zealand’s very first marine reserve. For over 40 years it has rehabilitated the marine environment and grown into a well-known attraction not to be missed by both domestic and international visitors.Approximately 80km north of Auckland and 10km past Matakana, Leigh is the perfect escape from the city, or for travellers making their way north. For those driving to the reserve, it’s well sign-posted and free parking is available at the Department of Conservation car park, just above the main beach. Priding themselves on making Goat Island as enjoyable and accessible as possible for all types of visitors, Glass Bottom Boat Tours, Kayak and Snorkel Hire offer the Goat Island Experience Package. No car? No worries. City Buses provide transport to Warkworth, and Goat Island can provide transport aboard the ‘Goat Island Express’ to the beach. Call to enquire about bus transport and Goat Island Express availability. Once aboard the ‘Aquador’, visitors can look through the boat’s glass bottom and view an array of spectacular fish (including some seriously large ‘Grandaddy’ snapper which have been around for years) swimming through the abundant kelp and seaweed forests. You’ll spy eagle and sting rays as they glide over the sand, and see many other types of marine life nestled among the reefs. Glass Bottom Boat tours are not only popular among family holiday-makers but has a growing reputation for providing top quality team-building workshops and school group tours. There’s room for up to 49 passengers aboard the boat, kayaks for 12 people and enough snorkelling gear for a group of 150. | T: 09 422 6334 or 027 497 9764