GOAT ISLAND MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE
The Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre educates the public about the marine environment with videos, interactive displays, information panels, unusual preserved specimens, fish tanks, a touch tank and a sound tunnel. It’s fun and informative. You’ll leave with new knowledge of the marine species living inthe waters of north-eastern New Zealand, particularly in the Goat Island Marine Reserve.
For budding marine biologists, school holidays are a great time to bone up on all things fishy. In the July holidays, the dissection programme, run by the patient and knowledgeable Marea Neill, was an informative class for kids between 10-15 years. Other school holiday programmes include mussel dissection, 3D life cycles using Play-Doh and papier mâché marine animals – the latter two are for the younger students from 6 to 9. During the dissection class, kids discussed the difference between invertebrates and vertebrates, found and named all the invertebrates in the tanks from which they calculated the biodiversity of species then checked out different fish species. They went on to investigate the external features of a pilchard and delve into the insides, all the while drawing their dissection onto waterproof paper to take home with them. The dissected fish were then fed by hand to the animals in the three tanks, including the newest member of the team, Octeelee the octopus. Overall, highly entertaining and educational for all! Programmes run Mondays and Wednesdays during all school holidays.