Look & Learn…

Learn about the marine life at Goat Island or New Zealand’s native reptiles at the Reptile Park.
A snorkel or dive course will give you the confidence and skills to view the marine life in the water.

Must dos
looking & learning…

• See New Zealand’s living dinosaur – the tuatara at the reptile park
• Learn from marine scientists at the marine discovery centre
• Gain confidence in the water with a qualified dive or snorkel instructor


The Ti Point Reptile Park has a unique collection of both native and exotic species. It is the only zoo in New Zealand that specialises in reptiles. The animals are well displayed with good information. The range is huge and includes an alligator or two, tortoises, lizards, tuatara and much more. A visit here is ideal for the whole family to wander at your leisure viewing animals and learning more about them. Discover these fascinating creatures in enclosures designed to suit their individual requirements. Also highly suitable for schools and other groups wanting to learn a little more about these amazing animals. It is a pleasant walk or you can enjoy a picnic at the tables set around the park.

Marine Education

The unique Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre caters for individuals or groups (including schools). It is part of Auckland University’s Leigh Marine Laboratory where students study for courses on marine science. Goat Island is ideally located below the centre making it an ideal place for students to also study the marine life in the marine reserve.

The centre was set up as an education facility where visitors can learn more about the marine reserve and can discover more about the studies of the marine students. Guided tours by marine experts, will enhance your visit as you move around the centre. There is a lot of information, plus microscope, touch tank with live marine life, videos and a special young children’s area for drawing or watching children’s videos on marine life. Groups should contact the centre to book their visit.

Guided Snorkelling

If you have never snorkelled before it is a good idea to join  a guided snorkelling tour. The qualified instructors will show you the equipment you need and show you how to use it to get the best from your visit. They will accompany snorkellers and show you the basics in the shallows before swimming further out. Identification of the marine life will be pointed out to you and guides will cover some of the behaviour and habitats. Learn about what hand signals to use when the snorkel is in your mouth. Guides also know the best locations to snorkel. For beginners a safety flotation board is usually provided and the instructor’s priority is to help keep you safe. To advance further, learn how to snorkel below the surface into the realm of the fishes.

Scuba Diving Courses

Imagine what it is like to breathe underwater, to hover in a weightless world with marine life of all colours, shapes and sizes surrounding you. You could start by doing a Try Dive experience which takes just 1/2 day. It begins with some dive theory giving you the basic skills of scuba diving and you learn how the scuba equipment works. After gearing up you will  be taken into shallow water under the direct supervision of a PADI instructor.

No doubt this will entice you to go on to do a PADI Open Water Dive course which can be completed over three days and will result in a dive certification that gets you on the way to a dive career or gives you options for visiting other dive sites and diving in other countries.  Once you become more experienced, you may like to move onto an Advanced Dive Course, a Rescue Diver Course or a Divemaster course.

If you already have your dive certification but are out of practice then talk to the Goat Island Dive & Snorkel instructors about doing a refresher course.