The beautiful Astrolabe Reef can be found close to Motiti Island off the coast of the Bay of Plenty and is a popular spot for scuba divers, snorkelers and small vessels. Locals have invested a lot of resources to clean-up of the Reef after the tragic accident in 2011, when the MV Rena was grounded causing an extensive chemical spill to threaten marine life. In parts, the sea bed drops off to 37m deep, but during low tide the reef can break the surface of the water, putting it at risk of damage from nearby boats and swimmers.
Huge efforts have been made to restore the reef to its naturally dynamic and healthy self, and once again it is rich in marine life. There are now ongoing discussions to turn the Astrolabe Reef into a nature reserve, to further protect the natural beauty of the area.
Astrolabe Reef is one of Bay Explorer’s stops and is one of the best places for dolphin and whale encounters across the whole of the North Island. We regularly see whales, dolphins and huge schools of fish around the reef, and sometimes even catch a fresh tuna for our barbecued lunch.
The Bay Explorer
Bay Explorer are local boat tour specialists who are passionate about all our region has to offer. We are proudly Kiwi owned and operated, with plenty of experience running day trips from Tauranga.