Community Snorkels 2017
Each year Mountains to Sea Wellington lays out its wetsuits and provides free guided snorkels to community members in the Wellington Region. These snorkel events have become increasingly popular with record attendance this year.
Community members join us in the months of February and March to gear up with a mask and snorkel to dive into the water for a fins on experience. Participants are buddied up with experienced volunteer snorkel guides, who share their passion and knowledge to explore the underwater world.
Community snorkel at Taputeranga Marine Reserve (Island Bay)
This year we were lucky to host 5 community snorkel events. These included two events at Island Bay, one at Titahi Bay and two in Whitireia Park. These attracted over 450 people from around the Wellington region. For many of which it was their very first time snorkelling.
Taputeranga Marine Reserve – Island Bay Community Snorkels
Snorkels at Island Bay allowed community members an opportunity to discover the benefits marine protection can offer to the environment. Island Bay is a nice sheltered bay for exploring what’s beneath the surface on the south coast of Wellington. Participants got to see schools of yellow eyed mullet, blue moki, butterfish, eagle rays and much more. The abundance and size of paua as well as the huge variety of seaweeds were sure favourites by many participants this year.
An abundance of large sized paua can be seen inside Taputeranga Marine Reserve.
Participants ready for their snorkel in Taputeranga Marine Reserve.
‘This was so fantastic, thank you! The kids were absolutely buzzing and we can hardly believe the array of sea life they got to see so close to the shore. It was the perfect introduction to snorkelling.’
Porirua Community Snorkels
This year we hosted three community snorkels in the Porirua area, with one of them being first ever community snorkel in Titahi Bay. The other two snorkels took place in Whitireia Park as a part of Seaweek celebrations. These two sites allow participants to discover the rich biodiversity that exist so close to Porirua City, even though they are not a protected areas of the coast. Participants get to snorkel amongst rocky reefs and seagrass habitat, and get up close with a range of different creatures. Spotties, banded wrasse and yellow eyed mullet, are always plentiful and exciting to see. The abundance of seahorses found at these sites is what makes snorkelling there so special.
Seahorse spotted at our Whitireia Park community snorkel.
Participants enjoying a guide snorkel through Whitireia Park.
If you would like to get involved in one of our community snorkels next season, follow us on Facebook to find out when they will be happening. Until then, happy snorkelling.