Island Bay snorkel trail a first for Wellington

WELLINGTON’S first snorkel trail officially opens this weekend after a year of planning.

The Island Bay snorkel trail has been organised by the Friends of Taputeranga Marine Reserve Trust.

ORANGE BUOYS:Anchored down with recycled ship chain

The trail is situated on the left side of Island Bay, beyond the marine education centre, and runs for about 200 metres, marked by orange buoys.

Trust chair Murray Hosking says it allows the public to more fully appreciate the diversity of the south coast marine life.

“Often people go for a walk in the forest, this is a way of allowing people to have a walk under water,” he says.

The trail is suitable for ages from older children to adults.

A sign in the carpark where  the trail starts explains the marine life snorkelers may see.

“The Department of Conservation has assisted the trust with advice and permits, and is very interested in fostering the use of the reserve,” says Mr Hoskings.

The Wellington Community Trust has sponsored the trail and local shop Island Bay Divers has donated time to help put it together he says.

Owner of Island Bay Divers Tim Walshe pictured left says the snorkel trail has been a year in the making and he is pleased to have finally complete.

 “We are recommending [trail users have] a wetsuit but don’t put a weight belt on.

“There is no current out there at all, so if they stick close to the rocks they will have an enjoyable time.”

Mr Walshe has assembled the buoys for the trail with help from Greater Regional Wellington Council Harbour ranger John Tattersall.

“Tim approached us on behalf of the trust for advice,” Mr Tattersall says

“We were able to source materials and put it together for him,” says Mr Tattersall.

Mr Tattersall used recycled anchor chain from a big ship to anchor the buoys in place. Each link weighs around 10kg.

The trail officially opens this Saturday at 11am.


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