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Most of Wellington's south coast is bundled into a reserve called Taputeranga. This reserve extends 2.3km out to sea and along 3.3km of coastline encompassing Owhiro, Island, and Houghton bays. The areas reserve status means a fishing ban is in place as a measure to preserve marine life. The reserve protects three ocean currents that converge off the coast here, creating a wide range of habitats which attract a rich mix of plants and animals.
Great views of the South Island are visible along this coast with the peaks of the South Island standing out clearly in the winter months when the Kaikoura mountains are covered in snow.
Notable places along this coast of the North Island include: Lyall and Houghtons bays for surfing, Red Rocks for walking and viewing seals, Princess Bay for swimming, and Owhiro Bay for diving.