Home of the NZ fur seals "Kekeno"
Tonga means south and is also the name of the marine reserve
Tonga Island is legendary as a seal hot-spot. (Please remember that seals must not be approached closer than 20 metres and you can not land on the island).Tonga Island is part of the Marine Reserve, only the third marine reserve to be created alongside a national park. It covers an area of 1835 hectares, extending one nautical mile (1852 metres) offshore from the mean high water mark of Tonga Island, and the coast between Awaroa Head and the headland separating Bark Bay and Mosquito Bay.
The marine reserve protects all marine life within its boundaries, benefiting not just fish and shellfish, but also animals like seals, penguins and other seabirds that live on the land but feed in the sea. (Information courtesy of Department of Conservation).