New Zealand’s Poor Knights Islands – Celebrating 25 years as a marine reserve.

Introduction (text and images by Glenn Edney)

Poor Knights

Ten million years ago a series of violent eruptions created a large land mass off New Zealand’s north east coast. Constant erosion by wind and wave action, combined with glacial and interglacial sea level changes have created the stunningly dramatic and beautiful cluster of islands and rock stacks that we know as the Poor Knights.

The sheer cliffs plunge into a marine environment that is as unique as the islands themselves. Marine life abounds within the protected waters of the marine reserve. Dense kelp forests, sand channels, vertical walls, giant sea caves, archways and underwater caverns create vastly different habitats within a small area, providing a niche for more species of fish and invertebrates than can be found anywhere else in New Zealand coastal waters. Add to this a subtropical current that carries marine life from tropical waters, visibility that ranges from 20 to 40 metres for most of the year and you have all the ingredients for some of the best diving and snorkelling to be found anywhere in the world.

In the following sections we bring you stories of diving and discoveries at the Poor Knights Islands through the decades as well as historical milestones – early days to present.

Put your feet up and enjoy the journey. The Poor Knights feature covers 10 colourful pages in the magazine

© Copyright 2004

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