The inaugural Kapiti Community Snorkel event will be held at Rangatira Point, Kapiti Island, on Sunday, February 25.
The event is organised by the Mountains to Sea Wellington Trust — an endorsed provider of the national Experiencing Marine Reserves programme — in association with the Guardians of Kapiti Marine Reserve and with support from the Department of Conservation community fund.
"We are very excited to be able to offer this opportunity to members of our local community to experience the underwater wonders of the Kapiti Marine Reserve and the incredible birdlife and bush of the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve at this fun, adventurous, family event," Guardians chairman Ben Knight said.
"Experiencing the marine life that lives in the reserve first hand is a great way to connect with this nationally important marine space and is a fantastic opportunity for people to see for themselves the benefits that marine reserves provide.
"During their guided snorkel dive, participants can expect to see a variety of marine life including octopus, eagle rays, reef fish such as the red moki and banded wrasse, paua, kina, starfish, sea cucumbers, a myriad of kelp species and many other interesting and unique New Zealand marine animals and plants thriving in the reserves protected waters.
"After they've completed their snorkel adventure there will be plenty of time for participants to relax on the beach or head inland to explore the interior of the island via DoC's well marked walking tracks that take you through stunning native bush that is teeming with New Zealand's most iconic and rare native bird life."
New snorkellers are encouraged and all equipment, guides and safety gear is provided.
While the event is provided free to the community, there is a ticket charge of $43 per child and $80 per adult (plus eventbrites booking fee) to cover the cost of the Kapiti Island ferry transport to and from Rangatira Point.
"The minimum age for the snorkelling is 8 years, and children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a snorkeling adult," Mr Knight said.
"A reasonable level of fitness is required to participate in this event and participants should be in overall good health."
For more info and to book your spot go to www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/kapiti-marine-reserve-community-snorkel-tickets-41126435275