The marine reserve in Goat Island is hardly an undiscovered gem. On any given day in summer the swimming spot is filled with snorkellers, who have taken the day trip north of Auckland. Beyond swimmers the waters around Leigh are full of life. As base for the Auckland University Marine Laboratory it's a great place to see Red Moki and Blue Maomao.
But there is a more refined way to gain a glimpse into the 'life aquatic'.
Clearyak run kayak tours with a difference. They take kayaking tours in clear boats (hence the name "clear-kayaks"). Made from the same material as bullet-proof glass their boats are both strong and completely see-through, providing views of the sea floor beneath.
Run off nearby Leigh the boat tour company were given the go ahead by Ngāti Manuhiri and the Department of Conservation in 2017 because of their unobtrusive on marine life. They are peaceful, paddle powered and a pure delight to experience.
The kayaks have been a hit elsewhere, with similar ventures popping up in Florida's clear-water aquifers. As New Zealand's first see-though kayak tour, the company says they look forward to welcoming back guests by next month.
"Alert level and Weather permitting we'll be open from the 11th of September" said the operators which will be running trips via prior appointment.
The coast near Leigh might still be a bit chilly for most snorkellers at this time of year. However, you'll be able to stay relatively dry and get a look at the marine life with relatively few swimmers to spoil the view.
If see-though boats weren't surreal enough, Clearyak said they have been trialling night paddles in the boats using powerful squid lamps.
Providing it is not too unobtrusive to marine life it will offer a very different view on the shimmering depths.
Further north in the near Paihia, the Bay of Islands Cruise and Kayak offer a similar night safari as a way to see how New Zealand's coast comes alive at night. The company says highlights include the chance to paddle among bio-luminescent algae.
Imagine how fun that would be in a clear kayak!
Fares from $30 per person for half hour paddle.
Bay of Islands 'Night Safari' from $78 per person.