The Lagoon Sanctuary is involved in a number of research projects, including the study of larvae, fish behaviour, and coral grafting. It's an exciting educational activity for guests of all ages.
Nestled within the grounds of the Resort is an inner lagoon teeming with exotic marine life. The Ruahatu (God of the Ocean) Lagoon Sanctuary is more than just a spectacular snorkelling location – it is also a research haven where the marine environment not only thrives but grows, furthering a delicate and wondrous ecosystem.
Led by marine biologist Oliver Martin, the Lagoon Sanctuary offers snorkelling adventures, coral grafting exhibits, fish- and octopus-feeding sessions and open discussions on the Polynesian ecosystem. The Sanctuary is maintained in an effort to learn more about the changing marine environment while working to conserve it.
The Sanctuary is home to over 100 colourful species, including the octopus, eagle ray, lizardfish, Picasso trumpetfish, soldierfish, firefish, unicorn fish, spotted pufferfish, parrotfish, peacock damselfish, clownfish and butterfly fish. Sea urchins, anemones and shrimp are also present, along with many other native species of marine life.
The coral grafting techniques used at the lagoon are highly technical, requiring great care and precision. Scientists monitor the graftings of different species of coral along 30 artificial structures as well as the banks of the lagoon. When these grafts grow further, they will be planted to provide essential functions in the lagoon.
Private guided snorkelling tours of the lagoon are available. Guests can also experience a complimentary coral grafting lesson, and children are offered a complimentary Marine Awakening Program. The Sanctuary is always open to guests who would like to explore the lagoon, feed the fish, view the underwater museum or speak with Oliver about the incredible marine environment at the resort.