They are basically islands rising from the sea, in the distance of 700 m to 1.5 km from New Plymouth . The Sugar Loaf Islands are of volcanic origin, and they are considered to be the oldest formations and cliffs in the area. They were formed about 1.75 million years ago of andesite rock. The Sugar Loaf Islands consist of eleven islands, the largest of which are Moturoa and Motumahanga, lying on the northern edge of the reservation. The best way to explore the islands is by motor boat, which can be rented in New Plymouth .
The Sugar Loaf Islands hide a large number of different species of plants and animals. We can find here about 80 known species of fish, 19 bird species and 33 species of marine fungi. Visitors will surely appreciate the sight of New Zealand fur seals, common dolphins, Hector's beaked whales, killer whales and humpbacks.
The Sugar Loaf Islands are very popular among divers, mainly due to their underwater wealth - in the summer, the visibility is up to 20 m. The Sugar Loaf Islands are also loved by fishermen, who must, nevertheless, follow certain rules. In addition to its interesting flora and fauna, the Sugar Loaf Islands offer lovely sceneries of rocks falling into the sea and beautiful beaches suitable for swimming.