Hen & Chicks
Hen and Chickens Islands and Sail Rock are just a short hop away from Mangawhai Heads and the waters around these islands are a great destination for a half day or a full day trip.
The islands themselves are bird sanctuaries, so no landing without a DoC permit, however, there is a wide diversity of marine life so fishing, diving, or snorkeling are popular here.
Each Island is unique and very different to its neighbour.
Sail Rock which is the closest to Mangawhai, is a steep sided rock rising abruptly from the sea, with deep drop offs continuing underwater. The Hen Island is the next closest and the largest island in the group, with the Chicks further out to the north and comprising of a collection of different sized islands, down to mere rocks.... looking like a bunch of scattered chickens..
Schools of Kingfish often can be found in the vicinity of all the islands but can be difficult to find, unless a workup pinpoints them.
There is a good variety of fish to be found around the islands, including snapper, blue maomao, sweep, terakihi, trevally, goatfish, red moki, demoiselles, mako sharks and several species of rays, as well as the many species of reef fish, crayfish and scallops.
The Hen and Chicks both have plenty of rocky bays which can provide shelter from a prevailing breeze.and the fishing is usually good when the tide is right.