Turtles cruising the big blue

Department of Conservation —  23/06/2014

By Denice Gillespie, Partnerships Ranger, Kaitaia

This year during Seaweek (1-9 March) a crew from Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium in Auckland released two green turtles back to the sea in the Far North with the support of Te Rarawa Iwi.

These two turtles, named ‘Luke’ and ‘Isla’, were found washed up near Ahipara last year, and were nursed back to health by the Kelly Tarlton’s team.

Locals returning a green turtle to the sea at Ahipara.

A crowd gathered at Ahipara for the release of Luke and Isla

A large crowd gathered on the beach at Ahipara to witness the returning of the turtles back to their natural environment.

Not long after the release Cyclone Lusi hit and we were all hoping that the turtles hadn’t been affected by it. I was getting a little worried.

Green turtle swimming at Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve.

Green turtle

Dan Godoy also known as the ‘Turtle Man’ from Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium recently gave me an update on the two turtles. It is good news!

Dan reports that one turtle has just left Parengarenga and is now exploring the waters around Houhora. The other turtle was recorded around Manukau Harbour but has since left and was heading a little further south.

A map tracking one turtle near Houhora in the Far North.

One turtle tracked in the waters around Houhora

So it’s good to see our turtle friends are still cruising the big blue, sharing the turtle love! It’ll be interesting to see what they get up to over winter.

One response to Turtles cruising the big blue


    I love the whales. I want to be in DOC.