Visit the Sugar Loaf Islands

One of the sweetest sights that rests just off the New Plymouth coastline are the Sugar Loaf Islands, or Ngā Motu in Māori. My interest in the islands wasn’t so much because of the historical significance or the high conservation focus placed on these rocky mounds, but simply to act like a sight-seeing tourist for a couple of hours and take in some of New Zealand’s natural beauty marks.
The Sugar Loafs consist of 5 small uninhabited islands which are home to several protected oceanic bird species including the reef heron and little blue penguin, as well as numerous other tide-dwelling mammals such as the New Zealand fur seal, dolphins, orca and other whales.
From either side, the islands are easily spotted along the bay and can even be admired from above from the top of the Paritutu Rock – a prominent rock with a steep climb and scramble, with the assistance of a few chain rails. For those brave enough to make the ascend, you are in for one heck of a panoramic view… just make sure you have a solid pair of trainers and prep accordingly for that unpredictable Kiwi climate.
These bite sized heaps of rock are believed to be as old as 1.74 million years of age, having formed from the remains of volcanic vents. If you get your timing right, the lower lumps can be reached from the beach during low tide and makes for an ideal spot to savour the sweet, sweet wonders that the Tapuae Marine Reserve has to offer.