Wild Stingray Feeding, Dive Tatapouri, Gisborne
Exciting, fun and unusual, this best describes what it felt like to be surrounded by wild, big and beautiful stingrays at Tatapouri Beach, just out of Gisborne. This is one of the only places in the world to offer stingray feeding. Our group was made of international students from Gisborne Boys and Girls’ High Schools, teachers and overseas visitors. We were well looked after and guided by the very experienced, enthusiastic Tatapouri Dive team. Firstly, after an introduction about the reef and stingrays, long, green waders were given out and put on. Looking like real fishermen, we were instructed by the guides to walk out onto the reef in single file, with our long bamboo sticks which acted like a support.
Once out in the shallow waters of the reef, it didn’t take long before the friendly stingrays gracefully glided in, smelling the buckets of fish treats in store for them. A highlight of the day was actually touching the smooth skin of the rays, giving them pats and plucking up the courage to feed them. Like vacuum cleaners they sucked up their food hungrily from our nervous hands. Their long barbed tails swishing around in the shallow waters. A reminder that we still needed to be careful around these magnificent puppies of the ocean.
Our students loved this marine experience, learned a lot about stingrays and have this memory to take back home.