One of Northland's most popular holiday destinations may be closed because of environmental concerns.
The usually crystal clear rockpools known as the Mermaid Pools are now being described as a "sewer" polluted with cigarette butts, sunscreen and urine.
The Mermaid pools were once crystal clear but now local hapu says popularity has ruined them.
"They're a sacred place to us, slowly they became synonymous as a tourist hot spot. People would come from all around the world to swim there," Te Whanau a Rangiwhakaahu Chair Aperahama Edwards says.
The water quality and environmental impact is quite significant.
The pools are being polluted by a range of things.
"There's definitely been an impact through sunscreen, urine [and] when you look at the sheer number of people frequenting the pool on a daily basis it's just not sustainable," Mr Edwards says.
At one point more than 600 people turned up within a five hour period.
"They were pristine at one time and not too long ago...full of sea life but there's nothing like that anymore," Mr Edwards says.
Hapu will meet with The Department of Conservation about placing a Rahui on the pools in the coming weeks.
Visitors and locals alike all hope the pools will finally have the chance to restore themselves.