10 Places to Scuba Dive in New Zealand
What’s that? New Zealand is awesome underwater too?
Divers are spoiled with different types of dives off the coast of New Zealand.
The islands off the shore of the North Island attract tropical fish, whereas the fiords found in the South Island provide the perfect environment for black corral. Dive deep into the waters of the famous Milford Sound, or there is a choice of wreck dives, especially around the Bay of Islands and Northland, for more technical divers. You can even explore the ocean that attracts so many sea mammals in Kaikoura.
Just remember to dive safely and always have a dive buddy!
1. POOR KNIGHTS ISLANDS
Poor Knights Islands is mostly known for its diving opportunities. There are four dive spots, but your diving trip isn’t complete until you do the Maomao Arch, with thousands of maomao swimming around you! Access Poor Knights Islands from Tutukaka in Northland.
2. White Island
The waters off White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano, attracts colourful tropical marine life and larger fish. There are three dive spots: Volkner Rocks, Club Rocks and Liason’s Reef. Check out the underwater vents too in this unique volcanic location. White Island and its dive sites can be accessed from Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.
3. Tui Wreck
This vessel was sunk for the purpose of an artificial reef, so amongst the growth there are golden snapper. Tui Wreck is another dive site off Tutukaka in Northland.
4. The Mikhail Lermontov Wreck
If you have a go big or go home mantra, then this wreck dive is for you. The Mikhail Lermontov is the biggest shipwreck dive in Australasia. It is in Port Gore, Marlborough Sounds.
5. Aramoana Mole
An easily accessible dive near Dunedin, Aramoana Mole is a place to explore underwater forests.
6. Fiordland National Park
The fiords in Fiordland National Park shelter its water, keeping it calm and clear for undisturbed visibility. Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound are known to have black and red coral, attracting little guys like this.
Want to know more about Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound? Check out: Fiordland National Park – Guide for Backpackers.
7. kapiti Island
Kapiti Island gave its name to the famous New Zealand cheese and ice cream brand Kapiti. It’s also a famous diving site. There you go!
8. Rainbow Warrior
Just off the coast of the Bay of Islands is the sunken Rainbow Warrior. The Rainbow Warrior was a Greenpeace ship on its way to protest France’s nuclear testing in Muroroa when it was sabotaged in the Auckland Harbour and sunk in 1985. It now rests as an artificial reef in the Cavallii Islands attracting all kinds of marine life.
The South Island town of Kaikoura is famous for attracting sperm whales, dusky dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, albatross and more! Although you can go swimming with these sea mammals, isn’t complete until you explore the kelp forests and limestone reefs of the underwater world.
10. Mercury Islands
Swim amongst hundreds of schools of fish and even spot octopus (and sharks!) in the marine reserve surrounding Mercury Islands’ waters. The dive location can be accessed from Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula.
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