Scuba Diving at the Poor Knights Islands – Day 334, Part 1
Top Dive Location in New Zealand!
Today we are hitting the wildlife-filled waters of the Poor Knights Islands. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then head on over to our epic YouTube Channel!
Today we’re gonna be scuba diving in one of the world’s top 10 scuba diving spots.
This morning we are waking up at the awesome Bunkdown Lodge right in the city centre of Whangarei and we are on the road super early because we are heading to the Tutukaka Marina because today we are jumping in the water.
Yes, today we are going scuba diving at Poor Knights Islands which is probably the most famous scuba diving spot in the whole of New Zealand. After filling up a little bit of paperwork we are boarding the Bright Arrow of the Dive Tutukaka company who is gonna be our tour guide today. We are heading on the water right away and we don’t have time to rest we are already getting our safety instructions because scuba diving is not our job, it/s theirs.
Sophie is giving us information about all the equipment that we’re gonna be using including a BCD which is this really big vest which helps us control our buoyancy basically and how much we’re floating, and also telling us what we are expecting to see in the water and apparently it’s gonna be a tonne of fishes.
While we are on our way to our diving spot we check out heaps of islands. All those rocky islands look like they are straight out of another planet I mean you could have shot the latest Star Wars right here or something it’s quite awesome and they are all inhabited but not by aliens, by amazing seals.
Being the middle of winter, this is the perfect time to see New Zealand fur seals around the Poor Knights Islands and we’re super surprised to actually being seeing seals this far up North in New Zealand so it’s an amazing addition to this tour and speaking of additions we are super surprised by the Poor Knights Islands even before we’ve actually got to the main event which is scuba diving we are amazed by all the huge arches which we can actually take the boat right through the middle of and we learn more about the amazing geology around us from our guide who is telling us heaps about the area.
Basically, we’re diving in a flooded super volcano in the Pacific Ocean.
Steve is definitely hyping up this dive we’re about to do it just sounds absolutely amazing but he also takes the time to recap all the safety instructions just to make sure we’re gonna be behaving in a safe and proper manner with both the wildlife that we’re gonna be encountering as well as all the equipment that we’re gonna be have then we are in the water already.
As soon as we hit the water our dive masters are making sure that all the equipment is working properly and getting us underwater. once we are arriving underwater we are practicing a couple of dive skills just to make sure we are comfortable enough in the water for the journey that we’re about to embark on and then we are getting down in the bottom of the ocean checking out the amazing wildlife.
I can’t believe how clear the water is here and already we are seeing so many different kinds of fish. This first part of the dive is taking us through kelp forest which is basically all this long seaweed that you can see around us and in this kelp forest there is so much wildlife to be seen we’re seeing so many different species of fish which our dive master is gonna tell us what we’re seeing after the tour cos obviously we can’t really talk while we’re diving.
One of the most surprising fish or at least the most funkiest looking fish is this little scorpionfish which is really camouflage in the sand. Our guide really has to point it out to us otherwise we would have just swam right past it.
We’re diving about 10m deep right now which you don’t really need to be a deep sea diver to see amazing stuff at the Poor Knights Islands and our main focus of today is going toward something all the Blue Maomao Arch however the journey to get there itself is really really awesome with so many different species of sea plants an fish we are having an absolute blast.
The entrance to the Blue Maomao Arch is actually a tunnel itself it’s actually quite amazing to pass through a tunnel underwater I personally never done that before. There is so many different colours on every single rock but it’s as soon as we arrive under the arches that we are mind blown. There is an incredible amount of fish surrounding us. Blue maomao are everywhere they are actually staying around this area cos it’s well sheltered from all the swells and also other predators so this is basically where they go for breeding and socialising if fish are socialising.
The sheer size of this school of fish takes our breath away or maybe it’s because we’re underwater, but it’s quite amazing the amount of fish that we get to see right here and probably is about 100,000 of them. Plus because they are not being fished in this area they are not too scared of us so we get to swim really up close to them. We get to pass right in the middle of the school without basically disturbing them at all.
I feel like I just stepped onto a brand new world right here all my senses are altered because well being underwater scuba diving is a very different and eerie experience already plus being surrounded by so much life is absolutely mind boggling. I just can’t help but actually trying to make my way as close as I can to all those fish swimming right in the middle of them and making obviously the most of this opportunity to take amazing pictures underwater.
We get to spend a long time here in the Blue Maomao arch so we definitely don’t feel short changed. Basically we dive for as long as our oxygen tanks will allow which it depends on how calmly you’re breathing but for us it’s around about 50 minutes. And despite being in the water for almost an hour in the middle of winter we’re actually surprised that we’re not getting that cold. We’ve got really awesome gear, some super thick wetsuits some underlayers as well with a hood some socks for our feet as well. We are super toasty but we’re not really thinking about the temperature when we are surrounded by this amazing underwater landscape.
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s crazy the amount of species of fish that we’re seeing here and as I said also early our guide tells us after we get out of the water exactly what we saw but I have a list here so I can tell you what we saw. We saw a clown nudibranch, snapper, a kina urchin, black spiny urchin, scorpionfish, blue maomao, back angelfish, red pigfish, red moki, strangers wrasse, grey moral which is an eel, a leatherjacket, demoiselle, elegant wrasse and as you saw earlier, a New Zealand fur seal. How amazing is that?!
Just before we wrap up this amazing diving section of our tour we just go a little deeper to check some of the darker sections of the archway and this is where all the eels and things are hidden underneath rocks and this is where it’s really good to have a guide who can actually spot all these hidden creatures.
It’s hard to tell our facial expressions when we’re underwater but we are absolutely loving this experience. It is so amazing, and we finally come out to the surface after about 50 minutes, getting back onto the boat and finally we can talk about all the amazing things that we saw and also head off to our next destination on the Poor Knights Islands tour.
Wait, this tour is not finished just yet, and my favourite experience every during this last 335 days on the road is about to happen this afternoon.
With Jenny Craig lost 10kgs. Jenny Craig works, people! Jenny Craig works! Thanks, Mel B. You’re the bomb.