Diving in New Zealand

From the warm Poor Knights Islands, to Leander-class frigates, the diving in New Zealand has a unique biodiversity that is worth crossing the ditch for.

Discover the North

The Northern most part of the North Island of New Zealand, it is known as the “tail of the fish”. The Bay of Islands and the East Coast of Northland are fringed with Pohutukawa lined beaches, secluded bays, and tranquil harbours offering a maritime playground for fishing, swimming, boating, diving or relaxing on the beach in the warm, northern sunshine.

The warm East Australia current meanders down from the Coral Sea, turns into the East Auckland current at the top of New Zealand and travels down the north east coast, making sure that the Poor Knights Islands marine reserve bring sea temperatures that are warmer by about one to two degrees than found on the local shore. It not only brings warmer waters, and clearer visibility but also turtles, whales, manta rays, cowrie snails, shrimps, giant salps, and brightly coloured fish that really shouldn’t be here. But here they are, and here they stay. It must seem like a true oasis for the visitors, and they settle in like locals.

With over 150 species calling the Poor Knights Islands home, the fish life is incredible. Schooling snapper, in their hundreds, break the surface feeding on krill and plankton; a behavior not recorded elsewhere. Blue maomao, and trevally numbering in their thousands often feed on the surface and cover an entire bay with their glistening backs.  Hundreds of kingfish circle in packs, koheru dart and entire schools move as one. Huge schools of pink maomao drift in the blue, porae mooch and graze the rocks, Lord Howe coralfish, golden snapper, toadstool and black spot grouper, red moki, butterfly perch, sharp-nosed puffer fish, leather jackets, and many different species of wrasse; Sandagers, green wrasse, pig fish, kahawai, lizard fish, boar fish, John Dory, and literally thousands of two-spot demoiselles.

Two Leander class frigates, the Waikato and the Canterbury, a hydrographic spy ship and a Greenpeace flagship have all been sunk in the North, making this part of New Zealand, an absolute haven for divers. With higher latitudes than Sydney resulting in sub-tropical temperatures, summer ranges from a nice 24 to a toasty winter of 15 degrees in the water.

The top Five Dive sites are in the North, and with great flight deals in Aussie, means you can Dive the Five over a long weekend.

Another thing you might want to know – Northland has NO SNOW. No ice diving, and with visibility of 35 meters at the Poor Knights – it is warmer than you think.

This is diving worth crossing the ditch for.

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