Northland & Bay of Islands


  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Kayaking and SUP
  • Boat cruises


  • by ferry:

    23km from Tutukaka harbour

The Poor Knights Islands in Northland are one of the world's top dive locations.

Above and under the surface expeditions are available in the Poor Knights Islands / Tawhiti Rahi. Whether you like scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, paddleboarding or simply cruising around the Poor Knights Islands / Tawhiti Rahi islands, the perfect adventure is here for you. 


Diving and snorkelling in the Poor Knights Islands / Tawhiti Rahi

The Poor Knights Islands, located east of the Tutukākā coast, are mostly known for the outstanding scuba diving and snorkelling experiences that lie under the surface. Embark on a charter dive boat from Tutukākā harbour, located 30 kilometres from Whangārei, and submerge yourself in this subaquatic wonderland. 

Northland & Bay of Islands
Diving in Bay of Islands, Northland & Bay of Islands

The Poor Knights Marine Reserve

The Poor Knights marine reserve is a protected area where no fishing is allowed, in order to defend its delicate ecosystem.  

Visitors to this area should only observe this fragile ecosystem. It is forbidden to damage, disturb, feed or take any marine life. This protected marine habitat will reward diving enthusiasts with stunning submerged scenery and a vast variety of sea creatures. Find out more about the marine reserve in this Department of Conservation brochure.(opens in new window)

Poor Knights Islands, Twin Coast Highway, New Zealand

Dramatic Topography

The submerged and above-water geology provides some of nature’s most impressive works of art, including impressive sea caves, walls and arches. Snorkellers, scuba divers, kayakers and SUP enthusiasts will find the perfect excursion. 

The Poor Knights are home to the Rikoriko Cave(opens in new window), one of the largest sea caves in the world. Numerous arches can also be explored, including the Blue maomao arch(opens in new window), the Northern Arch(opens in new window), and many more, as well as walls, including the Magic Wall(opens in new window) and Brady's Corner/Meditation Wall.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Snorkelling at Poor Knights Islands, Northland & Bay of Islands

Multi-coloured marine life 

There are sponge gardens and gorgonian corals inhabited by a myriad of fish, shellfish, urchins, and anemones. The islands’ famous arches are fascinating to explore, with countless animals competing for space on the walls. In the warmer months, squadrons of stingrays can be seen cruising the waters of the archways. 

Many of the subtropical fish living in the marine reserve are not found anywhere else in New Zealand. They include subtropical species such as spotted black groper, mosaic moray and Lord Howe coralfish. The fish are known for their friendliness and make visiting will likely give you a very memorable experience stories to last a lifetime. 

The Poor Knights Islands offer a wide range of diving and snorkelling options catering to all divers, regardless of their level. Nursery Cove and some of the shallower parts of South Harbour are great dive sites for novice divers, while experienced divers can find spectacular and challenging dives all around the islands.

Other things to do in the Poor Knights Islands

Northland & Bay of Islands
Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka, Northland & Bay of Islands

Kayaking and Paddleboarding in the Poor Knights Islands 

Wonder around on the surface, exploring the carved geography created by the ancient volcanoes. The jaw dropping Rikoriko sea cave is the world's largest sea cave and is a must-do when kayaking or paddleboarding in the Poor Knights. Non divers can book a day trip through the Perfect Day(opens in new window)

Northland & Bay of Islands
Poor Knights Islands, Northland & Bay of Islands

Cruising in the Poor Knights Islands

Cruising in the Poor Knights Islands will allow you to enjoy the beauty of the islands from the comfort of the boat. Pack your sunscreen and a towel, spend the day on deck in breathtaking surroundings, grab some lunch onboard, all while stocking up on vitamin sea or D.

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