New Zealand is a diving paradise. With accessible coastlines, marine reserves and hundreds of offshore islands, the underwater world is vast and diverse.
The late Jacques Cousteau once said that he thought that the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, off New Zealand’s Tutukaka Coast, were one of the world’s top five diving locations. This is a measure of what you can expect when you go diving in New Zealand.
Black coral, native to the Fiordland area, can be viewed in Milford Sound. Despite it's name, living black coral is actually white and often has a colourful kaleidoscope of other sponges, corals and snake stars that attach themselves to the black coral, they are usually bright yellows, greens and oranges. Only when the coral has died does it become black in colour.
Black coral trees are known to grow to five metres high and can be viewed at just 10 metres deep. There are a variety of sponges, hyroids, coral, ascidians and bryozoans.
You can dive wrecks, drop-offs and sub-tropical reefs in clean, clear waters. You can explore huge kelp forests, swim with school fish or alongside dolphins. For a different adventure and experience, try kayak diving or a descent after dark.
Most of the popular spots are easily accessed from the mainland coast or you can take a boat to the more remote reefs and islands. Don’t forget your diver’s certificate card. And if you’re new to diving and would like to experience the wonders of the undersea world, lessons and certification in scuba diving are readily available as well as organized diving tours to show you the good places for your first dive.