Scuba Diving in New Zealand
New Zealand is an island nation that is situated approximately 1500 kilometers to the east of Australia. Mainland New Zealand is made up of two main islands which are commonly referred to as the North Island and the South Island.
Due to the remoteness of New Zealand, it has only been relatively recently settled by humans. Because of this, New Zealand offers up an incredibly bio diversity both above and below the water. While the number of diving destinations in New Zealand may not be immense, it should not be discounted as a dive destination. Dive locations such as the Poor Knights Islands have been ranked by legendary diver Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world.
Scuba Diving Destinations Within New Zealand
Poor Knights Island: The crown jewel of diving in New Zealand has got to be the Poor Knights Islands. Legendary explorer, Jacques Cousteau, ranked these islands as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world and for good reason. Most of the diving done at the Poor Knights Islands leaves from a small town called Tutukaka. From here you will encounter an hour or so boat ride to reach the islands. Also out of Tutukaka there are two wrecks which were purposefully sunk for divers in 1999 and 2000. These are only a 15-20 minute boat ride from the town. The best diving at the Poor Knights Islands occurs from November until March which is the summer in the southern hemisphere.
Kaikoura: The South Island of New Zealand is home to a considerably colder climate than the North Island, and offers completely different diving. Kaikoura is a small town located on the eastern shores of the South Island and offers an amazing place for whale watching tours. Diving in Kaikoura gives you the chance to dive in kelp forests, limestone reefs, to see octopus, crayfish, sponges and invertebrates. There is also a very real chance that you could dive with fur seals who are very curious with divers.