Need we say more - The Poor Knights Marine Reserve, was Named by Jacques Cousteau as one of the Top 10 Dive Sites in the world. The islands are a special experience for divers and snorkelers, with a unique blend of subtropical and temperate marine-life. Over 125 species of fish share this complex marine environment, along with soft corals, sponges, vibrant anemones, sting rays, gorgonian fans and vast kelp forests.
There is more to scuba diving in New Zealand than just the Poor Knights. Among the other great diving areas are the sheltered Bay of Islands, the dramatic fiords of Fiordland and Stewart Island with its breathtaking kelp forests and huge paua (abalone). Many easily accessible wrecks off the New Zealand coast also provide special diving opportunities, as do the great variety of fresh water dives.
Bombed in Auckland by French Secret Service agents in 1985, the wreck was relocated off the Cavalli Islands two years later. The wreck is a splendour of colour with jewel coloured anemones clinging to the rails in hues of purple, yellow and blue making it a great underwater photography subject.
The diving is spectacular featuring huge drop offs and attracting a great range of fish life, caves, pinnacles and a major feeding station starting just below the surface and dropping off into the blue are features of the Alderman Islands.
The goat Island Marine Reserve is only one hour’s drive north of Auckland city and is famous for its big Snapper, blue Maomao and many other species of fish in easy access to shore. In less than 40 years the sea has reverted to a giant aquarium, giving an impression of what the NZ coast must have been like before humans arrived. Colourful sponges, forests of seaweed, boarfish, crayfish and stingrays are common sights, and if you’re very lucky you may see orcas and bottle-nosed dolphins.
The HMNZS Canterbury was was sunk by explosives to create an artificial reef. Located in Deep Water Cove off the stunning Cape Brett Peninsula, Northland. Because of its sheltered aspect, flat sandy bottom and relative lack of tidal currents it has great visibility and teams with marine life.
Enjoy the company of the cheeky and inquisitive New Zealand Fur Seals by joining them in the water and experience their antics in their world - below the surface. Be enthralled by the closeness of this adventure, and amazed by their natural abilities as they show off and delight you by their innocent curiosity.
For those of you that like to go Fast - Very FAST, then some of our rivers offer a very energetic solution. With or with-out a tank, this is a great way to experience New Zealand's wild and fast flowing rivers - Not for the faint hearted.
You can stop re-reading your depth guage, for in water less then 18m (59ft) deep expect to come face to face with other-worldly creatures that normally live to depths of 50m to 200m (160 to 650ft)! due to a small layer of tannin-stained fresh water that floats on the surface of its relatively clear, dense water.
Recent additions to the underwater playground off the coast of Tutukaka near the Poor Knights Islands are two ex-naval ships. Strategically sunk to make artificial reefs, the former research ship HMNZS Tui and ex-combat frigate HMNZS Waikato make a fantastic days diving.