New Zealand has a lot of dive spots for both newbies and experienced divers. You are simply spoilt for choice with all the underwater sights and scenery. From the pretty tropical fish found on the northern side of the island to the fiords in the south, why not make that great decision to grab the scuba gear package and head to New Zealand?
If you have decided to visit New Zealand, then that’s probably the best choice that you’ve made in 2021 and you know it!
The 10 best dive spots in New Zealand
1. Poor Knights Island
This is termed by many divers as one of the best diving locations in the whole of New Zealand. Divers come here from all over the world intending to enjoy what marine life has to offer.
At poor knight’s island, you can choose between any of the 4 dive spots found here. One of the well-known dive spots is the Maomao arch named after the thousands of maomao that are found here. You can easily spot them as you get into the water.
Scuba diving in New Zealand gives you an experience unlike anywhere in the world. The tropical waters and currents also attract a myriad of different types of fish which come in all shapes and sizes.
What’s more, is that you can even snorkel here and view the beautiful marine sights from above so don’t forget to carry your full-face snorkel mask. You can get to poor knight’s island from tutu kaka.
2. Tui Wreck
One of the great things about diving in New Zealand is that you can make the most of your experience without spending too much. Even better is the fact that the New Zealand dive spots are so many that you could have a hard time simply deciding which one to start with.
However, if you can’t decide where to begin, why not start with Tui wreck in Northland just off tutu kaka. Tui which was sunk intentionally to create an artificial reef. Here you will find a huge diversity of fish including the golden snapper plus other colorful and varied marine creatures. Bring your diving camera take back some awesome images.
3. Goat Island
Then there is goat island. I know, interesting name, this! However, its waters are home to a diversity of sea creatures and fish which include the blue cod, snapper, and crayfish. The dive spots are between 9 and 18 meters which combined with the waters that are so easy to swim through, makes this among the best dive locations for beginner divers.
When you go under, you will notice different surfaces that range from canyons, cliffs, deep reefs as well as sand flats. Each of these underwater habitats is home to its type of marine life. Among the sea creatures that call this home include the sea anemones, sponges, shellfish, and sea squirts.
You can get close to these underwater animals and take some cool pictures with your dive camera. While you are at it try out any of the 10 ways to improve diving buoyancy.
4. White Island
White island is a must-visit whenever you are in New Zealand. The surrounding waters of the white island are a magnet for fish and other marine creatures who travel here from miles around. Note that the island has an active volcano that features up to three dive spots that can be enjoyed by both experienced and beginner scuba divers alike.
These include club Rocks, liaison reef, and Volkner rocks. Whenever you are diving at any of these locations, don’t forget to check out the underwater vents. There is plenty of swim through’s which create an amazing experience whenever you are diving and snorkeling here.
You can access the dive spots on the white island from Whakatane from the bay of plenty. If you are a beginner diver one of the things that you will have to be conversant with is how to frog kick.
5. Lermontov Wreck
If you enjoy diving for wrecks then while you are making your New Zealand dive you will not want to miss the Lermontov wreck. It is located on South Island and is among the largest dive wrecks that have been discovered so far.
The Lermontov was quite the dazzling liner but has been lying on the ocean floor for more than 25years. Now it offers refuge to blennies, kelp, dogfish, blue as well as red cod, octopi, carpet sharks, sea peach, and even the kingfish.
There are adventures to be had here where you can even step down through staircases and walk through narrow corridors before you rise to the surface. Then the next time you can come back to the wreck to explore a different section of the Lermontov.
However, keep in mind the importance of having a guide with you, this is something that even the expert divers will agree on as the wreck is so large and you may get lost in its maze. You also need to learn all you need to know about the buddy system. One thing remains true, from start to finish and in between, every part of the Lermontov is a great adventure.
6. Aramoana Mole
Whenever your adventures drift you to Dunedin, there is one dive spot that you might want to check out and that is Aramoana mole. Here you can swim through underwater forests and enjoy the many and varied marine creatures that call this home. It is very likely that while you are enjoying your plunge, you will be joined by some curious seals along the way.
7. Fiordland national park
It is called Fiordland because of the fiords of course, which offer shelter to its waters. The resulting calmness means that the water visibility here is very clear which in turn makes it an awesome diving spot.
When you go under, you will want to check out the doubtful sound and Milford sound where you will enjoy your time among the red and black corals.
This is often a sight that you would see further down into the see and the diver can also view marine animals that are usually found at greater depths. A dive watch will keep you on track with the amount of time that you spend under the water.
South Island is a town called Kaikoura which is famous for attracting the dusky dolphins, New Zealand fur seals as well as sperm whales. Diving with these awe-inspiring animals will give you an experience unlike any other.
But that is just part of the whole story as you will also get to dive among the kelp, as well as the limestone reefs which tend to be stunning.
If you are looking for the perfect mix of relaxation, unwinding, and scuba diving in New Zealand, then Kaikoura is one dive spot that you will not want to miss.
And while you are at it, why not indulge in a dish of crayfish before taking the plunge?
9. Rainbow warrior
Rainbow warrior is a shipwreck that lies at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of the bay of islands. What’s interesting bout this shipwreck is that it was a peace ship that was heading to Muroroa to protest the testing of nuclear weaponry by France.
However, it of course never reached its destination as sabotage in Auckland caused it to sink in 1985. It is now a stunning artificial reef that has all manner of beautiful marine life where divers can come and even take some breathtaking images with the dive camera.
Bombed by French secret agents at a time when the French empire was in competition with the United States as well as the British empire to create bigger and better bombs. It was first hit by the first bomb and then followed by another which then sunk the ship.
Barnacles were the first to settle on the rainbow warrior. However, these soon left the ship and more permanent marine life such as bryozoa started to take hold and then plants, anemones, and sponges. There is also seaweed. You will see Plenty of nocturnal marine life here as well for people who have experience diving when it’s dark and these were attracted by the cave-like structure that the wreck offered.
If you plan to dive to the rainbow warrior, you may need to carry underwater signaling devices just in case you need to use them,
Some of the nocturnal marine life that can be seen in plenty is the bigeye as well as the roughie’s which are often side by side. These fish come out to swim around the wreck during the night and swim back to their holes and caves during the day.
10. Mercury Islands
Around the waters of Mercury, islands are a marine park that supports a wide variety of underwater life including sharks, octopi as well as schools of fish. Divers can come here to spend their time surrounded by a diversity of animals and get an experience unlike any other.
You can access this dive spot through Whitianga in the Coromandel peninsula.
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New Zealand dive spots teem with interesting, strange, and bizarre marine life some of which would usually only be found at greater depths. If you have decided to scuba dive in New Zealand, what a great choice you’ve made as the various dive spots are renowned the world over for their stunning underwater sights and scenery. Just make sure you bring your dive camera with you for some great images.
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