Diving Overview for New Zealand
New Zealand is the land of diversity from sub-tropical to sub-antarctic you really can experience everything! Try ice diving around Queenstown or tropical diving in the north and be sure to experience the famous Poor Knights (considered one of the top 10 dive spots by Jacques Cousteau himself). In New Zealand you are never far away from a voyage of exploration!
The Poor Knights, New Zealand’s top diving attraction, has been a marine reserve since 1981 with its sub-tropical reef system and nutrient-rich currents presenting huge pelagic species, sponges, reef fish and plant diversity in beautifully clear water. There are often dolphins and migrating whales travelling past and fantastic rock formations.
There is some great diving in the North Island from the sheltered Bay of Islands, White Island, Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to the Cavalli Islands. In the South Island experience the huge kelp forests and paua (abalone) in Kaikoura and Stewart Island, sheer alpine fiords around Fiordland and the diverse marine life of Marlborough Sounds.
Expect to see dolphins playing in the surf all around the coastline, little blue penguins, migrating whales, seals and huge crayfish, paua and tuna amongst this unspoilt wilderness. There are rivers, lakes and thousands of miles of ocean to dive including some well preserved wrecks –for something colourful try Green Peace’s 'Rainbow Warrior' in the Bay of Islands.
Diving conditions vary seasonally, water temperatures range from about 11°C during winter months (May – September) in the South Island to over 20°C in Northland. Visibility can be crystal clear but varies according to weather conditions, spring/summer is the most popular time to dive.
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