Aotearoa, New Zealand has revealed a magical world beneath the ocean’s surface for International Mermaid Day, in partnership with PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®), the world’s largest purpose-driven diving organization.
Mesmerising underwater footage released today showcases official PADI Mermaid team members from around the world exploring renowned international dive site, the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, in the country’s Northland region.
Combining elements of freediving with wearing a ‘monofin’ or mermaid tail, the art of ‘mermaiding’ is making waves worldwide as an accessible and captivating way to connect with and explore beneath the surface.
PADI’s Mermaid Program launched globally in 2021 and has since built a strong wave of momentum capturing the imagination and curiosity of all ages and genders. Anyone over the age of six can start their mermaid journey, and learn to breath-hold, swim with a tail, read ocean conditions, and respect and protect marine life.
Certified PADI Mermaids have a unique passion for ocean advocacy, along with a deep care and connection to the ocean and all life that calls it home.
With expansive coastlines, marine reserves*, abundant wildlife, and hundreds of offshore islands, Aotearoa New Zealand boasts a plentiful paradise for inquisitive travelers looking to immerse themselves in the natural environment.
“The waters of Aotearoa are a special place for me personally, having had the privilege to explore above and beneath the surface as both an adventure seeker and a diver,” says Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO. “I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the Poor Knights Islands–the crown jewel of the Tutukākā coastline. From the dramatic topography to the thick kelp forests teeming with the unique combination of cold and subtropical marine species brought in by the Eastern Australian Current, not many dive sites have ever rivaled this one for me.
Imagine what our shared blue planet would be like if we had 10,000 more success stories** like the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve?
”The unique geography of the South Pacific destination creates a diverse underwater playground to explore from twinkling, sub-tropical waters and islands of the far north, to wild and wonder in the fiords of the deep south. “It’s no secret our natural environment is part of what makes us an extraordinary destination to explore. But there is more here than meets the eye; our unique geography and climate create wondrous worlds above and below the surface for those travelers curious to discover all that Aotearoa, New Zealand has to offer,” says René de Monchy, Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive.
“We are proud to team up with Tourism New Zealand this International Mermaid Day. TNZ is a like-minded partner devoted to the Tiaki Promise–the commitment to care for the people, place and culture of Aotearoa,” says Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO.
For more information about New Zealand’s unique marine tourism opportunities and underwater-inspired experiences and travel inspiration, visit www.newzealand.com. For more information about PADI and the PADI Mermaid Program, visit www.padi.com/mermaid-centers
*New Zealand has 44 marine reserves, which are protected areas of ocean within which it is prohibited to fish, remove, or disturb any marine life in order to preserve our species and habitat.*
PADI is on a mission to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 through its Adopt the Blue program, which is the world’s largest network of underwater sites that the organization, alongside Ocean Torchbearers, is rallying to turn into marine protected areas