New Zealand is known for its wilderness areas on land but it is also home to 36 marine reserves and a spectacular array of dive sites. With accessible coastlines and hundreds of offshore islands, there are opportunities to dive wrecks, subtropical reefs, explore arches and dive within kelp forests, to name but a few. It is also possible to dive with rays and sharks, given that 26 species of ray and 113 species of shark have been recorded in New Zealand waters. There is something suitable for all dive preferences and abilities and here are our top picks of diving the North Island.
Author Kathryn Curzon
A conservation virtual running event has captured the public’s attention and turned from a solo event into a global one, with runners around the world signing up to participate.
Māui’s dolphin, a subspecies of Hector’s dolphin found off the west coast of the North Island, is the rarest marine dolphin and has approximately just 63 individuals remaining in the wild. This critically endangered dolphin needs all the help it can get to recover from fisheries bycatch.
The phrase muck diving was coined by Bob Halstead when he described diving off black sand beaches in Papua New Guinea. This unusual type of diving has gained great popularity and involves diving sites with sandy or silty bottoms, in search of the critters found there. Some of the best sites for muck diving are volcanic areas and sea grass beds.
Summer is fast approaching here in New Zealand, which means more people in the water enjoying the beautiful coastline and lakes whilst exploring their favourite dive sites.
Yoga has numerous health benefits for divers including increased flexibility, muscle strength, improved breathing and good circulatory health. All of which can contribute to better and safer diving with good buoyancy control.
The waters of New Zealand are home to a number of colourful moray eel species and conger eels, which can be dived with in places such as the Poor Knights marine reserve in Northland. Spending time with eels isn’t restricted to scuba diving though, as the land of the long white cloud is also home to the Longfin eel; a freshwater species only found in New Zealand and declining in numbers.
Australia has experienced a tragic week with the loss of six people who died scuba diving or snorkelling in Australian waters.
It is with much relief we share the news that five sperm whales have been sighted by Whale Watch Kaikoura just six days after the 7.8 magnitude earthquakes that impacted Kaikoura and surrounds heavily. Whilst Whale Watch are currently closed for business, a short press release on their website shows their evident joy at the whales’ return to the area: