Looking For Best Scuba Diving Sites in North Island?

Check Out Our Top Five Diving Gems

New Zealand, the hobbit home, the Kiwi land is famous for its dramatic and wild terrestrial landscape. At the same time, it is home to over 30 marine reserves that gives you many dive sites. The hundreds of Islands close to shore and accessible coastline gives you divers wrecks, kelp forests and subtropical reefs. 

There is so much marine world to see that each island has something different to offer to all the divers based on their abilities and preferences. If you are looking for scuba diving New Zealand North Island, here are the sampling of northern favorites.

Finding The Best Scuba Diving New Zealand North Island Sites:

1. The Rainbow Warrior

Location: Bay of Islands, Matauri Bay

What's so special: French intelligence sank the Warrior ship, the Greenpeace flagship vessel in 1985. Later on, New Zealand authorities refloated it for the forensic test. It was relocated to Bay of Island's Matauri Bay and was abandoned as an artificial reef. The Rainbow Warrior is a famous wreck dive which offers jewel anemones, kingfish, crayfish, moray eels and John Dory.

More Details: The shipwreck is located at a depth of 27m and is approximately 40m long. The water currents are mild has good visibility from February to June. The scuba dive at Rainbow Warrior is suited for open water advanced divers. The divers are suggested to carry a dive knife and a torch while scuba diving. This is one of the most frequented scuba diving New Zealand north island destination among the divers.

Best time to go: February - June

2. The Poor Knights Islands

Location: Tutukaka, the gateway to the Islands

What's so special: The Poor Knight Islands Marine Park was once considered as one of the top diving sites in the world. The Poor Knight islands are situated around 23km from the coast of Tutukaka. The scuba divers will see large shoals of archways, kelp forests, caves, nudibranchs and annual sharks and stingrays. The island is also famous for snorkeling activities for non-divers. The travelers can book certified scuba diving new Zealand, north island operators for the complete experience of dive into the ocean.

The islands offer multiple scuba dive sites at various depths which are suitable for both experienced and novice divers. The water temperatures are same as that of the bay of Islands. The divers can opt for 5mm exposure protection. The island is one of the scuba diving New Zealand North Island famous place for the diving enthusiasts

Best time to go: During the summer season, the water is warmer and offers great visibility. A large number of stingrays also visit the island area during the late summer for mating. Overall, scuba diving can be done all year round. 

3. Aldermen and Mercury Islands

Location: Coromandel Peninsula

What's so special: The Alderman islands still have remnants of an old volcanic complex and located on the southeast of Mercury. The rocky islands have pinnacles, tunnels and a large number of pelagic species including the delicious mackerel. For scuba diving new Zealand, north island enthusiasts, the dive is colorful making this island one of the top dive locations. Mercury island also offers abundant of crayfish, moray eels, nudibranchs and scenery of beautiful white sands and rough coastline.

The islands have many diving sites making it accessible for both beginners and experienced divers. The water temperatures can range between 14-21C until late summer. The divers would need atleast 5mm wetsuits during summer and 7mm during winter based on the tolerance level. 

Best time to go: Diving is available throughout the year. However, summertime offers the best climate, water temperature, and clear water visibility.

4. Goat Island

Location: North of Leigh

What’s so special: Goat Island is country's first marine water reserve. It's quickly reachable from the central city of Auckland. The marine reserves are home to snappers, goatfish, schooling fish and give you an opportunity to see eagle rays, octopuses, and stingrays. There are kelp forests, and cliffside dives along with reefs and swims through dives.

Diving depth may vary as currents and tides will affect the dive in some sites of Goat Island. The reserve offers diving options for all types of people and also available for snorkeling. Water temperature is same as that of Bay of Island so; you may wear 5-7mm water suit. 

Best time to go: All year round

5. Wellington Region

Location: Kapiti Coast and Wellington

What’s so special: Wellington coastline surrounds the capital of the country, offering the variety of interesting dives. The scuba dives include multiple shipwrecks, shore dives, and Taputeranga Reserve. The Titahi Bay and Whitireia Park also offer dives for learners with seahorses and stingrays at just 3m away from you. The Wellington harbor is well known for pipefish, seahorses, schools of wrasse and starfish and also the great opportunity of night diving. So, if you are finding a nice scuba diving New Zealand North Island location, visit Wellington and dive with colorful marine animals. 

The scuba sites are suitable for divers of all abilities that too very next to the vibrant capital city. Weather may vary so consult the local before heading for dive. Water temperature can range from 10C during waters to 17C in the summertime. 

Best time to go: January to June

All in all New Zealand is well known as a diver's paradise. So, anyone looking for scuba diving New Zealand North Island sites can reach these accessible coastlines, offshore islands, and marine reserves.  They give you exceptional experience to explore the diverse and vast underwater world of New Zealand. 

by Wayne Charles Olsen, Manager & Chef @tekohalodge.com