Top 11 Thrilling Scuba Diving Destinations in New Zealand

by operator

Newcomers and certified divers are overwhelmed with a plethora of options when it comes to various types of dives along the stunning coastline of New Zealand. The northern part of the island captures the attention of vibrant tropical fish, while fiords are abundant in the Southern Island, providing the ideal conditions for black corals to thrive. Plunge into the crystal-clear blue seas or navigate through wreck dives around the Bay Islands, or explore the numerous sea mammals in the waters of New Zealand.

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? Do you have a passion for scuba diving? You’re certainly heading to the right destination. New Zealand offers an abundance of dive sites, catering to both first-time divers and experts. Below are some of the top locations for scuba diving in New Zealand.

11 Optimal Places For Scuba Diving In New Zealand

Take a look at the finest locations for scuba diving in New Zealand to satisfy your sense of adventure on your upcoming vacation!

  • Poor Knights Islands
  • White Island
  • Tui Wreck
  • Goat Island
  • Lermontov Wreck
  • Kaikoura
  • Fox Glacier
  • Aramoana Mole
  • Fiordland National Park
  • Kapiti Island
  • Rainbow Warrior

Poor Knights Islands

1. Poor Knights Islands

Image Source

Poor Knights Islands is one of the finest places for scuba diving in Auckland. Tourists from all over the world visit this diving spot to experience the enchanting marine life. At Poor Knights Islands, there are four dive spots to choose from. However, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a dive in Maomao Arch, where you’ll be surrounded by thousands of maomao as you enter the waters.

Scuba diving in Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand is truly remarkable, as tropical currents bring in a captivating variety of fish in various hues, shapes, and sizes. The island also offers exceptional snorkeling opportunities for those who are not certified divers. Poor Knights Islands can be easily accessed via Tutukaka in Northland. It is among the prime spots for diving in New Zealand.

Location: East coast of the Northland Region of the North Island of New Zealand

Timings: 24 hours

Must Read: 6 Water Parks In New Zealand For An Exciting Getaway

White-Island_23rd oct

2. White Island

Image Source

The waters of White Island, also allure vibrant tropical marine life as well as several species of larger fish. These stunning waters just off the island’s most active volcano has three dive spots suitable for all abilities – Club Rocks, Volkner Rocks, and Liason’s Reef. Make sure to explore the underwater vents in these transparent azure waters. There are a number of swim throughs and reefs that make diving and snorkelling on this island, genuine fun. This diving New Zealand North Island site can be easily accessed from Whakatane that is located in the Bay of Plenty. You must surely head here for the finest diving in New Zealand.

Location: Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand

Timings: NA

Tui Wreck

3. Tui Wreck

Image Source

Scuba diving, New Zealand prices allow you to enjoy yourself thoroughly without burning a hole in your pocket! And, there are so many scuba diving sites on the island that you will be spoilt for choice. If you are puzzled and do not know where to go, yet another one of the fascinating sites for finest diving in New Zealand is Tutukaka in Northland – Tui Wreck is worth exploring. As the name implies, a large vessel was sunk at this site to act as an artificial reef. Golden snapper and a wide array of fascinating fish species await to entertain you in the deep blue seas at this dive site.

Location: Aukland Bay

Timings: 8:30 AM-2:30 PM

Suggested Read: 10 Best Temples In New Zealand For Experiencing The Country’s Lively Culture

4. Goat Island

Goat Island

Image Source

Goat Island is yet another one of the finest places to dive in New Zealand that is home to numerous varieties of marine life such as Snapper, Crayfish, and Blue Cod. The waters of this island pave the way for an effortless swim and the dive spots have a depth of about 9 to 18 meters. Beneath the surface of these waves, there are diverse habitats ranging from rocky shores that are exposed during low tide, to underwater cliffs, canyons, deep reefs, and sand flats too!

You will be astonished to see that each of these habitats is home to its own creatures such as seaweed forest, sea squirts, sponges, anemones, and shellfish. This is the finest scuba diving New Zealand as it gives you an opportunity to get up close and personal with the undersea community and also provides an opportunity for some superb underwater photography.

Location: Situated near the coastline of the North Island, to the north of Auckland and northeast of Warkworth.

Timings: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Lermontov Wreck

5. Lermontov Wreck

Source of the Image

If you are captivated by wrecks or desire to embark on a grand adventure, this wreck dive is perfectly suited for you as it is also one of the finest diving spots in New Zealand. The Mikhail Lermontov is an exceptional place to go diving in the South Island of New Zealand. Lermontov, a twin buoy, lies on its starboard side on the bed of the sea and is regarded as one of the largest diveable wrecks that humanity has discovered.

This formerly beautiful liner has been submerged for more than 25 years and is now a habitat for kelp, blue and red cod, blennies, dog fish, sea perch, carpet sharks, octopus, and occasionally king fish. You can descend down a fleet of staircase and through corridors before ascending again to face the next adventure that awaits you in this intricate maze. Even experienced divers recommend bringing a guide along, lest you risk becoming disoriented within the wreck! Diving in this wreck is an exhilarating adventure from beginning to end.

Location: Lying on the seabed in Port Gore, within the Marlborough Sounds.

Timings: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Suggested Reading: 15 Haunted Places In New Zealand That’ll Give You Chills

6. Kaikoura

Source of the Image

The beautiful town of Kaikoura, located in the South Island, is famous for attracting dusky dolphins, albatross, New Zealand fur seals, and sperm whales. Diving into these waters provides you with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim alongside these magnificent sea creatures. However, if you thought that was thrilling, wait until you encounter the captivating kelp forests and limestone reefs that are truly awe-inspiring. Kaikoura is an excellent destination to unwind, relax, or indulge in scuba diving in New Zealand. Make sure to savor a plate of crayfish before returning to your hotel. You will certainly not be disappointed!

Approaching Fox Glacier

Location: Located in the South Island of New Zealand.

Timings: 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

7. Fox Glacier

Source of the Picture

Moreover, if scuba diving alone doesn’t satisfy you, make your way to the western coast of the South Island to challenge yourself with a thrilling session of skydiving! The descent from Fox Glacier is absolutely breathtaking and enchanting. With magnificent perspectives of the stunning Southern Alps, lakes, rainforests, and of course Mount Cook, Fox Glacier offers a nostalgic experience that will remain ingrained in your memory forever. It is definitely the ultimate destination for the finest skydiving adventure in New Zealand.

Location: West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand

og-scuba diving in pune

Hours of Operation: 8:00 AM-7:00 PM

Recommended Read: 15 Beautiful Lakes In New Zealand That Will Make You Believe In Paradise

8. Aramoana Mole

Aramoana Mole in New Zealand can be easily reached from Dunedin. Here, you can explore stunning underwater forests and their vibrant inhabitants. Along your journey to this mesmerizing location, you will surely encounter seals. The water in the southern part of the South Island tends to be chilly, so make sure to bring your gear to fully enjoy your diving experience.

Fiordland-National-Park_23rd oct

Location: Dunedin, South Island

Hours of Operation: 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM

9. Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is renowned for its tranquil and transparent waters, providing undisturbed visibility. Within the park, you will find Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, which contain black and red coral, offering a perfect opportunity to witness the marine life of New Zealand that is typically found at greater depths beneath the ocean’s surface.

Kapiti Island

Location: Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South Island

Hours of Operation: Not Applicable

10. Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island is famous for its cheese and ice cream, which goes by the name of Kapiti. The island is also recognized for its diverse array of wildlife species, both offshore and onshore. Additionally, visitors are enticed by the exclusive spearfishing experiences offered here. This island is considered the premier destination for scuba diving in Wellington, New Zealand.

Place: Kapiti Island, Wellington, North Island

Scuba Diving

Hours: 10:00 AM-11:00 PM

11. Rainbow Warrior

Rainbow Warrior can be found off the coast of the Bay of Islands. It was actually a Greenpeace vessel that was sailing to protest France’s nuclear testing in Mururoa. However, it was overtaken and sank in 1985 at the Auckland Harbour.

Place: Bay of Islands, North Island

Hours: 24 hours

Advice For Scuba Diving

The following are the crucial tips that will undoubtedly enhance your scuba diving experience in New Zealand:

  • Pay close attention to your guide’s instructions
  • Try to swim more frequently once you decide to embark on a scuba diving session
  • Refrain from having a heavy meal before your scuba diving session
  • Thoroughly examine your equipment before going on the excursion
  • Familiarize yourself with your equipment and establish a good rapport with it

Scuba Diving

Further Read: 10 Exciting Trails Where You Can Go Hiking In New Zealand

A complete day scuba dive charter to most of these islands costs under $200. In simple terms, there is no better place than New Zealand to indulge in adventure activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, and skydiving! So, why wait? Pack your bags and choose the scuba diving spots in New Zealand from our list. Plan a vacation to New Zealand and set out to enjoy a holiday filled with exciting activities, beautiful beaches, and delicious food!

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle assumes no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respective owners. We strive to provide proper attribution to the original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in giving proper recognition to the original author, artist, or photographer.

Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and individuals should not take any action before consulting with a professional medical expert of their choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scuba Diving In New Zealand

Do you need a license to scuba dive in New Zealand?

No. You do not need certification for scuba diving in New Zealand, but it would be advisable to have one.

Can a 7-year-old go scuba diving in New Zealand?

The minimum age for scuba diving worldwide is 10 years. Children below this age will not be permitted to scuba dive in New Zealand.

What can you do in New Zealand?

New Zealand is a paradise for those seeking fun and adventure. Some of the most enjoyable activities to do in New Zealand include: 1. Explore Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay 2. Water sports 3. Bungee jumping 4. Horseback riding 5. National Park tour

6. Glowworm tour

You may also like