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Christchurch is a colorful and lively city having world class attractions. The city internationally is known as the “Garden City”. Along with the world class attractions it offers a lot of adventure and fun activities like a range of diving options, snorkeling and several other scuba attractions in nearby locations. The waters around here have a fascinating marine life and are normally clear that gives one good visibility when diving.

Scuba diving in Christchurch is famous across New Zealand and beyond, the underwater sports dive in Christchurch is a must visit as well. We have a a list of ten different scuba diving spots in Christchurch that will add colors to your trip to New Zealand. And if you are new to scuba diving then we have listed diving tour operators as well.

10 Spots For Scuba Diving In Christchurch

Christchurch has many diving sites in the several sheltered bays surrounding the peninsula. There is a marine reserve in the Flea Bay where you can get a chance to meet the yellow eyed penguin, the New Zealand Fur seals and the white flippered penguins. The place is home to very rare Hector’s Dolphins and you might have a chance to encounter one of these beautiful creatures. Take a look at the list of best sites for scuba diving in Christchurch.

1. Lynch Reef

Lynch Reef

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Red, brown and green kelp forests welcomes you in this dive that has an intermediate depth of 18 meters. The sea tulips and kelp makes the spot very photogenic and at the base of the beautiful rocks you can spot butterfish, spotties, banded wrasse and some fun seals. This is a boat dive and is suitable for divers of all levels.

Location: Lynch reef is 3 to 4 km off the coast, Kaikoura.

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2. Pinnacle Rock

Pinnacle Rock

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This is a great dive to go for on a calm day. The Pinnacle Rock is rated as an intermediate dive with a depth of 15 meters. The dive is beautiful as well as good for photography as the rock cracks with crayfish or the seal give this place the vibe. Spear fishing is famous in this area. This dive is a good choice for all level of divers.

Location: Pinnacle rock, Southland.

3. Davidsons Reef

Coral Reef

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The Davidsons reef is an ideal dive for beginners and gives a chance to catch crayfish and enjoy seals. The maximum depth is of 12 meters. This shore dive is mainly famous for crayfish and seals and is an excellent spot for Snorkelling and scuba diving in Christchurch. This is a good option for diving in Kaikoura.

Location: Davidsons reek, Kaikoura.

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4. Bushett Shoals

Scuba diving

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Not a very common dive site as the conditions dictate this place, on the right conditions it is an amazing dive and the colorful walls, crayfish, blue moki, wrasse and the dog sharks make the dive interesting and unique. There is also a chance to see schools of gropers in this exceptional scuba diving site.

Location: Bushett Shoals, Kaikoura

5. Pigeon Bay

Pigeon Bay and trees

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This beginners dive has a depth of 12 meters and it allows one to easily view the wonderful kelp beneath. The place is on the outside coast and is wind and swell protected. You will be spotting red cod leather jackets as it is a common fish here and sea tulips and several paua can be found on the rocks, its a scuba diving delight. This dive suits divers of all levels.

Location: Pigeon Bay, Sydenham, Christchurch.

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6. Flea Bay


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The Flea Bay is one of the most charismatic dives in New Zealand. This diving spot is in the Pohatu Marine Reserve and you get to see colonies of both seals and penguins. The yellow eyed penguins and the hector dolphins are common here. The rough drive to Pohatu should be attempted only by 4WD vehicles but the ride has some dramatic views of the landscape. You can use a kayak or a boat to explore the sea caves and cliffs that are not visible from the land. The dives need to be planned along with the surface time as well because the road leading here reaches about 800m above the sea level. This is a delightful dive that provides some wonderful photo opportunities as well.

Location: Flea Bay Road, Akaroa.

7. Snuffle Nose

Large fish

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The snuffle nose is seasonal dive with a depth of 15 meters. This dive is not suitable for days with southern swell or the strong winds. This crayfish dive has magnificent walls filled with zoanthids, anemones and nudibranchs, this makes it highly ideal for marine photography. This scuba dive in Christchurch has an average visibility of a little more than 3 meters.

Location: Snuffle Nose, Canterbury.

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8. Milford Sound

Milford Sound

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The Milford Sound provides safe and secure diving trips in Christchurch. They supply boat, accessories, guides, gear, food and a lot more. A unique scuba experience where one can see the deep water coral trees that are black in color, the red corals. The reefs are filled with octopus, dog sharks, crayfish, penguins and seals and more than a 150 different species of fish. They operate with six number of divers with experienced instructors namely, Simon and Lance. They own this company. The trips from Milford includes 4 hours of cruising time as well.

Location: Milford Sound Highway, Milford Sound 9679.

9. Go Dive, Marlborough

Go Dive, Marlborough

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Consisting of two wonderful dives, one is on a reef and the other is the Wreck of the Koi, the instructors are friendly and make good effort towards the safety of the divers. The visibility is pretty low and is a relatively low stress dive. The area has the world famous Mikhail Lermontov wreck, 1986. The tour also gives inner sounds out of Picton. This is an amazing option for scuba diving around Christchurch. Suitable for beginner divers.

Location: Go Dive, Marlborough.

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10. Waikawa Dive Center

Dive Center

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This is a personable and friendly diving experience. They have a professional staff to take care of the comfort and safety of divers. The beauty of the Marlborough is outstanding, and it surprises you with is lovely boat cabins and ensures your boat and shore diving trips are perfect and you penny is well spent. You can also avail a host of hot drinks, soups and a number of beverages to keep yourself warm, cozy and energized. If you want to take a rescue course that you can learn as well in here. This is a dive for all level of divers.

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These were the famous dives across and near Christchurch These dives are mainly famous for the crayfish, seals, fur seals, a wide range of other marine life and colorful Kelp forest. Bank Peninsula, Kaikoura, Southland and Marlborough are the main spots for scuba diving in Christchurch. So, book your
trip to New Zealand and spend a good time on the diving sites in Christchurch with friends or family. The spots are safe and if you are and an experienced diver then you can venture into Kaikoura and discover the isolated dives as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Scuba Diving In Christchurch

What is Christchurch known for?

Christchurch is popular for its beautiful gardens, parks and tree-lined streets which have earned it the name of “Garden City”. Named after a popular college at the University of Oxford, Christchurch also has some colorful and exciting underwater world which makes it a popular tourist attraction.

Which are the most popular beaches near Christchurch?

Some of the best beaches near Christchurch where you can relax and enjoy a number of water sports are:
1. Corsair Bay
2. Akaroa Banks Peninsula
3. New Brighton Beach
4. Sumner & Scarborough
5. Taylors Mistake

Is Christchurch good for diving?

The waters of Christchurch have rich marine life an calm and clear water which provides excellent visibility making it ideal for diving activities.

Which is the best time to visit Christchurch?

The ideal time to visit Christchurch is between the months of December and March. It’s the time when you can enjoy dry and comfortable weather.

Is scuba diving in Christchurch safe for first-timers?

Yes. You can find the waters of Christchurch to be extremely safe for scuba diving for all levels of expertise, even the first-timers.

Which are the best places to visit in Christchurch?

Some of the popular places to visit in Christchurch are:
1. Hagley Park & The Botanic Gardens
2. New Brighton Pier
3. International Antarctic Centre
4. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
5. Sumner Beach

Do you have to be certified to scuba dive in Christchurch?

No. A diving certificate is not mandatory for scuba diving in Christchurch but having a certification allows you to enjoy deep water scuba diving not just in Christchurch but anywhere in the world.

Is scuba diving safe for non-swimmers?

Yes. Even for non-swimmers, scuba diving is pretty safe. But make sure you perform this activity under the supervision of a trained professional.

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Category: Adventure, New Zealand

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