scuba diving in new zealand

Newbies and qualified divers are spoilt for choice with different types of dives off the beautiful coast of New Zealand. The northern part of the island attracts colorful tropical fish, while fiords are found in bounty around the Southern Island creating the perfect environment for black corral to flourish. Dive deep into the clear blue seas, or navigate through wreck dives around the Bay Islands, or explore the many sea mammals in the waters of New Zealand.

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? Do you love scuba diving? You are headed to the right place indeed. There is no dearth of dive sites in New Zealand, no matter whether you are a first-time diver or an expert. Listed below are some of the best places to go scuba diving in New Zealand.

11 Best Places For Scuba Diving In New Zealand

Take a look at the best places to go scuba diving in New Zealand to satisfy the thrill-seeker within you on your next holiday!

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

1. Poor Knights Islands

Poor Knights Islands

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Poor Knights Islands is one of the best places to go scuba diving Auckland. Tourists from across the globe travel to this diving spot to enjoy a slice of the mesmerizing marine life. There are four dive spots that you can choose from, at Poor Knights Islands. But, your trip isn’t complete if you do not take a dip in Maomao Arch where thousands of maomao will swim around you as you enter the waters.

Poor Knights Islands scuba diving New Zealand is absolutely fabulous, as tropical currents also bring in a fascinating array of fish in different colors, shapes, and sizes. The island also offers fantastic snorkelling opportunities for those who do not know to dive. It is easy to access Poor Knights Islands via Tutukaka in Northland. This is amongst the best spots for diving in New Zealand.

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

Timings: 24 hours

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2. White Island

White-Island_23rd oct

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The waters of White Island, also attracts colorful tropical marine life as well as several species of larger fish. These beautiful 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. Be sure to explore the underwater vents in these clear blue waters. There are a number of swim throughs and reefs that make diving and snorkelling on this island, real fun. This diving New Zealand North Island site can be easily accessed from Whakatane that is situated in the Bay of Plenty. You must surely head here for the best diving in New Zealand.

Location: Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand

Timings: NA

3. Tui Wreck

Tui Wreck

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Scuba diving, New Zealand prices allow you to enjoy yourself to the hilt without burning a hole in the pocket! And, there are so many scuba diving sites on the island that you will be lost for choice. If you are confused and know not where to head, yet another one of the interesting sites for best diving in New Zealand is Tutukaka in Northland – Tui Wreck is worth exploring. As the name suggests, a large vessel was sunk at this site to act as an artificial reef. Golden snapper and a wide array of interesting 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

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4. Goat Island

Goat Island

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

You will be amazed 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 best 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 great underwater photography.

Location: Close to the North Island coast, north of Auckland, northeast of Warkworth

Timings: 24×7

5. Lermontov Wreck

Lermontov Wreck

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If you are fascinated by wrecks or wish to go big, this wreck dive is just right for you as it is also one of the best diving spots in New Zealand. Mikhail Lermontov is a great spot to go diving New Zealand South Island. Lermontov a twin buoy lies on its starboard size on the sea bed and is considered one of the largest diveable wrecks man has discovered.

This once-beautiful liner has been submerged for over a quarter century and is now home to kelp, blue and red cod, blennies, dog fish, sea perch, carpet sharks, octopus and an occasional king fish. You can go fin down a fleet of staircase and through corridors before you ascend again for the next adventure that awaits you in this maze. Even expert divers suggest taking a guide along, lest you may get lost in the wreck! Diving in this wreck is an adventure from start to finish.

Location: Resting on the seabed in Port Gore, in the Marlborough Sounds

Timings: 24×7

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6. Kaikoura


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The beautiful South Island town of Kaikoura is renowned for attracting dusky dolphins, albatross, New Zealand fur seals, and sperm whales. A dive into these waters give you a once in a lifetime experience of swimming with these majestic sea mammals. But, if you thought that was exciting, wait until you come across the kelp forests and limestone reefs that are breathtakingly beautiful. Kaikoura is a great place to unwind, relax or enjoy scuba diving in New Zealand. Be sure to tuck into a plate of crayfish before you head back to your hotel. You will surely not be disappointed!

Location: South Island of New Zealand

Timings: 8:00 AM-10:00 PM

7. Fox Glacier

Approaching Fox Glacier

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And, if just scuba diving doesn’t do the trick for you, head out to the west coast of South Island to challenge yourself for a session of skydiving! The drop from Fox Glacier is absolutely stunning and mesmerizing. With gorgeous views of the beautiful Southern Alps, lakes, rain forests, and of course Mt. Cook, Fox Glacier makes way for a nostalgic experience you will never forget. This is just the place you should head for the best skydiving in New Zealand.

Location: West Coast of the South Island New Zealand

Timings: 8:00 AM-7:00 PM

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8. Aramoana Mole

og-scuba diving in pune

Aramoana Mole in New Zealand can be easily accessed from Dunedin. You can explore stunning underwater forests and their vibrant inhabitants here. You would surely by witnessing seals along your way to this mesmerizing spot. The water of southern South Island tends to be cold and carry your gear to enjoy your diving session. 

Location: Dunedin, South Island

Timings: 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM

9. Fiordland National Park

Fiordland-National-Park_23rd oct

Fiordland National Park is known for its calm and clear water that offers undisturbed visibility. The national park comprises Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound that has black and red coral giving you a perfect opportunity to witness the wildlife of New Zealand that are usually much deeper in the ocean. 

Location: Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South Island

Timings: NA

10. Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island is popular for its cheese and ice cream which is popularly known as Kapiti. The place is also known for its enormous range of wildlife species inhabiting offshore as well as onshore. The place also lures visitors with its exclusive spearfishing experiences. This island is considered as the best site for scuba diving in Wellington, New Zealand.

Location: Kapiti Island, Wellington, North Island

Timings: 10:00 AM-11:00 PM

11. Rainbow Warrior

Scuba Diving

Rainbow Warrior is located off the coast of the Bay of Islands. It was actually a Greenpeace ship which was heading to protest against France’s nuclear testing in Mururoa. However, it was subjugated and sank in the year 1985 at the Auckland Harbour.

Location: Bay of Islands, North Island

Timings: 24 hours

Tips For Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

The following are the important tips that will surely make you have the best scuba diving experience in New Zealand:

  • Listen to the instructions of your guide meticulously
  • Try to go for swimming more often once you decide to take a scuba diving session
  • Don’t take heavy meal before going for scuba diving session
  • Check your gear properly before heading for the excursion
  • Know your gear and be friendly with it

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

A full day scuba dive charter to most of these islands cost under $200. Simply put, there is no place better than New Zealand to enjoy adventure activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and skydiving! So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and do pick the spots for scuba diving in New Zealand from our list. Plan a trip to New Zealand and head out to enjoy a vacation filled with fun activities, beaches, and great food!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Scuba Diving In New Zealand

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

No. You do not require a certification for scuba diving in New Zealand but it would be advisable that you have one.

Can a 7-year-old scuba dive in New Zealand?

The minimum age for scuba diving all over the world is 10 years. Kids below this age will not be allowed to scuba dive in New Zealand.

What is there to do in New Zealand?

New Zealand is a heaven for those looking for some fun and adventure. Some of the most fun things to do in New Zealand are:
1. Explore Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay
2. Water sports
3. Bungee jumping
4. Horse riding
5. National Park tour
6. Glowworm tour

Is New Zealand good for scuba diving?

New Zealand is often called the diving paradise and has some of the most amazing spots for scuba diving. From ship werks to subtropical reefs and drop-offs, New Zealand provides you with diverse diving locations for all kinds of divers.

How much does diving cost in New Zealand?

A full day scuba dive in New Zealand with all necessary equipments will cost you anywhere between $150- $200.

What is the best place to dive in New Zealand?

You can find a number of places where you can go scuba diving in New Zealand. Some of the most popular ones are:
1. Poor Knights Islands
2. White Island
3. Tui Wreck
4. Aramoana Mole
5. Fiordland National Park

How much does PADI Open Water Advanced Course cost in New Zealand?

For a certified divers course of PDAI Open Waters, The cost of all training and reference materials is INR 35,473

Can I still dive if I wear glasses or contact lenses?

Yes, you can dive with your glasses on, you’ll just need a prescription mask of appropriate power.

Can you scuba dive in New Zealand?

Yes, there are many sites where you can enjoy scuba diving in New Zealand.

When should I visit New Zealand?

You should plan your vacation in New Zealand during the months of January and June.

What is the cheapest month to fly to New Zealand?

August is the cheapest month to fly to New Zealand.

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