The Poor Knights Island – One of New Zealand’s most famous dives sites is located Tutukaka Coast. Poor Knights Islands is the second oldest marine reserve in New Zealand. There is no place to stay in the marine reserve and dive boats depart from the North Island. As the islands are volcanic, underneath the surface, you can see how currents have eroded the topography to create caves and passages. Along with shallow coral gardens, you will also find impressive wall dives. The prevailing current here is from the tropical Coral Sea, adding to the diversity of marine life and ensuring a more stable water temperature.
Aramoana Mole – This dive site is only a 30-minute drive from Dunedin on the South Island and has the most accessible dive wrecks in the country. This is paired with beautiful temperate marine life, huge kelp forests and exquisite sponge gardens. Depths for this dive average 7-19 metres.
Milford Sound - This dive site is found in a spectacular fiord and divers may encounter spiny sea-dragons and black and red corals. Half of the fiord is a marine reserve that is just as incredible above the water, showing off thick native forests and spectacular waterfalls and boasting glacier-carved hanging valleys.
Goat Island - Another one of New Zealand’s most famous dive sites can be found just north of Auckland (North Island). It has been a marine reserve since 1975 and you can find blue cod, explore seaweed forests and hunt for sea squirts. Beneath the surface are a variety of habitats, ranging from rocky shores exposed at low tide, to deep reefs, underwater cliffs, canyons and sand flats. Goat Island is great for the whole family and a superb dive spot with depths 9 to 18 metres.