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The Best Diving in New Zealand – Poor Knights Islands

I had heard that the best diving in New Zealand was at the Poor Knights Islands with Dive! Tutukaka, but I was not prepared for how incredible it really was.  The stunning blue color of the water, the huge manta rays constantly swimming right next to us, giant schools of fish that you had no other choice but to swim through, and the secluded location that made us feel like we were the first ones that ever got to dive there all made our day of diving truly unforgettable.scuba_diving_poor_knights_islands_ciaofelicia

We arrived at Dive! Tutukaka at 8:15am and were checked in and geared up in a fast and very organized way.  Once we got on the boat with a small group of about 15 other divers and snorkelers, we cruised to the islands for about an hour.

photo by Dive! Tutukaka

At our first dive site, we were given directions, some history about the islands, and information about what we would be seeing.  We really enjoyed all of the information and stories about the islands that the guides provided.  Once we were all ready to start or dive, the dive gear was all set up for us and ready to be put on (I was so excited about that small task being done for us!)  There were 5 people per Dive instructor.  One of my favorite parts about going diving is the dive staff.  Dive! Tutukaka is no exception, and we had so much fun chatting with their very kind, friendly, and helpful staff members.scuba_diving_new_zealand_ciaofelicia

Dive 1 was incredible.  We went down to a little over 17 meters and were swimming right next to huge manta rays.  I couldn’t get over how many they were and how close we were to them!  The seaweed growing on the underwater island walls was beautiful and so fun to swim through.  We also go to go into an underwater cave, and come up to a little air pocket at the top.  So fun!  Our dive was about an hour long.

In between dive 1 & 2, the staff served us coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and soups.  Just what we needed to warm up and relax before our next dive.  We also took the boat into the largest sea cave in the world!

Dive 2 was just as mind blowing as the first!  We swam under an arch that had an insane amount of fish.  I kept thinking that this is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen.  The blue color of the water and the darker blue shadows of the fish was unreal.  Our second dive also lasted an hour.

On the way back to shore, we got to go through a huge rock arch in the boat!  The Poor Knights Islands are so beautiful and we really enjoyed laying out on the boat with our soup and tea in hand, looking at the sights.  We arrived back at the Dive! Tutukaka dive shop at about 4pm.  It was a full day of diving fun!

I had the most incredible time diving the Poor Knights Islands with Dive! Tutukaka and I would love to go back one day to do it again!  I would definitely say that it is the best diving in New Zealand!

Check out a video of our day here:

Pin this to feel alive and go dive!POOR KNIGHTS ISLANDS_new_zealand_ciaofelicia

If you’re visiting the Poor Knights Islands as part of a full Northland, New Zealand road trip, check out what else I love in Northland.

Author: ciaofelicia

Hi! I’m Felicia. I am a 23 year old traveler originally from Huntington Beach, CA and currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. I graduated from California State University, Fullerton in May 2016. After graduation, I didn't have a "dream career" in mind, so I followed my heart and have been finding ways to make money as I travel the world ever since! I plan to travel and learn more about the world than I ever did in school. Traveling is a passion of mine. I love seeing the beauty of our world through architecture, nature, and people. I love connecting with people without being able to speak the same language. I love being in an unfamiliar place alone and stepping outside of my comfort zone. But I don’t know what I want to do yet. I plan to travel the world for as long as possible instead of "adulting." Until I figure it out, will you go on this adventure with me?

12 thoughts on “The Best Diving in New Zealand – Poor Knights Islands

  1. Wow! This is a dream of mine – both New Zealand and scubadiving, even thought I am not a huge fan of being underwater. But I have to challenge myself 🙂

  2. What an awesome experience! I keep saying that I’ll go diving one day but, you know, I’m uncoordinated and the embodiment of Murphy’s Law so I’m always scared that something unforeseen will go wrong.

  3. After looking at these pictures, I really wish I had learned how to swim, but never too late to learn. I can only imagine by seeing these gorgeous pictures, how the underwater world looks like!

  4. How deep inside were you allowed to go or were there no restrictions on the meters?.. I am a great fan of diving (just started and have completed two dives in Red Sea and Mauritius) – I had never really known much about this place. Thanks for this detailed post and those pics.

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