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.
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.
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.
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!
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.