Separated into the North and South Island, New Zealand offers a huge variety of diving spots and is a great cold water destination for scuba divers. The expanding kelp forests, interesting wreck dives and marine diversity makes this country an exciting location to learn to dive, or continue your diving education.

The North Island waters are slightly warmer than the south and consequently, colourful corals and Big Jewel Anemones usually decorate these scuba locations. Although the South Island is a little cooler, the macro life here is well worth a dive as playful New Zealand fur seals and elegant Sperm Whales often reside here.

Back on the North Island, highlights include the historical Rainbow Warrior wreck, a popular choice for those completing their PADI Advanced Open Water certification. Poor Knights is another favourite location for both divers and orca pods. The easy access from Tutukaka as well as the variety of marine life, such as moray eels, scorpion fish, wrasse and some brilliantly coloured nudibranch make this a perfect dive spot.

White Island Volcano is a must visit destination on the North Island as it offers a truly unique diving experience. Wedged neatly within the Bay of Plenty, just south of the Astrolabe reef, this is New Zealand’s most active volcano. These crystal clear waters warm with steam vents and host a plethora of marine life including huge Kingfish, Stingrays, schooling Maomao and some tropical assortments.

The northern end of the South Island is where you’ll find Marlborough Sounds, where the Mikhail Lermontov wreck is found.

Large swaying kelp forests and their fascinating inhabitants are a highlight of the Otago Coastline. In particular, Kaikoura on the east coast is the perfect location to spot a Spiney Sea Dragon. Further south, you’ll find Steward Island, an unspoilt gem for Shark diving.

An area known for its breath taking scenery is Fiordland which includes the unforgettable Milford Sounds. The frequent rain and freshwater brings deep ocean dwellers to shallow depths making for a spectacular diving experience, especially for novice divers who haven’t yet explored the deep. Sharks, Eels, Octopus Crayfish and a variety of nudibranchs make this area a fascinating scuba location.

New Zealand is truly a unique destination. With adventure travel and unique Maori culture, the topside offers just as much excitement as you can find underwater.

Sign up for your PADI eLearning today and start preparing your trip to explore this exciting destination.

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