New Zealand’s Best Shore Dives

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It’s plain that New Zealand presents a few of the most original, numerous, and untouched locations to discover on the planet. For those who thought that the surroundings from the Lord of the Rings was unrivalled, you solely have to take a peek underwater to know that it’s additionally mirrored beneath the waves – and a few of it's only a step off the seashore – no boat required!

Shore diving in New Zealand is about as distinctive as you will get and for any diver that desires to expertise a one-on-one with the underwater world, then that is the place to do it. Step away from the crowds and be at one with the fishes at these superior New Zealand shore dive websites!

Aramoana, Dunedin

The identify Aramoana is Māori for “pathway of the ocean” and for wreck divers this can be a should go to website.  Among the many kelp forests are a number of scuttled ship wrecks and an array of spectacular marine life. If critters are extra to your liking than wrecks, you gained’t be disillusioned as seahorses, nudibranchs, octopus, eels and crayfish are all widespread sightings. In addition to carpet sharks, seven gill sharks cruising via are a spotlight together with the blue moki and look out for the New Zealand Hooker sealion!

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Goat Island Marine Reserve

Goat Island is situated simply north of Auckland and is undoubtedly one among New Zealand’s most well-known shore dive websites. Goat Island was awarded Marine Reserve standing in 1975 and it exhibits! Not solely can divers anticipate to see an ample and numerous vary of marine life, however only a stroll off the shore is a totally undisturbed underwater world.

Goat Island provides straightforward circumstances, shallow depths and nice visibility. There are a selection of habitats to discover, from rocky shores uncovered at low tide, to deeper reefs, underwater cliffs, canyons and sand flats. Every particular person habitat is residence to a special choice of critters and fish which can hold underwater photographers entertained for dive after dive!

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Look out for blue cod, big snapper, crayfish, purple moki, goat-fish and triple fins, in addition to faculties of parore, kahawai, sweep, silver drummers and trevally. A number of the extra notable sightings round Goat Island embrace stingrays, eagle rays and occasional dolphins, seals and even orca might be seen within the space.

Goat Island’s Greatest Shore Dive Websites:

  • ABC Bay–  Take pleasure in a mixture of kelp forests and cliff aspect on this bay which is residence to stingrays and blue maomao.
  • Shag Rock– This kelp-surrounded rock is a magnet for marine life.
  • Waterfall Reef– Situated on the southern aspect of the channel, look out for crayfish and faculties of fish.
  • Eagle Ray Flats– Big snapper, eagle rays and loads of fish are the spotlight right here.
  • Yellow Sponge Backyard– Lots to discover and macro lovers can be of their factor!
  • Caves – Look out for vibrant anemones, nudibranchs and sponges.
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Shag Level

Shag Level gives a number of entry factors situated roughly 50km/31miles (by street) north of Dunedin. Shag Level boasts lovely areas of reef and superb kelp beds, visibility is variable right here and the sandy backside is definitely disturbed. Shag Level could be very uncovered to the north and east so diving right here ought to be in accordance with when the prevailing circumstances are calmest. On a superb day Shag Level is a delight with beautiful marine life and the solar’s rays filtering by means of the floor make for wonderful underwater images alternatives.

Select your entry and exit factors rigorously, particularly when circumstances are tough and rocky exits might be tougher.

Wellington and the Southern Coast

Shore diving round Wellington and the Southern Coast is a dream for all ranges of divers. The beautiful seashores make an idyllic begin to dives which is mirrored by the underwater phrase beneath the waves!

The shoreline surrounding Wellington gives an fascinating number of dive websites for all ranges of divers, together with wreck dives. A number of the widespread marine life sightings right here embrace; eagle rays, short-tailed stingray, clean pipefish, kingfish, pot-bellied seahorse, widespread octopus, nudibranch, leatherjacket, John Dory and snapper.

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Wellington and the Southern Coast dive websites:

  • Taputeranga Marine Reserve is to not be missed, there's lots to discover and a myriad of marine life species.
  • Whitireia Park and Titahi Bay are appropriate for learners with stingrays and seahorses to be discovered at simply three meters/10 ft.
  • Wellington Harbor is understood for seahorses, pipefish, starfish, faculties of wrasse and the chance to attempt night time diving and uncover the areas nocturnal critters.

Notice that water temperatures vary from 50 °F (10 °C) in winter to 62 °F (17 °C) in summer time and the perfect time for diving is from January by means of to June.


Tawharanui Marine Park is a no-take, protected space, and don’t the crayfish and different crustaceans comprehend it! It’s commonplace to see dozens of crayfish feelers from inside crevices the place they're jostling for area with a handful of spiny rock lobsters.

Highlights listed here are the chance to see such an abundance of shellfish in a single place, and a few people are large with staggering physique plenty.  Look out for snapper cruising round, education silver drummers and jack mackerel, stingrays, eagle rays diving right down to the sand and rearing again up once more, kaleidoscopic jewel and customary sea anemones, sponges and nudibranch. It’s not solely crustaceans that inhabit the rock crevices, octopus and eels are different widespread sightings too.

Away from the sand, rocks and crevices, the kelp is house to completely disguised John dory and in calm circumstances one can spend a whole dive admiring the sunbeams from the floor.

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Picture offered by Owhiro Bay

Stewart Island

Stewart Island lays to the south of New Zealand’s South Island, separated from the mainland by the Foveaux Strait. Maori named Stewart Island “Rakiura” – which suggests “Glowing Sky”, as Stewart Island enjoys spectacular sunrises, sunsets and aurora.

There are numerous shore diving choices together with Oban, Golden Bay Wharf, Halfmoon Bay and quite a few others alongside the shoreline. It has one of many richest seaweed floras in New Zealand resulting from its many habitats and the affect of its two main ocean currents.

A big function of Stewart Island is Paterson Inlet which is roughly 100 sq. kilometres in measurement, mendacity in the midst of Stewart Island. Inside Paterson Inlet are round 20 islands and islets, together with Ulva Island which additionally provides wonderful shore diving alternatives.

Marine life highlights right here embrace fur seals, blue cod, cruising sharks, vibrant and equally delicate wanting tunicates and anemones, starfish, gobies, southern pig fish, seahorses clinging to kelp, crested weedfish, octopus and numerous others which make this lesser recognized space a jewel of shore diving areas in New Zealand.

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So are you able to gear up and take a step off the shore in New Zealand? You gained’t be dissatisfied! Locate a PADI dive shop in New Zealand to start out planning your subsequent journey and dive itinerary.

Subsequent time you gear up and step off the seashore, who is aware of what you will notice!?

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