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Scuba Diving Northland, New Zealand


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NZ Freephone:

0800 288 882


+64 9 434 3867


Poor Knights Dive Centre
Marina Road

Regional Information:

Qualmark endorsed activity

Copyright: Dive Tutukaka. Dive! Tutukaka, Scuba Diving Northland, Diving Northland, Poor Knights Diving

Dive! Tutukaka Introduction

Dive! Tutukaka is New Zealand's premier full-service dive charter operator, servicing the Poor Knights Islands; 'the best-sub-tropical-diving in the world'.

An icon on Northland's horizon and 23 kilometres off the north-east coast of New Zealand, the Poor Knights Islands are washed by a warm current that sweeps down from the Coral Sea. Water temperatures are warmer, visibility is clearer, and the complex underwater landscape results in a unique environment.

Subtropical and temperate marine life co-exists with extraordinary diversity, beauty and density. Jacques Cousteau rated the islands in the top ten dive sites ever, and he knew what he was talking about.

With over 125 species of fish, soft corals, encrusting sponges, vibrant anemones and ecklonia kelp forests; hundreds of mating sting rays, gorgonian fans, sandy bottoms and wall drop-offs, a day spent diving the Poor Knights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Northland Diving Seasons

Dive with Dive! Tutukaka in Northland Explore all that Northland has to offer

Our friendly Northland diving team will tailor the day to suit you; you won't be out of your depth, and neither will you be frustrated. With purpose-built dive boats that take you to a site that matches your ability, we help you enjoy scuba diving in Northland.

With a dramatic landscape, passionate people and the stories that entwine the two, Dive! Tutukaka delivers a total experience diving the Poor Knights Islands.

Scuba diving at the Poor Knights is rewarding at all times of the year. Mid January to late April presents excellent all round diving in Northland. The water is warm 20°-23° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit) and the water is clear averaging 20 metres visibility. This is the summer season so you can expect mild air temperatures too.

From May to early September the visibility is excellent for scuba diving the Poor Knights while the temperature falls to a winter low of 15°-16° Celsius. Often calm periods of weather occur over this time and visibility in excess of 30 metres can be encountered.

Between September and early January the water is warming for diving the Poor Knights Islands. Plankton can reduce visibility to as little as 10 to 15 metres at times. However there is a great abundance of fish during this time. The plankton feeders have a limitless source of food and of course the predators are here.

Poor Knights Diving Day Programme

Take time to explore Northland Get up close with Northland's marine life
  • On the morning of departure we would like you to call into the 'Poor Knights Dive Centre' between 8:00 and 8:15 in the morning. Easy to find once you drive into Tutukaka; we're on your left side next door to Schnappa Rock Cafe. This gives you time to fill in the paperwork, get your boat allocation, rental equipment, tanks fills, car park and lunch, if you didn't bring any.
  • Boarding starts at 8:30 am and after all the equipment is safely stored on the boat, a safety brief will be conducted before we get on the way to either the Poor Knights or the Twin Wrecks. All our boats have cabins for shelter and gear storage, on board toilets and hot showers on the dive deck.
  • The boats to the Poor Knights diving site leave at 8:45 – 9:00 am, and if we don't see whales and dolphins on our way, we get to the Poor Knights Islands in between 40 and 60 minutes (same time and same conditions for return trip).
  • Once arrived at the Poor Knights, we will find a suitable dive spot, this depends on swell, wind direction, experience of divers etc.
  • A thorough briefing of the Poor Knights diving site and the marine life will always be given before we get into the diving, snorkelling and kayaking.
  • Upon return from your activity we have hot coffee, tea, soup or Milo (hot chocolate) ready. Once everyone is on board again, we have lunch and go for a tour around some of the special spots of the Poor Knights. Again considering conditions, we will find our second Poor Knights dive stop in another area.
  • Generally there will be around 90 minutes between the dives, giving opportunity for further snorkelling and kayaking or just getting a suntan whilst relaxing between the dives.
  • Another briefing and the second dive of the day will get under way. And once everyone is back on board and counted we stow the gear for the return trip to Tutukaka.
  • Generally we arrive back to port between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm.
  • For those who came with the bus from town, departure is at 5:00 pm.
  • If you have your own transport or stay in the area, you can enjoy the famous “Après Dive Scene” of Tutukaka and listen to the music and convince yourself to come out again and again!

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Northland Dive Boats

Dive! Tutukaka has the largest dedicated dive charter fleet in New Zealand. Our purpose designed and licensed vessels are fitted with all safety and oxygen equipment. All our skippers, dive masters and instructors are fully qualified. Our dive boats have enclosed cabins, toilets and storage room for your personal equipment.

Between the Poor Knights diving sites there are hot drinks, hot showers and fresh water rinses for underwater cameras. On top of that our boats carry ocean kayaks so you can explore the islands' fascinating archways and tunnels on the surface as well. Your safety and comfort are always foremost on our mind, and our crews are dedicated to make your day.

Scuba Diving the Poor Knights Dive with Dive! Tutukaka Go diving in Northland Go Canoing with us Explore the marine life in Northland

Diving For Non-Divers

As an adventure for non-divers, this is the ideal location for your first Discover Scuba dive, under the expert supervision of a qualified instructor. There will never be a better place or a better time.

Twin Wrecks

Two former Navy ships, purpose sunk for scuba diving in Northland, prepared and maintained for easy access penetration diving. When accompanied by a well qualified wreck guide dive master, this is high adventure diving in Northland.

Dive Courses

At Dive! Tutukaka we offer a wide range of PADI dive courses. Our experienced instructors have logged thousands of hours underwater and include marine biologists, naturalists, tech and wreck specialists and award winning photographers. If you have a desire to improve your diving skills and increase your affinity with the underwater world, talk to us about tailoring an education program to suit your needs. Through education comes understanding and enjoyment.

Northland Sightseeing

You don't need to be a diver to enjoy New Zealand's most spectacular island environment. A day trip to the Poor Knights is an adventure for everyone. The Poor Knights are New Zealand's oldest island reserve, protected by an encompassing marine reserve.

  • Isolated for one million years, the islands have developed plant and animal live that occur nowhere else on this planet, such as the Poor Knights lily.
  • This is also the home of the Tuatara, a living dinosaur.
  • See the most spectacular sea arches in New Zealand and caves so big they swallow your charter boat.
  • Experience prolific sea and bird life and kayak safely among schools of seething Blue Maomao in crystal clear water.
  • Of course, as you would expect in such a marine reserve wonderland, there are dolphins and, seasonally, orcas and whales.

Dive Centre

The Poor Knights Dive Centre is at the hub of Tutukaka, New Zealand's Dive Capital, and home of Dive! Tutukaka. The only dedicated dive shop in Tutukaka supplying air-fills, equipment and retail sales, full equipment hire, professional crews and 364-day-a-year operations, PADI training for all levels, Qualmark-endorsed, National Geographic Dive Centre, and multiple national and international award winners. Also souvenirs and clothing; films, batteries, canoe and land yacht hire.

A visit to the Centre with its unique underwater environment is a destination in itself. Our Poor Knights resource room with natural history displays and continuous audiovisual presentations is free to the public.

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