On land, New Zealand is a truly impressive country. Dip below the surface of its inland and coastal waters, and you have yourself an equally-stunning environment. New Zealand scuba diving is on par with the best scuba diving in the world, and so it's no wonder that per capita, it has the most scuba divers of any country. The coastline of New Zealand is quite indented, making it longer than it first appears, and the wealth of marine life found here is as good as it gets. Besides hundreds of different species of fish, the New Zealand waters are often home to seals, dolphins, whales and penguins, the likes of which can pop up at a moment's notice. Whale watching in New Zealand is surely rewarding in its own rite, but can you imagine actually sharing the waters with some of these large creatures? Hot water vents, underwater caves, coral reefs, and so much more await those who add New Zealand scuba diving to their New Zealand list of things to do.
Wherever you find yourself in New Zealand, you're never more than 80 miles from the coast, so enjoying a bit of New Zealand diving on the side is always a possibility. For those who want to scuba dive New Zealand as the focus of their trip, there are various tours and vacation packages that highlight it. Dive centers are in good supply here, so you won't find it hard to arrange a diving trip once you arrive. Just remember to have your dive license and credentials handy, unless you are a novice. In that case, you can learn the ropes from a certified dive trainer. Many of the reputable New Zealand diving charter companies offer certification classes that can have you diving in no time. After learning the ins and outs in the classroom, you'll next be off to a pool or shallow ocean inlet where you can get comfortable with the actual diving part of things. After that, you're ready to enjoy New Zealand diving at its best. For those who aren't certified divers, there's always New Zealand snorkeling. Though this has its limitations compared to diving, it's still very enjoyable and can done more at your leisure. Just remember to always exercise some caution if you are snorkeling where you aren't familiar with the conditions and where there is no lifeguard.
Tour and travel companies are numerous in New Zealand, and at all the major cities and main tourist destinations, you can easily arrange a scuba diving excursion. The best time to scuba dive New Zealand is between the months of January and June. This is New Zealand's summer and fall, and it's a time when the weather is a bit more settled, and the underwater visibility better. Both the North Island and the South Island have a myriad of great dive sites, and if you were to pick the best New Zealand scuba diving destination, you'd probably have to go with the Poor Knights Islands. Known as "The Knights", these islands are found in the northern reaches of the North Island, and it's just a day trip from Auckland. You can arrange a trip to these islands in Auckland, or book a charter in the town of Whangarei, which is where most daily dive trips embark from. Famous French diver and scientist, Jacques Cousteau, rated the Poor Knights Islands as one of the world's best dive sites, which should help to give you an idea of the kind of experience you're in for. Bright reefs, sheer walls, and caves are among the things to explore at the Poor Knights Islands, and you'll witness creatures such as stingrays and the rare tropical groper. Found near Auckland as well, the Bay of Islands is an excellent New Zealand diving destination. Octopus, bottlenose dolphins, and marlin are just some of the marine life that teems in the Bay of Islands waters. Head to either Kerikeri or Paihia to find dive shops that can set you up here.
If you're based further south in Wellington,
you can arrange trips for the waters close by, or even
book a New Zealand diving excursion that takes you to
some of the best spots around the country. Near Wellington,
Kapiti Island is arguably the best place to dive or snorkel,
as it offers what many consider to be the area's
best underwater scenery. On the country's South
Island, Stewart Island and Milford
Sound offer chillier waters that present wonderful
diving experiences of their own. Near Christchurch,
you can head underwater at the Kaikoura Coast, which is
the country's best whale-watching destination. The
dolphins here are quite playful, so you might enjoy a
bit of snorkeling with them before you strap your tanks
on. The South Island city of Dunedin has dive shops and instructors, and you can arrange Otago
Peninsula dives here, as well as arrange exciting trips
to Stewart Island and Milford Sound. These locations are
just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to New Zealand
If you want to scuba dive New Zealand, you can go about it a few different ways. Fresh water dives are possible, so you might seek out a lagoon or an inland lake to explore a bit. Wreck diving is a fun pursuit to enjoy when you scuba dive New Zealand, and it involves visiting a sunken ship or other submersed and manmade object. At the Poor Knights Islands, the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior is surely interesting. At Stewart Island's Halfmoon Bay, the Marine Maid rests on the sand below, sitting upright as if it has plans to resurface and sail again some day. Day-long New Zealand scuba diving trips can be arranged, or you can book an extended "liveaboard" trip, where you sleep on the boat. Drift diving in New Zealand can be done both in the oceans and the inland, fresh-water rivers. Letting the natural currents carry you along while you observe fish and other interesting sights is both relaxing and invigorating. New Zealand scuba diving definitely has it all, so add a New Zealand diving excursion to your next trip, and see why this country is so revered by divers around the world.