Undersea Exploring with Paihia Dive

To appreciate a truly unique view of the Bay Islands, get down in the deep, and experience some of the best scuba diving in New Zealand. Paihia Dive takes visitors on an unforgettable Bay of Islands diving adventure, exploring an ocean full of exotic sea life, reefs, and shipwrecks. With the regions great range of world-class diving spots, it’s easy to see why this activity has become one of the most popular things to do in Paihia.

Diving in the Bay of Islands is a unique experience due to the East Australian Current that brings tropical fish into this temperate zone. This means that you will be able to see exquisite creatures that are not found elsewhere, like the Gold Ribbon, Toadstool Groupers and the Lord Howe Coralfish. The area around Deep Water Cove is a marine reserve, and there is an abundant and varied array of fascinating sea creatures to observe and even interact with.

 Paihia Dive

Get a close up look at some of the Bay of Islands unique marine life (Photo credit: Paihia Dive)

It is not only the variety of marine life that makes this one of the best areas for diving in New Zealand. There are also two sunken ships which make fascinating places to explore. The HMNZS Canterbury is a navy frigate which rests intact and upright near Cape Brett in Deep Water Cove. A dive here is one of the most popular Paihia activities, as even an inexperienced diver can experience the thrill of landing on the bow, which is at around 20-metres, and then swimming on through the bridge and into the helicopter hanger at 27-metres.  More experienced divers can explore on further into the stern which rests at about 36-metres.

 Dive Rainbow Warrior

Paihia Dive offer dives down to the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior (Photo credit: Paihia Dive)

Another emotive Bay of Islands diving location that you can visit is the final resting place of Greenpeace's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, which was sunk in 1985 by French saboteurs on her way to protest French nuclear testing on Mururoa Atoll. It was re-sunk here in 1987, and the vessel now forms an artificial reef which is home to an incredible variety of aquatic life and is one of the most important New Zealand diving sites. It takes just 8-minutes to get out to the wreck in the superfast Aka Maru operated by Paihia Dive, and to dive either of the wrecks you must have your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructor) Open Water certificate.

 Dive Bay of Islands

The waters of the Bay of Islands are full of exotic sea life, reefs, and shipwrecks (Photo credit: Paihia Dive)

The Sentinel is used for the reef diving trips, which is one of the principal Bay of Islands attractions. This bigger vessel has a large dive deck, for up to twelve divers, a sundeck on the bow, an ample cabin and even a hot shower. Consistently good visibility of 15-20-meters year-round will allow you to enjoy the spectacular colours of the tropical reef fish and to spot some New Zealand natives like short tail rays, which can reach a size of 3-metres across, and giant Northern Scorpionfish which are up to 60-cm long.  Water temperatures range between 15-22-degreesC and you will be kitted out with a 1 or 2-piece 7-mm wetsuit so that you will be comfortable at all times and protected from the volcanic rocks as you swim through caves and crevasses.  No wonder this trip is one of the most popular things to do in Northland.

Diving is one of the main Paihia Attractions and Paihia Dive has over 25-years of diving experience in the Bay of Islands and is a five-star PADI resort. The staff are all highly–trained, multilingual and crazy about diving. Paihia Dive offers a complete range of diving services, courses, trips and training programs, from a snorkelling trip to a Dive Master certification.  So if you want to discover the joys of diving, or to extend your prowess in this addictive sport, this is the place to do it.

Visitors into Auckland City who want to make their way to the Bay of Islands can collect an Auckland hire car from one of Omega’s two local branches, and enjoy a scenic trip up State Highways 1 and 11.