Top 5 Scuba Diving Spots in New Zealand

by Julia on December 15, 2017

If you thought New Zealand was only amazing above water, then you have never experienced diving in New Zealand. Throughout the entirety of New Zealand, there are excellent diving spots. Whether you are interested in diving for spearfishing, seeing underwater wildlife, or just to experience an underwater environment like no other, New Zealand has you covered.

Here is my list of places I recommend diving in New Zealand.

Poor Knights Island

Poor Knights Island, located in Whangarei. It is known for its beautiful, clear water and scenery. Its colourful reefs and plants are among the most beautiful in the world. Copious amounts of Fish and other aqua-life make this dive site truly heaven underwater.

The reason for its beauty is mainly because there is no fishing allowed in the area which has given the environment unlimited opportunities to thrive. Perhaps the most amazing experience will be when you find yourself doing the MaoMao Arch, where you are likely to find thousands of MaoMao swimming around you. You can get to this island from Tutukaka, Whangarei. Be warned the diving is pretty deep, you will need an advanced open water certification and a dive computer. There is a dive shop on the island but you will be better off getting one before you go. Here are some dive computers I recommend.

White Island

White island is an island located just off the coast of Bay of Plenty. It is also New Zealand’s most active Volcano. Don’t let this distract you from what this island holds, as it is one of the most beautiful locations within New Zealand. It is also a famous diving spot. It used to be popular for commercial fishing, be sure to bring a diving knife in case you get tangled in some of the abandoned fishing nets.

White island is known for its colourful tropical marine life, which is a main reason why it’s a famous diving spot. The island has three diving locations: Volkner Rocks, Club Rocks and Liason’s Reef. White island can only be accessed from Whakatane, New Zealand. There is a 5 star PADI dive shop on the island if need any new equipment. The water temperature is usually in the high 70’s  so you should wear a wetsuit. You can see some good scuba diving wetsuits I recommend here on This is a diving spot that you don’t want to forget your dive camera!

Rainbow Warrior

The Rainbow Warrior was a Greenpeace boat that sunk in 1985 due to being sabotaged by people who were against Greenpeace’s’ viewpoints. It now acts as an artificial reef. It is also a popular diving destination, simply because going underwater to look at sunken boats is pretty awesome.

Also, how cool would it be to tell someone “today I went diving and saw the Rainbow Warrior!” It sounds epic. If you were wondering, the reason for the boat being sabotaged is because Greenpeace were protesting against France doing nuclear tests in Muroroa in French Polynesia. The Rainbow Warrior is situated in the Bay of Islands.


Although Kaikoura was heavily affected by the 7.8 Earthquake, the area is still an amazing place to dive at. Kaikoura is famous for the marine life that it attracts. If you’re lucky you have the chance to see animals such as New Zealand Fur Seals, Dusky Dolphins, Sperm Whales. So many different amazing animals! Other than the sea life, there is also kelp forests and limestone reefs.  Kaikoura is found in the South Island of New Zealand.

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is located by New Zealand’s most famous attraction: The Milford Sounds. This particular area is great to dive in, as the surrounding bay keep the water calm, meaning that divers barely ever have to worry about the water being murky and their vision being obscured.


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