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Diving in Bay of Islands

Explore diving in Bay of Islands

There are many beautiful locations in the world to dive but only a few can be regarded as truly magic. Electric blue mao mao fish fill the underwater caves of Poor Knights, with towering volcanic arches and mighty orca overhead.

The Mercury Bay & the Mercury Islands & reaching down the coast to the Aldermen Islands, renowned for its stunning coastline, offshore islands, white sandy beaches and crystal waters is really one of those truly magic locations.

The Cavalli Islands are a slice of subtropical paradise and a platform from which to plunge into the treasures of New Zealand's Far North. The terrain is volcanic so diving in the Cavalli Islands is filled with swim-throughs, tunnels and caves. Be amazed by the diversity of marine life - Kina, Stingrays, Octopus, Dolphins & occasional Orca.

When to dive in Bay of Islands

The northern tip of the North Island is New Zealand's warmest region: summers are warm and winters are mild. Under water there are two distinct seasons. Winter (May-October) has better visibility (over 30m on good days) while the remaining summer months (November-April) have more plankton and marine life.

In winter, water temperatures are around 57°F/14°C so a semi-dry wetsuit is adequate, but you'll be nice and toasty in a drysuit. Summer waters are a comfortable 68-73°F/20-23°C - the visibility is lower, but chances of encountering stingrays and orca are at their highest.

The best time to dive in the Cavalli Islands is from February through June when the water is at its warmest and currents are mild - but the stunning reefs and Rainbow Warrior wreck can be dived year-round.


Book your diving in Bay of Islands

Common marine life sightings for Bay of Islands

More Information

The Poor Knights are located off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island and can be easily reached by boat from almost any port in Hauraki Gulf and Northland. The nearest major town for diving in the Poor Knights is Tutukaka, Whangarei.

The Cavalli Islands are a small group of islands located off the east coast of New Zealand's Northland (on the North Island). Accessing the islands from the mainland is easy - you can paddle to the islands by kayak on a good day. For diving the Cavalli Islands, the best and most connected airport to arrive into is Auckland. From there, rent a car and hop straight onto the SH1 (one of New Zealand's main highways). Head north for 3h before switching to SH10 for the last 40m of the journey. This will get you to Matauria Bay - the closest departure point for dive boats going to the Cavalli Islands.


Time Zone
230 V
1st Stage
INT / Yoke / K
International airports
Auckland Intl (AKL)
Hyperbaric chamber
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Popular courses: Bay of Islands

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