New Zealand: More than Just an Upgraded Old Zeeland

Now that I got it out of my system in the title, I must apologize, no ill will toward Zeeland but it sure did make for a catchy intro. That said, today I’m here to talk about New Zealand, named for the Dutch region but basically a world away from it. Sitting deep in the Pacific, just southeast of Australia, the two small islands pack a big punch.

Many arrive in the country to do business or pleasure in Wellington, but like its neighbor to the north, New Zealand is packed full of adventure. With a wild and vivid landscape come great dive sites. If you’re looking for rocky, you’ve got it. Reefs? Check. Even basic shore dives can be found all around the region. All of it comes together to make for experiences that keep on giving, and plenty of stories to make your friends jealous. Here’s where to create them.

The Mikhail Lermontov Wreck

This dive is not for the faint of heart, which is why I’ve chosen to start with it. In a wild country you’re going to need a wild, adventurous heart to drag yourself out of reality and into what lies ahead. Did we mention that it’s the biggest shipwreck dive spot in the region? It is.

Kapiti Island

Into spearfishing? This is your spot. Even if you’re not, it’s a great place to spot an entire rainbow of colors as you navigate blue waters with high visibility. At the end of the day you can kick back and enjoy a magnificent sunset. The water is good for all levels, bring the family!

Kaikoura

If marine mammals are your thing, the dolphins and whales in this region will astound you. When you return to shore, it’s even likely that you’ll be greeted by the local seal population. The kelp forests here also provide cover for some smaller creatures, so keep your eyes peeled.

Poor Knights Islands

Nobody has lived here since those poor knights in 1820. At least, we’re assuming that’s who lived here. The lack of population has allowed the area, both above and below the surface, to remain a pristine, untouched paradise.

The Rainbow Warrior

Closing out with another wreck, a lot of people in the dive community come out of this one saying that it’s their best dive ever. Dark wrecks, calm waters, and sunny spots surrounding the centerpiece of the occasion make for the perfect blend of dive conditions.

So, what’s your favorite New Zealand dive? Let us know on Planet Deepblu!

– Todd Allen Williams, Senior Editor