Diving and snorkelling are the best ways to enjoy the amazing underwater world of the Poor Knights Islands, rated by the famous Jacques Cousteau as one of the top ten dive sites in the world.
A dive at the world-class Poor Knights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a microcosm of underwater diversity with precipitous walls of rock, dense kelp forests, sand gardens, giant sea caves and massive underwater caverns where fish find shelter in the rocks while giant black stingrays gather in archways to meet before they mate.
After Sydney, the East Australian Current (the same as Dory and Nemo’s father Marlin in the film Finding Nemo ride with the turtles), passes by the Poor Knights. With it comes tropical fish that are found nowhere else in New Zealand coasts, such as spotted black groper, mosaic moray and Lord Howe coralfish.
Diving at the Poor Knights is rewarding at all times of the year :
- Summer Season (mid-January to late April): Excellent diving conditions with warm water (20-23°). Average visibility up to 20 meters.
- Winter Season (May to early September): A calm period of weather with cooler water requiring a drysuit to dive comfortably (around 15°). Good visibility (30 meters can be encountered).
- Between September and Early January: Water is warming up. but the visibility is reduced to 10 to 15 metres as plankton fill the water. However, this also means that a great abundance of fish are present to take advantage of this food source.
Poor Knights Islands : Dive Operators
A number charter dive boats operate the 40-minutes trip out from Tutukaka, a gateway to New Zealand’s best marine reserve,