New Zealand is situated in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean. It occupies two large islands and a group of 700 small ones. The country lies within the territory of high seismic activity as well as having 6 active volcanic zones.
Goat Island, the most famous island among divers, presents the underwater world in all of its magnificence. There are submerged canyons, cliffs, walls, flatlands covered with sand and rocks. The underwater wildlife here includes Achelata, blue cod, rays, curious snappers, sea sponges and oysters.
You can dive in fiords, explore reefs and wrecks, swim among seaweed and huge schools of fish. You can also visit Riwaka Caves and try diving with fur seals or cage diving with sharks. There is always something new. You never know what expects you during the dive!
The Three Kings Islands entice with their wild landscapes, untouched by civilization. The coast is washed by the warm current which makes it possible to dive here all the year round. Local waters hide a lavish world of colourful fish, moray eels, sea urchins and beautiful coral reefs. The wrecks here are warships Tui and Waikato.
The Poor Knights Islands with their exciting underwater panoramas, looking like space landscapes, were recommended by Jacques Cousteau as places with a vibrant marine life.
Dive shops are located on the North and the South Islands. They provide training courses for beginners, certificates for instructors and deepwater trimix courses. You can book a dive at any sea or river dive site. There is a variety of equipment available to rent.
Spring in New Zealand lasts from September to November. The air temperature reaches +17 °C. It is sunny and warm and rains seldom. The sea is warm, however, it is better to dive in a wetsuit.
Summer in New Zealand lasts from December to the end February. It is a perfect time for sunbathing, surfing and diving. The average air temperature is between + 21 and +30 °C, the water warms up to + 17 °C and the warm current is about +23 °C.
Autumn in New Zealand lasts from March till May. It is the end of the beach season. The air temperature drops to +13 °С, and water also becomes colder (14 °C). There is moderate rainfall.
Winter in New Zealand is from June till August. The weather is characterized by strong winds and endless rains. The daytime air temperature is +15 °C, while the water temperature does not exceed +14 °C. In the mountains, it is colder and often snows.
The Blue Maomao Arch is situated on the Poor Knights Islands. There are schools of scorpionfish and anemonefish. If you dive there, you will see myriads of colourful flashlights moving in a fantastic dance.
Riwaka Caves are filled with fresh water. Beginner divers can discover a world of stalactites and stalagmites.
Healthcare in New Zealand is of a high quality. It is recommended to obtain travel insurance before a trip. You should get vaccinated against measles, parotitis, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, the flu and rabies. The crime rate is low, local people are friendly towards tourists, however, standard safety measures are necessary. You can choose any way to explore the country — on foot, by bike or by car.
Earthquakes may occur on the island. as there are several active volcanoes.
If you dive in coastal waters of New Zealand, you should beware of lion's mane jellyfish. It is smaller, compared to northern species, however, its touch will result in painful burns. Weeverfish is dangerous because of paralysing poison contained in the spines of its dorsal fin. Swimmers could be attacked by white sharks.
Local cooking is not outstanding. however, there are fish, meat and potatoes. You can feel the influence of Anglo Saxon traditions — steaks, roast beef and beef patties are served everywhere. There is little information about aboriginal cuisine. It mainly includes dishes cooked with local food, such as kumara (sweet potato) and kiwi.
Another dish known from the native cuisine is hangi. Meat or fish with roots are wrapped into big leaves, buried in the ground and baked with the heat of fire above.
Beers and wines from New Zealand are popular and their quality is highly renowned. A popular soft drink is a mineral water with lemon. Tap water in the country is completely safe.