Poor Knights Islands are a small archipelago in New Zealand located in the south of the Pacific Ocean. Poor Knights Islands are among the best diving destinations: crystal clear warm waters inhabited by marlins, tunas, Pacific sailfish, swordfish and many other interesting fish. The visibility reaches 40 m, so you can see the colourful sea bottom in detail.
The islands have a volcanic origin, that's why the landscape includes so many impressive walls, grottos, sea mounts and tunnels. But caves are the main feature. Each of them is unique. A lot of arches, tunnels, folds, formed in the mild magmatic rock dissected with water, create fantastic landscapes.
At the moment, the islands are uninhabited. You can get there only with the permission of the local Department of Conservation, and with a special group, because this region is part of a marine reserve. Dive tours to the islands set out from Tutukaka located 23 km from the archipelago. You can reach Tutukaka from Auckland International Airport by bus or car in 3 hours.
You can dive all year round on Poor Knights Islands if you have a warm wetsuit. The water temperature varies from +14 °C in winter to +22 °C in summer. The visibility is between 15 and 40 meters during the year. You will get the best visibility here from the end of summer till the end of winter. It is reduced to 5-10 m from September to November because planktons bloom during this period. There are strong currents in some places, especially during spring tides.
Rikoriko is the largest sea cave in the Southern Hemisphere. Divers will find an interesting combination of fish, some species which are active during the day, some at night, as well as a few dozens of dive sites with laminaria forests, giant rockfish, groupers and moray eels.
The Blue Maomao Arch is another interesting diving spot. Here you will see the blue maomao dancing in the sunlight.