The name says it all really – this club dive trip to Northland was designed to explore the local wrecks and reef with dives planned for the Rainbow Warrior, Canterbury and Waikato Wrecks as well as a couple of dives at the Poor Knights.
I was excited as I had never dived the Rainbow Warrior though I remember it sinking and it had been over 30 years since I had ventured that far north! We stayed in Whangaroa Harbour for the first 2 days of diving and were treated to sunshine and stunning dives with schools of maomao, demoiselles and koheru on the reefs. The diving was definitely worth the wait!
The Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace flagship was originally bombed and sunk in Auckland Harbour in July 1985. Refloated for forensic examination it was deemed irreparable and scuttled in Matauri Bay, Cavalli Islands in December 1987, 30 years ago! She has since acted as an artificial reef with a wide range of different species making themselves at home on, in and around the wreck.
The Canterbury & Waikato wrecks were both Leander class frigates in the NZ Navy. Once decommissioned they were stripped down and scuttled for divers. The Canterbury lies in 38m in Deep Water Cove and was sunk in 2007 while the Waikato sunk in 2000 sits in 28m just of the Tutukaka Coast.
The Poor Knights Islands are the remains of a group of ancient volcanoes and have resulted in some incredible, walls, caves and archways to explore. The islands have been a marine reserve since 1981.
Rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of his top 10 dive locations the Poor Knights is spectacular and we were definitely treated to a couple of incredible dives at Northern and Middle Arch.
But like all good things the trip had to come to an end but not without first discussing our options for our next dive adventure!
Claire – Training Manager
Dive HQ Wellington