Barney's Rock from shore

Kaikoura Dive Club Trip

Just occasionally an early start is worthwhile and heading out on your next dive adventure is definitely one of those occasions, especially if you have never dived there before.

Kaikoura has been on my bucket list for a number of years and I finally got around to organising a club trip. After a slow trip down (stupid trucks on hills!) we made it to Kaikoura and then to our first dive site.
I had access to some site plans but having never been to the area they were a little hard to understand, fortunately Zach from Dave’s Diving drove past and was able to point us up the road to our entry point.

Kaikoura Beach - Our entry at Baxter's Reef

We headed out across the channel to explore the back of Baxter’s Reef. The site dropped down to 16m with a lot of weed and colour on the wall, with octopus, nests of baby cray, sea tulips, girdled wrasse, terakihi, a magpie perch and more.

Half of the divers headed south to ‘The Sisters’ – deep pinnacles that resulted in an awesome wall dive with plenty of fish, octopus, nudibranchs, sea tulips & sea spiders!
From the boat divers saw a seal eating an oarfish & dolphins!

The other divers also headed south but by vehicle to explore some shore diving sites. Their first dive was in the Raramai Marine Reserve, where Claire was buzzed briefly by a seal, saw loads of wrasse and moki.
This site was a bit surgey so they moved into the Old Wharf. The visibility never improved so after cruising out for a while they decided to abort the dive and head back to the lodge.

The winds had changed overnight so the second group of divers were unable to dive the Sisters but headed over to Barney’s Rock next door. The vis wasn’t fantastic but the back wall was fantastic with some great finger sponges, loads of anemone’s and other colour on the wall. Their second dive was in Goose Bay, Claire was once again buzzed by a seal & was fortunate to catch a crayfish for her dad – no pressure!

The boat journey back to town was delayed by sightings of albatross & petrels resting on the waves, common dolphins, seals and a small pod of Orcas!

Now that we have explored Kaikoura and have a better idea of what to expect of the trip we are definitely keen to head back down – will you join us?

NB: This trip is for advanced divers, not only due to the depth of the boat dives but also the need to use a DSMB on the dives, to navigate unfamiliar terrain and with the group being split the ability to plan, assess and execute your own dives.

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