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chinacat46
08-06-2007, 06:40
I'm gonna be on the South Island visiting some friends in Nelson for a few weeks in November and was thinking of doing some diving out of Picton in the Marlborough Sound. Has anybody dived there? If so what would you recommend. What are the water temps at that time of year?

picxie
08-06-2007, 14:54
I dived there about 7 years ago. One was a wreck dive and one was a cray dive. I don't remember much about the cray dive but the wreck (Mikhail Lermontov) is a must do if you are in the area.

I was going to do a trip back down there earlier this year but it got cancelled due to lack of interest :smiley19: We were going to do a few on the Lermontov and then there are supposed to be a couple more old wrecks in the area which hopefully we were going to make it to.

Vis on the Lermontov isn't the best, but winter (now) is the best time of year so you're in luck! Oh wait, you're coming in November. I think 3-4m vis is about normal. But it's supposed to be a bit better elsewhere (ie, not the Lermontov).

If you were here now, it would be ... 10-12C roughly. At a guess, November you'd be looking at 16-18C roughly. Our hottest summer month is February-ish so that's when it would be warmest.

Check out http://www.godive.co.nz/

I've not dived with them, but if I was to go down there again (on my own rather than an organised trip) I'd be going through them. There are probably other diveshops and I can have a quick look through the local dive mag if you want??

If you are coming all the way over here, another option (as well as the Lermontov - you have to do that!!) for you might to be to catch the ferry from Picton one day and come over to Wellington, spend a few days there. More shopping than Nelson:smiley2: but there is also another wreck off Wellington - she has only been a few years I think, and not long after being sunk there was some bad weather and she broke up into 3 pieces. I have not yet dived on her, but it was something I was hoping to do when we did the Lermontov trip (we would have been driving down and going through Wellington anyway). I can have a look later on for some links if you want - but google HMNZS Wellington and you might be able to find something.

Where are you flying into? If you are flying into Auckland (which is normal for international flights) then I would highly recommend staying a few days and going further up north to the Poor Knights and Bay of Islands area. The diving up there is fantastic.

Hope this helps:smiley4:

chinacat46
08-07-2007, 20:53
Good on ya. Thank you for the info. This will be my 4th trip to NZ and of all the countries I've ever visited NZ is my fav. I learned to dive in the Bay of Islands at Paihia Dive. Got my OW and AOW there. I've dived the Rainbow Warrior twice. Also have done the Poor Knights with Tutukaka Dive. Thats about the extent of my NZ diving. But I've done a 3 day kayak trip in Doubtful Sound. I've been up and down the North and South Island as well as Stewart Island and Great Barrier Island. I've done all of the great walks as well as a few other tramps. I've spent nearly 35 weeks traveling around NZ over my last 3 visits. I've drank many Kilkenny in Wellington bars till very early in the morning. I've probably even been to your home town. I've hiked on White Island and hope to dive there some day as well. I like Whakatane but then again I've liked just about everywhere I've been in NZ. Kiwis are the friendliest folks I've met the Ozzies aren't bad but the Kiwis are the best.GO All Blacks!! But this time it's mostly to visit my friends. I'm diving in Oz and PNG on this trip and then flying into Christchurch on my way home to visit my friends in Nelson. I'll pass thru the Auckland airport but just in transient. I'll be back to NZ though you can't keep me away from such an awesome place. Maybe I'll dive Napier next trip. I've been there twice but that was before I dove.

picxie
08-08-2007, 03:21
Good on ya. Thank you for the info. This will be my 4th trip to NZ and of all the countries I've ever visited NZ is my fav. I learned to dive in the Bay of Islands at Paihia Dive. Got my OW and AOW there. I've dived the Rainbow Warrior twice. Also have done the Poor Knights with Tutukaka Dive. Thats about the extent of my NZ diving.


Very cool! My last dives were up with Paihia Dive on the Rainbow Warrior. She's a beautiful wreck, isn't she? I've done Poor Knights with Tutukaka Dive and they were a very professional outfit. However I then went on to do the Poor Knights with a private charter and they took us to some of the more out of the way spots which were even better.


But I've done a 3 day kayak trip in Doubtful Sound. I've been up and down the North and South Island as well as Stewart Island and Great Barrier Island. I've done all of the great walks as well as a few other tramps. I've spent nearly 35 weeks traveling around NZ over my last 3 visits. I've drank many Kilkenny in Wellington bars till very early in the morning. I've probably even been to your home town. I've hiked on White Island and hope to dive there some day as well. I like Whakatane but then again I've liked just about everywhere I've been in NZ.

Wow! You've done more than me!! I have been to Doubtful Sounds & Stewart Island, many many years ago, but not yet to Great Barrier. It is on my list of places to go this summer as it's somewhere I have not yet dived. There are supposed to be a few dive spots up in that area so I was going to make a long weekend of it.

White Island is great!! You should definately do it if you get the chance. It is my favourite spot.


Kiwis are the friendliest folks I've met the Ozzies aren't bad but the Kiwis are the best.

Too right we are!! And I'm glad you know the difference between NZ and Australia!! Go Kiwi's!!


Maybe I'll dive Napier next trip. I've been there twice but that was before I dove.

Hmmm ... was that just a passing comment or did you somehow know that I am from Napier?? Local diving isn't my favourite but it is do-able. I wouldn't make a special trip though - if you are going to go somewhere specifically, definately make it White Island!!

I hope you enjoy your trip!!

Cojrock
08-09-2007, 22:36
If your going past it Kaikoura is nice for a dive or two that time of year. Lots of crays/lobster (if you know where to look) and there are many dive sites around seal colonies. If you have never dived with seals i really recommend it, they are very funny underwater and at my favorite site there are normally 4-10 following you around as you dive.

If im in NZ i would be free to buddy up if ya want to be shown a few sites around there.

kiwi
09-05-2007, 03:06
There are plenty of scallops in the sounds too which are fantastic eating. Dont make for a very exciting dive though as they live on the sand. There are some great cray dives in the sounds but are often at the heads which requires a bit of a mission. Be careful as the area is very tidal in these areas. - the whole tasman/pacific thing. Stewart Island is also good.

beenerachi
10-10-2007, 16:00
Hey Guys, I've been enthusiastically reading the last few posts. I'll be going to Auckland (only to fly in) around Dec 6-13ish and want to do a lot of dives. I found an 'online' travel booking place and they seem to be very responsive, but one thing I found was that a lot of the shops/clubs seem doesn't seem to run during the weekdays?!?!! Can this be right?

Where did you guys stay? Did you just drive around and find random little places or was it a little more organized?

Cojrock
10-12-2007, 19:29
Hi Beenerachi

Im from the south island of NZ so cant really help ya if your diving up in auckland except make sure you make the trip to the poor knights... its well worth it. I dived with "Poor Knights Divers" last time i was there and they were the cheapest and fastest boat out there i could find :) There are many other good places but i will leave it to a local to comment.

I think you might be able to make your trip cheaper by not using a travel agent for sorting out the dives tho your call. Are you going to be renting a car, that kinda makes a difference.

The time of year your going i think you will have no trouble finding dive shops taking trips out during the week tho may pay to phone ahead.

If you are going to Kaikoura or Marlborough i can tell you the names and websites of some good dive shops and some good accommodation.

later bro

beenerachi
10-14-2007, 16:20
Cojrock, I'm just flying via Auckland and thought it would make sense to stay up there, maybe see the Rainbow Warrior wreck. But it doesn't mean that I won't be flexible. I want to see NZ and I think there's that Russian wreck down south?

I'm planning on renting a vehicle for the week. It seems to be around $30NZD per day, does that sound right for an economy car? I like to dive during the day, hit up a local brewery for a tour and tasting and do a hike on my last day before getting on a flight.

I eat Anchor butter and drink Anchor radiated boxed milk everyday and love it, so gotta see NZ before I leave the region!

Thanks for any tips and advice!

picxie
10-15-2007, 04:13
Hey Beenerachi

If you are here for a week and will be hiring a car, I'd recommend going north of Auckland for your diving. There's heaps to see up there. You could go south (top of South Island, off from Picton) and see the Mikhail Lermontov but I think you'd be better off staying up north (I have dived up north and the wreck - you'd be limited due to travelling times and up north is better anyway).

From Auckland you could do Poor Knights - try Dive Tutukaka if PK Dive aren't doing week day trips. I think Dive Tut do all week round and are a reasonably big operation. http://www.diving.co.nz/

At Poor Knights you can dive the PK and/or dive a couple of the wrecks up there. But be warned that Dive Tut will have a minimum # of divers required to do the wreck and you may not end up having the option.

Up north further is Rainbow Warrior, up at Paihia. A very good dive and worth the trip. Try contacting Paihia Dive for that trip. http://www.divenz.com/ There is a new wreck being sunk up that way too, beginning of November. The Canterbury. I believe Paihia Dive will be taking trips to that one too.

Time wise, Tutukaka is approx 3 hrs from Auckland, Paihia is approximately 2-3 hours from Tutukaka. Rough times though. You could also try Goat Island on your way up, which is about 1 hour north of Auckland. I have not dived here yet, but am hoping to soon. I've been looking at this outfit ... http://www.goatislanddive.co.nz/ They seem to offer Friday/Sat/Sunday trips to the outer islands but if those days don't work out you could do a shore dive at Goat Island.

If you decide to do those 2-3 spots I think that will keep you busy for a week!

As for accommodation, when I dived PK I stayed in Whangarei at the Whangarei Falls Holiday Park http://www.whangareifalls.co.nz/ Very reasonable prices. Dive Tut will pick you up and drop you off from here too, for free. That would save the 20-30 min drive to Tutukaka.

Hope this helps :)

beenerachi
10-15-2007, 15:58
Picxie, thanks for the info! Those are great sites! Do you dive with a 5mm or a 7mm suit? Gonna try to book my tickets this week to NZ!

picxie
10-16-2007, 03:18
I dive 7mm, definately! But I do feel the cold and I know of others who are comfortable in a 5mm. But if you are here beginning of December then that is only just the start of summer and things won't have warmed up yet. If you were coming in say Feb I'd say you could chance it with a 5mm as Feb/March are the warmest months (I'm still in a 7mm though!). The dive shops will hire one though if you only have a thinner suit - save you buying one for the trip.

What airline are you flying in with? If you are flying Air NZ make sure to mention that you are going on a diving (sporting) holiday and they'll give you an extra 10kg baggage allowance - will up it from 20kg to 30kg. Makes a huge difference although they do allow up to 23kg with no cost (or so I was told a week or so ago when I checked in on a domestic flight).

beenerachi
10-16-2007, 16:06
Again, great tip! Air Niugini gives additional allowance for scuba divers as well, but most of the time, their scales don't work (neither do their planes). I am flying Air NZ and Qantas...do you think Qantas will give me a similar allowance? I'll have to do some research.

I'm really close to booking those tickets, but I haven't heard back from my travel agent (I don't usually use an agent, but this trip is part of a continuing trip for me)

It almost sounds like I have to take a dry suit class!

picxie
10-17-2007, 01:06
Quantas might, no harm in asking. When I flew Air Pacific recently the website said 20kg but we talked them into giving us 30kg because of the dive gear (or at least, our travel agent did!). So definately ask for it!

Travelnsj
10-22-2007, 15:11
Chuck, any update on your trip?....last time I talked to you....you were in Cairns Holiday Inn....getting ready for the Spirit of Freedom trip....give us an update.

Anne Eastwell
10-31-2007, 17:42
Good on ya. Thank you for the info. This will be my 4th trip to NZ and of all the countries I've ever visited NZ is my fav. I learned to dive in the Bay of Islands at Paihia Dive. Got my OW and AOW there. I've dived the Rainbow Warrior twice. Also have done the Poor Knights with Tutukaka Dive. Thats about the extent of my NZ diving.


Very cool! My last dives were up with Paihia Dive on the Rainbow Warrior. She's a beautiful wreck, isn't she? I've done Poor Knights with Tutukaka Dive and they were a very professional outfit. However I then went on to do the Poor Knights with a private charter and they took us to some of the more out of the way spots which were even better.


But I've done a 3 day kayak trip in Doubtful Sound. I've been up and down the North and South Island as well as Stewart Island and Great Barrier Island. I've done all of the great walks as well as a few other tramps. I've spent nearly 35 weeks traveling around NZ over my last 3 visits. I've drank many Kilkenny in Wellington bars till very early in the morning. I've probably even been to your home town. I've hiked on White Island and hope to dive there some day as well. I like Whakatane but then again I've liked just about everywhere I've been in NZ.

Wow! You've done more than me!! I have been to Doubtful Sounds & Stewart Island, many many years ago, but not yet to Great Barrier. It is on my list of places to go this summer as it's somewhere I have not yet dived. There are supposed to be a few dive spots up in that area so I was going to make a long weekend of it.

White Island is great!! You should definately do it if you get the chance. It is my favourite spot.


Kiwis are the friendliest folks I've met the Ozzies aren't bad but the Kiwis are the best.

Too right we are!! And I'm glad you know the difference between NZ and Australia!! Go Kiwi's!!


Maybe I'll dive Napier next trip. I've been there twice but that was before I dove.

Hmmm ... was that just a passing comment or did you somehow know that I am from Napier?? Local diving isn't my favourite but it is do-able. I wouldn't make a special trip though - if you are going to go somewhere specifically, definately make it White Island!!

I hope you enjoy your trip!!



That's more than enough slinging off at the Aussies thank you!!! We're just as friendly as our eastern cousins! Maybe Chinacat just hasn't met the good aussies?

beenerachi
11-04-2007, 14:59
Picxie, I'm booked! POM to AKL from Dec 5-13th. So that'll give me enough time to drive up north and see the Rainbow Warrior/Poor Knights. Ok, water in PNG was 25 degrees Celsius yesterday and super cold for us tropical divers....heeheheh, I bet I need a 7mm there for the Kiwi waters!