Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in New Zealand

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in New Zealand

Scuba diving information in New Zealand

New Zealand’s coastal waters offer some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the world and there is something for everyone. Options range from freshwater lakes, rivers and clear water springs to rocky sub-tropical reefs, towering kelp forests, historic shipwrecks and islands riddled with caves and archways. Adventurous divers can descend in a cage amid sharks off the south island or delve beneath lake ice in The Remarcables above Queenstown. You can access several sites from shore, while day boats and liveaboards visit dozens of offshore sites. New Zealand has literally hundreds of scuba diving sites with over 15,000 km of coast line. Coastal waters teem with colorful, fascinating sea life and the usually clear waters make for excellent visibility. There's a crazy marine life world, where coral reef crinoids exist with forests of kelp, and volcanic rock formations are covered with hard corals and sea fans. Fiordland’s unique waters allow such deep-water species as red and black corals to thrive at diveable depths. Farther south red, brown and green seaweed dominates, while temperate fish mix with cold-water species, and NZ fur seals are regular diving companions. Among others, some great diving areas are the Rainbow Warrior and the Mikhail Lermentov shipwrecks, the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, the sheltered Bay of Islands, the dramatic fiords of Fiordland, and Stewart Island with its breathtaking kelp forests and huge abalone. Many easily accessible wrecks off the New Zealand coast also provide great diving opportunities. Water temperature and visibility vary widely between regions, since wind, swell, rainfall and bottom composition all affect it, as do plankton blooms in spring and early summer. Sea conditions are at their best in summer and autumn, from January to June, when the underwater visibility is good and marine life is abundant. If you are looking for a rich variety of scuba diving experiences then it's time you were diving New Zealand.

Geography and climate

New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. New Zealand has a temperate climate in the South Island and sub-tropical climate in the North Island. New Zealand average air temperature ranges from 2°C in the southern winter to 25°C in the northern summer. The average water temperature in the south varies from 8°C to 18°C, and in the north from 14°C to 23°C. Of the seven largest cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving on average only 640 mm of rain per year and Auckland the wettest, receiving almost twice that amount.

Entry requirements

Foreign nationals of some countries can enter New Zealand visa-free as a visitor for at least three months as long as they present a valid passport, a return ticket and financial means. For more information, please consult your travel agent or the New Zealand or British Embassy.

Health and safety

NZ has no vaccination requirements for any traveller. The World Health Organization recommends that all travellers should be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and polio, as well as hepatitis B, regardless of their destination. Always consult your doctor before traveling. NZ’s sandflies can be great annoyances. Lather yourself with insect repellent in coastal areas. Theft, primarily from cars, is a major problem around NZ, and travellers are viewed as easy marks. Avoid leaving valuables in vehicles, no matter where it’s parked. Severe weather is by far the most common natural hazard encountered in New Zealand.

Time zone

UTC +12/ UTC+13 DST


There are plenty of payphones in NZ and all of them accept major credit cards and a variety of phonecards. Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good. To access the internet you can use Internet cafés, many hotels and youth hostels.

Power and Electricity

230V/50Hz (Australian plug)

Other Informations

New Zealand has very strong biosecurity laws. The best advice is to declare any item you think may cause problems. New Zealand has a very high level of ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer. Sunglasses, long sleeves and sunscreen with SPF 30+ are highly recommended.

Scuba Diving locations in New Zealand

Which are the best scuba diving locations in New Zealand? Below, you will find a list of all locations of New Zealand, organized by regions, in which you can dive and snorkel.

Scuba diving locations and photos from each location in New Zealand

Which locations in New Zealand have underwater photos? Below, you will find the list of locations from New Zealand and for each location a list of underwater photos.

Marine Species and photos of each species in New Zealand

Which marine species can I observe in New Zealand? Below, you will find the list of marine species and the photos for each species.

Underwater Photographers and photos from each photographer with photos taken in New Zealand

Which photographers have taken underwater photos in New Zealand? Below, you will find the list of underwater photographers and their photos in New Zealand.

Scuba Diving centers in New Zealand

Which scuba diving centers can I dive with in New Zealand? Below, you can see the list of scuba diving centers in New Zealand. Click on “more info” to find out more about each scuba diving center.

There are no diving centers available

Liveaboards in New Zealand

Which liveaboard can I dive with in New Zealand? Below, you can see the list of liveaboard in New Zealand. Click on “more info” to find out more about each liveaboard.

There are no liveaboard available

Accommodation in New Zealand

Which accommodation can I rest after my dive in New Zealand? Below, you can see the list of accommodation in New Zealand. Click on “more info” to find out more about each accommodation.

There are no accommodation available