Diving at Poor Knights Islands

The campground at Sandspit is really nice. It is placed in old city location and there is still a lot of old building, which gave a nice atmosphere to this place. Some of them are even converted for normal use, so you can watch television in special theatre room.

Sandspit Holiday Park

We wanted to left the camp quickly, but really didn’t manage to do it. Pancakes for breakfast took a lot of time as well as another recording for Beat radio. But we finally made it and arrived to Whangarei during afternoon. After some searching for free wifi across the city we decided to have a lunch and go into an internet cafe after that. And it was really good idea which strucked me – we headed to Domino’s pizza, and it was just delicious. We really filled up our stomach with tasty pizzas and then went to do all we needed to on the Internet. If nothing else, I ordered diving trip for myself for tomorrow, updated pages, handled some emails and finally we moved.

Busy on the Internet

Looking for some nice beach to sleep on near Tutukaka, which is the place I’ll be leaving for diving tomorrow. And finally found one at MatapouriUkaž na mapě, where camping was allowed.

Diving – yes! I was looking for it quite a long time, as diving at Poor Knights IslandsUkaž na mapě is one of 10 must to do in New Zealand and Jacques Costeau also put this place on his list of 10 best diving sites on the world and it is also probably the best subtropic diving location in the world. It is also completely different to diving on coral reef as it is basically a really old volcano and the life here is different. That sounds more than good.

Poor Knights Islands

I went with Dive! Tutukaka, which looks really like perfect company, I didn’t experience this level of service anywhere before. They even prepared the equipment for us (of course we checked it after that to be sure :-)), provided guide, who showed us the interesting part and found all the small things you aren’t able to find on your own and much more.

The islands are really nice, there are two mains and about 8 or 10 small ones. 60 locations around them with a lot to see, the biggest sea cave in the world and – mosquitos. As it is natural reserve you aren’t allowed to set foot on the islands or take anything with you or kill anything – including mosquitos 🙂

Trevor's Rocks diving site

Diving was pretty different compared to what I was used to. We got a full and thick diving suite with hood as the water was pretty cold – around 20 degrees. The thick suite changed the experience a bit as buoyancy control was different – it’s hard to get under the water but once you are down it doesn’t buoy you up that much and you have to inflate you jacket a bit. But once you get used to it it is fine. There is a lot of sea grass on the ground, pretty ragged bottom and a lot of life. The biggest experience was entering a cave from which suddenly three huge stingrays swim. Amazing and hard to describe.

Between dives we moved around, saw the Riko Riko Cave, which is the biggest sea cave on the world and even concerts are held there, went through some tunnels and under arcs and after second dive went back home.

Riko Riko Cave

In the evening we moved further, to Ngawha springsUkaž na mapě to hot pools. These one are much smaller compared to Hanmer Springs on South Island and much more cosy. Pools have different colors and temperatures, which ranges from 28 to 49 degrees. Different colors are due to minerals inside the water and we were told that this is the only hot springs in New Zealand which have minerals inside and aren’t just hot. We were able to try most of the pools, just the hottest one was really hot – tried up to our ankles and then jumped out with pain.

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