Northland and the Bay of Islands Places


Paihia and Waitangi


The Bay of Islands has some of the finest scuba diving in the country, particularly around Cape Brett, where the marine life includes moray eels, stingrays, and grouper. The wreck of the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior, bombed and sunk by French agents in 1985, is another underwater highlight. The wreck was transported to the Cavalli Islands in 1987 and is now covered in soft corals and jewel anemones; it's full of fish life. Water temperature at the surface varies from 16°C (62°F) in July to 22°C (71°F) in January. From September through November, underwater visibility can be affected by a plankton bloom.

Paihia Dive Compass Ltd.. This company will take you around two significant sunken ships: the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior plus the former Royal New Zealand Navy vessel Canterbury. Accredited divers can rent equipment rental and the unaccredited can sign up for dive courses. Prices including equipment begin at NZ$229. 7 Williams Rd., Paihia. 09/402–7551 or 0800/107–551.

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