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Dive Review of Dive North - Bay of Islands Ltd./N/A in
New Zealand/Bay of Islands, North Island

April, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Jose Kirchner, CA, USA
Report Number 199
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
Worldwide diving 46 years, New Zealand previously.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
64   to 68    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Fairly cooperative about diving your desires and plans, according to your
experience and weather limitations.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Rinse facilities on shore, not much aboard. Dive operation helpful, but no
special facilities for photographers. Good topography, fish and invert
photography, varied kelp thickets.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
April is very early fall here, as warm as the water will get all year. This
east side of North Island is sheltered from winds  normally. Bay of Islands
is very picturesque, diving has lots of swimthroughs, caverns and
interesting topography, and very fishy- schools of small to medium fishes,
pelagics on occasion. A fun dive is "Hole in the Rock",
fabulously fishy- but keep your depth, as huge tourist jet boats speed
through here too. Bay of Islands is a great place for critter diving and
photoggers / videographers. Also accessible is the wreck of the famed
(Greenpeace) Rainbow Warrior, sunk by French agents at dock in Auckland and
re-sunk here for divers.

Dive boat is 23 ft Lady Gail partial cover catamaran w/ head, speedy and
fairly comfortable for up to seven divers. Dive operator is a young eager
couple, small waterside shop- much of their business is from a nearby
tourist kiosk. Though they are pleasant and helpful, to the point of
serving hot soup during  the surface interval, we were told the Warrior was
not accessible due to high seas. The truth is others dove it that day, and
we suspect they didn't want to go out there due to the small number of
divers OR to because there was no dive ladder this trip, necessitating
entry using the outboard motor fin (forgotten?), tricky with swell. The
operation is small, and mixes divers of all experience levels and
snorkelers. Dive guides provided, but we were allowed to do our own thing
on our own timelines, with decent briefings for the sites.

Price about US$50 two tank dive (tanks and weights), air only, 10% discount
if booked directly. Can charter boat for 7 for two tank dive for just under
US$400. Dive trips depart Paihia central wharf about 7:30, return about
2:00 PM. Trips to the Rainbow Warrior just over an hour each way, second
dive is on a reef. Other dive areas 30 minutes. 

Dive North Bay of Islands Ltd.
[ link]
P.O. Box 361,
Paihia, Bay of Islands
New Zealand 
Phone: +64 9 402 7079; Fax: +64 9 402 5969 

Alternative dive operator would be

Pahia Dive
[ link]
P.O. Box 210
Paihia, Bay of Islands
New Zealand
Phone +64 02 7551,Fax +64 02 7110

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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