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Dive Review of Dive! Tutukaka / Poor Knights Dive Centre/Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka in
New Zealand/Poor Knights , North Island

April, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Jose Kirchner, CA, USA
Report Number 200
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
Wordwide, 46 years' dive experience, including New Zealand previously.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
64   to 68    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Latitude given for proven experience; detailed instructions and guided
dives for less experienced. Four divers max per guide on wrecks unless
fully wreck qualified and experienced.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Dunk tank can be requested. No dedicated photographer areas on boats, bring
own parts and supplies. Capt. /author/ photographer Glenn Edney very
knowledegable - can give good hints on critters and conditions, wrote the
local critter book. Bring lenses from w/a to macro.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
This was a repeat experience with Dive! Tutukaka. The diving is
world-class- the Poor Knights, 40 minutes offshore, have spectacular
topography, caverns and swimthroughs. Fish include some warmer and cold
water variteties (cooler water and warm Coral Sea currents mix here),
colorful kelp thickets and great macro. Fish here are protected, and very
tame- from morays to larger pelagics, and tiny triplefins. Stingrays breed
here as well. Unseasonable winds merely meant we dove the "other
sides" of the islands.

A very few years ago, we wrote in their guestbook, "Kaleidoscopic fish
swarms. Rich tapestries of colour on the walls. A pleasure to dive with a
well-organised crew in splendid sanctuary" and we still agree with
that. Jacques Cousteau loved it BEFORE it was protected, and it's fishier
and even better now.

Two great wrecks available now as well, with dedicated wreck boat form
Dive! Tutukaka - nearby HMNZS Tui, originally a US hydrologic and submarine
spy vessel, and the HMNZS Waikato, a frigate, purpose-sunk for divers
thanks to the work of Jeroen Jongejans, Dive! Tutukaka owner. This area is
a dive destination well worth a week anyway.

Dive Tutukaka! personnel are friendly, enthusiastic and competent, with
several well-equipped fast boats. Head and warm water showers, hot
beverages and soup dispensed. Larger boat takes kayakers, snorkelers, dive
students, experienced divers (who can do their own thing). Dive operation
has grown rapidly (30% per year last 2 years), so our advance e-mail
booking was lost! Operation seems a bit hurried and impersonal for some at
times. We would not hesitate to return, anyway- but confirm your booking to
be sure, it's all the way to Acukland NZ and four hours by car.

Rates: two tank dive with tanks and weights, about US$65; single tank wreck
dive with t&w, about US$30. (A good wreck day is one wreck, lunch at
Schnappa rock for s.i., second wreck for dessert.)

Pacific Rendezvous is a collection of fully furnished comfortable cottages
and condos on a scenic head overlooking the Pacific and Poor Knights in the
distance, with rinse and fish cleaning facilities, laundry, pool. No
restaurant, but full kitchen facilities. We took some meals at friendly
Schnappa Rock restaurant (3 miles in Tutukaka), excellent food and wines
with moderate prices. Great prices too, from US$40 per night.

April is early Fall, uncrowded and economical low season- yet sunny and
with the warmest waters of the year for here.

Dive Tutukaka!
Poor Knights Dive Centre
Marina Road, Tutukaka
RD3, Whangarei,
New Zealand
Ph: +64 9 4343 867, Fax: +64 9 4343 884
[ link]

Pacific Rendezvous Resort
Tutukaka,  Whangarei, 
New Zealand
Phone +64  9 4343 847  Fax +64 9 4343 919
[ link]

Schnappa Rock restaurant, on Marina Road in Tutukaka
Information at [ link]
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