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

Dive! Tutukaka / Poor Knights Dive Centre/Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka, Apr, 2002,

by Jose Kirchner, CA, USA . Report 200.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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]

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

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 64-68°F / 18-20°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20-80 Ft/ 6-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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.
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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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