With over 32,000km (20,000 miles) of coastline, New Zealand has no shortage of diving opportunities. The best diving seas in the land are around the Poor Knights Islands in Northland. This is where you'll find the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior, which is now covered quite nicely with reef formations. Visibility ranges from 20 to 69m (66-226 ft.) in the best months (Feb-June). Another excellent dive spot, renowned for its crystal-clear waters, is the much chillier Stewart Island. Brave divers can also immerse themselves in the murky, tannin-stained waters of Milford Sound for a truly unique experience.
No matter where you take the plunge, you must have evidence of your diving certification with you. For details, contact the Dive Industry of New Zealand (tel. 09/849-5897; fax 09/849-3526). Good resources include Dive New Zealand magazine online (www.divenewzealand.com); the internationally renowned Waikato Dive Centre (tel.07/849-1922; fax 07/849-1942), which offers courses and dive trips; and Napier-based Arlidge Adventures Dive Centre (tel. 06/835-3005; www.aadivecentre.co.nz) for courses and dive tours.