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97 Wairau Road
Ph: +64 9 444 7698
It was also an amazing year for diving and our return trip to the Galapagos Islands was even better than our previous trip in 2014!
Let me paint a picture – we’re sitting on the liveaboard boat at Darwin Island – over 165 nautical miles north of Galapagos’ main islands, we've crossed the equator overnight and just arrived that morning…
We look out towards Darwin Arch less than 1km away, just down the coast we can see a mother Humpback Whale teaching its baby to slap its tail on the surface, around the boat we count 6 turtles relaxing on the surface, 7 Silky sharks are swimming under the boat, then suddenly a school of Mobula Rays are jumping into the air as they swim past, and the biggest school of dolphin any of us has even seen is in the distance leaping and playing as only they can… this isn’t over the morning – this is all at the same time! To say we were excited to get in the water was the biggest understatement you can imagine… we were all buzzing to get under Darwin Arch!
Heading out towards the arch on one of the two inflatables – our boat driver suddenly yells out “Whale Shark right below us... get ready to go” heart racing gear in place camera in hand, “3, 2, 1, go as the inflatable slows down ahead of the whale shark – we backward roll in – I'm lucky – I'm at the front of the RIB and manage to swim ahead and slowly let her catch up to me and we’re only 3m below the surface! I angle to be above her and swim to get into the pressure wave above her head… always mindful of never touching – and manoeuvring so I'm in the sweet spot. I don’t have to fin as hard – I'm being pulled along with her – it feels amazing, I quickly look back and a couple of divers are still swimming trying to keep up – the others have peeled off towards the arch.
She angles down and takes me on a 9-minute swim to 30m – several Giant Trevally come and join me above her head… they don’t stay long as almost unbelievably she swims through a school of hammerhead sharks!Truly one of the most epic moments I've had underwater in my 36 years of diving! She turns – I'm trying to remember to take pictures but I don’t want to waste this experience looking through the lens… she starts to ascend – too quickly for me to safely stay with her… so I peel off to the side – making sure the Go Pro on top of my camera captures her disappearing up into the blue shallows around the arch… she’s gone – I turn to high five the others (if they're still there) and a second whale shark is 4m away swimming straight towards me! I move up above and out of the way and let her pass underneath me and I swim on her back for the next couple of minutes and realise just how lucky I've been on my first dive at Darwin Arch – and that was just the first 15 minutes!
Over the seven days we’re on board Galapagos Aggressor we swim with hundreds of Hammerheads, Turtles, and many more Whale Sharks – not to mention the Seals, Sealions, Marine Iguana, Sunfish, huge schools of Barracuda – this really is scuba diving heaven… We climb an extinct volcano and get incredible pictures of the wild landscape, we visit the giant tortoises and tour around finding penguins. We eat great food, drinks, and have some late nights playing our new favourite dice game “Zilch” (thanks Willie). This made for another epic trip at what we believe is the greatest big fish dive in the world – Darwin Arch - Galapagos… And yes, we've booked the Galapagos Aggressor for August 2021! Contact Malcolm on 09 444 7698 to book your spot(s)!
We are proud to announce that we received the PADI "Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training" award for New Zealand for 2018! Presented this week by PADI Asia Pacific's Territory Director Thomas Knedlik, it is gratifying that our teams hard work is being recognised once again by PADI and appreciated by you our customers!
We know how lucky we are to introduce people to the underwater world, we love what we do, and to be recognised as the industry leaders once again is a testament to how the team do their job and share their passion for diving; so thanks to them, and of course thanks to you for choosing us to get you into this amazing world!
We were very proud in 2016 to receive the shop award from PADI Asia Pacific in recognition of "Outstanding Contribution to the Diving Industry".
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Malcolm Kidd - MD Dive Centre Ltd.
At the same time Jen also presented Matt Shortall, Dive Centre's long serving Instructor with the "Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training Award" due to his consistent excellent work and issuing almost 200 certifications last year!
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Matthew Shortall - Dive Centre Ltd Master Instructor.
We also became New Zealand's first PADI Tec Rec Training Centre! Offering a wide range of Technical, Deep, Mixed Gas and Solo Dive courses - Phone Matt Shortall for more info on 09 444 7698 now!
Go deeper and longer than you ever have before!
We want to be sure you have a great days diving!
You can be rest assured that we have worked hard to find many great dive sites that are accessible from Auckland, and will only recommend professional Charter Boat Operators. Check out details on the different operators we use at the end of the trip list.
If you haven't purchased your own equipment yet, you can hire a full set from us for $75 including two cylinders! We hire only top quality Aqualung Regs and BCD's plus top brand Suunto Dive Computers. Don't put up with sub standard hire gear! Check out our Rental information by clicking here.
Remember, you don't have to wait for your mates to be free, book onto any trip and you will be buddied up on the boat - no problems!
Phone us on (09) 444 7698 or email us now to book a great days diving.
|"Tutukaka" - 7 days per week! All trips leave from Tutukaka, the Poor Knights Marine Reserve is rated as one of the top ten sub-tropical dives in the world! Tutukaka is 2 1/2 hours' drive north from Auckland.|
|"97 Wairau Rd" - These trips meet here at the shop and you simply join one of our open water courses diving on the Leigh Coast/Goat Island Marine Reserve. "No Charge" if you hire a full set of gear from us for the day, or have purchased your equipment from us! (Limited space depending on course numbers).|
"Northland" - Join our Advanced Course for a fun weekend away as a diver only - Costs $307 for the whole weekend and includes accomodation, food, air fills, and boat fees! Please Note: You must be Advanced Certified already to join the Bay of Island weekend trips.
The trips leave from Tutukaka (said “two-two-car-car”) :-) which is 2 ½ hours’ drive north of Auckland.
No-one can supply transport unfortunately, so you need to drive yourself up and back.
You would need to be in Tutukaka by 8.15am. The trip costs $190 and a full set of hire gear is $100 if you want to use the boats gear (which is easier) or $75 if you want to use our gear and pick it up from us in Auckland the day before the trip, and return it us the day after.
The trips leave the wharf as soon as everyone is ready and you get back approximately 4:30pm.
You do two dives on the trip, and you can be an open water diver for the dives here.
The boat crew and Divemasters can look after you and guide you in the water if you prefer.
There are heaps of dive sites around NZ, but with limited time, the Poor Knights is the one to do.
If you want to book these trips just book here http://www.divecentre.co.nz/shop/Dive-Trips and confirm the date you want to go in the notes section and we will come back to you ASAP with confirmation. This is NOT an automated process. Due to the requirements of booking you onto the boat manually we must be able to confirm your space on the boat before the booking is confirmed. Please book far enough in advance for us to check bookings during the day so we can confirm your booking.
If the trip is cancelled due to weather you will be refunded in full.
While every effort is made to ensure all information is correct, all details / costs / destinations are subject to change without notice. Phone (09) 444 7698 now for details...
Please remember: all trips are weather dependant and require minimum numbers to run.
All our trip operators reserve the right to cancel any trip to ensure public, equipment and staff safety.
Please phone us on (09) 444 7698, or email us now, for availablility and confirmation of details.