With the establishment of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve in 2008, Wellington’s rugged South Coast has become a destination for diving. With plenty of sites diveable from the shore and the purpose-sunk F69 Frigate there is a huge array of different sites to visit. Boasting multiple shipwrecks dating back to 1884 it is littered with history, and as all the marine life is protected the array of species found there is constantly growing.
Fantastic photography or videography opportunities await but as the weather on the coast can be a bit fickle, some local knowledge is a must. Talk to us about the best spots to go or get the most out of your dives by coming along on our regular club dives or hire a guide, we also love the excuse to get in the water.
When the southerly winds get up, the south coast turns into a surfers and weatherwatchers dream so the divers look towards Mana for a chance to get wet. Whitireia Park and Titahi Bay offer nice easy dives for all levels or if you are up for a bit of a hike you will find more challenging dives that are well worth it. As this area is fairly sheltered expect to find large groups of juvenile fish, Stingrays and Seahorses in as little as 3m of water. For a day out take a charter across to Mana and get rewarded with clear water and maginificent landscapes or head up the coast to Kapiti and reap the rewards of the areas longest established marine reserves as you lose yourself in schools of bait fish, Tarakihi, Butterfly Perch and pelagics.
Mostly known for its scallop diving when in season, Wellington Harbour also boasts a great array of macro photography sites. Get up close with Seahorses, Pipefish, Starfish and juvenile Crayfish as well as schools of Spottys and Wrasse. Try a night dive here and discover Gurnard, Sole and Squid mingled in with Kingfish and Kahawai at the right time of year. Often overlooked but always full of surprises!