Scuba Destination Spotlight #26: Poor Knights Island, New Zealand

A complete marine reserve, the Poor Knights Islands are rated in the world’s top 10 dive sites by Jacques Cousteau.

Located 24 kilometers off the coast of Tutukaka, the Poor Knights Islands have significant meaning for the local community, and are considered a natural spots that’s worthy of protection.

The locals are proud of the islands, and they convey a message about the beauty of the islands, wrapped in an idea of conservation.

Truly a place of natural wonder, the Poor Knights Islands are the ideal spot for any diver.


Scuba Diving Poor Knights Islands

Scuba Diving Poor Knights Islands

The Poor Knights Islands are truly unique. They seem to rise almost out of nowhere, with steep cliffs soaring above the waterline.

They have a distinct volcanic appearance, and that’s due to a volcanic eruption ten million years ago.

Because of that unique rhyolitic caves and archways have formed in and under the islands, and they’re spotted with some of the most unique marine life on the planet.

Hosting over 125 different types of fish, like schooling snapper, kingfish, pink maomao, toadstool, black spot grouper, red moki, sharp-nosed puffer fish, and many many more, the waters surrounding the islands are a joy to dive in.

Scuba Diving Poor Knights Islands
Scuba Diving Poor Knights Islands

Due to their location, warm currents pass near the islands, and because of that, the temperatures and visibility are higher than anywhere else in the region.

The islands can be dived throughout the entire year, but the best months are May to September, when the visibility can climb up to 46 meters.

Scuba Diving Poor Knights Islands

There are also plenty of organized boat trip, both for divers and non-divers alike, and many of these travel to locations where there are dolphins and migrating wales from Hawaii.

Such spots are excellent for sight-seers and snorkelers, as they offer a chance to see the already splendid marine life, and proved opportunities for some excellent photography.

Did you see last week’s Scuba Location Spotlight?

Also read: 8 Realities of Road Tripping New Zealand