And why not dive in New Zealand? I did not want to miss the opportunity to immerse myself in the Kiwi country. The chosen destination was Paihia in Bay of Islands, about 3 hours drive north of Auckland.
Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands is located on the North Island of New Zealand and includes a group of 144 islands. It is a very popular tourist destination for both locals and foreigners for its beauty and the practice of water activities. Paihia is a good option to use as a base to tour the area.
Scuba diving with Paihia Dive
The operator I went to dive with is Paihia Dive, who were very friendly, faithful to the kiwi style. The first dive was made by the HMNZS Canterbury shipwreck, a warship sunk in 2007 in which a beautiful reef has formed. We start by going down next to the main chimney of the boat to take a tour of the upper deck. After a few minutes, part of the group rose to the surface and the last 3 of us went to the stern of the shipwreck and entered the giant cargo hold, which at the time could hold up to 2 helicopters.
Diving in the HMNSZ Canterbury wreck
HMNZS Canterbury wrecl
Kelps in Bay of Islands, New Zeland
The second dive we did in the White Reef, a very nice place full of green kelps. The kelp fish are not shy at all and it is possible to get close to take good photos. As a curiosity, at one of the diving spots in the area is sunk in Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace’s famous sailing ship which was sunk in an attack allegedly carried out by the French government.
Kelpfish between kelps
Eye of a kelpfish. They are very confident.
How to get to Paihia from Auckland
Relax … enjoying a cold apple cider at Russell. Photo by Mariana G.
To get to Paihia, we took an Intercity bus from Auckland (leaving from the terminal below the Skytower) which took about 4 hours. Paihia is a very nice coastal town with a long waterfront and a main street. There is plenty of accommodation for all tastes as well as restaurants and pubs for any budget.
Christ´s Church, the oldest church in New Zeland .
Also from Pahia we take a ferry and visit Russell, a town with the oldest church in New Zealand (1835). From Russell, walking a few km you can reach a very nice beach where there were not many people and we spent an afternoon resting.
Long beach, a 20 minutes walk from Russell