Shore diving sites around Whangarei
We go shore diving on a Saturday when we are running our Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses. We also try to get out on a Wednesday and even on some evenings after work during the summer. This is the perfect opportunity for you to come along and dive too.
The location really depends on the sea conditions as we try to get onto the coast around Tutukaka coast or to the Taiharuru area. As it is a shore dive, there are no charter costs. If the coast isn't safe or fun to dive, then we dive within the harbour at sheltered locations such as McLeods Bay, Reotahi or Urquharts Bay. Perfect sites for scallops in the season.
On the rare occassion that we cannot even get into the harbour, we can head to Kai Iwi Lakes where we enjoy some fresh water diving.
If you want to join us please let us know and we can tell you the times and places to meet. We will also arrange a buddy for you if you do not have one. If there aren't any other divers from Dive Now Whangarei joining us, then you are welcome to follow our course group.
If you need to hire gear, then we can cater for this.
Dive Sites in the Whangarei area
1. Matapouri – Pebbles Bay – A long walk across sand with scuba, but great for freedivers. At the North end of the beach Crayfish can be obtained by a short swim. Ideal for novice divers with cliffs and canyons, and is also good for snorkelling. There are some wonderful rock pools to take the family to visit, but be cautious of sea conditions.
2. Tutukaka – Departure point for the Poor Knights. Some nice walls at the harbour entrance. Good dives to be had at the Gables to the North and Wellington reef to the South by boat or kayak. Within the harbour, there are plenty of reef to explore.
3. Taiharuru – Taiharuru/McGregor's Bay – A nice safe sandy beach for the family with toilets. There is a boat ramp onto soft sand. This is a popular area for kayak fishing and kayak diving both freedive and scuba. There is some nice diving on both sides of the bay if you are happy for a bit of a swim if shore diving.
The Gut - As you travel out to McGregor's you will see a spot on the right just before McGregor’s Bay called the Gap/Gut. This is a good dive if the sea conditions are right and you can carry your gear up and down the hill. Do not attempt it if there is any swell. The gut itself has colourful encrusting life on the right vertical wall. It leads out to white sand to the right with many rocks to swim around as you follow the coast line. If you go left towards McGregor's, it's rocky reef with not much life. But be warned, you can miss the exit when trying to come back in if you do not get your bearings.
4. Kauri Mountain – Best for freedivers - Be prepared for a short, but steep walk down to the water. Caution is advised. Once down at the waters edge you can swim left or take a long surface swim out to the Awarua rocks where there are some nice reefs.
5. Whangarei Heads – Free Divers can walk to Smugglers. Peach Cove and Smugglers Cove – Boat diving for some good Kingfish to be found for the spear/fishermen. Crayfish tend to be small as this is a popular area. This is a kelpy area with some fantastic swim throughs.
6. McLeod's Bay, Taurikura, Urquhart's Bay – Scallops can be found in these areas and it is relatively easy to swim from the shore. Mcleod's Bay is best only from boat due to the current. Taurikura and Urquhart's are easy shore dives, but you will probably need to be in at least 5-metres before coming across Scallops big enough to collect. Best time to dive is just after low tide. Be careful as some people dredge for scallops in this area.
7. Marsden Point – One Tree Point – Scallops in the harbour. Best time to dive is just after the turn of the incoming tide. Scallops are available within a short swim. Depths vary from 5 metres. Good boat ramps. Watch for strong currents, boat traffic and dredges.
8. Bream Bay – Scallops are readily available. Boat diving recommended. Best to launch boats from Marsden Point in Ruakaka or Whangarei Heads – Urquhart’s Bay.
- If you haven't been in the water for over 12 months or haven't dived in cold water and used a 7mm suit, then book onto a refresher in our pool before the trip. This will ensure you are comfortable in the water before we go on the trip.
- Bring along a copy of your dive certification
- Please Note: Lunch is not included, so please be sure to bring along refreshments to keep yourself hydrated and the energy levels up.
Transportation is not provided by Dive Now Whangarei, but we do our best to help organise car pooling to the dive sites.