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The South Island is known for its spectacular landscapes, famous throughout the world, together with vineyards, fiords and glaciers, which benefit from cooler climes than the North Island.

Underwater highlights include the Mikhael Lermontov, a colossal wreck known as the Red Giant. In 1986, this 170 metre cruise liner sunk in mysterious circumstances and became one of the most accessible diving wrecks of the modern era.

At Kaikoura, wildlife abounds; from seabirds to cetaceans. Enjoy the company of the cheeky seals and the fascinating kelp beds in the shallow waters.

In the far south there is a unique underwater world at Fiordland. Here, the light-absorbing fresh water restricts algal growth and allows deep water species to become established in shallow water. Below this the sea water is relatively warm and clear; where black corals are found in abundance along with saucer sponges and large tube anemone (normally found in depths of 100-200 metres).

View suggested itinerary

Key info

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itinerary:

Self Drive Adventure & Diving

A two week diving and adventure itinerary covering both the north and south Islands and New Zealand’s best dive sites, including Poor Knights, the Rainbow Warrior and the wreck of the HMNZS Canterbury.

  • When to go: Oct-May
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea