A small group left Auckland at 5am on 19 February 2017 and headed north to Tutukaka. After the 2-hour 30-minute drive, we arrived at Dive Tutukaka, checked in and collected our dive gear.
The boat left not long after and within 45 minutes we were at the Poor Knights Islands where we had 2 dives and a lengthy snorkel in between the dives. It was a beautiful sunny day with air temperature around 25 degrees and water temperature of 19 degrees. Underwater visibility was in the 25 to 30-meter range so conditions couldn’t have been much better.
Destination: Poor Knights Islands
The Poor Knights has been a marine sanctuary since 1981. There are large numbers of fish and a warm water current, the East Auckland Current, brings semi-tropical water from further north to the islands. This brings some varieties of fish that rarely venture this far south of the tropics to the area.
There were large numbers of fish everywhere and the area just under the boat was patrolled by some big kingfish.
There were also lots of salps in the water. Salps are like jellyfish but because they don’t have a sting they are harmless and they are a good food source for all the small fish.
A highlight of the day was an encounter with a pod of dolphins. This happened on the return trip back to Tutukaka.
Dive Tutukaka skippers are always on the lookout for dolphins and whales to give some added enjoyment to the day. There were more than 20 dolphins and they played in and around the boat’s wake for quite a long time.
We got back to Tutukaka at 4.30pm and were ready to hit the road back to Auckland at 5pm. The return trip was longer than expected because of some traffic congestion at Warkworth, so we arrived home just after 8pm.