The Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve on Northland’s east coast is teeming with sea life, making it one of the best diving spots in the country, according to the Times of India.
Northland’s diving industry could get a major boost from the second-biggest market in the world, with two dive spots in the region featured in the largest-selling English-language daily newspaper in the world.
This month, the
Times of India published in print and online an article on the “six best diving and snorkelling spots in New Zealand”, and two – the Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve and the Cavalli Islands – came in at number two and three respectively (first was NZ as whole, so technically, Northland occupies both the first and second spots on the list).
The Times of India is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and the largest-selling English-language daily in the world, with a circulation of 1,590,784 as of June 2022.
Destination manager for Northland Inc, Tania Burt, said the article – which gives the sort of publicity money can’t buy – was a great opportunity for Northland to tap into a market of more than one billion people.
“The opportunities from this are massive. We want to get a lot more visitors from India, and this will certainly help,” Burt said.
“It’s perfect timing really, as the Poor Knights is featured in a video on the Tourism NZ website at the moment that will be seen around the world. We had a film crew out there filming for an item on mermaiding at the Poor Knights. Mermaiding is really growing, and [this publicity] will show a huge market what we all know – that Northland is beautiful, above ground and underwater.
“And the fact it is a marine reserve addressees the kaitiaki/guardianship aspect of our industry, and Northland is so well-placed to take advantage of this.”
She said Dive! Tutukaka would be at the Trenz international tourism conference in Christchurch from May 9 to 11 – the country’s biggest trade show – where the company would highlight the delights of the Poor Knights, where they would be exposed to buyers from around the world.
Burt said the Cavalli Islands, with the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior, was an amazing spot and very much deserved its high placing in the article.
Dive! Tutukaka owner Kate Malcolm was stoked that the Poor Knights had been rated so highly and her company had been mentioned in the article.
“It’s wonderful, and this is almost the perfect market for us. Not just because it’s about diving. It’s also about protecting the marine environment at the Poor Knights, and it’s fantastic [exposure]. It shows that we have lots of activities to do here. It’s not just about skydiving, bungy jumps, golf and great walks – we have a very active dive industry with some amazing places to dive and snorkel.
“This [publicity] gives a bit more sizzle to the golf, bungy, skydiving and other tourism sectors, and I’m stoked about it. It’s about making New Zealand known to the rest of the world as a great place to dive and snorkel, and we have a first-class underwater aspect to the country.”
She said Australia was very good at promoting its diving and snorkelling industry, and now it was New Zealand’s turn to show the rest of the planet our amazing underwater world.
Malcolm said Tourism NZ was doing a good job in highlighting the county’s diving and snorkelling options, and she was looking forward to showing the world’s tourism operators just how good it is at the Poor Knights at Trenz.
Paihia Dive owner Craig Johnston said the exposure from the article was great news for tourism in the Far North and would hopefully bring more visitors to the region.
“There’s some brilliant diving at the Cavallis, but it’s in a bit more of a remote area, so it’s a bit harder to get there. But there are some amazing reef areas and wonderful sea life out there,” Johnston said.
“This [exposure] is great for promoting the area and will hopefully lead to more people coming here from India and experiencing our beautiful ocean.”
Also featured in the article were Kaikōura, the Coromandel and Milford Sound.
Here’s what the Times of India said:
“1. New Zealand.
New Zealand is a land of remarkable natural coastal scenery and attractions, including rugged coastlines, breathtaking beaches and crystal-clear waters – but some of the most incredible landscapes can be found underwater.
With its unique geological features, easily accessible coastline and hundreds of offshore islands, and rich variety of marine species, New Zealand’s magical ocean is a mecca for divers of all levels from around the world. You’ll be amazed at the underwater wonders to discover in Aotearoa – including wildlife such as manta rays, dolphins, whales, penguins and turtles; wrecks, kelp forests, subtropical reefs, and caves and archways. With such a rich ocean landscape, it’s hard to find a spot that isn’t incredible.
2. Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, Northland.
The Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve is a popular spot when it comes to diving in New Zealand – the late Jacques Cousteau called it one of the top five dive spots in the world! This unique group of islands are remnants of ancient volcanoes that erupted in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Explore crystal-blue waters with a myriad of spectacular drop-offs, caves, arches and tunnels, all inhabited by an amazing array of underwater life. The warm waters are paradise for orcas, dolphins, bull rays, and friendly shoals of fish that can often be seen creating mesmerising displays beneath the waves. Jump on a tour with Dive! Tutukaka to explore this wonderful site.
3. Cavalli Islands, Bay of Islands.
The Cavalli Islands are a subtropical slice of paradise located just off the east coast of Northland. A dive at the Cavalli Islands is an unmissable opportunity to explore the treasures of New Zealand’s Far North. On the sea floor between the Cavalli Islands and Matauri Bay, you will find the wreck of the famous Rainbow Warrior, a sunken Greenpeace vessel that now acts as an artificial reef for coral, anemones and various fish. On a dive here, you will be able to spot some dolphins, orcas, fur seals, monster crayfish and whiptail stingrays, amongst other aquatic species.”
Read the article in full at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/travel/things-to-do/under-the-sea-here-are-6-best-diving-and-snorkeling-spots-in-new-zealand/photostory/99166772.cms.