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Gina, Joe and Justin's Backpacking Experience

Poor Knight Islands

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 7 December 2008 | Views [472]

The next and final stop on our New Zealand trip was to the Poor Knight islands.  Yep you guessed it...another dive site...and of course another volcano, although this one is super dormant and long outside its volcanic prime.  The islands are located almost all the way on the northern tip of the country, and for those geography buffs the closest you can get to the equator here.  So all right!! Time for some WARM water!!!!  HAHAHA....NO...the temps were a balmy 59 degrees.  At this point Gina had had enough and decided to wear not only a two piece 7mm wet suit (giving here 14 mm on her torso), but also a fleece lined undergarment that was about another 5mm thick...she looked like the Michilan man and needed about 30 lbs of lead  on top of all of the diving equipment just to sink.  haha gina ;)


Anyway, these islands are allegedly the best sub-tropical diving in the world and they most defiantly did not disappoint.  We spent two days here and did 4 total dives (2 for gina) and got to see some pretty amazing stuff considering the cold water temps.  A lot of it was the same general items as White Island (nudibranches, fish, stingrays, anenome's, ect ect), but in MUCH higher numbers and significantly more different species.  Again, i wont bore you with the diving hoopla, but take a look at the pictures to get a decent idea of what was around and multiply it by 1000 and thats what we really saw.  I really like the up close picture of the stingray, i had to chase that guy down to 110 feet to get that picture.  After a bit of courage mustering i was able to inch my way pretty close to the critter and get a really sweet close-up shot. 


The most beautiful of the 4 dive spots was called Northern Arch.  This site is famous for 2 reasons 1) it has the best encrusting life on the whole reserve and 2) its the most dangerous site (it's also called “incident arch”).  I think the two reasons might be related as i don't think nearly as many people visit it as the rest of the island due to the relative danger.  The dangerous part of the area is the fact that most of the island is relatively shallow (60-70ft), but this monster archway extends down to something like 150 feet and the beautiful sealife goes all the way down.  I guess people have been known to get a little overly captivated by the sealife and end up in seriously deep water.  All went well on our trip though and we got to see some beautiful stuff...we were very pleased!  No scones though :(


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