Aotearoa, New Zealand, and the world’s largest purpose-driven diving organization, PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) have teamed up to celebrate International Mermaid Day on March 29th, with the launch of a new campaign video in the enchanting underwater world of New Zealand. For this campaign, official PADI Mermaid team members explored the renowned dive site, the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, creating some mesmerizing underwater footage.
The art of ‘mermaiding’, combines the technical elements of freediving while wearing a mermaid tail and is making waves worldwide as an accessible, and captivating way to connect with and explore the Ocean. Mermaiding supports ocean conservation and a deep care and connection to the environment, by highlighting the importance of looking after the ocean and diving conservation initiatives such as ocean clean-ups and kelp restoration projects.
Aotearoa, New Zealand warmly welcomes all visitors willing to embrace its distinctive values of manaakitanga [a deep expression of hospitality and reciprocal understanding/connection] and kaitiakitanga [guardianship and care for the environment]. With expansive coastlines, marine reserves, abundant wildlife, and hundreds of offshore islands, a plentiful paradise awaits inquisitive travelers looking to immerse themselves in the natural environment.
For more information about New Zealand’s unique marine tourism opportunities and underwater-inspired experiences and travel inspiration, visit purenewzealand.com. A list of top diving locations has also been shared below.
List of top diving locations in New Zealand:
- Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, Northland
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 a paradise for orcas, dolphins, bull rays, and friendly shoals of fish that can often be seen creating mesmerizing displays beneath the waves.
- 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. The region is dubbed one of the most beautiful summer spots in New Zealand, but it’s equally beautiful in winter.
- The Coromandel, Northland
The Coromandel Peninsula is a mecca for water enthusiasts including divers and snorkelers, with an abundance of spots to catch a closer look at some of New Zealand’s marine wildlife. Whitianga on Mercury Bay is one of the most popular dive spots in the region. Experienced divers can be seen venturing out to Never Fail Rock, which is covered in sponges and soft corals and are teeming with big shoals of trevally, kahawai, and blue and pink maomao. Novice divers can head out to Bumper Point, where they will be greeted by an abundance of reef fish as well as moray eels.
- Kaikōura, South Island
Kaikōura is a very special place – the unique coastline where the mountains meet the sea is truly a sight to behold, and its cold waters are full of remarkable amounts of biodiversity. When diving here one can experience kelp forests, octopus, stingrays, and a variety of native fish species.
- Milford Sound, Fiordland
Not only is Milford Sound a world-renowned natural wonder above water; but diving below the surface, one can discover spectacular underwater seascapes – the cliff faces, Fiord walls, and unique ecosystem of black coral trees, making it a bucket list dive spot! The coral trees have a stunning white appearance over a jet-black skeleton and are usually only found in deep water trenches. Here, they can be seen in depths as little as eight meters.