Where to find us
97 Wairau Road
Ph: +64 9 444 7698
Stay informed of the latest news and specials.
97 Wairau Road
Ph: +64 9 444 7698
We were very proud to recently receive the shop award from PADI Asia Pacific in recognition of "Outstanding Contribution to the Diving Industry".
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Malcolm Kidd - MD Dive Centre Ltd.
At the same time Jen also presented Matt Shortall, Dive Centre's long serving Instructor with the "Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training Award" due to his consistent excellent work and issuing almost 200 certifications last year!
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Matthew Shortall - Dive Centre Ltd Master Instructor.
We also became New Zealand's first PADI Tec Rec Training Centre! Offering a wide range of Technical, Deep, Mixed Gas and Solo Dive courses - Phone Matt Shortall for more info on 09 444 7698 now!
Go deeper and longer than you ever have before!
Read the trip report below!
Galapagos Trip Report: Once in a Lifetime Dive Trip!
Text & Images by Malcolm & Barbara Kidd
The two days flying and sitting around airports with barely any sleep are forgotten...
The earthquake we experienced in the Santiago Airport is but a distant memory…
The 17 hour crossing on our liveaboard dive boat from the main island to get here is not even in my mind...
I’m sitting just 14m underwater on a shelf on the southern side of Wolf Island in the Galapagos looking at something I’ve waited my whole life to see... schooling Hammerheads... not just a few... hundreds!
Apart from the hundreds of Hammerhead’s parading in front of us, there are curious Galapagos sharks (looking more intimidating than the hammerheads), schools of the biggest eagle rays we’ve ever seen circling so close we could touch them, cruising turtles, and so many fish that they photo bomb the photos we’re trying to take of the sharks. This really is a diver’s dream and enough to make even decades-experienced divers beam with joy and wax lyrical about all they saw once back on board the boat.I eventually stop taking pictures on my new camera system, stop shooting video through the GoPro attached on top, and I just let myself take it all in... I’m underwater in the Galapagos Islands and they’re here! It was the start of an amazing 8 days of diving and land tours that we’d planned for almost two years and saved for just as long.
Galapagos isn’t easy – it’s one of the hardest dive sights to get to, and the conditions are not perfect flat calm diving like your normal tropical destinations. But all that is forgotten when you hit the water – and for a kiwi diver it feels familiar and even looks similar to many Hauraki Gulf Islands both above and below the water (apart from the inhabitants!)
The reason it’s such good diving is that there are seven different oceanic currents that hit the Galapagos, but the main one is the largest upwelling system in the world, called the “Humboldt” cold water current. This is the most productive on earth with almost 20% of all fish caught on the planet bathed by its flow! This, combined with warm tropical currents, is why there’s so much life here and why we have to be prepared for temperature ranges of 14 – 25 degrees underwater!
We visit an island to see Land Iguana’s and are amazed at how close we can get without startling them – great pictures are almost embarrassingly easy! Sea Lions lie ignoring you on the sand while you take pictures of “Blue Footed Boobies” (yes, that is their real name!) performing mating rituals and making nests and tending to eggs while Frigate birds with huge red waddles try and attract mates in front of beaming people glued to their cameras! We look out to sea and watch acres of dolphin leap and play in the water surrounding the island – this place is just so full of life you don’t know where to look or point the camera!
Then we’re back to the main boat to travel another 6-7 hours north to Darwin Island and more importantly Darwin’s Arch. For me, this is the focus of the trip – it can make or break the whole two weeks if they’re not there!
I shouldn’t have worried... 4 minutes into the first dive – the guide suddenly frantically signals and points before disappearing as fast as he can into the blue. We follow, kicking as fast as we can – all scared we won’t see her... But there she is – a 15m pregnant Whale Shark – she’s huge (even for a Whale Shark!). And we get closer than I thought we would – I get so close I’m being pulled along in her slipstream, and I can slow my kicking right down and glide with her like I’m a remora. One of the coolest moments I’ve ever had underwater!
I look to my buddies and they’re all having a blast, I look to the huge schools of big eye Trevalley, the Hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks in the distance, the Turtle posing for pictures, and the millions of other fish that surround us all at once and think... This is what diving is all about!
We end up seeing a total of 14 Whale Sharks during our dives at Darwin’s Arch and on the last dive – like most trip organisers before me – I have a quiet sigh of relief that it’s all been so amazing... then I turn back to my camera before I miss the next shot. You can never have too many Whale Shark pictures!
We're back from the Galapagos Islands now and it was the best dive trip we've ever done! There is something we got wrong though... “Once in a Lifetime” isn’t correct - we are so going back!
Monday - Thursday 8:30am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 6:00pm
Saturday 8:30am - 4:00pm
Sunday 9:30am - 3:30pm
We are open 7 Days throughout the year except Public Holidays - We have to go Diving sometime!
Dive Centre Ltd is New Zealand's longest running dive company.
We are an independant, family owned and run dive store.
We have a huge range of the latest top quality equipment on display at our 6,000 sq ft Mega Store, we are the biggest PADI trainer in NZ, and with 6,000 sq ft of facilities dedicated to making sure you have a great time underwater, we are your one stop shop for all your Aquatic adventures - whether it's snorkelling, freediving, scuba or technical diving - but it's not only about size and range, it's about people you can trust!
Dive Centre Ltd has been owned and run by the Kidd family since 1972. We have assembled an unmatched team of dive professionals whose passion is to make sure you are looked after and have a great time while learning to dive! We remain dedicated to ensuring you have the ultimate dive experience, offering the biggest range of services, the best advice on anything related to diving, and the largest selection of "quality" dive equipment on display in NZ. We stand behind everything we sell and do, and we will not be beaten on price for the gear we sell!
Exaggerations are everywhere on the web, with every company you look at saying they're the biggest or the best. When you walk into our showroom, you'll know.
Always check the weather before going diving...
You can also check out New Zealand Fishing regulations, and make sure you know your limits!
We have sold more Aqualung Regs, Suunto Computers, and SeaQuest BCD's than anyone else in NZ, we are "The Aqualung Experts" because our family has been selling Aqualung since 1972, we are one of the longest running Aqualung family dealers in the world!
Visit NZ's biggest, and longest running store and see why Aqualung is the biggest brand on earth, and the longest running dive company in the world!
And now the world's biggest brand - at the cheapest prices ever!!
With HUGE reductions on all Aqualung equipment (BCD's, Regs, right through to Masks and snorkels!), it is now the same price if not cheaper to buy the world's biggest brand from us in New Zealand than websites overseas!
There's never been a better time to upgrade your tired BCD or Regulator.
You can now have Aqualung, and pay the same amount as a brand you've never heard of.
Don't be dissapointed with "Bad Performance dive gear" - check out our ONLINE STORE, and compare Aqualung's new range of gear at prices cheaper than you expect, and get the highest quality gear in the world.
Anyone can sell cheap gear cheap - don't be dissapointed; "buy once buy right" - from New Zealand's most trusted Dive Professionals - Dive Centre Ltd.