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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!
In the late 1960's, work on the Kapuni gas line began. Swamp and river crossings were being tackled and underwater explosives and construction work was started - all generating an interest in diving by the public, many of whom were asking where they could buy the equipment.
Guy Kidd and several others asked for permission to leave the Navy if they won this contract. It was being said that the expertise to complete the Kapuni gas line was not available in NZ. Guy and his team proved them wrong! Guy, an ex-operational dive team member of the Royal NZ Navy, and his wife Margaret, founded Dive Centre Ltd in 1972, to offer dive equipment to the public.
From basic beginnings, Dive Centre Ltd evolved to provide for the needs of its customers... Starting with dive courses for those who wanted to learn, hire gear for those who couldn't afford to buy, servicing equipment and cylinder testing to help ensure safety, and organised trips for those who didn't know where to dive!
A large part of the company was the Commercial Dive Department. underwater telephone cables, mooring work, boat salvage, underwater explosives, even building the underwater sections of the Upper Harbour Bridge!
Guy Kidd was the professional that you went to if you had a job others couldn't or wouldn't complete. He performed the deepest boat salvage in NZ history by raising the Powercat "Supertramp" off the Whangarei coast from a depth of 70m! Years later, it was Guy and members of the RNZN operational dive team that found a "Scuttled" boat in 62m in the middle of the Firth of Thames for an Insurance Company, and proved that it was sunk by the owner for the insurance money! He thought it was deep enough that no-one would be able to get to it. He was wrong, and went to jail!
Guy was even lowered by crane, tied upside down by the feet, into a pipe barely wider than him and his equipment so he was unable to move his arms, and was lowered to a depth of 55m in pitch black water and mud to retrieve a very expensive piece of equipment that was accidently dropped off the pile driver down the pipe, on the half completed Ferguson Container Wharf!
With this kind of tenacity as well as the vast number of divers Guy was training (not to mention the legendary dive trips to the Poor Knights every weekend on the famous Dive Centre Bus complete with toilet, fully operational bar and airline reclining seats!) he became something of a legend in the NZ dive industry, and with Margaret's help became NZ's most successful dive store and most trusted dive professionals.
Today, Dive Centre Ltd is New Zealand's longest running dive shop, with a proud history and a reputation that is second to none.
Margaret and their son Malcolm continue to run the business to this day.
The team they have assembled remains dedicated to the sport of Scuba Diving, offering the biggest range of services, the best advice on anything related to diving, and the largest selection of dive equipment.
Our Team receive industry awards, as we strive to give the best service and advice possible.
Now in a move that confirms our position as NZ's leading dive company, we have opened our dive Mega Store - designed to showcase the ultimate range of Scuba Equipment in NZ.
It doesn't matter if you have been diving for decades, or you want to find out what it's like to breath underwater for the first time, we will give you the best advice because we want you to fall in love with this amazing sport like we have!
Give us the chance to introduce you to the underwater world, as we've done for thousands of divers since 1972.
Choose Dive Centre Ltd, New Zealand's most trusted Dive Professionals!
"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
"I dive because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things".