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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!
New Zealand has more divers per head of population than any other country in the world, and this great sport is still increasing in popularity. With so much coastline and so many beautiful diving spots (for U/W Photography, just looking or hunting!), it's no wonder that so many New Zealanders are getting into diving! We hope this information answers any questions you have - if not, please call us on (09) 444 7698 or email us now - we are here to help!
Getting into diving has never been easier or more fun than with Dive Centre and our Open Water Dive Course!
You will complete 5 pool and theory sessions with us, and this will make you comfortable, confident, and ready to complete your four open water dives in the sea at the end of your course!
Once your pool dives have been completed (in a huge indoor 28C heated pool here on the North Shore), you will head north to Goat Island Marine Reserve where there's fantastic safe diving with heaps of fish and huge crays like nowhere else in NZ! A marine reserve since 1975 (NZ's first!), this is a fantastic place for your first four open water dives.
You will do "at least" four dives in the sea with us, but if you need more experience before being certified, you are able to complete as many dives as it takes for us, and for you to be happy in the water; all at no extra cost! We promise to make sure you are comfortable underwater, then as a confident certified Open Water Diver, you can come diving with us whenever you want!
We not only have the best Instructors and equipment, but the biggest shop in New Zealand as well!
Many other dive companies try and rush you through your course as fast as they can, and run the course the cheapest way they can! This will never happen with us! We will make this commitment to you, "We will spend as much time with you as it takes to make you comfortable underwater!"
If your schedule is especially busy, executive private courses can be scheduled around you!
The price for our course is $599pp, whether you choose a daytime, weekend or evening course. For groups of three or more, we provide a reduced rate of $550pp.
The most popular way to book onto our course however is to purchase one of our "Personal Dive Equipment" systems; when you purchase one of these, you get the course for free! (See details below).
If you want to stay "really" warm you can learn to dive without even getting wet - just upgrade into one of our warm snuggly Drysuits! (only $100 for all pool and ocean dives!)
However, if you already own Mask, Fins, Snorkel & Boots, want to buy new personal snorkelling gear (from top-of-the-line at around $550 - down to a complete set for only $179!), or if you prefer to hire this gear for the whole course it's only $100 - we cover all the options!
If you're planning an overseas holiday then you can choose to do the Referral Open Water program for only $350pp and then complete your four open water dives at any PADI resort in the world! If you have started the course overseas, and want to finish your four openwater dives here, it costs NZD$350 each including certification and equipment hire!
We will teach children from 12 years old as long as they can fit our smallest wetsuits to keep them warm! Due to PADI standards 10 & 11 year olds will have to be taught on a private course or complete a Referal Course so they can do their dives in the ocean on a family tropical holiday.
If you would prefer a privately scheduled one-on-one course, the cost is $1500 - or $1200pp for two or more.
If you want to start right now, you can sign up for PADI eLearning! It is more expensive to do it this way, but you can finish all the theory sessions online before you come to us for your pool and sea dives! This costs AUD$140 that you pay to PADI directly online but we reduce your course costs by $100 if you sign up to elearning.
If you want to start learning to dive right now, click the image below to register and start your course right now!
Every person gets their own Open Water Crew Pack, which includes the Open Water Manual, full PADI Open Water DVD set (most shops don't include this, and if they do, they make you give it back!), Dive Log Book and lots of other information. If you choose the new Open Water Touch App for your iPad you just come and book onto the course in the shop as usual and we will tell you how to download the App once you've booked on. If you choose eLearning you don't need to pick up a crew pack, it's all online waiting for you to start right now! (But you still need to book onto the course dates you want with us)!
We also supply your one-piece semi dry wetsuit, regulator (with dive computer), buoyancy compensation device (BCD), cylinders, and pocket weight-belt for all pool and sea dives during your course.
You can also dive in comfort all year round with our "Dive Dry" option and use a drysuit for your course for only $100!
Also included are the boat fees for our 6 metre inflatable boats for your two days' diving in the sea up on the Leigh Coast/Goat Island Marine Reserve! Remember - we will NEVER EVER force you to dive in Lake Pupuke! YUCK!!
Once you have completed your training, you will receive a Dive Centre Graduation Pack including your PADI International Certification Card and wall certificate. You will also receive special discounts on hire gear for the first 12 months but also because you are a "Dive Centre Diver", we will give you a minimum 10% discount for life off RRP! Whenever you need anything, no matter how big or small, you will get at least 10% off all your equipment purchases!
All you need to bring is your togs, towel, and your personal snorkelling equipment (mask, fins, snorkel, and boots) and a completed Dive Centre Ltd_Medical_Form.
Everyone doing a dive course needs to complete a medical questionaire and we recommend doing that before booking onto the course!
If the answer to any question is yes, then you have to get it signed off by a Doctor. (If if the answer to all questions is 'No", you don't need to go to the Doctor at all - You can just sign the completed form and hand it in to us at the start of your course). If you need to, you can go to your normal family Doctor, but if you have any issues like a history of Asthma, Heart Condition, Insulin dependent diabetes, major ear or sinus problems, you should go to a Doctor with "training in fitness for diving medical assessments".
There is a list of Diving Doctors on the "Introduction page".
For comfort and hygiene reasons, most people prefer to use their own equipment. If you would like the piece-of mind and comfort of your own gear, we can help. Because we are family owned and NZ's largest dive equipment retailer, we only offer equipment you can trust!
Just ask about our special packages, check out the amazing PDE specials below - or you can hire mask, snorkel, fins and boots for $100 if you prefer.
You will need to show that you can tread water for ten minutes and swim 200 metres in the pool.
With Weekend, Evening, and Daytime options, we start several courses every month! Our full schedule is available here and if none of them suit, you can mix and match parts of the course as well! If none suit, please give us a call to organise a one-on-one private course.
Our experienced team are dedicated to ensuring you have the ultimate scuba experience. We are the longest running diving company & the most trusted dive professionals in New Zealand, and we make sure you have fun while learning to dive.
Once you've finished your course we offer dive trips up to 7 days per week so you can get out and discover all that our underwater world has to offer.
You only learn to dive once, so come and see why we have introduced more people to diving than any other company in New Zealand.
Come Alive - Learn to Dive... with Dive Centre!
or just call us on (09) 444 7698 or email us now
Dive Centre and Aqualung are making it even easier for you to get into this great sport.
Just buy one of these Personal Dive Equipment (P.D.E.) systems and Aqualung will pay for your course! That's right, purchase either of these systems, and you can choose which ever course you want to do from our normal schedule. This is not a different type of course, a cut down version, or a special set of dates, you just get to buy all this equipment and NZ's most popular dive course for one amazing low price!
Phone us on (09) 444 7698 or email us now and get into diving... EASILY!
Aqualung SolaFX 8/7mm Hyperstretch Semi Dry One-piece Wetsuit with built in hood, Aqualung Aleutian Kevlar Gloves, Echo 5mm Boots, Aqualung Express Fins, Aqualung Look 2 Mask & Aquilion Snorkel
Aqualung Aquaflex 7mm One-piece, Aqualung 5mm Semi Dry Hood, Aqualung Kai Amara Gloves, Echo 5mm Boots, Aqualung Caravelle Fins, Aqualung Look 2 Mask & Aquilion Snorkel
Robert & Sarah 30th May 2016:
Hi, I just thought that it was worth sending a quick email to compliment you on your Facilities and range of product, but more so on your Staff.
Matt is extremely knowledgeable, and has the patience that I would be proud to have.
Jake, again is knowledgeable and gives exceptional advice.
But the main reason for this email is to compliment you on Suzie, Suzie was the first of your staff that we met, she was extremely customer focused and had our best interests in mind from then on. Suzie was exceptional though out our PADI basic course.
To be able to go on our Advanced Course, with Suzie as one of the instructors would be a god send. Suzie was extremely attentive towards Sarah, as she did have buoyancy issues and for this we thank her.
We initially chose “Dive Centre”, as it seemed the most professional of all of the Dive companies that we had looked at, and the cost of personal safety was a major player in our decision process. I am glad that both Sarah and I made the right choice, with choosing “Dive Centre”.
Thank you for the opportunities that your company and staff have allowed us to take in the future.
Regards Robert and Sarah
4th October 2016
Hi Margaret & Malcolm
I hope you are both well. I wanted to quickly take some time out to send you an email regarding a couple of experiences my husband and I have had with your store.
The first being with Malcolm, such a great guy and so friendly. He helped get Jeremy my husbands gear serviced and then he helped me with getting sorted for the course. I was so nervous when I decided to do the course and Malcolm put me at ease. Very helpful on my initial encounter and spoke a lot about his favorite spots to dive. Thanks you really inspired me.
Then D-DAY approached on Sat 1OCT and I was nervous as hell. My husband already certified was so happy I was ticked off by the Dr. it only took 4 years to get to this point. So this was a BIG deal. So in I walked and I as hoping that I would get a great instructor one I would be able to connect with and be able to trust.
Well I was just over the moon. Jake was just awesome! I had a moment in the pool when we were descending for the 1st time and I started to panic. He kept me calm and helped me through it. It was then that I knew I could trust him and I knew then that I would be diving for the rest of my life till my health/age would allow.
You don't get to chose your instructor/s so I was very very happy to have Jake as my instructor.
I wanted to also mention Stu was really cool and helped me out heaps. He would always say how well I did something when we came back to the surface. So that was reassuring.
It was fantastic to have 2 people there I could trust on my 1st day learning to dive.
When it came to day 2 of the course I was still so very nervous I guess because I don't want to fail at something I had been working so hard to even just attempt. So when I passed the exam and then did the 3rd pool session it was great to know I had someone there I could trust.
The last thing I wanted to mention which I also found faultless was when I suggested to Jake I would like to do my ocean dives in my own gear he was very helpful and worked with my husband and I to get me geared up with the correct equipment to meet my individual needs. My husband too had all his gear serviced with you recently and was very happy. Matt actually helped him and also gave us great customer service.
So overall I'm very happy and a very satisfied customer!
You guys are doing amazing and I can't fault your service and the delivery of just being AMAZEBALZ.
So thanks from both myself and my husband!
Weekend Courses: Theory Saturday/Sunday (Pool/Theory) 9:00am till approx. 3-4:00pm - Open Water Dives Saturday/Sunday (Two Sea dives each day) 7:00am till approx 3-4:00pm
W-10-18 - Sat 6, Sun 7, Sat 13, Sun 14
W-11A-18 - Sat 3, Sun 4, Sat 10, Sun 11
W-11B-18 - Sat 17, Sun 18, Sat 24, Sun 25
W-12A-18 - Sat 1, Sun 2, Sat 8, Sun 9
W-12B-18 - Sat 8, Sun 9, Sat 15, Sun 16
W-1-19 - Sat 5, Sun 6, Sat 19, Sun 20
Daytime Courses: Monday & Tuesday (Pool/Theory) 9:00am till approx. 3-4:00pm - Wednesday & Thursday (Two Sea dives each day) 7:00am till approx. 3-4:00pm
D-10-18 - Mon 1, Tues 2, Wed 3, Thurs 4
D-11-18 - Mon 12, Tues 13, Wed 14, Thurs 15
D-12-18 - Mon 10, Tues 11, Wed 12, Thurs 13
D-1A-19 - Mon 7, Tues 8, Wed 9, Thurs 10
D-1B-19 - Mon 21, Tues 22, Wed 23, Thurs 24
Evening Courses: Mon evenings (Theory) 6:30pm-8:00pm Wed evenings (Pool) 6:30pm-9:30pm - Each Saturday (Two Sea dives each day) 7:00am till approx. 3-5:00pm
E-12-18 - Mon 3, Wed 5, Fri 7, Mon 10, Wed 12, Fri 14, Sat 15, Sun 16
While every effort is made to ensure all information is correct, details are subject to change without notice.
Please phone us on (09) 444 7698, or email us now, for availablility and confirmation of course dates.
We are NZ's longest running dive store, since 1972 we have been training divers and now train more than anyone else in New Zealand; we are NZ's most trusted dive professionals. We are dedicated to ensuring you have the ultimate scuba experience. Come and see why our course is so popular.
You only learn to dive once - Come alive - learn to dive... with Dive Centre!