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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 excellent diving spots (for looking or hunting!), it's no wonder that so many New Zealanders are getting into diving!
However, you may be one of the lucky people that get the chance to go on tropical holidays where diving is something you would love to try. Well you have the option to do the first half of your course here with us. (This means you won't waste your holiday time doing classroom and pool sessions!) You can then complete your four dives in the sea at any PADI store or tropical resort in the world!
Also, many people are coming to NZ for a holiday and start a PADI course and want to complete their course in New Zealand! By doing the first half of the referal course somewhere else, you can complete just the four openwater dives with us and get PADI Certifiied!
We hope the following information answers any questions you have - if not, please call us on (09) 444 7698 or email us now - we are here to help!
Get the best of both worlds with Dive Centre and our PADI Open Water Referral Course!
Starting with us: You complete five pool sessions as well as five easy theory sessions and then once completed, you will get all the paperwork required to take with you on your holiday overseas, so you can complete your four ocean dives on a tropical reef instead!
Or if you've completed all the theory and pool sessions somewhere else, all you need to do is one refresher pool session and your four open water dives with us in beautiful New Zealand, and we certify you as a PADI Open Water Diver!
Weekend schedules are available for those that are too busy mid-week, enabling you to complete the referral in a single weekend!
Daytime classes also run Mon & Tues doing all your pool sessions in just two days. Or wednesday and Thursday if you are doing your Ocean DIves with us. If your schedule is especially busy, executive private courses can be scheduled around you!
You can click here to see our full schedule, remember, you just have to do the pool/theory sessions only, or just the four ocean dives if you're finishing off your course with us!
The price is $350pp whether doing pool & theory only, or open water dives only, and is the same cost no matter which schedule you choose; daytime or weekend sessions.
If you would prefer a private executive course, the cost is $799pp - or $699pp for two or more.
If you need to hire Mask, Fins, Snorkel and boots it costs $50 total for all sessions.
If starting with us, we supply your Open Water Crew Pack, which includes the Open Water Manual, Computer Manual, Dive Log Book and lots of other information. If finishing with us, you will already have this, but we include PADI certification fees.
We also supply your wetsuit, regulator (with full decompression computer), buoyancy compensation device (BCD), tanks, and pocket weight-belt for all pool dives/openwater dives.
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". A list of these Doctors is on the Introduction page of "Get into Diving".
For comfort and hygiene reasons, many 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 the special packages we have on offer in-store - or we can provide hire mask, snorkel, fins and boots for $50 if this option is preferred.
If doing the pool sessions with us, you will need to show that you can tread water for ten minutes and swim 200 metres in the pool.
New courses are starting every couple of weeks! Our full schedule is available here and if none of them suit, please give us a call to organise a one-on-one private course.
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!
Just call us on (09) 444 7698 or email us now and you can get into diving now!