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The PADI Open Water Course is the initial step on the ladder in your diving adventure, and doing it in Poor Knights Island will provide you with a diving experience that is far from what you would get anywhere else The Poor Knights are special due to the blending environments. You will dive in incredible kelp forests similar to those in the cold fjords of Northern Norway, except these are absolutely packed with colorful reef fish that has traveled down from Asia, in temperate and crystal clear waters. It is truly a different environment, which you will realize the second you descend down into the incredible scene of kelp and big schools of alien fish. It is pure meditation. Diving in kelp is like being little again and playing in fields taller than yourself, only this time you can fly. You won't understand this until you have tried it. We highly encourage you to go ahead.
The easiest way to get to the Poor Knights Islands is to jump on a boat from Tutukaka. We have chosen the most experienced dive center for your dive trip. Winning several awards for being a professional and environmentally active organization you will be on top managed boats who are the only ones certified to interact with the hundreds of dolphins often riding the bow waves on your way to Poor Knights Islands.
Introduction to course
The PADI Open Water Diver course is the most popular diving certificate worldwide. After completing this 3-4 day course you are certified to dive to 18 m independently with a buddy. The PADI diving license is recognized worldwide.
The course consists of five modules of theoretical learning, which you study via a self-study online. This process is assisted by videos accompanying each chapter. The final stage of the self study for the PADI Open Water course, is a multiple choice exam covering all that you have learned.
The practical learning consists of pool sessions and four open water dives. Dive one and two are conducted at a depth of max 12 meters and dive three and four are conducted at max 18 meters. Remember that the course is performance based and not time based. The course generally takes 3 to 4 days, with the theoretical, the pool and the open water part successfully passed.
The PADI Open Water Course is performance based. That means you have to understand and pass the theory and perform the in-water skills correctly and with ease. Therefore, the itinerary can vary slightly from course to course. The course will take 3 to 4 days depending on the students enrolled. To give you an idea of what to expect, see the itinerary below:
Day 2: 2 open water dives with instructor.
Day 3: 2 open water dives with instructor. After the course, you can relax & check out. Or go fun diving! (we of course recommend that you book an extra few days of diving, just for fun. No course, no pressure, just diving.
No accommodation is included in this package. You will find several cosy and local holiday parks or budget guesthouses where comfort, value and a warm welcome are the order of the day. All of them are within reach by a short walk or drive. You will find they are mainly geared towards the budget self-caterer looking for a little peace and quiet, giving you an ideal place to relax after a good day's diving.
Tutukaka is 25 minutes drive from Whangarei, Northland’s largest city.
From the YHA hostel at Whangerei Waterfalls it costs NZD 40,- a day for transport.
Several bus companies travel daily to Whangarei. The dive center can pick you up from your accommodation, take you out for the day, and get you back in time for the evening bus back to Auckland, or further north to Paihia. (unless you are coming back the day after for more).
It’s a drive 2.5 hours from Auckland, and about 1.15 hours from Paihia.
A number of buses arrive in Whangarei each day; the dive center can help you get to a connecting bus after your dive day. Check the timetables for Magic Bus, Kiwi Experience, Intercity or Northliner, and Stray Buses. And also the Naked Bus or talk to your local travel agent for your best option!
You need to let the dive center know your arrival at least one week in advance. You will find the details for the dive center on your voucher.
No meals included
If you want a longer itinerary, you can add extra days of diving and accommodation upon booking.