The Poor Knights Islands

The Poor Knights Islands are an internationally recognized icon, up for World Heritage Status and 23km off the Tutukaka Coast where the island’s 11 million year old volcanic origins provide myriad spectacular drop offs, walls, caves, arches and tunnels, all inhabited by an amazing array of underwater life.

Isolated from the mainland for many thousands of years, they are the remnants of ancient volcanoes that erupted in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Converging warm water currents, a micro -climate and thousands of years of separation from the mainland have resulted in a unique biodiversity. Washed by the warmth sweeping down from the Coral Sea, the Poor Knights Islands are ever present on the horizon of most of the North East coast of Northland, and the easiest harbour by which to access them is Tutukaka. Although the trip will only take a little over 35 minutes, it is a world away as you venture out to this “Middle Earth in the Middle of the Ocean”.

Below the water, for 800 metres around the islands, is a marine reserve. Above, the islands are a nature reserve.

Directly on the migratory path of a number of species, any trip is often accompanied by both Common and Bottlenose dolphins and there are several species of whales, including orca, minke, Bryde’s and pilot whales that feed off the coast. A Marine Mammal Permit is required to divert your vessel’s course to interact with these creatures, but if you are lucky enough, they will come to you!

Snorkeling and sightseeing aboard Perfect Day; trips depart Tutukaka daily at 11am – 4pm.

Diving trips depart daily from 8.30am at the Tutukaka Marina.

Information supplied by Dive! Tutukaka