Spring is almost upon us and the diving officially starts on September 1st with the opening of the scalloping season.The winter has been particularly tough this year with relentless winds and rain making it very difficult for even hardened divers to venture out. But that’s good news for a lot of you – reports just in are that the crayfish are here in abundance! And for those of you who want to see our beautiful reefs and meet wonderful marine life up close and personal, there’s no better location than the Hauraki Gulf. New Zealand is blessed with an incredible diversity of marine life due to its unique location and the currents that frequent it. And the Hauraki Gulf in particular has it all. Our calendar reads like the who’s who in the marine world. December and January is the ray breeding season, and large numbers of eagle, short and long-tailed rays swim into the bays to mate and breed. These are often followed by orca, who are keen to take advantage of this abundance of their favorite snack. February will see the migration of hammerhead sharks that school past our islands in the Gulf. If you know where to look, you can have some amazing encounters. Bottlenose dolphins are always popular and their interaction with divers is getting more and more common. We’re regularly having these now as they have become accustomed to our presence and have a playful inquisitiveness that never ceases to amaze. Towards March you’ll find large whales migrating through the channels in the Gulf. And where there are whales, there are nearly always common dolphin around. We’ve had some amazing encounters with whales bait-balling fish, and dolphins closing in for a free feed. And don’t forget the small stuff – the reef fish. Our reefs are healthy and full of life and you won’t need to venture far to see beautiful marine life on show. Two of our national marine reserves – Goat Island and Tawharanui Regional Park – showcase some amazing creatures such as nudibranches, in stunning colours and varieties. Maybe hunting and gathering is your thing and you want to get some of those crayfish and scallops –we have dedicated charters for this. And if you need some help in learning, we’re happy to show you how to grab your first cray. Did I mention shipwrecks? Yes, we have those too, and we can take you on another adventure to see them. If you are lucky enough to be a diver already, why not come and join us on some adventures? We have charters going to many of the surrounding islands and marine reserves. Check out our calendar and book yourself on a trip. No gear? Not a problem – we can supply this too. If you’ve never dived before and want to learn, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. We have evening and weekend courses, with online theory so you can learn at your own pace. And we can provide the gear for you to keep the costs low. If you’re experienced, but want to increase your knowledge and do some advanced diving, New Zealand Diving is a 5-star instructor training centre for both sports and technical diving. So we pretty much have it all covered; all we need is you. Give us a call and join us on an adventure in the marine playground in your own backyard – the Hauraki Gulf. New Zealand Diving T: 094223599 or free phone 0800NZDIVING E: dive@nzdiving.co.nz | www.nzdiving.co.nz