Dive Zone - Whitianga

10 Campbell St, Whitianga,3510


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Get Your Gear Ready!

Posted by Paige Thomson

Spring is nearing…..

And it is that time of year to get in nice and early and arrange for your yearly servicing of any equipment. If left until summer time it’s likely to experience delays due to increased demand in the service department. So get into it now!

Your BCD’s & regulators are equipped with numerous parts that will deteriorate over a period of time, regardless of whether they've been used or not.  So, keeping them in good working condition is a huge important part about your safety when diving.


Your BCD and regulators should be serviced and safety checked annually and when necessary. These inspections go a long way towards ensuring your gear is safe and well-functioning equipment.  

Safety checks and servicing are carried out onsite at Dive Zone Whitianga by our trained service technicians, using manufacturer approved methods and service parts. These safety check procedures are for us to check functionality and to check for any abnormal wear or leaks that may lead to failure during a dive, this may mean your equipment is unsafe for use. Remembering this is your life support system under the sea which needs to be serviced by a trained technician to maintain proper and safe functioning so come on in and see us at Dive Zone Whitianga.


New Zealand regulations state that scuba cylinders must be hydrostatically tested every 2 years, & visually inspected every other year.  Failure to do so will mean that your local dive shop won't be able to fill them.  If your cylinder is due for inspection, come on in & we'll sort it out for you. Once the cylinder has passed the test, your cylinder will be all ready to go with a complimentary air fill included.  Worksafe NZ have confirmed the condemning of all aluminium tanks made from metal 6351.  Our team are able to identify for you if your tank falls into this category – just bring it in for us to have a look at.



Winter Diving in Mercury Bay

Posted by Elise Norman

It’s that time of year when putting on a wetsuit & jumping in the ocean doesn’t seem that appealing to most people. Staff & Students at Dive Zone Whitianga aren’t most people!

Winter Diving for us means clearer water, less boat traffic & an abundance of fish life regenerating after the summer peak. It also means migration for the whales, moving from the cold waters to the warm tropical waters. We have been privileged to see Orca’s & Humpback Whales this winter season, plus dived with dolphins.

For all you keen hunter gatherers out there, Crayfish – Soft & in Berry, but what does this mean?

Soft; Crayfish discard their outgrown shell and have a brief ‘soft’ phase as the new shell absorbs water and swells as it hardens.  They are very vulnerable to predators during this time and you are not allowed to harvest them. It takes a little while for the shell to fully harden, so use good personal judgement & read the fisheries rules for what constitutes a soft or hard shell.

In Berry; the females produce eggs that they hold under their tail for months after fertilization before being released as larvae. The number of eggs produced is directly proportionate to the size of the female cray.

All females will tend to be in berry at the same time and it’s obviously best to leave them alone during this period. 

The boys are still fair game though and you can tell them apart without grabbing them by looking at the size of the front legs, which are much bigger on the males.

We are blessed to have such a large variety of incredible dive sites allowing us get out & shield whatever Tāwhirimātea (The Weather God), throws our way – Rain, Hail or Shine.





Qualified in Whitianga - Working in Greece

Posted by Elise Norman

Steven Ruggle is as local as it gets – Whitianga born & breed. After finishing his schooling at Mercury Bay Area School, he enrolled at Dive Zone Whitianga to complete a Diploma in Professional Scuba Instruction. From a quiet & shy boy we saw him grow into a confident, well-spoken PADI Instructor with an obvious passion for the ocean. This passion has taken him from the small town of Whitianga to the other side of the world.

Steven now works in a Kos, a beautiful Greek Island very close to the Turkish coast at Arian Diving Centre in Kardamena, which is a family business run by brothers Arian and Dario with Father Ahmed.

“It has a very friendly vibe which makes working here great and not much like work. Not only are the owners great but the other staff are also a good bunch of people. Good banter throughout the day”, Steven explained.

“Work is predominantly going around to 5 star resort pools to give free try dives and then booking them on for days on the prided Twin masted Schooner for discover scuba dives, or out on the speed boat to take qualified divers to various dive sites around the islands off shore”. 

Steven told us about the amazing water conditions with 22°+ water & 20 metres visibility on a bad day going to 30+ metres on good days. “One thing that I can’t get enough of is the clarity & blueness of the water - The standard days here are what we live for back home, clear blue glassy water on cloudless days with just the sun beating down on you”.

Stevens work consists of taking guided dive tours, teaching a variety of dive courses & working in the dive shop. Below are some photos of his time working & living in paradise.





Dive Shop with a difference!

Posted by Linda Bird

If you havent found our new store already - we reckon it's worth a visit!  After 12 years of operating out of our Blacksmith Lane venue, Darrell took the plunge to move to the beautiful, character filled building that was once a restaurant on the waterfront before relocating to Campbell Street.  With beautiful timber features, marine themed stained class window, ships lights and memorabilia it was crying out for our dive shop to move to.  And we reckon its a great dive shop!  We are loving our interesting dive retail areas, our sunny classrooms and our awesome outdoor courtyard (will be great for hanging out in the summer months and recording your dives over a coffee or cold drink).  So if you are in Whitianga make sure you drop in to check us out!



Aluminium Tanks - Safety

Posted by Linda Bird


Owners of Aluminium tanks need to be aware of the following that has been issued by Worksafe and NZUA.  If your cylinders fall into the below list then we are no longer able to fill them.  We have been working through replacing tanks with our customers.  As you can imagine the situation has created an immediate shortage of aluminium tanks in New Zealand.  Get in touch if you need help to check if yours falls into the below categories:

Worksafe published a Scuba Cylinder warning dated 22 December 2016, following a serious harm incident overseas.  Also, included  in this  are cylinders which  are manufactured from Alloy  6351-T6

Luxfer SP6498 Luxfer E6498 Luxfer SP8364

Wallter Kidde SP7042 Cylinders E 6576 Cylinders E6688 Cylinders E8107 Cylinders E8422

Luxfer DOT 3AL with a hydrostatic test date before 1989

CIG  (Australia) AS  1777  with  a  hydrostatic test  date  before 1991

Luxfer originating in the UK marked with a hydrostatic test date before 1996 Walter  Kidde  DOT 3AL with  a  hydrostatic test  date  before 1990

Aluminium composite cylinders (hoop wrapped) marked: E7235 or E8023 or E8115

Cylinders can be identified by their cylinder markings by either locating the manufacture date typically marked mm yy or the DOT special permit (SP) or exemption (E) markings.

As the NZUA Scuba Cylinder Audit Program Test Certifier you are instructed with immediate effect in the interests of safety not to test or fill any cylinder that falls into the categories listed above.

Steve Bishop

Technical  Manager/Advisor

Air Purity Ltd/NZ Underwater Association