Dive Destination: Diving Poverty Bay – East Coast


Compiled by Dive New Zealand

This sunny edge of New Zealand offers the diver a whole untouched world of diving. Explore the remote bays of this part of New Zealand and experience the unique marine life. Poverty Bay was so named by the explorer Captain Cook as he was unable to provision his ship due to some unfriendly natives at the time. When you dive this area you’ll realise that there is no poverty in these waters with an abundance of fish life.

From Gisborne to Lottin Point you can dive into some of the most magical dive sites. You’ll find soft corals, an abundance of crayfish and crystal clear pools to snorkel in. These interesting dive spots are located along the coast travelling north from Gisborne.


Crayfish under the ledges.

Lottin Point
The most northern spot of the East Coast. A good beginner’s dive with great shore diving. Crayfish and spear-fishing with a good photographic wall.

Hicks Bay
A beginner’s dive. Crayfish, spearfishing and photographic. Schooling fish off the point.

East Island
Off East Cape on rare days is diveable. Watch for strong currents. Plenty of crayfish and schools of blue moki and tarakihi – it’s not uncommon to have a seal drop by. An advanced dive.

Waipiro Bay
A beginner’s dive with crayfish under the rocks with reef fish. Accessible from the shore. Exposed in the easterly and southerly wind.

Monowai Rocks
Very exposed to any swell, but when the blue water is in this is a great dive. Good for spearfishing and photography. An intermediate dive.

Penguin Rocks
Good for crayfish, spearfishing, with a great photographic wall. Kingfish, tuna and sharks all seen here. An advanced dive, 8–35 metres.


Curious snapper.

Aerial Reef
Renowned for its plentiful crayfish, an exciting dive spot. Located 10 kilometres south-east of Tatapouri and expands over a large area with depth ranging from 8–40 metres. A good photographic dive. Great spearfishing here. An advanced dive.

Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve
16 kilometres north of Gisborne is the marine reserve. A beginner’s dive. Underwater visibility can be low, on a calm day the deep channel running through the reef is a good place to dive. Blue moki and crayfish. A good introduction to diving.

A large reef. 14 kilometres north of Gisborne city, marine life includes crayfish, paua and kina, clustered beneath the ocean’s surface. A remote New Zealand dive site that boasts a boat ramp and warm tropical currents and climate in a lush, untouched environment. Keep an eye out for the friendly stingrays.

Makarori Beach
Recognised for its excellent surf, golden, sandy beaches and safe swimming spots, is a spectacular diving location. 12 kilometres north of Gisborne the reef offers an extensive marine life including sponges, soft corals and crayfish. A beginner’s dive.


Ray glides over the sand.


Gisborne, situated in the Poverty Bay, is the first city in the world to see the sun each day. Located on the East Coast of the North Island. The Maori name for the district is Tairawhiti which means “the coast upon which the sun shines across the water”. With a lot of history in the region, there is opportunity to explore and experience part of New Zealand’s heritage. It’s a relaxed lifestyle with beautiful beaches and great diving and surfing.

For more information:

Dive Tatapouri
Dave and Chris Savage
SH 35
Tatapouri Beach
06 868 5153




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