wifi & cellular

We have free wifi available in the lodge.

Cellular reception in this remote area is patchy. There is no cellular reception at the lodge. To make and receive calls you will have to use an app that enables this.

check-in & out

Our check-in time is after 4pm. Late check-ins are expected, just let us know what time you expect to arrive, particularly if it’s after 10 pm.

Our check-out is 10:00am.

house rules

In order to keep things ‘ship-shape’ please:

  • Take your shoes off before entering the lodge.
  • Keep personal gear stowed in your own quarters.
  • Avoid showering at busy times (mornings in particular).
  • No pets – the 100-acre property is a kiwi-zone and nature reserve.
  • No alcohol consumption for divers after Midnight (it’s our health and safety policy).
  • Keep glassware out of the spa pool and make sure you’re dry before re-entering the lounge.
  • Please do not download large files or movies as our wifi is limited.
  • TV off at 10 pm.
  • Spa pool closed at 11 pm.
  • Unfortunately we do not offer laundry facilities. The closest laundromat is located in Russell.
  • Please remember to tidy up after yourself and put your own dishes in the dishwasher.
  • Sit back and relax – there’s no need to offer help making dinner or lunch. Our crew have got this down to an art form.
  • Stow your personal cold supplies in the guest fridge (in the main lounge).
  • Ensure your dive gear is locked away at night.
  • Keep your vehicle locked.
  • If you open a gate on the property – please shut it behind you.

dietary needs

We can cater to your dietary needs, just inform us what these are when you book.

Diving Bay of Islands

when to go

Throughout the year, divers can experience a spectrum of seasonal changes in the underwater world.

Sep → Dec
Schooling Fish.
Average visibility: 8m

Jan → Apr
Large pelagic fish.
Average visibility: 20m

May → Aug
Spawning jewel anemones. Clear, cooler water temperatures Average visibility: 20m

High demand
Holiday periods and weekends are busiest, so book well in advance.

what to bring

  • snack and drinks – there is no nearby-store.
  • sun hat
  • well maintained dive gear
  • towel/toiletries
  • dive cert/log book
  • book
  • hair dryer
  • sunglasses
  • warm jacket for the boat
  • sleeping bag if you’re in the dorm


Because of Northland Dive’s proximity to 2 coastlines, it is very rare that a dive trip within the Bay of Islands is cancelled due to weather.

North-East to South-East winds create perfect diving conditions for the Bay of Islands. The Eastern side of Cape Brett favours North-West to Southerly winds.

Air temperatures range from 10 -29 degrees celsius. The warmest water temperatures are from January April.


7:30 – 8:00 BREAKFAST






19:30 DINNER

Diving Liveaboard

when to go

Throughout the year, divers can experience a spectrum of seasonal changes in the underwater world.

Sep → Dec
Schooling Fish.
Average visibility: 8m

Jan → Apr
Large pelagic fish.
Average visibility: 20m

May → Aug
Spawning jewel anemones. Clear, cooler water temperatures Average visibility: 20m

High demand
Holiday periods and weekends are busiest, so book well in advance.

what to bring

  • Snack and Drinks
  • Sun hat & sunscreen
  • Well maintained dive gear
  • Towel/toiletries
  • Dive cert/log books
  • Book
  • Sunglasses
  • Change of clothing
  • Slip on shoes for the dive deck

Boat Rules

  • Sun Spy isn’t a large vessel so please keep gear to a minimum, there is no room for suitcases
  • No wet gear or bodies inside living areas
  • Take your shoes off before going indoors
  • Keep personal gear & dive gear stowed
  • All bedding is supplied
  • Please conserve water
  • Poor Knight Islands is a Full Marine Reserve & there’s strictly no going ashore & no feeding the fish, please use rubbish bins supplied
  • No alcohol consumption for divers after 10pm (it’s our health and safety policy)
  • Sit back and relax – you get lunch, afternoon tea, Dinner & Desert on the first day- followed by cereal / yogurt for your first breakfast, then a cooked second breakfast & cheese/ crackers/fruit for lunch
  • No charging of batteries after dark
  • No Hairdryers


The Poor Knights Islands are situated 23km off the coast so planned trips are weather dependant, skipper chooses sites depending on the conditions. Air temperatures range from 10 -29 degrees celsius. Water temperatures range from 14-22 degrees celsius. The warmest water temperatures are in January → April.


7:30 – 8:00 DEPART FOR WHANGARURU WHARF RD (for Poor Knights) or TE UENGA BAY (Cavalli Islands)
If you’re meeting us at Whangaruru Wharf Road, please be there by 7.30am. Sun Spy isn’t big and storage is tight… just remember you’re only on the boat for ONE NIGHT (or two for a three-day liveaboard), so a small bag for your dry gear is all you need.
We’ll be boarding the vessel at around 7.45AM 8.00am, this is done by small tender (just to add to the adventure)

First Dive around 11.00am , the second at approx 1.30pm, the third at around 4.00 pm, followed by a night dive depending on the season. We have a minimum of 1.5 hour surface intervals between dives.

Timings are flexible depending on the group with a maximum of 3 dives We have a minimum of 1.5 hour surface intervals.

Arrive back at around 4.00pm on the last day

In General

We supply:
•       Food – Please let me know if you have any food allergies or special dietary requirements (all food is prepared prior to departure)
•       Up to – 5 Air fills (based on single tanks)
•       Up to – 5 Nitrox fills-extra charge (based on single tanks)
•       All bedding
•       Ear plugs

Things to bring:
•       Dive Gear, for single tanks divers please bring 2 tanks
•       Snacks and a few drinks
•       Towel
•       Slip on shoes for those in Drysuits to keep their socks dry

Things not to bring:
•       Catch Bags or Cray Snares
•       Storage boxes
•       Too much stuff
•       Hair Dryers
•       Pets

Things to remember:
•       Your certification cards / log books
•       We’ll be in a Marine Reserve, therefore no feeding the fish or throwing anything overboard please use the rubbish bins provided
•       Absolutely no going ashore.
•       Charge all batteries during the day – No charging at night!!
•       If you get seasick please take your approved medication prior to departure
•       Alcohol is permitted BUT as soon as you have a drink there’s no more diving for the day.  No Alcohol after 10.00pm

PLEASE NOTE: Sun Spy is 14.8m long and has a generous sized dive deck but the living quarters are tight so with this in mind please keep gear to a minimum.


getting here

You will need your own transport to get to us. There are no public transport routes that go past Northland Dive. The closest public transport will get you to Whangarei or Paihia.

Journey overview:

Northland Dive is 3.5hrs drive from Auckland, 1hr north of Whangarei and 40 minutes south of Russell. Allow 1.5hrs for driving and car ferry at Opua if you are coming from Paihia.

The Fullers Opua-Okiato car ferry shuttles run every 10 minutes.

Driving directions from Auckland 

  1. Approximately 20 minutes north of Whangarei you will go past a small BP station on your left (which is quite difficult to spot if it’s closed and the lights are off). Immediately after the BP, you will see a sign to ‘Oakura 28km’. Turn right here onto Russell Road. If you miss this turn-off and go past ‘Touch O Country Cafe’ on the left on SH1, then you’ve gone too far.
  2. From this turn-off, there is 38km to travel to reach the lodge. Russel road is the coastal road that takes you past Helena Bay, Oakura Bay, Bland Bay, Rawhiti and ultimately to Russell.
  3. After reaching the Oakura turn-off sign there is approximately 13km distance left to travel.
  4. You will cross two one-way bridges, one 50m after the other. After you pass the second bridge, Northland Dive will be 5 minutes away on the left. Lookout for a big Steel Mast with our sign attached, and usually has some boats and cars parked outside.

If you get lost call Shane and Julia on 09 433 6633.

CAUTION: When driving along Russell Road look out for sharp bends, gravel/roadworks, frequent stray cows, horses, and dogs.


Northland Dive is primarily for divers. However, a diver’s non-diving spouse is most welcome to stay at the lodge.


Northland Dive believes in value for money. We keep our costs low, so that everyone can enjoy diving. View our full list of prices including our dive liveaboard .


Cancellation due to weather: while this is rare, we will notify customers as soon as we have assessed the conditions are not suitable. Any bookings will receive a full refund or be rescheduled.

Cancellation due to personal circumstance: Bookings are taken in good faith, so deposits or pre-payment is not necessary. However, if your plans do change, please contact us as soon as possible. Any cancellations within 2 days of a booking will incur 1 days diving and accommodation fee per person.

  • More than 24hrs notice of cancellation incurs no charge
  • 24hrs notice or less of cancellation incurs one days diving and accommodation fee per person, unless your space can be filled.
  • No notice of cancellation will incur 100% of the full booking fee.
  • Not diving due to seasickness, health issues, not able to equalise, or not feeling like diving is not eligible for a refund.
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