Wreck Diving with Dive Now Whangarei

We are lucky enough to have the world famous wreck of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior, just a 90 minutes away from Whangarei.

Sitting on the sand at 26m, the shallowest part is 14m. The Rainbow Warrior started out life as a North Sea fishing trawler, purchased by the British Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) to conduct research called Sir William Hardy in 1955.   Length 40m, 418 gross tonnes.

It was bought by Greenpeace in 1977 and was refitted to campaign on the seas against whaling, harvesting of seal pups and dumping of nuclear wastes.    

Rainbow Warrior Dive Trip

On 10th July 1985 the Rainbow Warrior was sunk with two bombs in Auckland Harbour while moored by the French Secret Service.

With too much damage, it was decided that she should be scuttled and in 1987 she was scuttled in the Cavelli’s, Bay of Islands, where she is now an artificial reef.

Dived on Nitrox 32% most divers qualified with Advanced Open Water can expect to enjoy about a 45 minute dive.  It can be dived on with air (21% Oxygen), but your dive time will be greatly reduced.

The Rainbow Warrior is now strictly a NON PENETRATION wreck dive due to the wrecks condition.

There are some areas you can access to view inside, but great care and good buoyancy controls and gentle finning is required.

We meet our charter at Matauri Bay where we launch the 7.5m inflatable boat from the beach.  Once at Matauri Bay we set up scuba gear making sure everything is working, put drysuits or wet suits on, and do the safety briefing.  Launching the boat is lots of fun from the beach and makes it a very short boat ride of 8 minutes to the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior.now

GPS co-ordinates are: 34º58.50′ S, 173º56.10′ E

We do not take our vessel there, but instead meet up at Matauri Bay with Paihia Dive. 

After the wreck dive we head to one of the beautiful beaches on the Cavalli Islands for some lunch/snorkelling.

After lunch we then head to one of the many great reef dive sites in the Cavalli Islands. This is normally an 18m or less dive, exploring the volcanic reef areas. We have plenty of swim throughs, tunnels and caves, so if you are keen on this let us know!

If we are doing some deeper dives in the Cavelli’s, we will have a slightly longer lunch break (surface Interval) and then do the Rainbow Warrior as our second dive of the day.

Once all the diving is done we head back to Matauri Bay, arriving at about 3:00pm.

If on the day the conditions are no good to get to the Cavellis, the back up plan is to dive HMNZS Canterbury is in Deep Water Cove in the Bay of Islands if you like RUST. Sunk on 3rd November 2007, the HMNZS Canterbury has become the playground for many wreck divers.

Feel free to check out photos from some of our previous trips and follow us on Facebook or Instagram and we even have some videos on YouTube

More photos are available on our Google account.

Ranbow Warrior Diving - Dive Now

Trip Requirements

  • if you haven’t been in the water for over 12 months or haven’t dived in cold water and used a 7mm suit, then book onto a refresher in our pool before the trip.  This will ensure you are comfortable in the water before we go on the trip.
  • Bring along a copy of your dive certifications.
  • If you would like to penetrate any wreck then you will need an appropriate wreck qualification.
  • If you wish to use Enriched Air Nitrox, then you will need an appropriate qualification – available with us on this trip.

Transportation is not provided by Dive Now Whangarei, but we do our best to help organise car pooling to the dive sites.


Your trip deposit or full payment secures your space. Any outstanding balances are due a week before departure.

If you cancel your space on a trip within 7 days or less of departure you will incur a 100% cancellation fee. Generally, trip payments once made are non-refundable, but most trips have a waiting list and we will do our best to find someone to take your space in the event you need to pull out. You can help us, and improve your chance of a refund, by finding your own replacement.

If a trip is cancelled by us due to weather or for safety reasons, a full refund or store credit will be given. Trip pricing does not include transport. You will need to make your own way to the vessel departure point.

Opening Hours | Mon-Fri 8.30-5.00pm  | Saturday 8.30 – 1pm | Sundays Closed

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