Scuba diving in Blenheim

Scuba diving in: Blenheim


Blenheim, primarily known for its sun-soaked vineyards and as the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds, might not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking about diving in New Zealand. However, its proximity to the Marlborough Sounds provides divers with a multitude of unique underwater experiences.

Best Scuba Diving Spots for Experienced Divers

The Lermontov Wreck: One of the largest, most accessible diveable shipwrecks in the world, the Russian cruise liner Mikhail Lermontov sunk in Port Gore in 1986. Resting at a depth of 38 meters, the Lermontov offers divers a haunting yet captivating experience as they navigate the vast hallways and ballrooms.

Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners

Tory Channel: This serene channel offers numerous dive spots that are suitable for beginners, thanks to its calm waters. Sites here include lush kelp forests, vibrant sponges, and an abundance of marine species.

Marine Life

Within the Marlborough Sounds, divers can expect to encounter a myriad of marine species. Blue cod, snapper, and crayfish are common sightings. The intricate underwater landscapes also house octopuses, nudibranchs, and the occasional seahorse. Kelp forests and seagrass beds create an ethereal underwater environment, pulsing with marine life.

Dive Conditions

Being sheltered, the Marlborough Sounds generally offer calm and clear conditions, especially during summer. Water temperatures fluctuate between 12°C (54°F) in winter to 19°C (66°F) in summer. Visibility is typically good, often ranging from 10 to 15 meters, but can reach up to 20 meters on an exceptional day.


Dive trips around Blenheim and the Marlborough Sounds can vary in price. On average, a two-tank dive might cost between NZD 150-250. Equipment rentals are extra, and prices will differ based on the dive center. For those looking to get certified, an Open Water Diver course is typically around NZD 500-650.

To sum up, while Blenheim might be renowned for its wine, its underwater treasures are equally intoxicating. With wrecks, marine reserves, and stunning biodiversity, the waters near Blenheim have plenty to offer the keen diver.

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