About 50km off the East Coast of the Bay of Plenty, a mountain comes straight up from the seafloor of 1,600m depth. This pinnacle breaks the surface to form a circular island (about 2km in diameter) whose peak is about the same altitude as lake Taupo.
Like the Poor Knights (because it is so far away from any other land) it is one of the best dive sites in New Zealand. White sits on the edge of the continental shelf and the marine life there is influenced by both the sub tropical East Auckland Current and the White Island Trench, which lies parallel to the Kermedec Trench. Consequently there is a very wide range of encrusting marine life and fish species , with many tropical species represented.
The New Zealand Diver’s Handbook says ‘ Diving at White Island has been described as being as good, if not better, than at the Poor Knights. Packhorse cray, Moerton Bay bug, bass, harpuka and black coral are comman. There is a hot thermal outlet at 37m. The visibility is generally 24 to 46m.’
We are running a trip there in June. Transport, accomodation, boat trip will be included in the price. Contact the shop if you are interested. This is a course for medium to experienced divers.