Stay informed of the latest news and specials.
97 Wairau Road
Ph: +64 9 444 7698
We were very proud to recently receive the shop award from PADI Asia Pacific in recognition of "Outstanding Contribution to the Diving Industry".
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Malcolm Kidd - MD Dive Centre Ltd.
At the same time Jen also presented Matt Shortall, Dive Centre's long serving Instructor with the "Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training Award" due to his consistent excellent work and issuing almost 200 certifications last year!
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Matthew Shortall - Dive Centre Ltd Master Instructor.
We also became New Zealand's first PADI Tec Rec Training Centre! Offering a wide range of Technical, Deep, Mixed Gas and Solo Dive courses - Phone Matt Shortall for more info on 09 444 7698 now!
Go deeper and longer than you ever have before!
Read the trip report below!
Galapagos Trip Report: Once in a Lifetime Dive Trip!
Text & Images by Malcolm & Barbara Kidd
The two days flying and sitting around airports with barely any sleep are forgotten...
The earthquake we experienced in the Santiago Airport is but a distant memory…
The 17 hour crossing on our liveaboard dive boat from the main island to get here is not even in my mind...
I’m sitting just 14m underwater on a shelf on the southern side of Wolf Island in the Galapagos looking at something I’ve waited my whole life to see... schooling Hammerheads... not just a few... hundreds!
Apart from the hundreds of Hammerhead’s parading in front of us, there are curious Galapagos sharks (looking more intimidating than the hammerheads), schools of the biggest eagle rays we’ve ever seen circling so close we could touch them, cruising turtles, and so many fish that they photo bomb the photos we’re trying to take of the sharks. This really is a diver’s dream and enough to make even decades-experienced divers beam with joy and wax lyrical about all they saw once back on board the boat.I eventually stop taking pictures on my new camera system, stop shooting video through the GoPro attached on top, and I just let myself take it all in... I’m underwater in the Galapagos Islands and they’re here! It was the start of an amazing 8 days of diving and land tours that we’d planned for almost two years and saved for just as long.
Galapagos isn’t easy – it’s one of the hardest dive sights to get to, and the conditions are not perfect flat calm diving like your normal tropical destinations. But all that is forgotten when you hit the water – and for a kiwi diver it feels familiar and even looks similar to many Hauraki Gulf Islands both above and below the water (apart from the inhabitants!)
The reason it’s such good diving is that there are seven different oceanic currents that hit the Galapagos, but the main one is the largest upwelling system in the world, called the “Humboldt” cold water current. This is the most productive on earth with almost 20% of all fish caught on the planet bathed by its flow! This, combined with warm tropical currents, is why there’s so much life here and why we have to be prepared for temperature ranges of 14 – 25 degrees underwater!
We visit an island to see Land Iguana’s and are amazed at how close we can get without startling them – great pictures are almost embarrassingly easy! Sea Lions lie ignoring you on the sand while you take pictures of “Blue Footed Boobies” (yes, that is their real name!) performing mating rituals and making nests and tending to eggs while Frigate birds with huge red waddles try and attract mates in front of beaming people glued to their cameras! We look out to sea and watch acres of dolphin leap and play in the water surrounding the island – this place is just so full of life you don’t know where to look or point the camera!
Then we’re back to the main boat to travel another 6-7 hours north to Darwin Island and more importantly Darwin’s Arch. For me, this is the focus of the trip – it can make or break the whole two weeks if they’re not there!
I shouldn’t have worried... 4 minutes into the first dive – the guide suddenly frantically signals and points before disappearing as fast as he can into the blue. We follow, kicking as fast as we can – all scared we won’t see her... But there she is – a 15m pregnant Whale Shark – she’s huge (even for a Whale Shark!). And we get closer than I thought we would – I get so close I’m being pulled along in her slipstream, and I can slow my kicking right down and glide with her like I’m a remora. One of the coolest moments I’ve ever had underwater!
I look to my buddies and they’re all having a blast, I look to the huge schools of big eye Trevalley, the Hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks in the distance, the Turtle posing for pictures, and the millions of other fish that surround us all at once and think... This is what diving is all about!
We end up seeing a total of 14 Whale Sharks during our dives at Darwin’s Arch and on the last dive – like most trip organisers before me – I have a quiet sigh of relief that it’s all been so amazing... then I turn back to my camera before I miss the next shot. You can never have too many Whale Shark pictures!
We're back from the Galapagos Islands now and it was the best dive trip we've ever done! There is something we got wrong though... “Once in a Lifetime” isn’t correct - we are so going back!
In an equipment intensive sport such as this, it is important to have your gear routinely inspected. Small equipment failures can result in large problems! At Dive Centre we specialise in Certified Repair for all brands. We are a wholesale repair facility - that means we not only service our customers equipment - but provide this service for other stores all over New Zealand as well; using fully qualified and highly trained technicians.
By investing in our facilities and staff, and by making the commitment to do all aspects of equipment maintainence, testing and repairing on-site, we control every stage of the process, so we can ensure only the latest equipment and techniques are used to maintain your scuba equipment.
Don't let a malfunction leave you high and dry on your next dive trip. Let us maintain your equpiment properly, so you can get in the water every time!
We also have the most advanced Dive Computer Battery Change and Service Facilities in New Zealand! We service all brands of dive computer including Suunto Watch repairs and battery changes as well as Big Display Suunto battery changes.
We also do battery changes and repairs on mechanical dive watches.
With the release of AS/NZS2299.1:2015 there are now requirements for Occupational Divers in regards to air pressure and depth gauge accuracy testing and regulator hose testing.
We are now able to offer full testing of SPG's, Mechanical Depth Gauges, Computers and hoses to this new standard.
All Occupational/Commercial divers are required by this standard to have the accuracy of these items tested at least every 12 months or in the case of heavy or rough use every six months.
Please contact Malcolm Kidd on 094447698 for more details.
Not all Air fill stations are built the same! With Dive Centre Air, you are guaranteed to have air that far exceeds New Zealand and International Standards. For those of you in the know, we deliver "Grade E" air quality. Not many other Air Fill facilities in New Zealand can make this statement.
How do we achieve this exceptionally clean air? Again by investing in the best! On 1st June 2007 we installed a brand new Bauer Verticus 5 V180-15-5 Super Silent compressor. This compressor is computer controlled and even samples the air and will automatically shut down if air quality exceeds NZ standards! Now that's piece of mind for you and us. We also have an exceptionally large filter system, more than 5x the size of "normal dive stores" compressors. We have our Air tested every three months for Air Quality ensuring that our system is giving you the cleanest air possible. As of December 2015 a new standard AS/NZS 2299.1:2015 came in which reduced the amount of moisture allowable in scuba breathing air. You'll be happy to know that we are well below this new standard without having to do anything to our system! Being serious about air quality, we also only use the experts at High Pressure Equipment, to service our air quality systems.
We also have massive storage banks that can be used to fill up to 15-20 cylinders without starting up our compressor. This means we can fill while-you-wait 7 days per week, no matter what! We do this by utilising a "Haskel Pump". This expensive piece of equipment is an air driven pump that uses air from storage to pump the air into your cylinder. This allows us to fill cylinders even during a power cut!
Ultimate convienience and reliability for you when you are in a hurry to get out on the water.
Imagine all the benefits of diving Enriched Air, without any of the hassles of dedicated cylinders or O2 cleaning!
A lot of people diving Enriched Air use it to dive safer, not as a technical dive as most people think!
How does Enricher Air (Nitrox) benefit a typical kiwi diver like yourself? If you do a dive to 18 metres, and spend 50 minutes of the 56 minute maximum, you are fairly close to the limits. But if you use 40% Enriched Air and do the same dive, you will have used only 50 minutes of a 125 minute maximum! Other benefits of Enriched Air, are that you can spend longer at depth than on air, or minimise surface intervals and you feel much less tired after a day's diving.
Usually cylinders have to be specially cleaned for Enriched Air, but thanks to Dive Centres new advanced "De-Nitrogenated Air Nitrox" filling system this is no longer required! Just a simple inspection, some new stickers and your cylinders are ready. Your Regulator, BCD, and the rest of your equipment does not have to be specially cleaned or altered!
We have a Bauer K14 10 cfm (cubic foot per minute) compressor that is not only a back up to our main compressor but runs our Dnax Membrane Enriched Air fill Station as well.
We take the already Super-Clean air from our storage, and feed this through three more filters before it goes into your cylinder via the Membrane! (This is very clean air!)
A Membrane is basically a type of filter, its real name is a Permeable Membrane which means it separates the Nitrogen and Oxygen, at a molecular level, from our storage air. All we have to do is turn a dial, and it separates more Nitrogen off, so we end up with a higher level of Oxygen going to our Enriched Air Compressor. Because the Enriched Air is going into the compressor and cylinder at 40% or below, the cylinders don't have to be O2 clean. This is far more convienient for you, because it means you can choose to dive on Enriched Air one day, and normal Air the next, no dedicated cylinders! Unlike older systems that put 100% Oxygen into the cylinder and "Top-up" with normal air, to hopefully end up at the % you wish.
We test cylinders in-house!
We do not have to send cylinders out to have them tested like other smaller stores on the North Shore. This means faster turn around times and you can talk to the certified experts if you have any questions!
But again, not all cylinder test stations are the same either!
We are an IANZ Cylinder Testing Laboratory adhering to ISO 9002 standards, which is the most advanced cylinder testing system in New Zealand. We are authorised to test Scuba and BA cylinders, Domestic LPG Cylinders, Primus LPG Cylinders, Industrial Gas Cylinders, Automotive LPG Cylinders & Automotive CNG Cylinders and even large Air Storage Cylinders for other dive stores as well!
Scuba Cylinders require testing every single year! A visual inspection in the first year, and a Hydrostatic Test the following year. And the test alternates each year after that. If it's been more than 2 years since any test was performed; it just has to be Hydrostatically tested.
LPG Cylinders are required to be tested every 10 years, don't swap your perfectly good cylinder as you will probably have to change all the regulators on your LPG Appliances as well!
Don't throw away your perfectly good cylinder and buy a new one. Save money and the environment - Go Green & Recycle - Test your LPG cylinder instead!
Automotive LPG Cylinders are tested every 10 years like their smaller domestic counterparts.
Automotive CNG Cylinders are tested every 5 years.
It doesn't matter if your Scuba cylinders just need their yearly test, your LPG Cylinder needs its 10 year test, or even just a valve repair, we are the cylinder experts!