Paihia has many attractions, out on the water, up in the air and on land, but one of our favourite things to do is to take a different kind of adventure and head under the water to see what lies in store.
With the help of Paihia Dive, the local 5 Star PADI dive operation here in the Bay of Islands, you can explore a world that most people only get to glimpse. Let us ignite your imagination with a picture into what a dive here in the Bay can be like.
Imagine a giant wreck, looming out of the dark, fish swirling around and colourful anemones spattered across the rusted hull. Everything has a green tinge as you descend deeper and deeper into the depths, a mystical feeling hanging over the group as you look around and marvel in silence.
A dark, gaping hole looms up ahead and as your guide swims towards it, you realise you are about to descend into the belly of the beast, get right inside the wreck itself, swim along corridors that once saw the footfall of naval officers and seamen. With a torch to light the way, you swim through the cavernous sleeping giant, surprising Big Eye fish who swim out of your way as your torch is reflected in their giant eyes.
You come across the command room, with the captains chair still in place and the command centre screen still close by. You take a seat where the captain used to sit, you press the buttons he used to press and you wonder where all those people are now. Swimming up and through another hole, you arrive at the bridge, where everything used to happen, now the quiet home to swaying kelp, Leatherjackets and more Big Eyes. You look out of the windows that aren’t windows anymore, windows that used to look out over the waves, who now only gaze into the depths.
You make your way up and out of the bridge, and head towards the tower, your time in the depths almost over. A school of fish surrounds you, swirling and darting, a thousand little bodies dancing together, moving as one, and out on the edge of the school you can see a couple of kingfish in the distance, watching and waiting. As you start to ascend, things get brighter, and you can see the rays from the sun piercing the water above you.
You know you’ve taken part in something magical, a journey that not everyone gets to take, and you know that you will remember this for the rest of your life.
For more information on Paihia Dive, ask us when you check in at Haka Lodge Paihia.