HMNZS Tui & Waikato

HMNZS Tui & Waikato



Both the wrecks are deep dives, requiring minimum dive guidelines. We require you to have 15 logged dives for either wreck and an Advanced Certificate, unless you are guided by an instructor as part of your course You must have dived in the last six months. New Zealand Diving run a number of courses at these sites..

The HMNZS Tui and HMNZS Waikato are large navy vessels specifically prepared for adventure diving before being sunk at diver friendly depths.
Purpose cut access and exit points allow exploration of guns, bridges, control areas, helicopter hangar, engine rooms, cabins and crew areas.


The former HMNZS Tui is resting at a depth of approximately 32m of water. The Tui is now broken into three main sections and rapidly becoming part of the reef itself. She makes for an interesting and scenic dive, howevr, her location can be a little exposed to winds and current.
There are currently no marker buoys locating her position and surface support is required.

She began life as the Charles H Davis working on Hydrographic research for an American university.
For the last 17 years of her working life she was leased out by the United States Navy to become the HMNZS Tui, deployed on naval hydrographic work. She was also sent to Mururoa to observe the last series of French Nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific,
and became the unofficial mothership to a large international protest fleet.
The Tui was gifted to Tutukaka Coast Promotions after long negotiations, prepared for her new role as a dive attraction and sunk off Tutukaka on the 20th of February 1999.

Tui Ext

The frigate ex HMNZS Waikato was built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Ireland, launched on February 18 1966, and commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy on September 5, 1966.
At 113.4m long, 12.5m beam and a draft of 5.5m she was the first of the Leander class frigates built for the navy. She had a top speed of 30 knots, and was powered by twin steam turbines developing 30,000hp.
The Waikato was armed to the teeth, sporting twin 4.5in guns in the turret, two 20mm Orlikeon machine guns on the wings, a quad Seacat anti-aircraft missile launcher, six 12.75m anti-submarine torpedo tubes,
one anti-submarine warfare Limbo mortar Mark 10 and a Wasp Helicopter capable of delivering depth charges and the Mark 46 anti-submarine torpedo.
She served the RNZ Navy until decommissioning in 1998. Tutukaka Coast won the tender and prepared the ship for divers during 1999/2000. Finally the ship was sent to her final resting place on the 25th of November 2000 in a world record time of 2 min 40 seconds.
She now rests in water 28-30m deep to the sand and approximately 15-20m to the starboard side of the wreck.

The Waikato is now broken into two sections, resting on her port side. She provides an easy penetration dive often with clear water, making her an ideal training site.


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