DIVE HEN and CHICKS ISLANDS
EVERY ISLAND IS DIFFERENT
Join us on our Hen and Chicks Islands liveaboard tour.
Hen and Chicks Island, or Taranga in Māori: lies 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) to the southwest from the rest of the archipelago. It is also considerably larger than the Chicken Islands, or Marotiri, which comprise a chain of six small islands running north-west to south-east to the north of Hen Island. The chain consists of Wareware and Muriwhenua Islands (together called North West Chicken), Mauitaha (West Chicken), Lady Alice Island or Motu Muka (Big Chicken), Whatupuke (Middle Chicken), and Coppermine Island (Eastern Chicken).
The Hen and Chicken Islands have a general diving depth of up to 25 m / 82 ft which is suitable for all divers. Sail Rock provides greater depths for more experienced divers. The average visibility is 10-20 metres and access to the dive site is by boat only.
Hen and Chicks are common breeding grounds for schools of blue mao mao, sweep, trevally and silver drummer In the summer months, you will occasionally come across Kingfish as you descend these dramatic walls which drop down to boulders and gradually level out exposing cracks where you can find hidden crayfish and large yellow moray eels. There are also large kelp covered boulders that provide refuge for goatfish, red moki and demoiselles.
If you are the hunter gatherer type you can try your hand at catching crays and taking a feed home for the family.
DIVE TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Taranga (Hen Island) is the largest island with an area of about 4.7 km2 (2 sq mi). It has a length of 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) and an average width of less than 1,000 metres (1,094 yd). It is the remnant of a four-million-year-old volcano, and is dominated by a rocky ridge reaching to about 417 metres (1,368 ft) at its highest point, called “The Pinnacles”. The dive sites provide a diverse range of terrain and fish life. this is a very exciting island to dive.
Sail rock, (a stack), rises from the sea about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the south of Hen Island. With her steep walls she provides a excellent site for kingfsh and schooling fish.
Muriwhenua and Wareware are two small rocky islands with a combined area of 3 hectares (7.4 acres).
Lady Alice Island is the largest of the Chickens with an area of about 1.4 km2 (0.54 sq mi) and is surrounded by rocky reefs.
Whatupuke has a large eastern section and a peninsula to the southwest which forms Starfish Bay. The island has an area of about 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi), and is steep, rising to 234 metres (768 ft).
Coppermine Island has an area of 75 hectares (190 acres). It has two sections joined by a short isthmus. Beautiful bays with rich kelp beds provide great habitats for fish.
Mauitaha is a 20 hectare (49 acres), rugged, scrub-covered rock about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) to the south of Muriwhenua. It has a height of 125 metres (410 ft).
DIVE TOUR DETAILS & INCLUSIONS
Heading out from Sandspit Wharf just 45min north of Auckland, the charter will spend two days and one night at the Hen and Chicks Islands. Food is plentiful and accommodation is in bunk style. You can expect to make up to 4 dives a day depending on the depth and duration of you dives. Dive gear can be provided if required.
Clients may bring their own alcohol, however, this may only be consumed after diving activities have completed.
If you are interested in the diverse life at the Poor Knights, why take an SSI Marine Ecology course , there are six to chose from, all online and will help understand this beautiful environment
DIVE CHARTER ITINERARY
Leaving at approximately 8:00am on the first morning, Hawere will head out to the first of four Hen and Chicks dive sites. Lunch and evening meal will be provided onboard with a light mid-afternoon snacks.
A relaxing evening will be spent onboard and guests will be allowed to fish. Hawere will moor for the evening in a tranquil bay at one of the islands
An early start on the second day will allow for two dives to be completed before lunch and a further two before we head back to Sandspit for the evening.
WHAT TO BRING
Clients will need to bring warm clothing, sleeping bag or duvet. Bed sheets & pillows will be provided.
If you have your own dive gear you are welcome to bring it. Those requiring rental gear will need to complete the relevant forms prior to sailing.
Meals, snacks and soft drinks are provided (unfortunately we cannot cater for specific dietary requirements).
HEN and CHICKS ISLANDS LIVEABOARD TOUR
AT A GLANCE
2 day Hen and Chicks liveaboard charter on the boat Hawere. Fully inclusive of food, accommodation and diving. Up to 4 dives a day and open to all levels of certified divers. Departs/returns to Sandspit Wharf near Warkworth.