The HMNZS Tui & Waikato shipwrecks are large navy vessels specifically prepared for adventure diving before being sunk at diver friendly depths with purposely cut access and exit points allowing 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, however, 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.

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.


The two wreck sites are in close proximity to each other. One dive will be conducted on each.

The Tui is broken down and provides a 32m dive. She is a very scenic dive with the wreck now blending into the surrounding reef.

In contrast the Waikato is fairly intact although the bow is broken off, she still resembles a ship. The Waikato also sits at approximately 32-35m depth. Large parts of the wreck is assessable to divers


Our day starts at the marina in Tutukaka. Divers meet at around 09:00 to head out to the wreck site.

One dive is conducted in the morning and one in the afternoon. A surface interval will be conducted in between.

Dives will be taken at two different wrecks during the day. Customers can expect to be back at Tutakaka by 16:00.

If you are excited about wreck diving then why not book our unique Wreck Weekend 3 day tour and stay overnight. See up to four wrecks in three days are possible. You will get to dive the Tui & Waikato & a whole lot more.

Food and accommodation are excluded in the price.

If you are interested in taking your Wreck Diver certification then please contact us and we will be glad to help you


Diving is an adventure activity that includes risk to your person. Under New Zealand law we are we required to notify you of the following statement.

You accept that this activity inherently involves risks and potential hazards. The risks and hazards include, but are not limited to breathing compressed gas, marine traffic, marine life, decompression sickness, drowning, barotrauma, air embolism, decompression illness, dehydration, gas narcosis, malfunctioning equipment, ear problems, sun damage, hyperthermia, hypothermia, sea sickness, and adverse weather events.

These activities are run in the outdoors on the ocean, so may be exposed to sudden natural disasters such as, but not limited to Tsunami, Earthquakes, Slips Landslides or Rock Falls, or Volcanic Eruption. I am aware that participating in the activities offered by New Zealand Diving Limited can be hazardous even if they are conducted with care, control, and responsibility. You acknowledge that these risks could result in my injury (physical or mental) or even death.



Please read our terms & conditions found on our website page, frequently asked questions before booking:

Sometimes our activities may have to be rescheduled due to situations outside of our control, such as poor weather. Please note we reschedule in such situations, as described in our terms and conditions.

Overseas participants are advised to carry travel insurance in case rescheduling is unsuitable.

All participants must be of good health and complete a medical declaration. This is available on our website:

All participants must be diving certified to dive on a charter or undergoing a diving course with New Zealand Diving Limited.

All participants must be able to swim a minimum of 200m, unassisted.


Remember to bring an appropriate change of clothes, lunch or snacks, water and sunscreen. Dive gear is provided.


Join us diving both the Tui & Waikato shipwrecks. these are two very different wreck sites, providing completely different contrasting dives. One tank dive is available on each wreck

  • Warkworth, North Island, New Zealand
  • HMNZS Waikato & Tui Shipwreck Diving
  • 1 Day
  • $300.00


Please contact us using the enquiry form below, if you would like to know more about any diving options featured on our website. Interested in a particular course? Need help with finding suitable diving equipment? Or, any other questions that you may have? Please use this contact form to get in touch with us.

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