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The HMNZS Canterbury is 113 metres long and at 13 metres in beam, a fraction wider than the Waikato. She makes for an impressive sight in a great dive location, as the underwater growth takes hold. The upper deck, bridge and first floor levels are easily within recreational diving range. The lower levels are for more advanced divers with the stern resting at approximately 36m


HMNZS Canterbury (F421)was one of two broad beam Leander class frigates operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) from 1971 to 2005. HMNZS Canterbury was laid down on 12 June 1969 by Yarrow Shipbuilders and launched 11 months later on 6 May 1970. Commissioned on the 22 October 1971, she left from the UK for NZ 1 June 1972, arriving at her home port, Lyttelton 4 August 1972.

Her armament consisted of: 2 x 4.5” DP guns, 1 x quadruple Seacat SAM launcher, two x 20mm Oerlikons, 2 x 3 stack torpedo tubes. She was last equipped with the SH-2G Seasprite helicopter, had a top speed of 30 knots and a complement of between 245 and 260 men.

Canterbury went on to see operational service in much of Australasia and other regions like the Persian Gulf, undertaking operations like supporting UN sanctions against Iraq and peace-keeping in East Timor.

In addition, Canterbury relieved the Royal Navy frigate HMS Amazon in the Indian Ocean during the Falklands War, and later relieved the frigate HMNZS Otago at Moruroa during anti-nuclear protests.


Canterbury was decommissioned at the end of March 2005 and after extensive works to remove potentially toxic materials, she was scuttled on 3 November 2007 at Deep Water Cove in the Bay of Islands to provide a dive wreck.

The ex-HMNZS Canterbury was prepared with divers in mind; plenty of extra access points have been created to provide an ease of entry and exit, this makes for some particularly good penetration and swim through opportunities.

The wreck sits completely upright and fully intact, and her position in Deep Water Cove is protected in most conditions. She lies at a depth of between 12 metres at the middle funnel, and 38 metres at the stern, where visibility can range between 8 and 30 metres.

You will get to spend between 35 and 45 minutes on the Wreck and a 5 minute safety stop.


Our day starts at the marina in Opua. 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 ends of the wreck during the day. Customers can expect to be back at Opua 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.


HMNZS Canterbury Dive by E Fuhrman


Dive one of New Zealand’s iconic wreck sites the HMNZS Canterbury. Two tank dives on a stunning wreck

  • Warkworth, North Island, New Zealand
  • Dive HMNZS Canterbury Shipwreck
  • 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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