Wreck weekend




The Wreck Weekend is an action-packed weekend that has been running for several years. Get to dive New Zealand’s top four wrecks on the North Island. All of the diving takes place from our boat Midnight Diver.

Join us on our northern wreck tour & get to dive four wrecks in three days! Dive the Rainbow Warrior, HMNZS Canterbury, Tui & Waikato in the stunning bay of islands.

Accommodation can be arranged for you as an optional extra. Nobody in New Zealand offers a wreck trip as comprehensive as this!

Wreck ferrets unite – here it is, a tour of a lifetime.

Nitrox can be arranged for those wishing to extend their bottom times. This is a great weekend for any true wreck ferret!



HMNZS Tui, formerly USNS Charles H. Davis (T-AGOR-5), was one of nine Conrad class oceanographic ships built for the United States Navy (USN), that later saw service in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). Serving with the USN from 1963 to 1970, these ships were designed to perform acoustic experiments on sound transmission underwater, and for gravity, magnetism and deep-ocean floor studies.

The ship was commissioned into the RNZN in late 1970, and as HMNZS Tui served as an oceanographic survey and research ship until her decommissioning in 1997. In 1999, the ship was scuttled as a dive wreck.

At 62 metres long she now lies in 30 metres of water just 2km north of Tutukaka Heads. Easily penetrated through purpose cut access points, explore the control room, bridge, crew living quarters and engine rooms via established routes. A very enjoyable dive for all levels of divers.

For more information about the HMNZS TUI click here.


The ex-HMNZS Canterbury was scuttled on 3 November 2007 at Deep Water Cove in the Bay of Islands to provide a dive wreck and what a dive she is. 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 swims 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. At 113 metres long and at 13 metres in beam, this site is big enough to make you want to dive it twice!

For more information about the history and finer diving details please click here.


HMNZS Waikato (F55) was a Leander Batch 2TA frigate of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). She was one of two Leanders built for the RNZN, the other being the Batch 3 HMNZS Canterbury. These two New Zealand ships relieved British ships of the Armilla patrol during the Falklands conflict, freeing British ships for deployment.


Displacement: 3182 Tonnes
Length: 113.4 metres
Beam: 12.4 metres
Draught: 5.6 metres
Machinery: Twin steam turbines driving twin shafts 30,000 horsepower total
Armament: Twin 115mm guns Wasp helicopters carrying homing torpedoes Two twin barrelled torpedo tubes. One Phalanx closed weapon system. Maximum speed: 30 knots Complement: 239 (19 Officers)

HMNZS Waikato was purposefully sunk in November 2000 and now lies 30 metres down and bolt upright on the seabed. She has large holes cut in the side to make entry and exit very safe and less experienced divers will gain valuable wreck diving experience from the vessel. The shallowest part of the wreck is only 8 metres from the surface.



The Rainbow Warrior was built in 1955, in Aberdeen, Scotland, as a trawler named Sir William Hardy, and entered service with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. She served until 1977 when she was put up for sale by the Ministry. She was acquired by Greenpeace at a cost of £40,000 and underwent a four month refit. She was re-launched on April 29, 1978 as Rainbow Warrior, the first ship to serve with Greenpeace. Further modifications followed, with the replacement of the engines in 1981 and the fitting of sails in a ketch rig in 1985.

In early 1985 Rainbow Warrior was in the Pacific campaigning against nuclear testing. In May, she evacuated some 300 Marshall Islanders from Rongelap Atoll, polluted by radioactivity from past American nuclear tests at the Pacific Proving Grounds.

She travelled to New Zealand to lead a flotilla of yachts protesting against French nuclear testing at the Mururoa Atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia. During previous nuclear tests at Mururoa, protest ships had been boarded by French commandos after sailing into the shipping exclusion zone around the atoll.

For the 1985 tests Greenpeace intended to monitor the impact of nuclear tests and place protesters on the island to illegally monitor the blasts. The French Government infiltrated the Canada-based organisation and discovered these plans.

The Rainbow Warrior, then captained by Peter Willcox, was sabotaged and sunk just before midnight NZST (1pm BST, 8am EDT) on July 10, 1985 by two explosive devices attached to the hull by operatives of the French intelligence service (DGSE). One of the twelve people on board, photographer Fernando Pereira, returned to the ship after the first explosion to attempt to retrieve his equipment, and was killed when the ship was sunk by the second larger explosion.

The wreck of the Rainbow Warrior was refloated on 21 August 1985 and moved to a naval harbour for forensic examination. Although the hull had been recovered the damage was too extensive for economic repair and the vessel was scuttled in Matauri Bay in the Cavalli Islands, New Zealand on 2 December 1987, to serve as a dive wreck and artificial reef to promote marine life.


The Wreck Weekend tour is a 3 day dive tour around the shipwreck sites on the north island. The tour starts from either Paihia, Matauri Bay or Tutatkaka.  Accommodation is optional & can be arranged for you so you can be with new friends on the tour. Prices will be provided when you contact us with the details of the style and location. Launch sites are different for each location, if you are arranging your own accommodation please be aware of this.

Midnight Diver is an open RHIB 7m boat with plenty of room for divers and equipment. Depending on the wreck concerned we return to shore for lunch.

Included in your trip:

  • 2 x tank dives a day – dive profiles permitting.
  • Rental gear
  • Dive Guide

Optional extra: Nitrox,

Excluded: Transportation to the launch sites,

If you would like to make the most of your tour, here are some courses that will elevate the excitement of your diving.

All of these are available through New Zealand Diving:

Advanced Nitrox & Decompression Procedures

Advanced Wreck Diver.

Please contact us if you would like to know more.


Midnight Diver will depart from either Tutatkaka, Matauri Bay or Paihia, situated north of Auckland.
The boat will depart 08:30 in the morning with a short ride out to the Tutakaka wrecks and a 30min ride out to the site of the Canterbury
We will be out at sea for the entire duration of the Canterbury trip, but returning to shore in bewteen dives at Tutukaka.
Depending on your preference for diving, up two dives a day can be undertaken a day.

New Zealand Diving only run this trip on the dates schedulled in our booking system, so don’t miss out as spaces are limited to a maximum of 8 divers per day

For further details please contact us


You will need to bring warm clothing, food and water for the boat trips.

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.


Rainbow Warrior Tour by Alistair Hayward


Where else can you get to dive four different wrecks in three days, all in the beautiful Bay of Islands? Join us on the unique trip and tour the north island diving.

  • Warkworth, North Island, New Zealand
  • Wreck Weekend Dive Tour
  • 3 Days & 3 Nights
  • $950.00


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.