Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

The Marlborough Sounds, Milford Sound, Kaikoura, Otago, Fiordland and Stewart Island.

Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby ScubaSteveWanaka » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:46 pm

Hi all,

I noticed quite a few of you have been asking questions about diving these areas and wanting information about operators and dive sites etc.
Scuba Steve Wanaka is a dive centre located in Wanaka, Central Otago. We offer retail sales, training, hire equipment, air & nitrox fills and dive trips.
That was the plug, now if anyone has any questions I'm happy to help or just visit our website scubastevewanaka.webs.com
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby Jason » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:44 pm

:D What are the Lake Dives like around the Wanaka (well, those 3 provinces)?
Are there any popular ones and why??
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby ScubaSteveWanaka » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:40 am

I think there are some great lake dives here.

Lake Wanaka
Glendhu Bay - has underwater geysers where fresh water bubbles up from the lake bed making for a very unusual sight.
The Outlet - NZ's fast flowing river and I believe the highest population of fish is the Clutha which flow out of Lake Wanaka.

Lake Hawea
Tree Stumps - Hawea is a man made lake, at the town end they cut down the trees, now the soil has eroded leaving massive root systems that spread out like fingers half a metre above the lake bed. It is also an altitude dive.
Christmas Tree - Up the head of the lake they left the trees intact. It is a popular fishing spot so now you have large trees standing upright underwater with lures hanging from the branches.

More to follow....I am on my way to take someone diving at Glendhu Bay.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby NEMES1S » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:05 am

Sounds great...the Christmas Tree dive and the Geysers sound really awesome.
Generally whats the vis like..? temps..?
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby djwazzo » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:43 pm

Hi Guys,

See my article in Dive NZ this month on our trip there in June.

How was your doubtful trip Steve, have been meaning to ask? All i managed was 1 dive on the East Cape! Gutted!
Shane
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby Jason » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:14 pm

Thanks ScubaSteveWanaka.
Originally I was to go to Christchurch in August and slip in at Lake Coleridge (beyond Darfield) upon recommendation from BinkleBonk, but this fell through.
But!
My partner has just expressed willingness ( :shock: ) to go to Christchurch before Christmas (to see an ailing grandmother...and a dive :wink: ). I can't say I'll make it down to Wanaka-way, but its a start since being in Wanaka the previous year.

Lake Diving rules :!:
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
Currently I'm reading : The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby ScubaSteveWanaka » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:33 am

Lake Wanaka gets down to around 7 degrees in winter and as high as 16 in the shallows during summer. We bank on an average of 10-12 for most of the season.
Lake Hawea is similar, probably not as warm in summer.
I don't dive much in Lake Wakatipu any more, originally set up & managed Dive HQ Queenstown before my current store, but remember it being a little cooler than Wanaka.

Vis is variable depending on recent wind, rainfall and location from 3-30 metres.
Vis today at Glendhu Bay - Wanaka was around 10m, which is 5m less than it was on Friday last week, due to the very strong winds we had over the weekend.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby ScubaSteveWanaka » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:44 am

Hi Shane,

Yeah Doubtful was fun. Saw some amazing critters. Check out the photos on our websites gallery.
Pavel a recent divemaster graduate of mine has taken some amazing shots.

The best part was putting the twins to good use. Actually exceeded a NDL for the first time.

I took some video footage of the geysers at Glendhu today that I hope to have on the website tomorrow.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby guru » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:09 pm

What's the depth range at these sites?

Go down for holidays at Glendhu sometimes.. so might be worth another trip!
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby Jason » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:02 pm

I have no problem with the cold end of the temp scale, though I think it wise to bail Mesley up for a Drysuit for those South Isle Lakes.
Might be able to do em all, if I get a work transfer ( :D ) over to NZ.
I always wanted to dive NZ Lakes, and more so once I dived Lake Jindabyne (once had a sunken town - now mostly bits n' peices) in Southern NSW.
I swam (in budgies & googs) in Lake Manapouri. Sure it was "Brrrrrrrr" but I percieved the visability to be something like 100 metres for I swear I've never seen so far underwater before - is this the norm sometimes or was I just being affected by a 'shivering' effect?
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
Currently I'm reading : The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby ScubaSteveWanaka » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:35 pm

Glendhu can reach 30m depth around 100ms from shore.

I can't say I have dived Manapouri, might have to try it out if the vis is that good, can't say that is the norm.
When Shane came down and wrote the article for Dive NZ on Wanaka we were going through a phase of terrible vis which was very uncommon, some type of algae bloom I suspect, but thankfully it is back to normal again.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby Jason » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:17 pm

Spewing! There are only Ighams at Cambridge (too close to Aussies in Hamilton) Manukau Auckland (Sounds like City living) and Ngarua Waitoa (?)...all in the Waikato region.
I'm 'working' towards a transfer anyway. Fingers crossed.

It was 40+ degrees Celcius today and I worked in the 'sauna' (full PPE) section.
Oh those NZ Lakes.... 8)
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
Currently I'm reading : The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby silent solutions » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:04 pm

I think swimming in togs has blurred your vision I have never seen vis 100m in any of those lakes.Sometimes good but not 100m good.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby Jason » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:48 pm

I thought as much SS, ("Brrrrrrrrrrrrr")
but it was an impressive sight none the less. :shock: :o

Whats the average viz you get upon your lake dives or do you only get clear viz upon cave dives?
Also, have you dived the back of the Gloworm Cave system?
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
Currently I'm reading : The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley.
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Re: Central Otago, West Coast & Fiordland

Postby ScubaSteveWanaka » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:22 pm

Brrrrr is right. Snowing to 600m today and it is the last day of Spring!
Not too many people willing to brave the cold today, so had a little time to work on my avatar.
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