Best time to visit New Zealand

Great White Shark Cage Diving in New Zealand 2024-2025

The inquisitive great white shark's eyes staring at you will remain in your memory for a long time

Best time: December–June

Great White Shark Cage Diving
Great White Shark Cage Diving

If you have ever dreamt of cage diving with Great White Sharks, there are only five places around the world that allow you to do it safely. New Zealand turned out to be one of them! So if you happened to be there at the right time and are seeking an adrenaline rush like no other, this is an excellent chance to tick off one of the bucket-list items.

A couple of great white sharks might be seen eye to eye in the waters around Stewart Island. You just have to wear all the necessary diving equipment and descend into the cage that will be submerged into the water where you may speechlessly communicate with dangerous marine creatures.

You will be able to stare at each other, and you will likely witness a shark having lunch. However, if you dislike the idea of such a close encounter, you may observe great whites from the deck on the boat. They are quite curious and swim close to the surface, often rising their inquisitive glance upwards to find out what is going on on the vessel.

Shark cage experience is available between December and June when nearly 100 great whites move to Foveaux Strait, where they can feast on fur seals.​

Practical info

When is the prime shark cage diving window in New Zealand?

To maximize your chances of seeing great whites, visit New Zealand between December and June. During this period, close to 100 great white sharks travel to Foveaux Strait for their feeding time. When weather and ocean conditions permit, shark cage diving is available, but strict safety measures are enforced by tour operators. Dives may be rescheduled due to factors like rough sea conditions, heavy rain, or poor visibility. Show more

Which place on South Island offers great white shark cage diving?

Stewart Island is among the few places globally where you can encounter the great white shark cage diving. The island is located 30 kilometers south of the mainland and reachable from Bluff town by a one-hour ferry ride or a brief twenty-minute flight. Diving tours, which may take up to eight hours depending on the weather and sea conditions, generally operate out of Oban, the island's only township. Show more

What safety procedures are implemented for New Zealand's shark cage diving?

Safety is paramount when it comes to shark cage diving in New Zealand, and tour operators are committed to keeping their clients safe at all times. The highly-skilled team follows strict safety regulations in accordance with Maritime New Zealand's rules. Participants also receive extensive training on using the dive equipment and preparing for the cage dive. To keep everyone safe, the cages are secured and allow for a distance between participants and the sharks. Tour schedules are tailored to the weather conditions to ensure a safe and optimal experience. Show more

What is the proximity to the sharks during the cage diving experience?

The shark cage diving experience in New Zealand involves a secure cage that is lowered into the water from the side or bottom of a boat. Participants in the cage will remain submerged at a depth of between 2 and 3 meters. Often, the curious sharks come incredibly close to the cage and sometimes brush up against it. The experienced dive team will control the amount of time each individual spends in the water with the sharks to guarantee the safety of the participants. Show more

Aside from sharks, what are other marine creatures that can be spotted during New Zealand's shark cage diving?

Venture into the underwater world of New Zealand's shark cage diving, where sharks are not the only creatures to be spotted. Octopus, fur seals, dolphins, penguins, and different fish species can be observed during these tours. On Stewart Island, tourists may also enjoy birdwatching, with most forest birds unique to New Zealand, accounting for about 90% of bird species available. Participants might even witness the magnificent albatross, making it an ideal destination for both adventure and wildlife enthusiasts. Show more

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