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22 Things To Do In New Zealand – Poor Knights Islands

Poor Knights Islands

This picturesque group of islands off the east coast of the Northland Region of the North Island of New Zealand are a must-see nature reserve and popular underwater diving spot.. The islands lie 50 kilometres to the north-east of Whangarei in New Zealand’s Northland.  The islands’ name is said to derive from their resemblance to Poor Knight’s Pudding, a bread-based dish popular at the time of discovery by Europeans.

Prior to 1820 the islands were inhabited by Māori of the Ngāti Wai tribe who grew crops and fished the surrounding sea. Their peaceful occupation came to an abrupt end when warriors from the Hikutu tribe in Hokianga invaded while the islands’ Chief was away with his warriors on a fighting campaign. After the vicious revenge-fuelled attack which left few survivors the islands were declared tapu (sacred) and have not been inhabited since.

The Islands have been rated by the famous Jacques Cousteau as one of the top-ten dive sites in the world – the water is clear and an abundant with sea life. With visibility up to 30 metres underwater divers can see a highly-populated, rich and diverse tapestry of marine life.

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