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Discover a magical world beneath the surface in Aotearoa, New Zealand

Pacific DTA Team



Aotearoa, New Zealand and PADI® celebrate International Mermaid Day

Aotearoa, New Zealand has revealed a magical world beneath the ocean’s surface for International Mermaid Day, in partnership with PADI®.

Mesmerising underwater footage released today showcases official PADI Mermaid team members from around the world exploring renowned international dive site, the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, in the country’s Northland region.

Combining elements of freediving with wearing a ‘monofin’ or mermaid tail, the art of ‘mermaiding’ is making waves worldwide as an accessible and captivating way to connect with and explore beneath the surface.

PADI’s Mermaid Program launched globally in 2021 and has since built a strong wave of momentum capturing the imagination and curiosity of all ages and genders. Anyone over the age of six can start their mermaid journey, and learn to breath-hold, swim with a tail, read ocean conditions, and respect and protect marine life.

Certified PADI Mermaids have a unique passion for ocean advocacy, along with a deep care and connection to the ocean and all life that calls it home.

With expansive coastlines, marine reserves*, abundant wildlife, and hundreds of offshore islands, Aotearoa New Zealand boasts a plentiful paradise for inquisitive travellers looking to immerse themselves in the natural environment.

“The waters of Aotearoa are a special place for me personally, having had the privilege to explore above and beneath the surface as both an adventure seeker and a diver,” says Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO.

“I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the Poor Knights Islands – the crown jewel of the Tutukākā coastline. From the dramatic topography to the thick kelp forests teeming with the unique combination of cold and subtropical marine species brought in by the Eastern Australian Current, not many dive sites have ever rivaled this one for me. 

Imagine what our shared blue planet would be like if we had 10,000 more success stories** like the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve?”

The unique geography of the South Pacific destination creates a diverse underwater playground to explore from twinkling, sub-tropical waters and islands of the far north, to wild and wonder in the fiords of the deep south.

“It’s no secret our natural environment is part of what makes us an extraordinary destination to explore. But there is more here than meets the eye; our unique geography and climate create wondrous worlds above and below the surface for those travellers curious to discover all that Aotearoa, New Zealand has to offer,” says René de Monchy, Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive.

“We are proud to team up with Tourism New Zealand this International Mermaid Day. TNZ is a like-minded partner devoted to the Tiaki Promise – the commitment to care for the people, place and culture of Aotearoa,” says Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO.

For more information about New Zealand’s unique marine tourism opportunities and underwater-inspired experiences and travel inspiration, visit

For more information about PADI and the PADI Mermaid Program, visit

*New Zealand has 44 marine reserves, which are protected areas of ocean within which it is prohibited to fish, remove, or disturb any marine life in order to preserve our species and habitat.

**PADI is on a mission to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 through its Adopt the Blue program, which is the world’s largest network of underwater sites that the organisation, alongside Ocean Torchbearers, is rallying to turn into marine protected areas.


Watch The Real Watergate from Live Ocean Foundation (Trailer)

Pacific DTA Team



Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke established Live Ocean Foundation out of their deep concern for health of the ocean and the life in it. Through their sport they champion action for the ocean, taking this message to the world.

Many of the issues the ocean faces are out of sight, but the science is clear, the ocean is in crises from multiple stressors; climate change, pollution and over-fishing. We’re not moving fast enough, not even close.

Live Ocean Foundation supports exceptional marine scientists, innovators and communicators who play a vital role in the fight for a healthy future.

Thanks to generous core donors who cover their operating costs, 100% of public donations go directly towards the marine conservation projects they support.

Find out more at


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Re-introducing Humboldt Explorer – remodeled and ready for divers

Pacific DTA Team



Popular liveaboard, Humboldt Explorer, based in the Galapagos Islands, has been newly remodeled and is back in the water ready for divers. Diving on Humboldt Explorer is already a five-star experience, but now the liveaboard has even better accommodations. It also features a more contemporary salon and sun deck, upgraded dive deck, and fresh plumbing. Humboldt Explorer received the Explorer Fleet’s largest overhaul to date. Short of building a new boat, the liveaboard is brand new!

Stateroom redesign

The staterooms were torn down to their bulk heads; the rooms have had a complete restoration with new walls, new plumbing in the bathrooms, and an installation of new fire protection in electrical outlets and light plugs. The cabins were redesigned with more ambient and neutral colors, plus new floors, doors, art, closets, and dressers. The cabin air conditioner units and entertainment systems have also received upgrades. Guests can be assured they will sleep well on the new Humboldt Explorer.

Upgraded Salon and Dining Area

The salon was modernized with increased ambient lighting and neutral paint colors, new or re-upholstered living and dining room furniture, and new floors and cabinets. Along with these big changes, the salon received new air conditioners and buffet equipment. Up top, the sun deck received new teak flooring and a very attractive bar with grill to allow the chef to make meals upstairs. Two custom designed seats were added on the bow for guests to enjoy the Galapagos’ panoramic views.

Sundeck upgrades

The dive deck had one of the biggest physical changes, with the deck being expanded and raised to a single level to allow easier movement of divers. Outdoor showers were also relocated to the stern and new charging stations were installed. The crew also did maintenance on tank hoses, stainless steel seats, and the diving table.

Dive Deck

Lastly, the engine room had an overhaul of the two MTU series 60 marine machines, changing every part of the engine, leaving it practically new. Maintenance and painting of the bilges was done, and all water circulation and hot water pipes, were upgraded. The compressor, nitrox, 100kw generators, steering system and hydraulic jack all received maintenance or repair. Meaning Humboldt Explorer’s moving parts and safety systems are all operating as good, if not better, than new.

Experience the upgraded Humboldt Explorer for yourself. Contact or visit for more.

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