We gathered at the wharf road boat ramp in the quaint town of Tairua. A plaque nearby outlined the small towns demise upon the collapse of the logging industry in the early 20th century. The town has done remarkably well since then and a near new boat ramp takes us down the river mouth to the infamous Tairua Bar. Local knowledge and a bit of advise is important here – but today the weather is pristine and we speed over glassy smooth water past Shoe Island to the Aldermans.
To the furthest point of the Island group via the northern side we come to a looming spire with a well defined crack running through it. Protruding above the water level – this through cave provides a less intimidating swim through with etheral lighting both ends. Exiting the southern side into a boulder garden of vertical rock fingers from a twenty meter base, this kelp garden is the closest thing to Eden many of us may ever come.
An incredible density of fish life in twenty meter plus visibility, these fingers of stone and kelp reach to the surface allowing an amazing swim through vertical gardens of light and life that burns itself onto your memory. Some of the best diving in this country … you will not forget it.