Rainbow Warrior Dive Guide

The Rainbow Warrior Dive wreck sits 18-27m deep. Dive with Paihia Dive or Divezone Bay of Islands, launching from Matauri Bay.

The Rainbow Warrior was a Greenpeace ship which played a key role in New Zealand’s history. Destroyed in 1985 by a covert French military operation in Auckland Harbour, the vessel was finally scuttled in Matauri Bay at the Cavalli islands. You can read more about the Rainbow Warrior here. Today it lies underwater as a fish sanctuary and diving attraction for visitors to the area. For those interested in exploring the reef and history of the Rainbow Warrior, we’ve put together a Rainbow Warrior dive guide.

The Rainbow Warrior wreck sits 18-27m deep. This depth means any divers must have the correct diving certifications. 


There are two primary operators who run diving expeditions in the area. These are Paihia Dive and Divezone Bay of Islands. The trips run from their own dive shops (Addresses Below).

Both dive shops run the trip a little differently, we recommend contacting them directly for more details. Booking in advanced is critical, especially during the busy season.

Paihia Dive

The team at Paihia Dive have been providing dive trips in the Bay of Islands since 1978, and were present during the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. They are the longest running operators in the area, and have a wealth of local experience. They also have a PADI 5 Star Resort rating. Open Water divers will need to dive the wrecks as part of a PADI Deep Adventure Dive. This will contribute to their Advanced Open Water certifications. Keep in mind this will cost $50

What’s On Offer

  • Bus from dive shop to the bay
  • Boating to the site
  • Gear Hire
  • Tanks and Weights 
  • Wreck Dive
  • Lunch ($12 Optional)
  • Reef dive
  • Snorkelling
  • Bus back to the dive shop
  • Advanced Open Water Certification

The full schedule is as follows:

7:45am – Organise equipment and paperwork, load minibus and trailer

8:30am – Drive 45 minutes north to Matauri Bay

9:15am – Set up scuba gear, put on wetsuits, run safety briefing, launch boats from the beach

9:45am-2:30pm –

  • Rainbow Warrior wreck dive
  • Cavalli Islands beach lunch/snorkelling
  • Reef Dives in the Cavalli Islands

2:30pm – Return to Matauri Bay

4:00pmArrive at Paihia

What to bring

For your Rainbow Warrior Dive, Paihia Dive recommends bringing a swimsuit, towel, sun block, camera, and something warm to wear after diving.


For more details on the experience and booking contact Paihia Dive directly:

Phone: +64 9 402 7551

Free: 0800 107 551(NZ Only)

Email: [email protected]

Address: PO Box 29, Paihia 0247, Bay of Islands, New Zealand


sea diver

Divezone Bay of Islands

Divezone Bay of Islands is a local one stop dive shop. With equipment, training, certifications and a number of trips (As well as kayaks and SUP). Through the summer, trips run daily, and weekly through the rest of the year. Trip destinations are decided by the skipper based on weather conditions and guest experience level. Booking is essential at Divezone as trips are organised based on a minimum and maximum number of divers. 


Contact the Divezone team for information on the experience and bookings:

Phone: 09 407 9986

Mobile: 027 4634 834

Email: [email protected]

Address: 5 Klinac Lane, Waipapa 0295


rainbow warrior memorial diving

Where to Stay For Your Rainbow Warrior Dive

Matauri Bay Holiday park is the obvious choice for those keen on the Rainbow Warrior Dive as the main launching site. We also offer awesome facilities, and a range of awesome accommodation options expert staff will ensure you have an amazing experience while you’re here. Click “Book Now” to lock in your stay!

Great place to stay, fantastic location. You basically turn a corner and see this wonderful view, where the holiday park is at the bottom. You are right on the beach, wonderful to listen to the waves lull you to sleep at night.

The amenities were extremely clean.
Such a wonderful location.

Jay from New Zealand