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Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Syracuse, New York
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18 posts
14 reviews
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Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

We are planning a visit to NZ and would like to do the Great White Shark cage diving through Southern Aqua Adventures. Sounds like they have good reviews, but I'm under the assumption that Great Whites migrate or maybe aren't as frequent in the NZ winter months which is why SAA doesn't open for business until December 1st. Or is this due to rough weather?

We would go either December 3rd or 6th. I know they give a voucher good for one year if you do not see a Great White, but I'm coming all the way from New York, and doubt I'll be back within a year to use the voucher. Has anyone done these dives in the begining of December? Did you see lots of Sharks? I'm just concerned I'll cough up over $900 and not see any Great Whites! Any info/insight you can provide would be VERY appreciated!!

Thanks!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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1. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

hello HG :)

I can't answer your questions but am sure you will get a good response if you ask the dive company directly.

it would be helpful to future travellers if you post any further information you find out on this thread.

Here's a review tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g255123-d2…

best of luck :)

Syracuse, New York
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18 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

I've read all the reviews, they all seem really good, but most do not mention what month they actually went. I did want to post my question off of the Southern Aqua Adventures review, but I didn't see how it was possible as it only allowed options for reviews. I'm new to tripadvisor, so I may just be overlooking it. If there's a way to ask questions off of the reviews, let me know! Thanks!

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g676238-d2…

California
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7,677 posts
71 reviews
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3. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

I think WL was suggesting that you ask your questions to the dive company directly, and just gave the link to the TA reviews for reference. She also suggested that it might help other travelers to post the dive company's response on THIS thread here at the forum. Much of my research has been the result of a search of these forums.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,369 posts
84 reviews
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4. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Cheers Dec, yep, that's exacrtly what I meant.

HG, send an email to the dive company - the email address is on their website - then once you find out the answers to your questions please return here and post the information on this thread.

That way future travellers will be greatly helped :)

Syracuse, New York
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18 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

We had reached out to Mike at Souther Aqua Adventures. He was very quick to respond and answered all our questions plus some. We had mentioned our concerns regarding cage diving in December regarding the possibilities of seeing sharks. He advised that the sharks would start turning up in larger numbers based on when the seal pups are being born in September/October. He did say that they do start seeing sharks in November, but they prefer to start in December to increase our chances. He said "we have no less opportunity of seeing sharks this time of year than any other time especially if you book for two days". He also confirmed that swimming with seals was included if you are overnighting. He said that there is a small cove where the sharks can not access for snorkelling which is a creche for pups so there is no danger of getting gobbled up by sharks when snorkeling! I will post this on the other link as well to help people out! Thanks!

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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6. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

I watched a TV Doco last week about tagging sharks off Stewart Island. I had no idea these things were swimming around: they were HUGE. Certainly the last time I'm going swimming down there; although to my knowledge there has never been a shark attack off Oreti Beach, so maybe there are enough seals to keep them satisfied.

Wisconsin
3 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

I have heard this company is going out of business. According to the article below, they are in liquidation. We have booked with them for a January dive, and when we heard they were in liquidation, we emailed them several times, with no direct answer. Then we called our cc companies, who reversed the charges. Now, the company is fighting the charges because the are technically still open. Does anyone know if it's possible to bounce back from liquidation? I didn't think so. We really don't want this part of our trip ruined because this company is trying to collect money prior to going out of business.

stuff.co.nz/southland-times/business/7695122…

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,369 posts
84 reviews
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8. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Yikes, I know nothing about the company but the article makes it sound rather final.

I doubt they will beable to make a decent case for enforcing payment. Give your CC company a copy of the article - best of luck :)

edit - their website is still current and they appear to be accepting new bookings - so who knows!

Edited: 03 October 2012, 01:07
Syracuse, New York
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18 posts
14 reviews
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9. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Please keep us updated with anything you hear or any responses you receive! We are scheduled to go in December, and they already charged us the full amount for two people on the overnight trip! Will not be happy if it gets canceled and we don't see that money again!

Wisconsin
3 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Hi everyone,

Regarding my previous post, our group just got some news directly from the company owner, Mike. At this point he is confident that he will be running in January. Sounds like he is operating a smaller operation, with a boat he has used in the past for smaller groups. He initiated the contact, and seems sure he will be able to hold up his end of the deal. After discussion amongst our group, we are going to stay with this company, and hope for the bast. We really want the company to pull through this, as two of us come from families at have operated small businesses, so we only want to see a company that has offered such great service (noted from past reviews) pull through this. We will keep you posted on how our trip goes (it's at the end of January) and hope to hear good things from those going in January.