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“Brilliant Day of Diving at the Poor Knights”
Review of Yukon Dive

Yukon Dive
Ranked #3 of 12 things to do in Tutukaka
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Yukon Dive is proudly 100% Kiwi owned and operated by husband and wife team Noel and Jo. We are experienced qualified dive Instructors who are extremely passionate about our environment and it's future and we pride ourselves in offering a professional, friendly and personal service. Our mission is to share our passion for the underwater world of the Poor Knights, with a focus on friendship, a spirit of adventure and a commitment to safety, the environment and our community. Enjoy the ultimate Poor Knights experience with a small group. Teeming with life, the unique marine environment of of the Poor Knights Marine Reserve provides exceptional scenery above and below the water. Whether you are an experienced diver or just beginning, snorkeling or sightseeing, we will both do our best to make sure that your experience at the Poor Knights is one to remember and tell all your friends about!
Level Contributor
44 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Brilliant Day of Diving at the Poor Knights”
Reviewed 10 April 2014

My wife and I came up to Tutukaka last weekend as we had booked a liveaboard to do some diving at the Poor Knights Islands. Unfortunately, due to a grim forecast for Sunday it was cancelled, but we were recommended Yukon Dive for a day's diving around the islands instead. We were really glad we came diving with Yukon, they were absolutely brilliant. Noel, our captain, was extremely welcoming and helpful, and he managed to get us to two brilliant dive sites despite some challenging conditions out at sea. Despite not being able to give his usual lunchtime tour around the islands due to the swell, he did an excellent talk in the RikoRiko cave! Our divemaster Rachel was wonderful, really excellent dive briefings and some splendid dives. The highlight was getting to spend some time at 26 metres with an enormous stingray in the RikoRiko cave, it was an amazing experience. We rented wetsuits, gloves, and regs, which were all top notch. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Visited April 2014
Thank D A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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97 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
110 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Highly recommend”
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Very professional people. Equipment excellent - forgot my Visa card and were very trusting in letting me pay on my return. Had problem with mask and took in too much water making me panic but my dive master Sarah was brilliant and got me back to the boat. Thank you again for getting me to the surface.

Visited January 2014
Thank BobChris_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Can't recommend Yukon highly enough: professional, friendly and knowledgeable”
Reviewed 10 March 2014

I was a bit nervous visiting the Poor Knights as I hadn't been diving for several years. I'm so glad I booked with Yukon: from the moment I phoned Jo was friendly and accommodating and even managed to 'buddy me up' with another diver who hadn't been out for a while (hi Marie, if you read this!).

I booked two days' diving and both were perfect. Glen and Noel were brilliant skippers, really knowledgeable about the area and passionate about diving. Our guide, Rachel, was helpful and reassuring, as well as friendly (I found all the staff to be very warm and attentive). The dives we did were awesome: loads to see, and I particularly liked East Canyon which is a beautiful wall dive with some fun surges to 'ride' on the safety stop.

Overall, Yukon were the perfect mix of professionalism and friendliness - go on, call them!

Visited March 2014
Thank ponygirl131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Don't be fooled!”
Reviewed 7 March 2014

I went with these guys to get away from the big Commercial Operators. In my contact with Jo throughout she was positive and friendly and felt a good trip would ensue. On arrival money, money, money became the theme. During the cruise out to Poor Knights I tried to engage Noel to little avail. In the water during a considerable surge I felt it hard to stabilize and consequently failed to get any enjoyment out of the day - worse my ears took a pounding as a result and unable to dive the second day. Also another diver ended up very distressed and Noel's reaction was the diver was a nuisance and took a very oblivious attitude to the diver's distress. The company promises sharing the joy of the day with a few drinks and Noel on this occasion said:- sorry guys got a hot date so can't join you tonight - minor but consistent.
John P

Visited March 2014
Thank jcpauwels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jo T, Owner at Yukon Dive, responded to this review, 10 March 2014
Hi jcpauwels,

It was a pleasure to meet you the other day. Thank you for your kind words, I’m glad you found your contact with me positive and friendly.

Whilst the time I spent with you on Wednesday morning before our boat departed for the Poor Knights was brief, I’m very sorry that you got the impression it was all about the money, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, there is a financial transaction required before departure as with any service/business. However, we want nothing more than for our divers to have a great time diving with us and to go away with wonderful memories. I am sorry this does not appear to be the case for you.

You had booked and paid in full for 2 days of diving with us including tanks and weights, the first was a 3 dive day on Wednesday to be followed by a 2 dive day on Thursday. On Wednesday your dives were at Blue Mao Mao Arch, Barren Arch and Cave Bay. Yes there was some surge at the dive sites, however I have spoken with both your guide Mary and our Instructor Charni who was taking an Advanced Open Water Course on the day and both of them agreed, that it was nothing to cause any concern or difficulty. Surge is a natural condition in the Ocean and beyond our control.

All of your dive times were 40 minutes or longer. On my checking with Mary and Charni, they said other than a few buoyancy issues you appeared to be having, you gave no indication to either of them that you were struggling with the conditions. We had no idea that you were so dissatisfied with the diving or in fact our service.

As it was a 3 dive day our return to the Marina was approximately 5.30pm as planned, and yes we did have prior arrangements for Wednesday evening. Noel was very happy to be taking Mary and myself to a friends for dinner, hence the joke about a "hot date" with not one, but two ladies. He does like to joke about and I am sorry if this offended you.

Whilst Noel, Mary and myself had to leave by 6pm, there was an open invitation to everyone to have a few drinks at the Game Fishing Club with our Instructor Charni, 3 out of the 5 divers we had on board did join her (including the distressed diver). It is a shame you decided not to. After our chat in the carpark, (which would have been the perfect opportunity to raise your concerns/dissatisfaction), you chose to head back to your accommodation immediately.

You lead us all to believe that everything was ok, particularly when you left your dive gear onboard the boat in preparation for diving the following day. It was not until you sent me a text the following morning at 7.50am to advise you were having problems with your left ear and you felt it unwise to dive so you would be calling down to the boat to pick up your dive gear. Your text finished with a “PS I assume I have lost any refund”. My response was that we were sorry to hear you would not be diving again and that you were correct, as per our Cancellation Policy with this late notice, no refund would be made.

Again you and I chatted in the carpark when you were picking up your dive gear, all light conversation making only reference to your ears being the reason you chose not to dive given your occupation as a pilot and you could not risk any injury. At this time, I provided you with a full refund for the tanks and weights which were not used on Thursday.

With regards to the other diver who was distressed, through her own admission it was not dive related but as a result of jetlag, personal and emotionally related. This was one of a number of anxiety attacks she has experienced on her trip away from her own country and she was very embarrassed but grateful for the support she received from our Instructor Charni, who sat with and comforted her for the entire journey home. I’m not sure what else you would suggest we do?

We have complete faith in our fully trained crew not only to assess if the situation was dive related, to be compassionate and caring, providing one on one support, in this instance, woman to woman.

I am sorry if you mistook Noel’s reaction to be uncaring. As Skipper his role is very clear, to get everyone out there and back safely, without incident and with as much enjoyment as possible. Like on a plane, we would hardly expect the Pilot to come out of the cockpit to comfort a distressed passenger when they have perfectly well trained and equipped crew to handle the situation.

Please excuse the lengthy response, we feel it is only fair to give those divers who use this form of social media as a tool in deciding who to book their dives with, both sides of the story and a true reflection of the circumstances on the day and our dive operation.

We wish you all the best and I would be only too happy to discuss anything further with you. Given our numerous emails, phone conversations and face to face contact while you were here, it is such a shame you did not feel you could give us an opportunity to discuss your concerns in person. Please feel free to email me or phone me on 09 4344506.

Jo Thomson – Owner/Manager
Yukon Dive, Tutukaka, NZ
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nice, France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect ! We highly recommend it !!!”
Reviewed 24 February 2014

The perfect day : an excellent boat, lot of space. Three awesome dives, with plenty of colors, nudibranchs, murays, scorpion fish... and an amazing environnement (caves, arches, volcanic rock, deep walls).
The only frustating thing is that there are hundreds of possible dives sites to explore on Poor Knight ;P One could spend his life there !
Lovely crew, very kind and helpful. Never felt safer.
Thank you so much guys, we will come back, for sure !
- Charlotte and Florian -

Visited February 2014
Thank florian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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