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Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

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Syracuse, New York
posts: 18
reviews: 6
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!!


16 replies to this topic
Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 21,817
reviews: 48
11. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Best of luck and yes please, let us know how you found the diving :)

Bluff, New Zealand
posts: 2
12. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

I am the owner of SAA that has gone out of bussiness unfortunatly as we were into retail in a big way this was a huge liability on us so when that feel over our boat side got dragged in as well by the bank.

We are happy to inform that we will be operating this season in a slightly smaller capacity trading as Shark Experience and would like to thank those that supported and had confidence in us to hold there bookings to see what was to become of us.

Our website address has changed www.sharkexperience.co.nz

We look forward to meeting you all some day and thank you for the positive


Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 21,817
reviews: 48
13. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Thanks for the update K and best of luck for the summer season :)

Dunedin, New Zealand
posts: 2
reviews: 9
14. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Hi Laurakat6

While I commend your backing of small businesses, I feel your support of a company that went into liquidation owing over $860,000 is a little misguided. Over $177,000 of this is to small businesses themselves, who have been left out of pocket by Southern Aqua Adventures. The fact that Mike and Karwyn (although there is no mention of Karwyn in either of the SAA or Shark Experience company documents) can start up an entirely new business, without any intention of paying back these creditors, wreaks of pure dishonesty. This also causes confusion for travellers like yourself, who need certainty with their travel plans and not be worrying about whether your money will ever be seen again.

I genuinely hope that Mike and Karwyn will be able to pull a boat out of thin air for all the clients who have, in good faith, booked with him this season. ...Not to mention a new cage, after his previous cage was condemned due to poor construction.

posts: 3
reviews: 1
15. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

Hello brainyblocks,

My group has opted out of the shark diving experience for several reasons, one being we we not comfortable using this company under its new name based on some of the issues we read about and you mentioned. You're point about the debt they are not paying back impacting other small businesses is not one we had considered, as we don't know the ins and outs of the company. Now that you bring it to light, it can be listed as another reason of why we made a good decision in opting out of this experience. When I root for any small business, it is certainly not so they can have a detrimental effect on another one.

Thank you for your insight. I truly appreciate having the opinions of people in the area. We actually contacted some friends in your area for this very reason prior to making the decision to get our money back. As far as those who decided to stick with this company, I hope they have an enjoyable experience. I also hope the other businesses affected by this are able to move forward without too many setbacks.



New Delhi, India
posts: 112
reviews: 145
16. Re: Shark Diving off Stewart Island in December

We booked a shark dive with Mike of Shark Experience in March and had no problem keeping in touch . He was always on the email and phone for any clarification . Unfortunately , as we landed at Invercargill the day before , the weather turned nasty with gale force winds . Mike called us up at the hotel and offered to hand over the money in cash / CC return since the chances of the dive coming off the next day were bleak . On getting to know of our extreme disappointment [ we had a similar washout in Hermanus , South Africa ] and the fact we had traveled all the way from India with high hopes , he offered to meet us at Bluff next morning when , he said , he would try his level best . He met us next morning in the most wild weather and patiently showed us that even the lobster boats were not out . He then handed over the money in cash as refunding by CC would attract surcharges on us . In fact he gave us 2 dollars extra . We felt most rotten taking the money back as we ourselves run a small self owned clinic against all odds and had a trying time financially in the early years . Mike rang us up 3 days later to report good weather but by that time we were out at Kaikoura . We vouch for the honesty and professional integrity of Mike based on our experience and would be back some day to settle the extra 2 dollars .

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