Discover a magical world beneath the surface in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Tourism New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand

Aotearoa, New Zealand has revealed a magical world beneath the ocean’s surface for International Mermaid Day, in partnership with PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®), the world’s largest purpose-driven diving organisation.

Mesmerising underwater footage released today showcases official PADI Mermaid team members from around the world exploring renowned international dive site, the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, in the country’s Northland region.

Combining elements of freediving with wearing a ‘monofin’ or mermaid tail, the art of ‘mermaiding’ is making waves worldwide as an accessible and captivating way to connect with and explore beneath the surface.

PADI’s Mermaid Program launched globally in 2021, and has since built a strong wave of momentum capturing the imagination and curiosity of all ages and genders. Anyone over the age of six can start their mermaid journey, and learn to breath-hold, swim with a tail, read ocean conditions, and respect and protect marine life.

Certified PADI Mermaids have a unique passion for ocean advocacy, along with a deep care and connection to the ocean and all life that calls it home.

With expansive coastlines, marine reserves*, abundant wildlife, and hundreds of offshore islands, Aotearoa New Zealand boasts a plentiful paradise for inquisitive travellers looking to immerse themselves in the natural environment.

“The waters of Aotearoa are a special place for me personally, having had the privilege to explore above and beneath the surface as both an adventure seeker and a diver,” says Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO.

“I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the Poor Knights Islands – the crown jewel of the Tutukaka coastline. From the dramatic topography to the thick kelp forests teeming with the unique combination of cold and subtropical marine species brought in by the Eastern Australian Current, not many dive sites have ever rivaled this one for me.” 

The unique geography of the South Pacific destination creates a diverse underwater playground to explore from twinkling, sub-tropical waters and islands of the far north, to wild and wonder in the fiords of the deep south.

Andrew Waddel, General Manager – Australia, Tourism New Zealand said, “Aotearoa New Zealand has thousands of kilometres of diverse coastline, with world class-diving, marine reserves and underwater galaxies to explore. For those seeking snorkelling experiences, Poor Knights Island in Northland is home to some of the country’s best diving, whilst those looking for adrenaline can try kayaking with dolphins in Kaikōura or jetboating on the Shotover River in Queenstown.

When travelling in New Zealand, manuhiri (visitors) can take the opportunity to embrace the Tiaki Promise– a commitment to act as guardians, protecting and preserving nature and culture.”

“We are proud to team up with Tourism New Zealand this International Mermaid Day. TNZ is a like-minded partner devoted to the Tiaki Promise – the commitment to care for the people, place and culture of Aotearoa,” says Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO.

For one lucky traveller from the US and Australia, Tourism New Zealand and PADI are turning mermaid dreams into reality by giving away the ultimate underwater experience, including:

Return flights to and accommodation in New Zealand

  • Discover Scuba Experience at Poor Knights Islands with Dive! Tutukaka
  • Finfolk mermaid transformation including Mermaid Sustainable Seas Beauty Kit, and PADI Water Lovers Kit

Find out more details, including full prize inclusions and terms and conditions, visit