PADI Course Director, PADI EFR Instructor Trainer, EMP Medic First Aid Instructor Trainer, Skills Active Workplace Assessor, ERMA Cylinder Testing Signatory, Local Launch Operator.

Ph: 07-867 1580
Mobile: 027-433 9433

Darrell Bird - Facility Owner/Operator

Darrell learnt to dive in the Red Sea in Egypt. He worked at dive facilities in both Australia and NZ before opening Dive Zone Whitianga in October 2004 and HE'S LOVING IT!!! You'll find Darrell in shorts and jandals all year round. Always the action man, Darrell loves not only diving, but any kind of adventure in the outdoors. His enthusiasm for diving is unmatched - and its hard not to feel inspired by his stories and pure passion for what he does.  Darrell has dived widely around the world, including with infamous WWI wrecks of Scapa Flow - Orkney Island, WWII wrecks of Truk Lagoon, Galapagos Islands, Rainbow Reef Fiji, Wrecks of Croatia, Phillipines, Malaysia, Great Barrier Reef Australia, Niue, Tonga and Vanuatu as well as all over NZ.   

Darrell and his wife Linda take in each and every student as part of their Dive Zone family, caring and guiding them through the course and their journey to becoming a Dive Instructor. This will become your home away from home before you know it.

Linda Bird

Linda has lived in Whitianga for over 28 years and since teaming up with Dive Zone owner Darrell, and becoming a mum to their daughter Caitlin, Linda discovered she also enjoys playing in the diving world - particularly the warm tropical dive trips she organises!  Linda has dived across the Pacific (Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Niue), Philippines, Raja Ampat Indonesia as well as braving the cooler temps of Fiordland.  Linda is always willing to share info on these locations.

You will find Linda managing our retail/admin world where she organises our marketing, web site and all the other tasks that hubby Darrell throws at her.

Credentials: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

Mobile:  027-482 7273

Caitlin Bird

Caitlin learnt to swim in the birthing pool at Waikato Hospital in May 2008. She loves the water and would swim all day.  Caitlin completed her Junior Open Water as soon as she turned 10 - of course.  Her favourite dives to date are those she completed on the Rainbow Reef in Fiji where she spotted Octopus and Turtles.  She has gone on to do her Adventure Diver rating.  She looks forward to being old enough to further her dive training.

Credentials:  PADI Junior Adventure Diver

Craig Rasmussen

'Captain' Craig is our right hand man, skipper of our Dive Vessels - Scuba Doo, The Mystery Machine, Under Pressure, & Scrappy, our Service Tech and is one of our Senior Instructors teaching Dive & Freedive courses and running our Marine Academy programme.

Craig loves exploring whenever he can and has been to dive the sharks in the South Island and South Australia, enjoyed the Philippines and Tonga.  Ever the shark seeker and always keen to share stories.

Credentials: PADI Master Instructor, PADI Free Dive Instructor, PADI EFR Instructor, EMP Medic First Aid Instructor, Inshore Launch Master, Instructor of Master Small Dive Boat, ERMA Cylinder Testing Signatory.  

Mobile:  027-532 3602

Ryan Hansen

Ryan has a great love for anything water. As well as teaching our Tertiary and Recreational dive courses and sometimes Skipper of our boats, Ryan has completed the first ever PADI Free Diving Instructor training course and is keen to grow Freediver training here at Dive Zone.  

Credentials:  PADI Master Instructor, PADI Free Dive Instructor, PADI EFR Instructor, EMP Medic First Aid Instructor, Instructor of Master of a Small Commercial Dive Boat, SRL Skipper Restricted Limits.

Tara Kingan

Tara completed her Diploma In Professional Scuba Instruction in 2018 and has been with us ever since. Tara is part of our team teaching our Tertiary programmes, our Mercury Bay Area School Marine Academy programme, and our PADI Recreational Dive Courses.  She has an ever enthusiastic nature and a willingness to assist and see you conquer any challenges.

Credentials: PADI IDC Staff Instructor, PADI EFR Instructor, Master of a Small Commercial Dive Boat, PADI Freediver

Sam Jackson

Sam is our bright star in the shop who qualified as a PADI Specialty Dive Instructor with us a few years back. She has since returned to us as our Retail Manager in our fabulous retail store -  and you may well see her out teaching our school groups too! Sam has a great background in retail as well as a wealth of dive knowledge.  If you are looking for advice on what dive products may suit you, Sam is your go to. 

Credentials: PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, PADI EFR Instructor, Master of a Small Commercial Dive Boat, PADI Freediver

Amber Boyd

Amber is born and bred in the Coromandel and joined us in December 2004 after completing her Diploma of Marine Studies at Tauranga Polytech. She has worked with us ever since, still finding time to make babies to bolster the junior division of the Dive Zone PADI Seal Team.  Amber works part time and helps with our Marine Academy programme and recreational dive training.  When not working at Dive Zone Amber also is the local Coromandel Co-ordinator of Experiencing Marine Reserves – teaching school kids about the values of Marine Reserves.
Credentials: PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, PADI EFR Instructor


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