Open 7 days, Sunday to Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday & Saturday 8am-6pm

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 PADI 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, Nitrox

Mobile:  027-482 7273

Caitlin Bird

Caitlin loves the water and would swim all day.  She 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 and Niue where she loved watching the sea snakes.  Caitlin has gone on to do her Adventure Diver rating.  

Credentials:  PADI Junior Adventure Diver

Craig Rasmussen

'Captain' Craig started as our first Dive Instructor student back in 2004 and has been with us ever since.  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.  Completing his Diploma with us back in 2014, Ryan has been a keen team member ever since.   As well as teaching our Tertiary and Recreational dive courses and one of our Skippers of our boats, Ryan has completed the first ever PADI Free Diving Instructor training course and is keen to grow Free diver training here at Dive Zone.  Ryan has a passion for his photography and loves to share his images on our social media sites.

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

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

Chelsie Geldard

Chelsie is our admin wiz and retail manager who loves getting outdoors and keeping active, whether it be in the water, in the bush or in the gym.

Chelsie joined us full time in February 2023 and is currently completing her PADI Rescue. Chelsie completed her PADI Open water in 2019 and has been exploring our Coromandel waters ever since.

Chelsie has a passion for helping others, in her spare time she is a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor specializing in Womens Boxfit and Crossfit/HIIT style training.

 Credentials: PADI Advanced Open Water

Celvin Curtis

Celvin hales from Wales and decided on a change in career later in life.  He brings a wealth of life experience to the table along with his Diploma In Professional Scuba Instruction that he undertook with us in 2022.  Celvin has been working through summer teaching recreational dive training and this year has stepped into teach our Diploma program alongside our senior Instructors. 

Credentials:  PADI IDC Staff Instructor. Master of a Small Dive Boat.  PADI EFR Instructor

Tony Kemp

Tony had a variety of life experiences before undertaking his Diploma In Professional Scuba Instruction with us in 2022.  Ever keen, Tony gained experience while on course helping out with the numerous school groups and began working for us full time over summer.  Tony has been teaching recreational training and assisting in our service area - tank testing etc.

Credentials:  PADI IDC Staff Instructor. Master of a Small Dive Boat.  PADI EFR Instructor

Max Ross

Max has been playing in, on and around the waters of Mercury Bay since he was 12 years old. He has recently turned a lifelong interest in the ocean into a career. Formerly a computer programmer and then a high school teacher, Max is now doing work that involves adventures on the ocean. Max got his scuba certification the day he turned 15 (a long time ago now!). He has dived Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Hawaii, Bluff and Minerva Reef.

Credentials: Skipper Restricted Limits, Open Water Scuba Instructor, PADI EFR Instructor


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