Aramoana (The Mole)
Produced by the Otago University Dive Club
Access: Good road access. Most people have to park in the carpark and walk out to their site. Dive Otago have a key to the gate allowing access onto the Mole itself but vehicle access is usually limited to Dive Otago dives only.
Weather / Sea conditions: The Mole is sheltered from all winds except the northeast. The best diving is on the harbour side of the Mole. A strong tidal current may be present off the end so only dive this spot during slack tide.
Visibility: Usually best at high tide, between 3 and 6 metres, though can get over 10m in the right conditions.
Description: Originally called Cargill's Pier. The Mole is a man-made rock wall constructed to protect the harbour entrance from silting. It directs the tidal jet and keeps the channel clear. Between 1921 and 1945 several hulks were scuttled along the Mole to protect it from erosion by the sea, and these make for interesting diving. Dive Otago have a map of the wrecks if you are interested. Generally the further along the Mole you go, the deeper the water is.
Night diving and diver training are common activities at the Mole.
The area has a fantastic array of sponges of all shapes and colours, with many slugs, snails, nudibranches, etc. There are also quite a few fish, especially Moki, Trumpeter, Greenbone, Red cod, Rock cod and a few baby crayfish. The Mole is a voluntary marine reserve by agreement of local dive clubs.
Depth: Deepest off the very end at about 30 metres, although most dives are around 10 - 15 metres.