The ultimate way to dive one of the biggest and best wrecks in the world. Scheduled trips and charters run all year round.
Based at the very cosy and secluded Lermontov Lodge in Port Gore, only 5 minutes by boat to the Mikhail Lermontov, you will have unlimited access to this world class wreck dive and the untouched reefs of Port Gore.
Your adventure starts in Picton with a very scenic road trip winding your way though the native rain forest of the Queen Charlotte and Keneperu Sounds, ending up at Go Dives private Lodge at the very tip of New Zealand’s South island. On arrival you dine on a home cooked meal and prepare for the following days diving on the Lermontov by viewing a video and immersing yourself in our Lermontov Library and museum. In the morning our staff who have immense experience diving on the Lermontov, will fit you out with top of the line dive equipment as required and guide you safely at a ratio no more than 4 to 1 in and around the vastness of the ship. Areas visited will vary depending on your level of experience, assuring you safe and exhilarating dives like non other you will encounter.
Reporting Time in Picton: 4.00pm or by arrangement
For those traveling from Nelson, we can arrange to meet you at Linkwater, this will save you 30 minutes travel time each way. Supply own transport.
Or those not following us into Port Gore, directions and a map will be emailed on request- see photo gallery for travel map.
Return to Picton: Approximately 6.00pm the following day
Frequency: Scheduled multi-day tours all year with group charters on request.
24 Hour Tours: Scheduled 24 hr tours depart most days from October to April and include accommodation and meals. Tours on demand May to September
Reservations: We recommend you book well in advance, trips depart on a regular basis throughout each week of the summer period, Go Dive limits the amount of diving guests on each 24hr trip to 8. A 30% deposit will secure your reservation with full payment required prior to the trip.
Minimum Experience Rating: Open-water with cold water environmental orientation dive. Advanced certification required for limited penetration dives.
Tour Includes: Accommodation with bedding and towel, meals, guided diving, cylinders, air, weight belts. Rental equipment if required extra
Number of dives: Two dives per day, with a third optional during summer months (First two guided)
What to bring: Log book, proof of certification, warm clothes, hat, sunscreen. Transport: Return transport to the Lodge in Port Gore not included unless previously arranged with Go Dive.
Maximum divers per guide: 4
Recommendations/requirements: If you are not used to diving in a 7mm wetsuit, dry suit, or temperate waters, we ask that you do an equipment and temperate water orientation dive before diving the Lermontov. This can be done prior to the trip in Picton or the first dive of the trip in Port Gore.
Options: Nitrox, manifolded 300bar/DIN twin 12litre steel cylinders, Dive Rite Side-mount systems, personal dive guide, Scuba Discovery Dives and Snorkeling for non-divers. Full kit rental if you do not have your own.
IN DEPTH INFO
Go Dive guides are highly skilled, collectively have 1000’s of logged dives on the Lermontov and hold the TDI Advanced Wreck Diver rating, the only guides in the business in New Zealand to do so. No dive should be attempted on the Lermontov without the correct planning and preparation, or without a guide that has considerable experience in this type of diving environment and on the Lermontov. With our experience and knowledge of the wreck our guided dives can not be matched.
The Lermontov Lodge is tucked away in a sheltered cove in Port Gore, it is a modern facility built in 2001; it has endless hot water, 230 volt power supplied by Solar panels, inverter and generator, laundry facilities, 3 bedrooms, large lounge with DVD player and TV. Bedroom layout is 1 bedroom with 4 beds, 1 bedroom with 6 beds, 1 double bedroom and 1 twin in the lounge. But for your comfort we only sleep 5 guests. Layout allows for privacy and the lodge is a less expensive and more comfortable option to live-a-board tours. If you would like to reserve the double bedroom or have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when confirming your booking. All bedding is supplied along with bath towel.
Communication in Port Gore
Port Gore is remote, there is no cell or internet coverage with the closest 3G coverage being 15 minutes from the Lodge. All communication is via VHF radio Channel 66 back to our base in Picton. Call signs Go Dive 1 and Go Dive base. On longer multi-day trips we will arrange to take those who need to communicate with the outside world to an area that has 3G coverage.
Non Diving Activities
You will have the opportunity for post dive strolls along the shoreline, surrounding farm land and bush or possibly even a bit of fishing. This is a very remote part of New Zealand, with spectacularly stunning scenery which is seldom visited; most likely the only other living things you will see during your stay in Port Gore will be the abundant fish and bird life – plus the odd cow and sheep. The night sky is spectacular due to no light pollution, it is very likely you will see it as you have never seen before.
For the non-diver or for those who may want a break from diving, our shore based staff will be available to take you fishing in our tender or for the non-diver maybe a Scuba Discovery Dive or Snorkel in the sheltered bay below the lodge.
Children are more than welcome, with only a small charge for under 10 year old’s. Children must be accompanied at all times by a parent or caregiver.
Queen Charlotte Track extension
For those walking the track we can pick you up from Punga Cove at around 7pm and drop you back at 4pm the following day to continue on the track. Or if you want to do a day excursion from Punga, we can pick you up at 7.30am and drop off at 4.30pm. Extra charge applies
In the event that Go Dives departure and arrival times to and from Picton do not suit your travel itinerary, arrangements can be made with local water taxi operators to transport you to and from Punga Cove. If you are self driving, check out our map and directions to Port Gore in the right column.
New in 2014 is the option to fly directly from Wellington or Picton into Port Gore with Pelorus Air. This is an exhilarating flight with stunning scenery, and it doesn’t cost as much as you would think. See price page for details.
Using our fast day boat gives you easy access to all the wrecks or reefs in the area and allows for shore based surface intervals and lunch at the Lermontov Dive Lodge or on one of our private beaches between dives.
Dive Sites and time to reach them by boat from the Lermontov Dive Lodge
Blue Cod Point: 3 minutes: Our house reef where we do our familiarization, Scuba Discovery and Openwater training dives
Mikhail Lermontov: 5 minutes: 176 metres long the biggest cruise liner in the world, within recreational diving depths. See Lermontov page for more info.
Lastingham Wreck: 30 minutes: Sunk in 1884 now broken up but a very nice reef dive with abundant fish life.
Gannet Point: 15 minutes: A shallow reef dive with sea caves, huge crayfish and kelp gardens.
MULITI DAY TOURS
Scheduled multi day tours range between 2 to 6 days, include cooked meals, accommodation, diving, air, cylinders and weight belts. The first 2 dives are guided and takes place from our 6 metre dive barge. Further guided dives are optional, but must be prearranged. Check out the events calendar for dates or contact Go Dive to discuss date options.
New or Warm Water Divers
For newly trained or warm water divers, the Lermontov can be quite a challenge. So for your own safety and to avoid interrupting the experience of other divers in the group, we request you undertake a shallow orientation dive prior to diving the wreck. This can be completed prior to the trip in Picton or on the morning of the first day in the sheltered bay below the lodge in Port Gore.
Technical diving support is available on request with Nitrox, O2 and 3l Dil and O2 cylinders for rebreathers, 12litre twins, 6 litre slings and Sidemount systems available if prearranged. Go Dive staff are all Decompression Procedures and Advanced Wreck trained and are happy to guide those with suitable qualifications on some of the more challenging dives after an assessment dive. Surface supplied 100% O2 deployed at 5 metres on all technical dives as emergency decompression gas.
An Important Safety Message
Go Dives main goal, other than to deliver to you an exciting adventure, is to maintain our 100% safety record. The Lermontov is a fantastic wreck, but is unforgiven for those who are unprepared or dive beyond their personal limitations. There are many interesting dives across the wreck and within Port Gore that suit the less experienced diver, and of course more challenging dives to suit the more experienced diver. Your first dive on the wreck will be a familiarization dive on the outside of the wreck. Prior to subsequent dives we will discuss with you what areas of the wreck are of interest to you and attempt to meet your expectations. However the final decision on what area of the wreck we visit will be up to Go Dive.
Fit to Dive “Drugs and Alcohol Policy”
Go Dive maintains a policy that prevents anyone from entering the water that shows signs of the effects of drugs or alcohol and that we deem “not fit to dive” for any other reason, including physical or psychological reasons.