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Victoria Scuba Diving

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Travel Guide Oceania Australia Victoria Victoria Scuba Diving

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Introduction

Whilst not traditionally thought of for scuba diving, Victoria is actually one of the world's best locations for wreck diving. Port Phillip Bay, on which the city of Melbourne is located, is home to over 600 wrecks. There are also some wonderful, easy shore dives under the numerous piers around Port Phillip Bay.

There are many other fantastic scuba diving sites across Australia. Check out more information about:

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Dive Sites & Accessibility

Pier & Shore Dives

Birdrock Ave (Mt Martha Reef)
Depth: 4-7m
Suitable for: Beginners
Location: Beach entry from sand after a 200 meter walk down steps from the Mount Martha car park
Marine Life/Features: Mostly rock, kelp and weed with some sand. Is a great dive because of the bommies and small walls which are fun to explore. Some good soft coral/sponges with a few hard coral around the place. Leather jackets and a few small fish, but overall not much fish life. Star Fish, sea urchins, crabs, sea cumbers.

Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Pier
Depth: 4-7m
Suitable for: Beginners to Intermediate
Water movement/currents: Best dived at slack water as current moves fairly fast here perpendicular (across) to the pier and allows for more areas to be dived if the current is stopped. However even when the currents running you can still have a very good dive if your careful and use the iron cladding on the side of the pier to sheild you from the current. One side of the pier has been blocked off with a thin wall running from the surface to half way to the bottom, the wall/cladding is covered in sponge life making it interesting to swim along this part up off the bottom in 2m of water out of the current. Theres also a landing to jump off half way out and has two ladders to get out via at the end of your dive.
Marine Life / Features: Lots of stuff to look at with seahorses and nudis very common. The high current means good life as the current brings in food. One side of the pier is also a marine reserve and is a NO TAKE ZONE. Sand under the pier but the growth is excellent not only over the pilions but also a steel sheet cladding on the side of the pier that serves to protect the yachts in the marina against waves and current. Great dive thats very different to the average pier as it ends up almost being a wall dive instead of looking at the bottom.

Davies Bay Road Reef, Mt Eliza
Depth: 4-7m
Suitable for: Beginners
Water movement/currents: Not effected by current
Location: Melways Map 101 F8. At the end of the Davies Bay Road is a small car park with stairs leading down to the beach.
Cautions: If doing a night dive, there is no shore lights, so take a beacom to guide you back in.
Marine life/Features: Mostly flat reef with a few small rocks with good growth, sponges and hard corals in the area near the rocks on the left hand side of the bay. Its around 7m deep here and is great on the swim to the reef marker. Around the reef marker its 1m deep and falls away to 6m and forms a reef out of many piles of rocks. Two very different areas to dive at the one site. Lots of life for the north/mid part of the bay.

Dromana Pier
Depth: 1-5m
Suitable for: Beginners
Water movement/currents: Dromana Pier lies in very shallow water, which means depending on the tide you may have to do a side-roll entry.
Marine Life / Features: Snorkel directly out from the pier (maybe about 200m) and you should start to see the pylons of the old jetty. At the end of these pylons there are some rail wheels - they're covered in seaweed now but still recognisable. Here you can see fiddler rays, nudibranchs, leatherjackets and more.

Flinders Pier
Depth: 3 - 5m
Suitable for: Beginners
Water movement/currents: Best dived on the high tide after a period of northerly winds. A giant stride from the first boat landing on the pier or a beach entry and exit can be made. Good ladders drop down under the water level from the pier in a few places to assist your exit.
Marine Life / Features: Flinders Pier is famous for its Weedy Seadragon population. Lots of grass to either side of the pier which covers the entire bay, directly under the pier the bottom is mostly sand with not many rocks. However there's a large engine block, dredge bucket and lots of junk to look at all under the pier. 50 meters past the end of the pier and a few meters ever so slightly to the right is a broken up wreck which is worth a look however it is broken up and only rises 1m above the sand. You'll see squid, old wife, octopus, hermit crabs, leather jackets, cow fish, plus more.

Linley Point Boat Ramp, Mornington / Fisherman's Beach
Depth: 4-7m
Suitable for: Beginners
Location: 2 km south of Mornington pier. 38° 13′ 35.15″ S 145° 1′ 32.7″ E Best to go out along the North side of the reef then return along the South side.
Entry/Exit: Enter over the rocks at the Western end of the Fisherman's Beach boat ramp area.
Hazards: Need to beware of the small boat traffic operating from the Fisherman's Beach boat ramp.
Marine Life/Features: The start of the reef is mostly flat with lots of kelp but as you near the middle red marker you have lots of car sized rocks and bommies that hide lots of life if you look. You can follow lots of the bommies which are mostly around 5 meters in between the two red markers. Squid, old wife, octopus, leather jackets, cow fish, pot bellied seahorses plus more.

Mordialloc Pier
Depth: 2-6m
Suitable for: Beginners
Location: 38° 12′ 44.7″ S 145° 2′ 0.6″ E
Entry / Exit: Entry/Exit: A giant stride from the 3 metre high car park wall near the ladders. Can exit via the ladders, or by using the inlet ledge and climbing up the wall.
Water movement/currents: Make sure you dont dive it after lots of rain as the mordialloc creek dumps mud into the water and ruins the visability. Needs Notherly winds or no winds for a few days for the site to be worth diving.
Marine Life/Features: Puffer and Globe fish are the only common fish here. Has lots to see under the pier in terms of growth from kelp to sea grass and some nice sponges. Even has some resident shopping trolleys and assorted junk which makes the dive interesting.

Mordialloc Reef
Depth: 2-4m
Suitable for: Beginners
Marine Life/Features: Lots of scattered reef areas in a mostly sandy area. Growth is weed and kelp with two really nice rocks covered in excellent growth. The reef streches from 50 meter off the end of the Mordialloc pier all the way to the beaumaris cliffs with some areas better than others and the best parts of the reef are 200 meters offshore. The area directly 90 degrees off the right hand side of the pier half way along the pier is OK and gives a shallow dive on the way back in from doing the length of the pier. Not a lot of fish life as its a long way from the heads. Really only worth doing as some extra dive time on the Mordialloc pier.

Mornington Pier / Schnapper Point
Depth: 3 - 9m
Suitable for: Beginners
Location: 38° 12′ 47.8″ S 145° 1′ 56.82″ E
Water movement/currents:
Entry / Exit: Not many places to exit so the best place to enter and exit is at the end of the pier where 3 ladders are placed. A giant stride from the 3 meter high car park wall near the ladders.
[i]Bottom composition:
Varied bottom depending on the area which means you wont get bored as its changing the whole dive. Lots of large ledges and bolders, to sea grass covered rocks to silty mud. Lots of growth on rocks under the pier.
Hazards: The bottom has lots of silt so dont dive near someone with bad bcd control, it will take ages to clear.
Marine Life/Features: Mornington Pier is a popular training site with plenty to see. The depth goes to about 9m depending on the tide, and there are big schools of old wives and zebrafish, huge stingrays, seahorses, hulafish and octopus. Squid, old wife, octopus, hermit crabs, leather jackets, cow fish, pot bellied seahorses plus more.

Point Franklin (Portsea) Reef
Depth: 5-16m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Location: Shore entry from either side of the point from the sand. Another entry can be from the end of Portsea pier when the tide is half an hour from reaching slack and using the tide to take you to the point.
Water movement/current: The tide can be very strong here so if your not used to this area best to dive it only at slack or with an experienced melb diver. If you take care of the current the depth can get past 14m as the point is very close to the shipping channel and the reason the current is strong.
Marine Life/Features: Weed, grass and kelp with bommies and very large ledges to have a look in. Sponge garden is out further at the end of the sand gutters. Squid, old wife, octopus, hermit crabs, leather jackets, cow fish, weedy sea dragons and pot bellied seahorses plus more. A site with a huge amount of variation in such a small area.

Point Franklin (Portsea) Reef
Depth: 5-16m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Location: Shore entry from either side of the point from the sand. Another entry can be from the end of Portsea pier when the tide is half an hour from reaching slack and using the tide to take you to the point.
Water movement/current: The tide can be very strong here so if your not used to this area best to dive it only at slack or with an experienced Melbourne diver. If you take care of the current the depth can get past 14m as the point is very close to the shipping channel, hence part of the reason the current is strong.
Marine Life/Features: Weed, grass and kelp with bommies and very large ledges to have a look in. Sponge garden is out further at the end of the sand gutters. ASquid, old wife, octopus, hermit crabs, leather jackets, cow fish, weedy sea dragons and pot bellied seahorses plus more. A site with a huge amount of variation in such a small area.

Portsea Pier
Portsea Pier is one of Victoria's most renowned shore dives. Located on the beach in Portsea's Weroona Bay at the tip of the Mornington Peninsula, Portsea is one of the centres of Victorian diving. The pier is a superb dive for both the beginner and experienced diver, with new sights guaranteed almost every dive.
Depth: 5m
Suitable for: Beginners
Water movements/currents: Best dived at slack water as the currents near the heads make it difficult to spend time looking around and taking pics when you have to constantly navigate the pilons. The reefs off to the side of the pier are good for when the current is moving.
Marine Life/Features: The famous Weedy Seadragons are often found, as are colonies of Cleaner Shrimps, rays, and a wide variety of temperate fish. You'll also see squid, old wife, octopus, hermit crabs, leather jackets, cow fish, weedy sea dragons and pot bellied seahorses plus more.

Quiet Conrner
Depth: 3-5m
Suitable for: Beginners
Location: At the bottom of Fourth St in Beaumaris. Approx 37.5.91 S and 145.00.52 E
Water movement/currents: Best dived at high tide for extra depth, however anytime is fine as theres no current here
Marine Life/Features: Nice reef at quiet corner with lots of overhangs but not much life here anymore as its fished out. However, the are is now a marine park so no more fish are to be taken from the area and it will improve over time. You can still see old wife, crabs, leather jackets, Gar Fish, Small Flat head, Butterfish. Almost guarenteed to see jellyfish as they seem to breed in this area - these jellys are harmless and won't cause stings.

Rye Pier
Depth: 3-5m
Suitable For: Beginners
Location: 38° 21′ 58.05″ S 144° 49′ 22.66″ E
Bottom Composition: Weed, grass and kelp with lots of rocks. Small areas of sand scattered around
Water movements/currents: This is a long pier with shallow water most of its length. Best dived at slack water as the currents near the heads make it difficult to spend time looking around and taking pictures when you have to constantly navigate the pilons.
Marine Life/Features:Rye pier is arguably one of the most interesting pier dives on the Mornington Peninsula. The local residents include three species of seahorse (including an abundance of big-bellied seahorses), many different species of octopus, amazing soft corals and sponges. There are hundreds of different species of marine creatures including blennies, goatfish, gurnards, flounder, flathead, nudibranchs and even the occasional Moreton Bay Bug. You can see squid, octopus, hermit crabs, leather jackets, cow fish, pot bellied seahorses plus more. With all this life it is also a spectacular (and easy!) night dive destination. The pier is also home to Victoria’s first Underwater Marine Trail which is ideal for adults and children alike. Consisting of fourteen bright and easy to read signs it will show you just some of the creatures that call piers home!

Sorrento Pier / Old Ferry Landing
Depth: 3-5m
Suitable for: Beginners to intermediate
Location: 38° 20′ 1.62″ S 144° 44′ 38.82″ E
Water movements/current: Best dived at slack water as the currents are EXTREMELY STRONG. If you enjoy a drift dive you can jump in half an hour before slack and then dive for an hour and have the current bring you back again.
Marine Life/Features: Weed, grass and kelp with large bolders along the bottom. You can see squid, old wife, octopus, hermit crabs, leather jackets, Damsel fish and more

Table Rock Reef, Ricketts Point
Depth: 4-6m
Suitable for: Beginners
Location: On Beach Road in Beaumaris. Park in Rennison st and walk across Beach road right on the bend. It's an 80 meter walk then a short climb down the steps to the water.
Marine Life/Features: Mostly rocky reef with lots of kelp and weed. Plenty of hard coral which is hard to believe as it's only 30 meters from shore and at the north end of the bay. Great dive and will also suit snorkling as its very nice in the shallows along the cliffs back towards Mentone. Heaps of hard coral ranging in color makes this site a good change from the normal pier dives. You can find Leather jackets, garfish, snapper, whiting, eels, lots of shrimp and sea cucumbers. It's a Marine park so no taking anything from the water or leaving anything behind. The reef is damaged and has seen better days but is a very good dive if you pick the right day.

Wall Dives

12 lb Reef
Depth: 12-25m
Suitable for: Advanced
Bottom composition: Reef covered with growth, Rocky Reef with large bommies and wall
Water movement/currents: Only to be dived at slack water
Hazards: Boating, current
Marine Life / Features: Big undercuts, ledges. Large crayfish found here sometimes

Anchor Wall
Depth: 28m
Suitable for: Intermediate to Advanced
Terrain: Rocky reef wall in 2 steps
Water movement/currents: Must be dived on slack water
Hazards: Ebb tide change can wash divers thru heads
Site layout: Part of Lonsdale Wall, Ledges, overhangs, trenches & swim thru's
Marine Life / Features: Beautiful soft corals & sponges, Great fish life, Long kelp, Seals seen here regularly. Excellent for photography. Shaft of an old sailing ship anchor sticks out of the side of the wall at about 15m, heavily overgrown

Cottages By The Sea
Depth: 6m
Suitable for: Beginner
Location: The reef is 150 - 200m from shore. Can be dived from shore although it is a long swim. Much easier to dive it from a boat.
Bottom composition: Flat, sandy bottom, small wall covered in growth
Water movement/currents: Can be dived on either slack or ebb tide
Hazards: Current, boat traffic - popular salmon fishing area
Marine Life / Features: The reef It rises into a wall to within 4 metres of the surface, which is where the best diving is encountered. Undercut caves are found at the base of the wall, which twists and turns, disappearing and reappearing often. The reef extends past the wall right out to the shipping channel. A great site for photography, including macro Remains of Lonsdale pier can be found here.

Foggy Reef
Depth: 15m - 30m
Suitable for: Intermediate to Advanced
Location: Southern extremity of Lonsdale Wall 38° 17′ 40.44″ S 144° 37′ 31.68″ E
Bottom composition: Rocky reef with good kelp covering
Water movement/currents: Can be done as a slack water or drift dive. The site is very prone to the incoming swell from Bass Strait.
Hazards: When tide turns to ebb, divers can be washed out to sea. Best dived on the ebb slack when the incoming tide brings divers back into the bay rather than taking them out to sea.
Marine Life / Features: a series of chasms, ledges and caves coming off of the main wall area at the southern end of Lonsdale Wall including a good drop off and trenches and 2 large chasms. There's a very old anchor, long kelp forest and good fish life. Prolific fish life inhabit the trenches where vibrant corals and other invertebrates flourish. Lots of colourful soft corals, rock cod, shrimp, starfish, sea squirts, sponges and eels.

Kelp Beds Reef
Depth: 12 metres
Suitable for: Beginner to Intermediate
Location: This dive is on the Queenscliff side of the bay near Point Lonsdale.
Marine Life / Features: The kelp on this particular reef goes through many changes during the year, at its healthiest the kelp reaches the surface and makes a fantastic dive for anyone. You can swim under the canopy of the kelp and dodge the thick trunks. The kelp slowly dies off leaving a fast reef line, which becomes home for smaller fish and colourful corals and sponges. The kelp then produces new shoots and sprouts in all directions covering the reef line again, and blocking the suns rays suffocating the corals and sponges leaving an awesome picture of beauty as the canopy reaches for the surface once more.

Lonsdale Wall
Depth: 12 - 45m+
Suitable for: Advanced
Location: Starts at The Rip & extends into the bay nearly 1km. Follows the ancestral path of the Yarra river
Bottom composition: Rock Wall with kelp
Water movement/currents: Strong tidal currents, dive only on slack water (approx. 30mins). Usually good visibility due to continual flushing with clean ocean water
Hazards: Current, Depth, shipping channel
Marine Life / Features: Located on the Lonsdale side of Port Phillip Heads, the Lonsdale Wall extends for 1 km, providing many different dive locations. The Wall is characterised by almost vertical drop offs in a series of steps. As you descend, there is a slight step out every 6-9metres, and behind every step out there is a massive overhang. These overhangs house crayfish, prolific fish life, soft and hard corals in all colours and sizes. Amazing for those interested in photography. This Wall also accommodates those who like it deep. It is suggested that the wall bottoms out at 90 odd metres. If choosing to dive deep, twin independent or manifold cylinders are highly recommended, and divers should remember that 40 metres is the recreational deep diving limit. In terms of marine life, you'll see Zoanthids, sponges, soft corals, large bryozoan colonies, Butterfly Perch, Long Snouted Boarfish, Blue Throated Wrasse & Blue Devil Fish. Past 30m: garden of delicate corals, jewel anemones, hydroids & sea whips

Nepean Wall
i]Depth: 16-35m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Water movements/current:
Marine Life/Features: Nepean Wall is spectacular diving in conjunction with Corsair Rock. With the beautiful coral and overhangs, this vertical wall boasts great diving. Corsair Rock is one of the most dangerous of Rocks for boats, especially for those early pioneers who sailed into the Bay to close to Point Nepean. The water level even at low tide still just covers Corsair Rock with about half a metre, and has claimed a many unsuspecting victim, either sailing or steamer. With the history of the Rock even wreck divers would find this dive interesting based solely on its history. Even so, crayfish habitat the area and keen cray divers frequent the area more than any other diver does.

Rip Drift / Rip Bank
Depth: 20-30m
Suitable for: Intermediate to Advanced
Water movements/current: The area is prone to strong currents and when the swell is up a surge makes diving uncomfortable even at >25 meters deep if your not under a big ledge which are site has lots to shelter under.
Marine Life/features: Rip Bank is a wall dive just outside the port phillip bay heads, the location of some recent dredging by the port of Melbourne. The areas which are dredged are totally barren rock now, but the areas which weren't are covered in great sponges and other filter feeders. Top of the wall is around 20 meters and the bottom is 40 - 50 meters depending on the section your on.

Spectacular Reef
Depth: 15-45m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Water movements/current: Spec Reef lies in the South Channel and is therefore subject to shipping traffic and currents. Can only be dived on the slack water.
Marine Life/Features: Being a part of the old Yarra River system, the area is quite large and offers many different dive sites. All dives are characterised by a spectacular wall, which has large undercuts housing many crayfish, Blue Devil fish, an abundance of soft corals and other marine life. The abundance of life on the edge of the drop-offs is quite spectacular and includes Silver Trumpeter, Leatherjackets, the rosy Wrasse and inquisitive White Ear, along with literally thousands of small baitfish. The most diverse section of fish life exists between 15 metres and 30 metres. Twin independent or manifold scuba cylinders are a must if you intend to dive deep.

The Playground
Depth: 15-50m
Suitable for: Beginners to Advanced
Location: The Playground is a section of Rip Bank Wall, located at the West End section of the wall. This dive starts at 15 metres which is at the top of the wall, and as you proceed over the drop-off it bottoms out at about 50 metres while varying in topography as you descend and reach your desired depth.
Marine Life/Features: With small caves and over hangs the fish life is abundant and graded as the prettiest dive in the Bay. For the diver who likes to search, explore and grab the odd cray this is the dive for you.

Port Phillip Bay Dives

Barwon Heads Reef

Boarfish Reef
Depth: 12-25m, best diving 15-20m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Bottom composition: Large bommies, rocky reef with soft corals and sponges
Water movement/currents: Can be done as a drift dive
Hazards: Prone to current change
Site layout: Lies approximately halfway between Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale -Extension of Lonsdale Wall, running E-W -Caves, drop-offs & overhangs
Marine Life / Features: Discovered in 1982 by a group of divers who drifted over it. Many schooling fish, Blue Devils and of course, large Boarfish, Large (4 metre) admiralty anchor near the southern end of the reef. Large sponge garden extending approx. 400metres from the northern tip of the reef. Crayfish hide amongst the caves.

Bottle Drift

Breakers Reef
Depth: 10m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Location: Between Pt Lonsdale & Barwon Heads
Bottom composition: Group of rocks, partly exposed, long kelp
Water movement/currents: Requires calm conditions
Hazards: Prone to breaking waves and swells
Marine Life / Features: Ledges & swim thru's, Crayfish, Shallow reef, Wobbegong & Port Jackson sharks, Octopus, abalone, dusky morwongs

Catch Bag Reef Drift
Depth: 18m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Location: Lonsdale Bight between Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff
Bottom composition: mostly sea kelp
Water movement/currents: drift is conducted on the flood tide
Marine Life / Features: Great Crayfish dive. During the drift you will encounter large fronds of kelp with broken sandstone reef, home to the Southern Rock Lobster and abalone. During the summer months, big schools of large Yellow Tail Kingfish can be seen.

The Caves
Depth: 60m
Suitable for: Advanced with training in overhead environments only
Location: at 30 meters on Lonsdale Wall (running east to west) 38° 17′ 37.44″ S 144° 37′ 33.12″ E
Water movements/currents dive only at slack water at the end of an ebb or outgoing tide
Hazards in the shipping channel and should only be dived when there is no shipping
Marine Life / Features: the highlight of this dive is a large cave on the Lonsdale Wall, big enough to drive a small truck into

Nepean Bay
Depth: 8m
Suitable for: Beginners
Marine Life / Features: This is a great little dive for the end of the day when you want to go for another dive. It is typically an Open Water dive training site because of the excellent conditions and prolific fish life always found in the area. If you're getting into photography or videography this is the dive for you. Shallow depths and extended bottom times ensure that you can practice in calm and clear waters.

Pope's Eye
Depth: 2-15m
Suitable for: Beginner to Intermediate
Water currents/movements: Strong current when the tides running, so this limits the diveable area to 30% if you dont time the dive right. While the best time to dive Pope's Eye is on the start of an Ebb tide, it provides a great dive in all weather conditions.
Terrain: Sloping bottom made up of rocks and lots of growth from sea grass, weed, soft coral and even fans and sponges.
Marine Life/Features: Pope's Eye is a man made basalt rock annulus Located 4 km from the Heads between Portsea and Queenscliff. The foundation of what was to be an island fort built in the 1880's, this horseshoe shaped artificial reef. It has now been classified as a Marine Reserve and is home to many species of fish, invertebrates and algae, including large fronds of marcoystis kelp. The inside of Pope's Eye provides a safe anchorage in 2-3metres of water while outside, the rock wall extends to a depth of 15 metres. You can see a large collection of cow fish, lots of parrot fish, wrasse, leather jackets, cod, perch, old wifes and the occasional nudibranch.

Portsea Hole
Depth: 15 - 34 metres
Suitable for: Beginner to Intermediate
Marine Life/Features: Portsea Hole is about 500metres from the Portsea Pier and is a remnant of the old Yarra River. The top of the hole is 15metres and to the north along the wall it drops over the edge into a sandy bowl where the depth is about 34metres. The wall comprises of small overhangs, which are home to a vast array of invertebrate life and fish, in particular, the beautiful Blue Devil fish and schooling whiting. On the top of the hole are several rock bommies which play host to hundreds of fish. Portsea Hole is one of Victoria's premier dive sites and ideal for an array of divers.

Quarantine Drift
Depth
Suitable for: Beginner to Intermediate
Location: about 200 to 300 metres in front of the old Quarantine Station on Point Nepean 38° 56′ 36″ S 144° 41′ 1.8″ E
Water movement/currents: can be dived on any tide or slack water. The best time is when the water is moving and drift diving is the most common way to find things and cover a large area without swimming too hard.
Bottom Composition: There is a light reef area, but mostly a sandy bottom.
Marine Life/Features: This area is where quarantined ships were anchored from 1850 to about 1950. The site has 6 large anchors and is littered with old bottles, china plates, bowels, cups, clay jugs and the occasional 9 inch black powder gun shell. Some very good finds have been made in this area including intact plates from the White Star Line, P&O, Black Ball Packets, Pacific Steam Navigation Company, A.U.S.N.C and a full carving plate from the Albert Star. There is not a lot of life on the bottom, though at times there can be a lot of crabs, and stingray hide in the sand. The odd pod of Dolphins and the occasional Seal can be seen in this area.

Rosebud/Ruben's Reef
Depth: 6m - 10m
Suitable for: Beginners
Location: About 1km off shore from Rosebud 38° 20′ 42.6″ S 144° 52′ 21.6″ E
Marine Life/Features: The shallow reef runs North West for about 250 metres and rises two or three metres from the seabed in an otherwise sandy oasis. Lot of small life, urchins etc. and an abundance of fish life. Masses of fish all congregate here to feed. This in turn attracts some lovely harmless sharks predominantly the Wobbie gongs and the seven gills.

Scallop Drift
Depth: 18m
Suitable for:
Location: Beginner to Intermediate
Water movement/currents: Drift Dive
Hazards:
Bottom Composition:
Marine Life/Features: Lots of scallops for collection!

Shortland Bluff
Depth: 20m
Suitable for: Beginner to Intermediate
Location: 38° 16′ 53.58″ S 144° 39′ 42.18″ E
Marine Life/Features: A pretty reef system with plenty of soft coral and bomies

South Channel Fort
Depth: 12 metres
Suitable for: Beginner to Intermediate
Location: approximately 6km north-east of Sorrento 38° 18′ 23.52″ S 144° 48′ 5.28″ E
Water movement/currents: Best to dive the jetty and western side on the ebb tide, however there is always a side of the fort that is sheltered from the currents that race through the bay
Marine Life/Features: South Channel Fort is a man made island and was built the 1800's. It was designed to house gun placements and able to defend Victoria against an invasion from Russia. There are underground tunnels and full crew quarters all still present. The waters are littered with large granite boulders, forming caves and hideaways, caverns, tunnels. It is also the nesting ground for many species of sea birds. Both above and under water environments are worth a visit. Underwater, the pylons of the jetty provide a nursery for a variety of fish. Take a swim up to the old jetty. On the Eastern edge several pylons still exist and are fun to swim through. This site is marine reserve classified.

Sponge Garden Drift
Depth: 18m -20m
Suitable for: Beginner to Intermediate
Location:
Bottom Composition: As in any drift dive the terrain is always changing and you originally start drifting over an area of shallow reefs then over the sponge gardens and finally over larger reefs and Bommies.
Marine Life/Features: Massive sponge gardens and shallow reefs - it is the colours of the sponges that make this dive stunning. The fish life on this dives varies just as much as the terrain.

Port Phillip Heads Dives

10m Reef
Depth: 10m
Suited to: Intermediate
Location / Getting There: Outside Port Phillip Heads, on Point Lonsdale side
Water movement/currents: Some current usually towards heads area. Current can be strong and site is subject to surge and swell at times
Bottom composition: Bommies & Ledges
Marine Life / Features: Long reef parallel to shore, Bommies & ledges, good swim thrus, Crayfish, Long kelp, sponges, soft corals, huge variety of fish life

Capt'n Nitros
Depth: 16 - 60 metres
Suited to: Intermediate
Location / Getting There: Captain Nitro's Drop-off is located at the West End of Spectacular Reef.
Water movement/currents: This dive is best conducted at slack water so that the currents do not affect the dive. To ensure good visibility, dive on slack water after high tide.
Marine Life / Features: There's large overhangs and big drop-offs. It's a great dive, especially with all the fish life found in the area. As you venture over the drop-off river rocks as large as houses, can be easily seen. Interestingly, they are smooth like any other small river rock you may find in a creek. The best aspect of this dive is the scenery, not specifically the reef, but the entrance of the bay. Position yourself on one of the river rocks, with the sun in the west you can see some of the larger fish making their way into the bay.

Castle Rock
Depth: 18m
Suited to: Beginner to Intermediate
Location: Castle Rock is situated outside the Heads on the Point Lonsdale side.
Marine Life / Features: This dive is great for Open Water divers as it gives them experience outside the Heads with a limited depth. The rock is about 200 metres in circumference with a sandy floor. Shaped like a castle, swim throughs and small overhangs make it easy to explore. Southern Blue Devils also hide in the cracks and holes. The Rock starts at 7 metres and goes down to 18 metres. Usually the shot line is dropped right on top of the rock to allow divers to adjust their gear before "plunging" over the edges of the rock formation. The site has lots of macro fauna all over it with lots of nudibranchs grazing. One wall is covered in tiny yellow zoeanthids. A large array of fish can usually be found with all sorts of soft and hard corals. This dive is one of the best dives in shallow water.

Cattle Jetty Drift

Corsair Rock
Depth: 16 - 35 metres
Suited to: Beginner to Intermediate
Marine Life / Features: Corsair Rock is spectacular diving in conjunction with Nepean Wall. With the beautiful coral and overhangs, this vertical wall boasts great diving. Corsair Rock is one of the most dangerous of Rocks for boats, especially for those early pioneers who sailed into the Bay to close to Point Nepean. The water level even at low tide still just covers Corsair Rock with about half a metre, and as claimed a many unsuspecting victim, either sailing or steamer. With the history of the Rock even wreck divers would find this dive interesting based solely on its history. Even so, crayfish habitat the area and keen cray divers frequent the area more than any other diver does.

Ramsden Reef
Depth:
Suitable for:
Location:
Water movement/currents:
Hazards:
Bottom Composition:
Marine Life/Features:

Nepean Peninsula

Battery Point

Hanging Gardens
Depth: 25-35m
Suited to: Beginner to Intermediate
Location: Wall dive just outside of the heads on the Point Nepean side.
Marine Life / Features: Very large fish everywhere. The deep crevices in the wall are fascinating.

Jubilee Point
Depth: 10m
Suitable for: Beginner - Intermediate
Location: 38° 21′ 19″ S 144° 44′ 9″ E
Water movement/currents: Prone to surge. Can be a very dangerous place in the wrong conditions. Also it is very important to keep an eye on the sea conditions throughout the dive as they could change quickly.
Hazards:
Bottom Composition:
Marine Life/Features: many curving gutters and alley ways around the reefs.

Tom's Reef
Depth: 23m'
Suitable for: Beginners - Intermediate
Location: Reef running east west offshore from the Porstsea Back Beaches 38° 20′ 54.3″ S 144° 41′ 44.88″ E
Marine Life/Features: Good spot for Crayfish

Wreck Dives

HMAS Canberra
Depth: 20-30m
Suited to: Intermediate
Location:
Water movement/currents:
Marine Life/Features: Newly sunk in late 2009, scuttled with divers in mind. This wreck is 138m long and provides for safe penetration dives. Good training ground for those new to wreck diving.

SS Coogee
Depth: 29-36m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Location: Outside the heads of Port Phillip Bay 38° 18′ 25.38″ S 144° 34′ 19.2″ E
Water movement/currents:
Hazards: Because of the depth you have to keep moving to see both ends before reaching deco limits if you're not on nitrox.
Penetration: nothing to penetrate other than some nice swim thrus
Marine Life/Features: The Coogee was a steel screw steamer built in the UK and launched in 1887 as the Lancanshire Witch. Her length overall was 69 m (225 ft), her beam 9 m (30 ft) and her draught 4.3 m (14 ft) giving her a displacement of 762 tons. The bow and stern are mostly in tact and covered in very good growth and have plenty of fish. The center of the wreck is colapsed leaving only two large boilers in tact in the center. Great dive which can just be covered quickly in the one dive. The top of the wreck is at 29-30 m so the dive is a square profile if you want to cover both ends.

SS Courier
Depth: 42m
Suited to: Advanced
Location: Outside the heads 38° 19′ 29.28″ S 144° 34′ 54.84″ E
Water movement/currents:
Hazards:
Penetration: The centre section has collapsed, exposing large boilers, but some limited penetration is still possible around the box and stern sections
Marine Life/Features: The 728 ton steel steamer SS Courier was launched in 1887 and finally scuttled in 1928 north-east of the Ships' Graveyard. Divers can still see the original bow rails and much of the wooden planking.

Eliza Ramsden
Depth: 22m
Suited to: Intermediate
Location: On the edge of the shipping channel 38° 17′ 37.92″ S 144° 40′ 26.7″ E
Water movement/currents: requires a very good understanding of the Port Phillip Heads and the tides - only a slack water dive and as such you have a corridoor of about 15 to 20 minutes when the tide is slack and it is safe to dive.
Hazards: Shipping must be non existant on this dive with no shipping coming or going out of the heads for not less than an hour and a half either side of your proposed dive entry and exit
Marine Life/Features: This wreck was originally an iron barque. She was sailing from Melbourne to Newcastle when in leaving the Port Phillip Heads she hit Corsair Rock. Now an extremely open wreck, she consists of a full bow section and at about mid ship just vanishes. No super structure is left other than for a closed hatch in the bow section.

SS Gambier

Point Lonsdale Wrecks

SS Milora

New Bay Wreck
Depth: 21m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Location: 17kms south west of Beaumaris in Port Phillip Bay - enter via Patterson River Boat Ramp
Water movement/currents:
Hazards:
Bottom Composition:
Marine Life/Features:

SS Rotomahana
Depth: 40m
Suitable for: Advanced
Location: 38° 19′ 11.82″ S 144° 32′ 10.5″ E
Water movement/currents:
Hazards: The depth means that one should be both experienced and well-prepared before attempting to dive the Rotomahana. Short bottom times mean that you should concentrate on a section of the wreck, returning later to see more.
Penetration: Very limited penetration is possible, chiefly between and underneath the boilers.
Marine Life/Features: The SS Rotomahana, a steel screw steamer displacing 1727 tons, was completed in 1879 and served for many years on the Melbourne-New Zealand routes until 1894. After a period running between Melbourne and Tasmania until 1921, she was put out of commission and spent some years languishing by the dock in Melbourne before being scuttled in her present home of Barwon heads in 1928. Little other than the four massive boilers remain, although there are plenty of steel girders and other debris including the old bowsprit.

William Salthouse

VHB-54
Depth: 42m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Location: 38° 20′ 35.34″ S 144° 25′ 3.48″ E
Water movement/currents: outer side of the barge can move up to half a metre in and out with the swell.
Hazards:
Penetration:
Marine Life/Features: The VHB54 was a steel hopper barge. Scuttled in the ships graveyard, off Port Philip heads, 19 February 1971. She lies upright in 40 meters with great fish life.

Submarine Dives

J1 (38m/new deep/winged) Sub
Depth 38m
Suitable for: Advanced
Location: 38° 18′ 57.48″ S 144° 33′ 13.2″ E
Hazards: Due to the fine sand in the area, J1 is prone to silting.
Penetration: Penetration is possible although very hazardous. Fine silt and tight doorways add to the danger. Guide lines and good torches are needed and twin independent or manifold scuba cylinders are highly recommended for this dive.
Marine Life/Features:
Also known as the "New Deep Sub" or the "Winged Sub", she sits almost on her keel on the sandy bottom. Overall Length was 274.7ft, beam 23ft and draught 14ft giving a displacement weight of 1210 tons surfaced. The wartime complement was 5 officers and 40 men. The J1 runs east-west, with her bow facing east. hull lies northeast to southwest (bow northeast) and is covered in bright yellow zoanthids. She points toward the surface and divers can actually swim under this section.

J2 (39m/broken) Sub[
Depth 39m
Suitable for: Advanced
Location: about three miles off Barwon Heads 38° 18′ 48.9″ S 144° 34′ 48.24″ E
Hazards: extensive jagged and twisted metal around the break
Penetration: Penetration into the wreck is possible at the point where the ship has been broken, but the need for extreme caution cannot be overemphasised. Once inside the wreck, it can become very dark, so good torches are essential. Silting can occur very easily. Care must be taken to avoid stirring up silt on the bottom, thus further reducing visibility. At 36 metres near the conning tower is a plaque in memory of a diver that died while penetrating the wreck.
Marine Life/Features: The J2 Submarine was scuttled by explosives on 1 June 1926. The wreck lies on its keel running North-South with its bow pointing out to sea. During its scuttling the bow section broke off, exposing the forward torpedoes tubes and bow modifications. The break occurs about 5 metres behind the conning tower. The front half lists to starboard at a 45-degree angle. Over the years the stern has worn down through the reef the wreck sits on. The wreck is surrounded by many schools of fish and extensive marine growth covering the hull making this an interesting dive for photographers as well as wreck enthusiasts.

J4 (27m/90ft/Scratchers) Sub
Depth: 28-30m
Suitable for: Intermediate to Advanced
Location: outside the heads of Port Phillip Bay 38° 17′ 58.08″ S 144° 33′ 49.74″ E
Hazards: The surge can make it very dangerous inside as theres lots to get impaled on, so if your not properly trained don't go anywhere near an opening.
Penetration: Divers can penetrate the submarine through the numerous hatch openings. Such penetration should not be taken lightly, as being shallower than the other subs, this wreck is particularly susceptible to surge. Unwary divers can be literally sucked in and catapulted through the wreck's interior. However, the surge prevents silt from building up and it is one of the safer subs to penetrate if you're qualified to do so. Once inside, divers can see the bulkheads, which supported the submarine against pressure at great depths. Although the engine has been removed, the engine bed can still be seen at the stern.
Marine Life/Features: The J4 was scuttled by explosives on 28 April 1927. J4 Sub wreck lies on its keel running North-South with its bow pointing out to sea. During its scuttling the bow section broke off, exposing the forward torpedoes tubes and bow modifications. The broken bow section of the submarine contains four torpedo tubes, which can be easily seen by using a torch and positioning yourself between the bow and the main body. Only sub in Melbourne that Advanced Open Water divers can visit without wreck training. Around the sub at the ends is rock covered in sparse kelp and some soft corals. Good conditions for photography are often found near the conning tower, which is usually surrounded by many fish.

J5 (36m/Yellow) Sub
Depth: 36m
Suitable for: Intermediate to Advanced
Location: 38° 18′ 38.96″ S 144° 34′ 7.07″ E
Hazards:
Penetration:
Marine Life/Features:

Swan Island Submarine

Hero's Cave

Hurricane

Seals/Chinaman's Hat

The Arches

The Corner

The Maze

The Supermarket

Torpedo Reef/Drift

Overnight Reef

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road, houses some of the greatest dive sites in Victoria as well. Port Campbell, which is the home of the very popular Loch Ard wreck, is in the Great Ocean Road region. Old moorings, off engine gearboxes, and blocks can be seen here along with the many species of fishes.

Warrnambool

Warrnambool is one of the most frequented sites for people who love shore diving. Juvenile fishes and shipwrecks are also aplenty here, offering breathtaking underwater landscapes that are hard to miss. This city boasts the Penguin and Middle Islands, Eagle Rock, Helen Rock, Pickering Point, Stingray Bay, The Banks, Thunder Point, and The La Bella Wreck.

Penguin and Middle Islands
Depth:
Suitable for: Intermediate to Advanced
Water Movements/Current:
Marine Life/Features: If you want an accessible diving area, the Penguin and Middle Islands is definitely the place to go. Just a stone’s throw away from the breakwater, this diving site is famous for sightings of stingrays, moray eels, harmless sharks, and crayfish. Home to various sea animals such as the crayfish, stingrays, moray eels, and sharks, Penguin and Middle Islands offers the most excellent shore diving experience.

La Bella Wreck
Depth: 15m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Water Movements/Current:
Marine Life/Features: Featuring a cargo ship the sunk in November 10, 1905.

Thunder Point
Depth: 5-150m
Suitable for: Advanced only
Water Movements/Current: A diving site with an very rough sea terrain - should only be explored during favorable diving conditions.

Eagle Rock
Depth:
Suitable for: Intermediate to Advanced
Water Movements/Current:
Marine Life/Features: A diving site popular for having the roughest sea terrain in the vicinity. In Eagle Rock is where one will find marvelous underwater flora and fauna.

Helen's Rock
Depth: 20m
Suitable for: Intermediate to Advanced
Water Movements/Current: This diving site is best appreciated during excellent weather conditions.
Location: approximately 1 kilometer out to the sea
Marine Life/Features: For a marvelous underwater photo op location, Helen's Rock is the place to go. Underwater, the Helen Rock boasts a fantastic marine life that could make any photographer drool.

Stingray Bay
Depth: 5-12m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Water Movements/Current:
Location:
Marine Life/Features: Another exceptional underwater photo op location is the Stingray Bay. A secluded bay, Stingray Bay is where scuba divers can find an interesting assortment of fishes and other invertebrates along with several kelp forests.

Gippsland

The Gippsland coastline, although rugged, is an equally good spot with underwater reefs and rock platforms that cover the 17-kilometre long haven. The rocky components of the diving spots here are a major drawback. You may even find it exciting that you can shift into snorkeling gears whenever the tide is low.

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is best known for the colony of fairy penguins that come ashore each night to nest.

Cape Woolamai Reef
Depth: 12m -15m
Suitable for: Beginner - Intermediate
Location:
Marine Life/Features: This site is teeming with an abundence of marine life including abalone, plenty of fish, occasional schools of Salmon, Port Jackson sharks, crayfish

Gull Island
Depth: 6m
Suitable for: Beginner
Location: Shore entry from Gull Island
Marine Life/Features: Crayfish and general fish life

The Pinnicles
Depth: 37m
Suitable for: Intermediate
Location: located 1km off shore off Cape Woolamai at the south eastern tip of Phillip Island
Water movement/currents: Light to moderate current in the area
Marine Life/Features: A towering granite rock with a base at 37m and a top at 8m. Fish life that has to be seen to be believed. There is a cave on the southern side.

Wilsons Promontory

Whales, seals, and abundant schools of fish are only among the reasons for travelers to delve deep into the maritime paradise. The underwater landscape of "The Prom" is truly a sight to behold, with its highly preserved coral reefs and rich flora and fauna. Moreover, any enthusiastic scuba diver in this place will be introduced to other exotic species under the sea, which are protected by the marine national park.

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Visability & Weather

Summer is the warmest time to dive in Victoria with water temperatures between 15 - 21 deg centigrade.

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Tips for Diving in Victoria

Victoria is cold water diving and a full exposure suit is reccommended year round. During the winter season (May - Sept) many divers choose to use dry suits.

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Victoria Scuba Diving Travel Helpers

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