Wreck Dive | Shore access
Level: Open Water and beyond.
The Briton shipwreck, which lies at Point Henry, Corio Bay, is significant socially for its use as a landing stage for the popular Bellarine Tea Gardens. It is difficult to assess archaeological significance due to the structure being modified throughout its career.
The Briton was a wooden, three-masted ship, built in 1864, by James Nichol in Invercargill, New Zealand and named the New Great Briton. She was carvel built, on a lenght of 140 ft (43 m), with a beam of 28.6 ft (8.72 m) and a draught of 18 ft (5.49 m).
In February 1864 the New Great Briton was forced ashore at The Bluff, New Zealand and damaged. She was refloated, repaired, re-rigged as a barque, and renamed Briton. She was sold on 1 November 1976 and converted into a coal hulk.
The hulk Briton was occasionally used as a landing stage for popular Bellarine Tea Gardens, with passengers being picked up by paddle steamer Bellarine.
The Briton sank in a heavy gale at her moorings on 31 January 1890.
Blasting took place in 1907 on an old hulk near Point Henry, presumably either the Briton or the City of Melbourne.
Heritage Warning: Any shipwreck or shipwreck relic that is 75 years or older is protected by legislation. Other items of maritime heritage 75 years or older are also protected by legislation. Activities such as digging for bottles, coins or other artefacts that involve the disturbance of archaeological sites may be in breach of the legislation, and penalties may apply. The legislation requires the mandatory reporting to Heritage Victoria as soon as practicable of any archaeological site that is identified. See Maritime heritage. Anyone with information about looting or stolen artefacts should call Heritage Victoria on (03) 7022 6390, or send an email to email@example.com.
Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes the coastline of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-east, the Bellarine Peninsula, and down to Cape Otway in the south-west. We wish to acknowledge the Wathaurong as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Bunjil the Creator Spirit of this beautiful land, who travels as an eagle, and Waarn, who protects the waterways and travels as a crow, and thank them for continuing to watch over this Country today and beyond.
Briton Location Map
Latitude: 38° 7.590′ S (38.1265° S / 38° 7′ 35.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 25.500′ E (144.425° E / 144° 25′ 30″ E)
Datum: WGS84 | Google Map | Get directions
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-27 22:55:47 GMT
Nearest Neighbour: City of Melbourne, 1,000 m, bearing 265°, W
Wooden Three-Masted Ship.
Built: New Zealand, 1864.
Sunk: 31 January 1890.
Point Henry, Corio Bay.
Depth: 3 m.
DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.
The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.