Falls of Halladale

Wreck DiveWreck Dive | Boat access

Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Wreck Dive Site

Four Masted Iron Sailing Barque | Max Depth: 14 metres (46 feet)

Falls of Halladale
Falls of Halladale
© Unknown

The magnificent four masted barque Falls of Halladale was 102 days out from New York when it ran ashore at Peterborough at 3 am on the morning of 14th November 1908. Within minutes, water poured into the holds and the crew safely disembarked and rowed for three hours until they beached at the Bay of Islands.

Diving the Falls of Halladale

The remains of the Falls of Halladale lie approximately 300 metres (984 feet) off Wreck Point, at Curdies Point near Peterborough. The vessel lies on a rocky bottom in 3 to 14 metres of water. The bow faces towards the north and the wreckage extends out to sea for approximately 100 metres (328 feet).

The port side of the vessel is upright with five to six metres of the hull at the bow and two to three metres at the stern. The starboard side has flattened out and masts are scattered towards the east. As a diver swims towards the stern, the site appears as complex lattice of iron beams and hull plates which were the floors, frames and bilge plating. The scattered beams and plates provide a perfect home for many reef fish.

Some slate and coiled wire cargo stowed at the stern of the vessel 80 years ago, still remain in their original area of stowage. Other features of the site include large iron anchors, bollards, deck supports and iron knees.

Falls of Halladale Dive Site Map
Falls of Halladale Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

The site is flanked by a reef which causes heavy breaks in all but the calmest conditions. In rough weather waves break over the site and are hazardous to all small craft. The best conditions to dive the shipwreck occur during periods of low swell and northerly winds.

Falls of Halladale History

The four masted barque Falls of Halladale was 102 days out from New York when it ran ashore at Peterborough at 3 am on the morning of 14th November 1908. Within minutes, water poured into the holds and the crew safely disembarked and rowed for three hours until they beached at the Bay of Islands.

The vessel grounded in fair weather on an ENE tack. A mist over the land created an optical illusion of a distant horizon, and the crew thought the ship was 10 miles off the coast when it was less than one mile away, heading for the rocks.

When the danger was discovered, it was too late. The anchors could not be let go in time, and the ship had no headway to change tack. The Falls of Halladale struck heavily amidships, about 200 yards from shore. Soon after abandoning the ship, the crew found the stern awash with breakers sweeping over the decks as far as the foremast.

The vessel lay in a small bay just to the west of Peterborough with its sails set, and provided a spectacle for sightseers. Two salvage ventures proved to be financial disasters. The captain of the Falls of Halladale was found guilty of a gross act of misconduct in that he carelessly navigated the vessel. His certificate was suspended for six months.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Falls of Halladale
Heritage Council Victoria: Falls of Halladale,
Wikipedia: Falls of Halladale,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: Falls of Halladale, and
Dive Information Sheet: Falls of Halladale (1886-1908) (Adobe PDF | 506.84 KB).

Latitude: 38° 36.500′ S   (38.608333° S / 38° 36′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 142° 51.500′ E   (142.858333° E / 142° 51′ 30″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-14 07:34:42 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Schomberg, 2,603 m, bearing 110°, ESE
Four masted iron barque.
Built: Greenock, Scotland, 1886.
Sunk: 14 November 1908.
Depth 14 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.

Suunto EON Core at The Scuba Doctor Dive Shop

He who would search for pearls must dive below.
— John Dryden