Wreck Dive | Boat access
The Grange shipwreck lies near Hayley Reef (aka Little Henty Reef and Marengo Reef) in the Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, near the Marengo township. The site is just 2.5 kilometres south-west of Apollo Bay in Bass Strait, off the world-famous Great Ocean Road (B100) and Victoria's Otway Coast.
The Grange shipwreck site is located about 300 metres from shore along the north-eastern side of Hayley Reef, within the Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary. The site is broken up and scattered along approximately 100 metres of the reef. Much of the site is covered by a dense cover of Bull Kelp over one metre tall. The site is prone to surge but relatively sheltered. It is a widely scattered site consisting of fastenings, hanging knees and timber planking. Iron remains including a large pipe can be seen at the reef/sand interface.
In 1968 divers rediscovered the wreck of the Grange and recovered an anchor as well as cast-iron carronade (now in the Apollo Bay Museum), with reinforcing bands around the barrels, plus some cannon balls.
While easier as a boat entry, in the right conditions, fit and strong divers and snorkellers can tackle the Grange shipwreck as a shore dive. See Marengo Reefs for entry/exit details.
Location: Hayley Reef, Marengo, Victoria 3233
How to Get There
Marengo is approximately 220 km south-west of Melbourne and 2.5 km south-west of Apollo Bay. The sanctuary lies approximately 80 m (262 ft) offshore from Hayley Point, Marengo. It can be accessed by boat from the Apollo Bay Breakwater Road Boat Ramp. It can also be accessed by kayak, diving, snorkelling or swimming from Marengo Beach.
Parking: There is parking for cars with boat trailers at the boat ramp. For shore divers, there is car parking on the track leading to the entrance of the Marengo Holiday Park, off Marengo Crescent.
Marengo township has camping and accommodation available. Nearby Apollo Bay has a full range of facilities.
Warning: This can be a highly hazardous area. Always go with a buddy and be extremely careful. The areas outside the protection of the reef where the Grange lies are for experienced divers and snorkellers only.
Entry/Exit: By boat from the Apollo Bay Breakwater Road Boat Ramp. From shore at the southern end of Marengo Beach in front of Marengo Crescent.
Ideal Conditions: Diving here requires a day of exceptionally good weather. Conditions need to be calm, with flat seas and no swell or rough weather coming in, which means the dive site is best in summer and autumn. Offshore westerly to northerly winds will flatten out the sea. It's an exposed site and conditions can change quickly. Beware of waves and tides when visiting this site. See WillyWeather (Marengo) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.
Bass Strait Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any shore or boat dive in Bass Strait on Victoria's coastline. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-in-bass-strait before diving or snorkelling this site.
The Grange was a three-masted wooden baque of 301 tons, built in 1840, at Troon, Scotland. It had previously voyaged to the Carribean (Lloyds 1841-42).
The Grange left Melbourne on 22 March 1858, in ballast bound for Panang and Singapore under the command of Captain Alexander. The Grange headed for the Cape Otway lighthouse, the only light on the coast. In the poor light due to squalls from the south-east, the small timber-cutting settlement of Apollo Bay was mistaken for the lighthouse and the vessel ran straight onto Hayley Reef in Mounts Bay near the Marengo township on Thursday 25 March 1858. No lives were lost and the cargo, hull, sails and fittings were all salvaged while the rest of the vessel broke up over time.
The Grange is archaeologically significant as an example of a Scottish built wooden barque and international trader, with remains of its wooden hull available for study. It is a typical vessel as used in international and coastal cargo and passenger carrying trades in the early to mid 19th century i.e.: representative of a particular category or type. It is educationally and recreationally significant as it is one of the only wooden vessels accessible to recreational divers along this stretch of the coast.
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.
This site lies in Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Victoria's smallest marine sanctuary, and faces into Bass Strait. Near Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road, at the southern end of Mounts Bay, the 12.5 hectare santuary area is 150 metres offshore and includes an important haul out site for Australian Fur Seals. To protect the important marine life found here, Marengo was declared a sanctuary in 2002.
This sanctuary is an excellent site for both scuba diving and snorkelling when weather conditions permit. The shelter provider on the inside of Hayley Reef closer to shore is a great site for beginner snorkellers if conditions are calm on a good day. Outside the protection of the reef can be more challenging with the expose to ocean swell and strong currents creating a more dynamic environment better suited to experienced snorkellers and divers.
The two islands within the marine sanctuary are inner and outer Hayley Reef (aka Little Henty Reef and Marengo Reef), separated by 'The Gap'. They lie east of Hayley Point. The larger Henty Reef lies outside of the sanctuary further offshore to the south-east.
The Gap — The channel between the two parts of Hayley Reef, known as 'The Gap', is a rare sheltered haven on this wild coastline, supporting growths of soft corals and sponges.
Fish — Over 56 fish species have been recorded in and around the marine sanctuary. Common fish are Blue-throated Wrasse and Purple Wrasse. Other fish species include Herring-cale, Magpie Morwong and in low abundance the Horseshoe Leatherjacket.
Shipwrecks — There are two known shipwrecks in the area. The 1858 wooden barque international trader Grange lies in the marine sanctuary, and the wooden ketch coastal trader Wollomai lies nearby in Mounts Bay. Remains of the Grange hull and Wollomai windlass can be seen underwater in the sanctuary. Removal of any artefacts or objects from these sites is not permitted.
Australian Fur Seals: Australian Fur Seals stop in at the reef year-round and can be often seen diving into the water or resting on the rocks. They eat a variety of fish, squid and octopus and can dive to depths of 200m. The outer reef is a site of state significance with a special protection area to limit disturbance to seals. Be aware the seals can be aggressive and sometimes bite.
Special Protection Area - No Access — The outer Hayley Reef island is a resting place for the many seals that stop in for a break from hunting in the open ocean. Please keep a safe distance from the seals and remember access is restricted on the outer reef to help protect the seals. No anchoring, landing or launching of boats within 20 metres of the outer reef is permitted. You must keep at least 30 metes away from seals, whether you are on land or in the water. Please do not walk on the outer reef or approach the seals.
There are also intertidal reefs close nearby at Hayley Point, outside of the sanctuary. It's a good spot at low tide to discover some interesting marine creatures.
You are not permitted to carry a spear gun while snorkelling or scuba diving in Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary.
We've used a mark created from Google Earth based on the description of where the Grange lies in the water by Ian Lewis in his book "Shore Dives of Victoria", 3rd edition pages 12–13. If you go there please let us know if the GPS mark is okay, and give us a better one if it's not.
Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Eastern Maar people of south-western Victoria between the Shaw and Eumerella Rivers and from Yambuk in the south to beyond Lake Linlithgow in the north. This truly ancient Country extends as far north as Ararat and encompasses the coastal townships of Port Fairy in the west, Warrnambool, Peterborough, Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne, and Airies Inlet in the east, including the Great Ocean Road area. It also stretches 100 metres out to sea from low tide and therefore includes the iconic Twelve Apostles. "Eastern Maar" is a name adopted by the people who identify as Maar, Eastern Gunditjmara, Tjap Wurrung, Peek Whurrong, Kirrae Whurrung, Kuurn Kopan Noot and/or Yarro waetch (Tooram Tribe) amongst others. We wish to acknowledge the Eastern Maar as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging.
Grange Location Map
Latitude: 38° 46.610′ S (38.776837° S / 38° 46′ 36.61″ S)
Longitude: 143° 40.201′ E (143.670015° E / 143° 40′ 12.05″ E)
Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-05-14 06:06:38 GMT
Source: Shore Dives of Victoria (approximate location only)
Nearest Neighbour: Marengo Reefs, 527 m, bearing 265°, W
Three-masted wooden barque, 301 ton.
Built: Scotland, 1840.
Sunk: 24 March 1858.
Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Otway Coast.
Depth: 5 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.