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Outside Port Phillip Ships Graveyard Wreck Dive Site

Steel Steamship | Max Depth: 65 m (213 ft) — Graveyard

Malaita Ashore
Malaita Ashore< | © Unhnown

The Malaita was built in 1893 for the Bahamas Steamship Co Ltd and had an interesting career. Originally named the Anilla, she went from being a cargo steamer, converted into a coal hulk, and then converted back to a general cargo carrier. Built under Special Survey. Schooner Rigged, elliptical stern, clincher built.

Malaita Shipwreck History

Malaita | © Unhnown

The Malaita was a steel, single screw steamship, built in 1893, by Grangemouth Dockyard Co in Grangemouth, UK, as the Antilla, for the Bahamas Steamship Co Ltd, Nassau. The vessel's dimensions were a length of 200 ft (61 m), beam of 30.2 ft (9.2 m), and draught of 12.3 ft (3.75 m). The vessel was Units: unknown unit type given, and Units: unknown unit type given.

The vessel was damaged by fire in 1904, then purchased in 1905, reconditioned and renamed the Malaita by Burns, Philp & Co, for trade in the Pacific islands. Bought by Huddart Parker in 1914, its engine and boiler were removed and she was converted into a coal hulk. Later sold to Moreland Smelting Co Ltd, in 1919, and towed from Sydney to Melbourne in three days where the engines of the paddle steamer Excelsior were installed. As a steamer once more, the Malaita made several voyages to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands as a cargo ship. She was eventually laid up at anchor in Hobsons Bay.

After partially destroying the South Melbourne baths when she broke her moorings and drifted ashore in a storm on 17 Dec 1926, the Malaita was put back into service, but was soon withdrawn again.

Malaita Sinking

On Tuesday 20 November 1928 the steamship Malaita was towed out into Bass Strait by the tug Minah and scuttled in the Victorian Ships' Graveyard.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Malaita, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Malaita.

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

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.

Traditional Owners — This dive site does not lie in the acknowledged traditional Country of any first peoples of Australia.


Malaita Location Map

Latitude: 38° 21.267′ S   (38.354444° S / 38° 21′ 16″ S)
Longitude: 144° 33.067′ E   (144.551111° E / 144° 33′ 4″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-28 15:52:59 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Hygeia, 944 m, bearing 60°, ENE
Steel Steamship, 940 ton.
Built: Grangemouth, UK, 1893.
Scuttled: 20 November 1928.
Victorian Ships' Graveyard, Bass Strait.
Depth: 65 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.


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