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Quarantine Station Reef

Drift Dive Drift Dive | Boat access Boat access

Advanced Open Water Rated Drift Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Reef Dive Site Slack Water

Depth: 12 m (39 ft) to 22 m (72 ft)

Level: Advanced Open Water and beyond.

Named after the Point Nepean Quarantine Station, this is a fantastic drift dive site. It's located about 200 to 300 metres out in front of the old Quarantine Station in Ticonderoga Bay, on Point Nepean inside Port Phillip.

The quarantine station operated for over 100 years from the early 1850s to about 1950. During that time hundreds of ships anchored here for extended periods of time, to ensure that no communicable diseases were brought into the colony of Melbourne.

The reef here has its top in about 12 metres of water and runs East to West parallel to the current. The reef drops away to the South with depths of 20 metres able to be reached. The reef is very nice with lots of soft corals and sponges.

It's the possibility of spotting artefacts discarded from the sailing vessels over 100 years ago, that make this dive exciting. 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. One day it's just an underwater sand dune, the next day a treasure display.

This site can be shore or boat dived and 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.

While there is a light reef area, it's mostly a sandy bottom. There is not a lot of life on the bottom. At times there can be a lot of Spider Crabs, and Stingray hidden in the sand. The odd pod of Dolphins and the occasional Seal can be seen in this area.

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

Boon Wurrung / Bunurong country
Boon Wurrung / Bunurong country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes parts of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-west, down to Wilson's Promontory in the south-east, including the Mornington Peninsula, French Island and Phillip Island, plus Western Port. We wish to acknowledge the Boon Wurrung 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.


Quarantine Station Reef Location Map

Latitude: 38° 18.222′ S   (38.3037° S / 38° 18′ 13.32″ S)
Longitude: 144° 41.030′ E   (144.683833° E / 144° 41′ 1.8″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-29 13:41:41 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Cattle Jetty Drift, 380 m, bearing 308°, NW
Depth: 12 to 22 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

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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