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Wreck Dive Wreck Dive | Boat access Boat access

Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Open Water Rated Spearfishing Site Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Single Screw Steamer | Max Depth: 4 m (13 ft)

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The Queenscliffe shipwreck lies in the north-east of Port Phillip, at the RAAF Seaplane Jetty, Point Cook.

Queenscliffe Shipwreck History — Built in 1905

The Queenscliffe was built in 1905, by Frank Moore, at the Domain Slipyard, Hobart, Tasmania. The vessel was built as a single screw wooden steamer, on a length of 110 ft (34 m), a breadth of 23.8 ft (7.25 m), and a draught of 9.7 ft (2.96 m).

The Queenscliffe was used as a Hobart ferry for 58 years, and was fire damaged in 1915. The Queenscliffe had five previous owners before being bought by V. Pantea of Royal Hotel, Queenscliff, in 1965 for the Melbourne, Sorrento, Queenscliff run. A financial failure (unable to gain a liquor licence), the Queenscliffe did not even make a voyage for this venture. The vessel lay in Melbourne for several years at 11 South Wharf until removed for non-payment of wharfage dues.

Queenscliffe Sinking — 30 December 1973

On 30 December 1973, the Queenscliffe was on a fishing trip when the weather turned bad. The owner and master Ronald Rafferty, headed for the low landing on south side of the RAAF Seaplane Jetty. With the Queenscliffe bumping heavily against the jetty, Rafferty decided to move around to other side. Passing the end of jetty, the vessel struck a beam jutting out from piles which gouged a hole in her side.

Divers later found the Queenscliffe was resting on top of an unknown wreck.

While Rafferty was removing part of the Queenscliffe, she was used as set for filming episode of the TV programme 'Homicide'.

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

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.


Queenscliffe Location Map

Latitude: 37° 56.600′ S   (37.943333° S / 37° 56′ 36″ S)
Longitude: 144° 44.800′ E   (144.746667° E / 144° 44′ 48″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2019-03-11 12:09:15 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-27 09:10:35 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Point Cooke Beach, 2,748 m, bearing 56°, NE
Wooden Single Screw Steamer.
Built: 1905.
Sunk: 30 December 1973.
RAAF Seaplane Jetty, Point Cook.
Depth: 4 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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