Reef Dive | Boat access
Depth: 3 m (9.84 ft) to 20 m (66 ft)
Level: Advanced Open Water and beyond.
The Simmons Bay Sea Caves area lies on the southern coast of the Mornington Peninsula, in Simmons Bay, towards Cape Schanck from Flinders. The four kilometres of coastline stretching from Picnic Point (to the west) and Cairns Bay (to the east) contains basalt cliffs with large sea caves 5–12 metres in diameter. It's usually impossible to approach these caves due to the persistent swell and its reflection from the surrounding vertical cliff faces. But when the conditions are just right these yawning black holes are always worth an exploratory dive.
Heading west from Flinders towards Cape Schanck you pass some spectacular and rugged scenery with towering basalt cliffs, blowholes and coastal stacks. Be sure to give West Head and Bismark Reef a wide berth, as swell builds up over these shallow reefs on even the calmest days. Passing The Blowhole and majestic Lady Face Point, you'll arrive in Simmons Bay.
Pick almost any point on this coastline and you're bound to find a large sea cave nearby. When you enter the water you'll find Herring Cale darting amongst the kelp fronds below whilst the Sea Sweep keep you company. Bluespotted Goatfish fossick in the sand gutters, and the commotion they create attracts a small cluster of Bluethroat Wrasse and Sixspine Leatherjacket.
Swimming to the back wall of a cave you'll often find a Port Jackson Shark lazily making its way through the kelp towards open water. Deep chiselled ledges are common and some really test your abilities as you probe the darkness, fervently hoping to catch a glimpse of the delicacy of the deep — Southern Rock Lobster (aka Crayfish).
The Simmons Bay Sea Caves area certainly warrants many dives as there are plenty of different sea caves to explore.Location: Flinders, Victoria 3929
Entry/Exit: Access is by boat from the Flinders Boat Ramp in Western Port. Best to keep the dive boat live rather than anchor, and drop divers in the lee on the western side of the bommie.
Ideal Conditions: If the swell is anything greater than 1 metre you should be looking for a deeper dive site offshore. For this dive site, you need absolutely perfect conditions with no wind, no waves and no swell. The sites face south, so any wind needs to be light offshore north-westerlies to north-easterlies. See WillyWeather (Simmons Bay) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.
Acknowledgement: We'd like to thank Alan Wiggs whose article "One Perfect Day" in "Sportdiving Magazine" provided most the information you see above. See One Perfect Day by Alan Wiggs
Divers have the opportunity to catch Southern Rock Lobster (aka Crayfish) at this dive site. Remember your catch bag, current Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence, rock lobster measure, and cray tags. Once you get back to the dive boat, or shore, make sure you clip the tail and tag your Crayfish as per Fisheries requirements. Please abide by all current fishing regulations if you intend to catch crays. See article-catching-crayfish for practical cray hunting advice from The Scuba Doctor, plus melbourne-cray-dives for a list of other crayfish dive sites near Melbourne. For tips on cooking your Crays, please see article-cooking-crayfish.
Back Beach Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any dive on the Back Beaches of the Mornington Peninsula. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-the-back-beaches before diving or snorkelling this site.
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.
Simmons Bay Sea Caves Location Map
Latitude: 38° 29.415′ S (38.490249° S / 38° 29′ 24.9″ S)
Longitude: 144° 56.949′ E (144.949147° E / 144° 56′ 56.93″ E)
Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2022-04-05 02:53:07 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-05 10:01:26 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: The Arch, Flinders, 1,279 m, bearing 227°, SW
Flinders, Mornington Peninsula.
Depth: 3 to 20 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.