Reef Dive | Shore access
Depth: 8 m (26 ft) to 10 m (33 ft)
Level: Open Water and beyond.
The Steps (aka Steps and Boobs) is a popular surf access point just 100 km south-west of Melbourne, on Ocean Boulevarde at Jan Juc, between Bells Beach and Torquay. The Steps lies on Victoria's Surf Coast, facing south-east into Bass Strait. The Steps is well known to surfers and rarely dived, but on the rare days when conditions are flat, calm, with no swell, and the surfers are having a bad day, it's fun for divers and snorkellers to explore the limestone reefs and gullies.
To the north-east of The Steps headland is Half Moon Bay. The coast here is dominated by steep, 30 to 40 metre high, limestone bluffs, which wind their way for 2.5 km to Bells Beach. At the base of the bluffs are small beaches, each surrounded by rocks and reefs. The beaches are all relatively short and narrow, with the one below Princes Street (to the north-east) awash at high tide. Dead Man Beach lies south-west of The Steps. The beaches receive waves averaging 1 to 1.5 metre, with the reefs lowering waves at The Steps. Permanent rips persist against the reefs. That's all very good for the surfers, but when everything is calm and placid, its time for the divers and snorkellers to take over.
Diving and snorkelling at The Steps is about exploring the underwater reef terrain and marine life. On a perfect day, with no wind, no swell, and no current, it's really worthwhile. Heading south-east from the shore you come across a shallow limestone reef with ledges and large holes. Further out are the offshore limestone reefs with shelves, overhangs and holes supporting a wide-array of marine life.
See also, The Steps in "Shore Dives of Victoria" by Ian Lewis, 3rd edition page 40.
Location: Ocean Boulevarde, Jan Juc, Victoria 3228
MELWAY Ref: Page 505 F12
Parking: From Torquay to the east, head south on Surf Coast Highway (B100) toward Darian Road/Grossmans Road, At the roundabout, take the 2nd roundabout exit onto Great Ocean Road (B100) and continue to the intersection with Duffields Road. Turn left onto Duffields Road and follow it south. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Ocean Boulevarde. About 1.1 km further on, after you pass Cantala Drive, turn left into the car park. Before gearing up check out the water. If you see lots of white water, head on home.
Warning: Weather conditions at The Steps vary considerably with very strong winds and squalls frequently occurring. When conditions aren't right, this can be a highly hazardous area with deep water, rocks and reefs, with a strong rip feeder current running out past the headland. Always go with a buddy and be extremely careful. Experienced divers and snorkellers only.
Entry/Exit: While checking out the area before gearing up, you can see the entire site so pick out a suitable entry/exit point to the south-west of the headland. Take the track from the car park and the steps down onto the beach. Then enter from the place you've chosen on the rock platform.
Ideal Conditions: The Steps is a very exposed shore dive site, so it should only be dived when the seas are flat and calm with very little swell. Conditions are usually best with no wind, or after a few days of northerlies, as surface conditions remain calm.
See WillyWeather (Half Moon Bay, Jan Juc) 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.
Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes the coastline of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-east, the Bellarine Peninsula, and down to Cape Otway in the south-west. We wish to acknowledge the Wathaurong 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.
The Steps, Jan Juc Location Map
Latitude: 38° 21.363′ S (38.356043° S / 38° 21′ 21.75″ S)
Longitude: 144° 17.821′ E (144.297013° E / 144° 17′ 49.25″ E)
Datum: WGS84 | Google Map | Get directions
Added: 2022-04-09 11:17:09 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-09 12:35:32 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Bird Rock, Jan Juc, 990 m, bearing 34°, NE
Jan Juc, Surf Coast.
Depth: 1 to 10 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.