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Thunder Point

Reef Dive Reef Dive | Shore access Shore access

Abalone Dive Site Crayfish Dive Site Ideal For Snorkelling Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site Spearfishing Site

Thunder Point
Thunder Point

Depth: 3 m (9.84 ft) to 20 m (66 ft)

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Thunder Point is a diving and snorkelling site which lies on the edge of the Merri Marine Sanctuary, just off MacDonald Street, west of Warrnambool on Victoria's Shipwreck Coast.

Merri Marine Sanctuary is a protected no-take zone just to the east of Thunder Point. See the Merri Marine Sanctuary map. Meanwhile the rest of the area is renown as a great site for catching abalone and crayfish.

Thunder Point and Merri Marine Sanctuary
Thunder Point & Merri Marine Sanctuary | © The Scuba Doctor Australia

Diving and Snorkelling at Thunder Point

Thunder Point, Warrnambool
Thunder Point, Warrnambool
© Western Abalone Divers Association

Thunder Point faces south-west into the Southern Ocean and features an exposed and rugged seafloor. The main entry and exit point at Thunder Point for a shore dive is down the cliff on the south-western side. There are also places to the west of Thunder Point where you can scramble down the cliff. The rock pools are popular for bathing and snorkelling.

This dive site has the most rugged terrain around Warrnambool. As you head out to sea, the gently sloping bottom depth goes from 5 metres at the shore to 20 metres about 150 metres offshore. The rock bottom gives way to isolated reefs surrounded by sand.

Thunder Point is close to the Merri Marine Sanctuary. Make sure you're not in the sanctuary before catching fish, abalone or crayfish.

Thunder Point Parking
Thunder Point Parking
© Google Street View

Location: MacDonald Street, Warrnambool, Victoria 3280

Parking: There is a car parking area to the west (right) off MacDonald Street, Warrnambool. Before gearing up check out the water. If you see lots of white water, head on home.

Entry/Exit: Entry is via a scamble down the cliff on the south western side from the southern Thunder Point car park.

Ideal Conditions: This dive site is prone to surge and swell and is best dived in very good conditions with a low swell with light offshore northerly winds. See WillyWeather (Thunder Point) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.

Boat Launching: The reefs off Thunder Point can also be reached by boat from the nearby Warrnambool (Lady Bay) boat ramp.


See also, Park Note: Merri Marine Sanctuary — November 2012.

History: Thunder Point, Warrnambool was named Cap de Mont-Tabur by Baudin on 31 March 1802, and shown thus on Freycinet's chart (1808) (Baudin Journal). It was probably renamed from the roar of the surf.

Abalone Dive Site
Abalone Dive Site
© Mark Norman, Museum Victoria

Divers have the opportunity to catch Abalone at this dive site. Remember your catch bag, legal abalone tool, current Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence, and abalone measure. Please abide by all current fishing regulations if you intend to catch abalone.

See article-catching-abalone for practical abalone hunting advice from The Scuba Doctor, plus melbourne-abalone-dives for a list of other Abalone dive sites near Melbourne.

Crayfish Dive Site
Crayfish Dive Site | © Ian Scholey

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.

Eastern Maar country
Eastern Maar country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Eastern Maar people of south-western Victoria between the Shaw and Eumerella Rivers and from Yambuk in the south to beyond Lake Linlithgow in the north. This truly ancient Country extends as far north as Ararat and encompasses the coastal townships of Port Fairy in the west, Warrnambool, Peterborough, Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne, and Airies Inlet in the east, including the Great Ocean Road area. It also stretches 100 metres out to sea from low tide and therefore includes the iconic Twelve Apostles. "Eastern Maar" is a name adopted by the people who identify as Maar, Eastern Gunditjmara, Tjap Wurrung, Peek Whurrong, Kirrae Whurrung, Kuurn Kopan Noot and/or Yarro waetch (Tooram Tribe) amongst others. We wish to acknowledge the Eastern Maar as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging.


Thunder Point Location Map

Latitude: 38° 23.974′ S   (38.399567° S / 38° 23′ 58.44″ S)
Longitude: 142° 27.798′ E   (142.4633° E / 142° 27′ 47.88″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map | Get directions
Added: 2021-06-12 14:59:13 GMT, Last updated: 2022-05-24 09:57:47 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Pickering Point, 525 m, bearing 103°, ESE
Warrnambool, Shipwreck Coast.
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.


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