Reef Dive | Boat access
Depth: 6 m (20 ft) to 23 m (75 ft)
Zoo Reef is a dive site made popular by Geoff Rodda when he used to work as a dive charter boat captain. It's a slack water dive on an interesting reef structure offshore midway between Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff in Victory Bight, Lonsdale Bay, Port Phillip. It's located near Boarfish Reef and The Grotto.
The top of the reef is at about 6 metres, and in places, it can get to around 23 metres deep. But the interesting stuff stops at about 16 metres deep. We recommend you head south-east from the shot line to explore the Zoo Reef.
The area is marked on Admiralty charts as the Kelp Beds. Once upon a day, large strands of kelp extended up from a bottom of 15 metres to the surface where the fronds spread out to seemingly blanket areas of 50 square metres or more. Today, due to undetermined reasons, (water temperature, urchins, and boat traffic) this area has lost the forest kelp but retains a top covering of a thicker kelp species on top of the rock formations and bommies.
The area is now most noted for being in the Sponge Gardens, with all the relevant draw cards for photographers, fish spotters and Crayfish hunters. The currents can run fast and strong, providing fresh nutrients for the marine life and because of this the area should be dived at slack water.
The Rip & Tides Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any shore or boat dive within "The Rip" (aka "The Heads"). This is a dangerous stretch of water, where Bass Straight meets Port Phillip, which has claimed many ships and lives. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-the-rip before diving or snorkelling this site.
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.
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.
Zoo Reef Location Map
Latitude: 38° 17.072′ S (38.284533° S / 38° 17′ 4.32″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.401′ E (144.640017° E / 144° 38′ 24.06″ E)
Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2021-04-04 12:36:24 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-06 19:48:23 GMT
Source: Geoff Rodda
Nearest Neighbour: Kelp Beds Reef, 31 m, bearing 340°, NNW
Depth: 6 to 23 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.