Melbourne Pier Dives

Melbourne Pier Dives by The Scuba Doctor
Divers with Jellyfish at Blairgowrie Pier, Anzac Day 2006. Photo: David Bryant, SeaPics.

Given the greater city of Melbourne and surrounds includes the shorelines of Port Phillip (shore length 264 km) and Western Port (shore length 263 km), there are many piers, jetties, wharfs and quays which are great dive sites. We have customers who almost exclusively dive Blairgowrie Pier, with occassional visits to Rosebud Pier or Flinders Pier. So much diversity and great stuff to see and it's just an easy pier dive away.

10 Things You May Not Know About Diving Victoria's Piers

  1. Spoiled For Choice
    Victoria is loaded with easily accessible pier diving choices, attracting divers from interstate and overseas, plus many die-hard local divers. From Flinders Pier in Westernport Bay to nearby Mordialloc, Mornington, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea Piers on the Mornington Peninsula and across to St Leonards Pier near Queenscliff, this smorgasbord of options rates with some of the best dives in the country and rarely disappoint.
  2. The Ultimate Artificial Reefs
    Piers in Victoria generally feature long rows of wooden pylons coupled with expansive wooden or concrete seawalls. These structures become encrusted with vibrant sponges, ascidians, bryzoans and kelp, forming a rich tapestry that plays host to all manner of sea life. Some piers rival the Great Barrier Reef for colour and diversity, often in just two to six metres depth.
  3. Teeming With Life In Critter Paradise
    Dragons and ponies. Smooth rays, eagle rays, skates and banjo sharks. Giant cuttlefish, squid squads and octopus allsorts. Angel and Port Jackson sharks. Tasseled anglerfish, sea jellies and seals. Leatherjackets, salmon, pipefish, dragonets, blennies, seamoths, goblinfish and gobies. Massive seasonal aggregations of spider crabs, nudibranchs galore and more. Even the odd cormorant, penguin or lost turtle have been spotted beneath Victoria's piers.
  4. Each Pier Has A Unique Personality
    Flinders Pier is renowned for weedy sea dragons and draughtboard sharks. Sorrento Pier can only be dived at night after the ferry to Queenscliff has stopped operating. Blairgowrie Pier is considered a Mecca for nudibranchs, offers some of the greatest diversity of marine life in the state and — being well protected — is diveable under most conditions.
  5. And Each Is Best Dived Under Certain Conditions
    While Victoria's piers can generally be dived any time of the day or night and all year round, each has its own optimal conditions based on wind direction and strength, and time of entry in relation to the tide (visibility is often better on incoming and around high tide). Willyweather and webcams are a pier diver's best buddy in pre-assessing likely conditions beneath the surface.
  6. Intricate Tapestries Of Micro-Environments
    Don't under-estimate less obvious parts of the terrain. Be sure to thoroughly explore the sandy bottom, surrounding seagrass, pylons, seawalls, natural and man-made nooks and crannies and the surrounding open water (though make sure you watch out for hooks and lines in action from the pier above!)
  7. The Slower You Go, The More You Will See
    While it might be tempting to think of the pier as some sort of end-to-end underwater racetrack, the slower you go, the more you will see.
  8. Buoyancy Is Key
    Careless diving can quickly silt up the water, and fins swiping against sandy bottoms and pylons can cause significant damage to marine life. Neutral buoyancy will always result in a better experience for you and for the environment you are visiting.
  9. Piers Are Subject To Construction, Decay And Repairs
    Piers are subject to works in alignment with human needs and responsibilities. The current replacement of the eastern seawall at Blairgowrie Pier provides excellent opportunities for volunteer divers to be involved in the ground breaking 'Operation Sponge'. This initiative aims to salvage thousands of sponges, relocating them to new sections of seawall before the decaying sections are removed from the water (well worth checking out on Facebook and getting involved!)
  10. Pier Diving Is 100% Addictive
    Victoria's piers are accessible for divers of all levels and experience and filled with endless possibilities for underwater photographers. Satisfy you OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Diving) and check out one of Victoria's amazing piers soon!

The above information is taken, with permission, from an article by PT Hirschfield (Pink Tank Scuba), as published in the September 2016 edition of DiveLog Australasia on page 16. See also PT's blog, Pink Tank Scuba.

Best 5 Melbourne Pier Dive Sites

Our five favourite Melbourne pier dive sites, listed in order of popularity, are:

Blairgowrie Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated

The Best Pier Dive in Victoria!

Blairgowrie Pier
Blairgowrie Pier, © Unknown

Depth: 2 to 7 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

What To Expect: Blairgowrie Pier in Port Phillip, Victoria, is quite simply one of the best pier dives you can do anywhere in the world. It's a favourite dive site of photographers into maro shots.

Blairgowrie Pier is part of the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron safe boat harbour and marina. There is a floating wall protecting the marina and the dive area.

Lots of sponge covered pylons. Once you come to the end of the pier turn left and dive along the breakwater (breakwater extends right for a short way, but it is basically L shaped). Fishermen can not access this part. It gets deeper with lots of dead shells and inside there is a mass of sponge.

Growth is excellent not only over the pylons but also over the steel sheet cladding on the side of the pier that serves to protect the yachts in the marina against waves and current. Thus it ends up almost being a wall dive instead of a typical pier dive.

Good as a night dive for Nudibranchs, Dumpling Squid, Southern Calimari Squid, Octopus, Seahorses, various molluscs, Cuttlefish, Spider Crabs (lots of them), Globe Fish, Leatherjackets, Stingarees, Banjo Sharks and sometimes large Stringrays. More fish nearer the end of the breakwater.

A long dive will allow you to cover the entire length of the jetty, then breakwater and return to the stairs.

Blairgowrie Pier is known for its nudibranchs! More than a hundred different species have been identified under Blairgowrie Pier. You will most times find several kinds in a variety of sizes and colours. Check out the Blairgowrie Nudibranchs group page on Facebook.

Blairgowrie Pier is also known for spider crabs. Each year from April through July thousands of spider crabs migrate along the ocean floor to cool, shallow waters. When the water temperature drops, things heat up as the spider crabs molt their shells and the mating season begins. As the crowd together for protection from predators like stingrays, seals and sharks, they sometimes begin to pile up in stacks around a metre high. It's quite a slight for divers. Rye Pier is also a place where this phenomenon can be seen.

But there is more to this site than nudi's and spider crabs. You'll find seahorses, box fish, large stingrays, decorator crabs, stargazers, invertebrate, goat fish, blennies, and a whole lot of colour.

Blairgowrie Pier has steel cladding to protect the yachts in the marina from waves and currents. This also makes for a protected dive site and a great home to lots of sponges and marine animals. Although the bottom is sandy, the pylons and this cladding are covered in colour and life. Along the left hand arm of the pier there is also a bit of a wall, which again is there to protect the yachts. It runs from the surface to about half way down and makes for bit of a wall dive on a pier.

If you slow down and take your time, you're bound to find so much life on Blairgowrie Pier. There are always comments about how the colour and the protection from current makes this site a nice easy dive. Best dived at slack (the period where the tide is not running). If the tide is running through you will feel it perpendicular to the pier. Please try to stay one metre off of the bottom, and don't touch, bump into, or fin kick the pylons or wall.

The marina beth area is a marine reserve and no take zone, though the fishermen on the pier seem to ignore this.

A very interesting and different dive to most piers. If you stay under the pier you shouldn't be troubled by the many fisherman here. But it's still recommended to take a knife just in case.

Weather Required: The following winds will be okay: N <15 knots, W <15 knots, S <15 knots, E <25 knots. Fairly protected however, so apart from having bad visibility the site should still be safe to dive when the winds are a bit stronger.

Similar to Portsea and Rye, southerly winds are the best no matter the strength. High tide will give you a bit more depth and hopefully some clean water. The sea wall means it's a little more protected here, so Blairgowrie Pier is often chosen over the other piers for this reason.

Ideal Conditions: Best dived at slack water as current moves fairly fast here perpendicular (across) to the pier and allows for more areas to be dived if the current is stopped. However even when the currents running you can still have a very good dive if you're careful and use the iron cladding on the side of the pier to sheild you from the current. One side of the pier has been blocked off with a thin wall running from the surface to half way to the bottom, the wall/cladding is covered in sponge life making it interesting to swim along this part up off the bottom in 2 metres of water out of the current. Best dived close to high tide as it is then deeper.

Entry/Exit: Once down on Blairgowrie Pier, head for the lower landing about 180 metres, or two-thirds of the way out. A giant stride entry from this landing entry is easiest, but a shore entry is also a possibility. Once in the water try to get under the pier fairly quickly as boats often moor to the landing.

Safety First: There are quite a few safety concerns at Blairgowrie Pier as it is a working marina. But the place to be is under the pier itself, so if you stay there you should be fine. This diver information safety sheet sums up the guidelines:
Blairgowrie Jetty Diver Safety Information (Adobe PDF | 144.45 KB)

Never swim beneath the berths and always keep a watchful eye for boats should you head out from under Blairgowrie Pier. Also be mindful of the slip which is on the outside of the pier and berthing areas. If you're not going to stay under the pier, always take a dive flag and make yourself visible on the surface to boats. There are always boats around, particularly on the weekend. It's ideal to stay beneath the pier whenever you can. Besides, that's where the interesting stuff is anyway.

Parking: There are two free car parking areas available.

The best place to park is in the Lower Car Park area, down the bottom of the cliffs, along the road leading into the yacht club, behind the bathing boxes. The yacht club people often try to claim this area as their own, but it's actually a public car park, so tell them to sod off!

The second parking area is the Upper Car Park, off Nepean Highway, just south of the pier, overlooking the marina. After gearing up, there are two sets of stairs down to the site. The Northern stairs in the upper car park have difficult access to the marina walk ways. We suggest you take the Eastern stairs on the far right which give better access to the walk ways. It saves you ducking under the pier and is slightly shorter — which all counts when your carrying so much gear.

Blairgowrie Pier is also close to The Scuba Doctor Dive Shop. So please drop in and catch up with us before and/or after your dive.

Blairgowrie Jetty Diver Safety Information

Blairgowrie Map by Brendon Edwards

More information...

Latitude: 38° 21.407′ S   (38.356778° S / 38° 21′ 24.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 46.416′ E   (144.773597° E / 144° 46′ 24.95″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-06-13 05:13:46 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Bridgewater Bay, 2,012 m, bearing 196°, SSW
Depth: 2 to 7 m.

Rye Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated
Rye Pier
Rye Pier
© Unknown

Depth: 3 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

What To Expect:
Rye Pier is an excellent day and night dive site with max depth at around 5 metres. This is the place to go if you want to see Seahorses.

Rye Pier is a L-shaped pier approximately 500 metres long. Built about 1860 to service the lime trade. Points NNE so not diveable in strong N winds. A long walk to the lower landing (50m from end of pier). Much better at night as more things come out then. During the day can be fairly sparse.

The pylons are encrusted with marine growth so make sure to stop and have a good look around these. Also take your time to have a look in the tyres, as there are usually plenty of small critters hiding in there, often including some cleaner shrimp willing to give you a manicure.

Rye Pier is full of life and different every dive. You can find a Seal now and again, coming in from the seal colony on the Channel Marker. Spider Crabs in their thousands at the right time of year, Leatherjackets, Goatfish, Octopus (Sand, Keeled, Blue, Maori), Calamari, Dumpling Squid and Bottletail Squid in their dozens, Nudibranchs, Stargazers, lots of Seahorses (Pot Belly and Short Headed), schools of Pike during s ummer, Puffer Fish and Stingrays.

There are parts that must be nurseries as during certain times there are many baby critters here. You will see large Stingrays fairly often and you can see crowds gather on the pier to watch them swim around. Heaps of people fishing usually, so stay under the pier where the marine life is.

Watch out for fishing lines and carry a knife just in case. It's advised to stay between the pylons to avoid them.

There is also Elsa's Reef, a small artificial reef about 50 metres north from the end of Rye Pier. There is a sign and pickets leading to Elsa's Reef from the middle of the arm of the pier at the end that runs east. There is usually a large octopus hiding in the box and juvenile fish around. Nice for something different! Be careful when venturing from the pier as boats and jet skis are quite often above. Make sure you take a dive flag or SMB with you if you head that way.

There is also the wreck of the Eivion to the east, in about 3 metres. It can be spotted from up on the pier (about half way) as a dark patch. It is often home to many nudibranchs and rays. You can find shrimp and a variety of small fish. Something nice to change things up or to head to on a second dive.

Ideal Conditions:
Southerly winds and hight tide. Though high tide is ideal, you are able to dive it on any tide.

Weather Required: The following winds will be okay: N <15 knots, W <15 knots, S <15 knots, E <25 knots. Not current prone. Better at high tide to get more depth.

Entry/Exit: Entry can either be from the lower landing, or straight off the beach. Straight off the beach means crossing a large sandbank.

Be sure to take out a dive flag as there is often boat traffic. Over the summer holidays be very careful of PWC's (jet skis) as they come in very close to the pier and very quickly (despite rules and regulations). There is also often a para-sailing boat that comes in and out and moors to the lower landing. Be careful when entering and surfacing!

You can exit from the lower landing, but often a shore exit is nice as there is plenty to be seen south of the lower landing. Usually where we find many of the very cute seahorses.

Parking: Plenty of foods options here, plus a toilet block, and in winter plenty of car parks.

Rye Pier is also close to The Scuba Doctor Dive Shop. So please drop in and catch up with us before and/or after your dive.

More information...

Latitude: 38° 21.968′ S   (38.366125° S / 38° 21′ 58.05″ S)
Longitude: 144° 49.378′ E   (144.822961° E / 144° 49′ 22.66″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-23 20:23:16 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Eivion, 103 m, bearing 157°, SSE
Depth: 3 to 5 m.

Flinders Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay

Flinders Pier is the Weedy Seadragon capital of the world!

Flinders Pier
Flinders Pier
© Unknown

Depth: 3 to 6 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Ideal Conditions:
Flinders Pier is the perfect alternative when the Port Phillip is blown up with northerly's. Its protected from these winds and is best done on high tide. There is very little depth at low tide.

What To Expect:
Along with Blairgowrie Pier, Flinders Pier, located just inside Westernport Bay, would be one of the most popular shore dives in the state. Mainly because of its population of the Weedy Sea dragons that it's now famous for.

The BBC Natural History Film Unit spent three weeks at Flinders Pier in January 2016 to get footage of Weedy Seadragons for Blue Panet II. There are dozens of them here and during the right season you might see them carrying eggs around.

It's not uncommon to encounter seals here. They like to play with you by swimming straight at you, which is spooky in low viz. There are also large Stingrays that circle the pier. Leafy Seadragons have been spotted here by a couple of people (and photographed) but this is a very rare find.

Many species of marine life can be found under Flinders Pier including but not limited to obviously to the weedy sea dragon. You will often find cuttlefish, large smooth rays and eagle rays, crabs and plenty of other little fish and critters. You'll often also see a Banjo shark or two. Visibility is generally quite good and can make for some excellent underwater photography opportunities.


"Into the Dragon's Lair", a short video featuring the Weedy Seadragons of Flinders Pier by Sheree Marris author of Melbourne Down Under.

Flinders Pier is quite a bit different to the piers on the Mornington Peninsula. It's a grass bottom with plenty of colour, sponges and life on the pylons too, which is a bit of a change to the sand bottom of the Port Phillip Bay pier dives. This is why is such a perfect home for the Weedy's and why they are everywhere here!

Weather Required: All winds other than strong E or NE winds. If the ocean is rough, there most likely will be surge and poor viz. High tide is better as tide movement is 1.5 metres. Best dived at slackwater, or on an incoming Western Port tide. The viz will be best when there has been no recent rain.

Flinders Pier is often a perfect alternative when Port Phillip Bay isn't its best.

Entry/Exit: It is a long pier with many ladders and step platforms to allow for easy entry/exit points. Entry is easiest from the lower landing, that at high tide can be often covered by water. You can also come in from the shore.

Exit can be either shore, or the same as the entry, which again at high tide is covered and makes it easy to get up. You can avoid ladders and swim right onto it and stand right up!

Facilities: There are toilet facilities here and a cafe is up the road. There is however not a dive shop in the immediate area, so if your planning a double dive make sure you have adequate air before you head down. The Scuba Doctor dive shop in Rye is a short, scenic, half an hour dive from Flinders Pier. Still close enough if you've forgotten a fin or weight belt or want an extended interval and an air fill!

Safety First: As usual on pier dives there will be fisherman so make sure you have a knife handy for any snags or a tangled squid jig or two. A dive flag is also a must so others know you're there. There is often a few boats around so be careful of those and mindful when surfacing.

More information...

Latitude: 38° 28.534′ S   (38.475562° S / 38° 28′ 32.02″ S)
Longitude: 145° 1.624′ E   (145.027069° E / 145° 1′ 37.45″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-03-05 04:30:27 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Mushroom Reef, 1,137 m, bearing 233°, SW
Depth: 3 to 6 m.

Portsea Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated
Portsea Pier
Portsea Pier
© Unknown

Depth: 2 to 7 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Ideal Conditions:
Southerly winds and high tide. Be mindful that since the channel dredging there can be a fair bit of surge if the site is dived during a running tide.

What To Expect:
Portsea Pier in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria is a popular location for dive schools, macro photographers, night divers, or anyone who just wants a shallow, relaxing dive. It is L shaped and is approx 300 metres (985 feet) in length.

This pier is one of the most dived in Melbourne. Great for training (very busy in the summer months) and always an abundance of marine life. Very popular for seeing Weedy Sea Dragons!

Under the pier there is plenty of light as the pier is only about 4 metres (13 feet) wide, with a bottom consisting of mostly sand and patches of kelp and grasses. At the very end of the pier, a large area of kelp can be found, it is here you can quite often find the elusive Weedy Sea Dragon. But beware of departing and arriving boats, as this is a public pier and the Portsea Ferry arrives regularly.

All sorts of interesting creatures from, small crabs and stars to the occasional blue ring octopus, shrimp, guppies and blennies on the pylons. On the bend in the pier schools of goat fish, weedy seadragons, sea hares and nudibranchs.

There is not a lot of growth on the pylons of the pier. This is not a dive to be rushed, typical dives here can last well over an hour, so take your time and have a good look around.

Portsea Pier is great for night dives. If you are doing this dive at night, watch out for Squid jig fisherman, and stay under the pier itself away from their lines. Speaking of fisherman, because it is such a popular spot to fish, you will find plenty of lead, sinkers, knives, jigs and other bits and pieces easily.

This is not just a dive for the novice, divers of any level can enjoy this dive. With a dive shop within a few minutes walk, it makes it a great dive site.

The pier is self navigable by the pylons. There are Banjo Sharks, Weedy Sea Dragons, Puffer Fish (as always), Biscuit Star Fish, soft corals and sponges. And for those who like to scavenge there are a few old tyres the left of the pier once you hit the parallel shore part of the pier. Many creatures have been found in those old tyres and old bottles to collect.

There are many scuba divers that think Portsea Pier has been somewhat ruined as a dive site by the Port Phillip deepening programme carried out by the Port of Melbourne in 2009. Since the dredging, the swells at Portsea Pier are more frequent and more intense. Indeed, the once lovely Portsea Beach has now been totally destroyed.

If you're around for a second dive here, there is also Portsea Reef about 50 metres to the West of the pier. Here you will young fish and little schooling fish, along with some small critters.

Many divers that have gone out on boat dives with the charter operators that utilise Portsea Pier, when they get back like to drop in for a pier or reef dive to use up their remaining air.

The site is ideal for multiple dives due to the surrounding facilities. There are toilets located in the park just before the pier, as well as BBQs and cafes.

Entry/Exit: Best from Shore as there is a reef in the shallows on the left hand side to look at on the swim out. Also you can do a giant stride from the lower landing about half way out, and another at the end.

There are several exits, including the shore, back up the ladder on the lower landing, or if you're up for it, a climb up any of the ladders along the pier, though they aren't short!

Safety First: Be mindful of the boat traffic here, it can often be quite hectic, particularly in summer. Never swim in the inside area of the pier for this reason.

Parking: Free parking after 6 pm at Portsea Pier around 50 metres from the pier with good street lights over your car. During the day and summer the car parks are hard to get with most being 1 to 2 hour limited.

More information...

Latitude: 38° 19.107′ S   (38.318444° S / 38° 19′ 6.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 42.803′ E   (144.713389° E / 144° 42′ 48.2″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-23 20:21:09 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Portsea Cray Reef, 178 m, bearing 45°, NE
Depth: 2 to 7 m.

Mornington Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated
Mornington Pier
Mornington Pier
© Unknown

Depth: 3 to 10 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Ideal Conditions:
South to east winds and high tide.

What To Expect:
A whole variety of fish life here. Including old wives, globe fish, crabs, seahorses, starfish, squid, gurnards and other pylon dwelling creatures.

Mornington Pier is a regulary used dive training site and a relaxing after work night dive site for many Melbourne based divers. A site which is usually diveable when the wind is up.

Varied bottom depending on the area which means you wont get bored as it is changing the whole dive. Lots of large ledges and bolders, to sea grass covered rocks to silty mud. Lots of growth on rocks under the pier.

Abounds with sponge life, Pot Bellied Seahorses, Old Wives, Whiting, Morwong, Crabs, small Shrimp, and plenty of other small marine life.

Do be mindful here of the fisherman. There are usually a lot of them and the lines are littered everywhere. Be sure to take a knife just in case.

This is a great site for both day and night diving! The deepest of the piers on the Mornington Peninsula and well worth a visit. Depths can reach 10 metres out the end.

There is also a nice reef to the left of the pier you can follow along. To access it enter as you would for the pier and dive along the pier until the point the new structure starts. Cross through the pier here and you can follow a small reef along the edge of Snapper Point.

There are cafe and toilet facilities at Mornington Pier.

Entry/Exit: The best entry point is via a giant stride from the 3 metre high car park wall near the ladders. Alternatively you can lower your dive gear onto the stone ledge of the small boat inlet.

The best exit point is via the stone ledge. Get your gear onto the ledge. Climb onto the ledge and get your gear onto the top of the wall. Then climb the wall. It's easier if you work together with your dive buddy. Some divers prefer to climb one of the high ladders.

Make when making your way to the pier from the entry/exit points it's best to swim on the surface, ideally with an SMB, as there can be quite a bit of boat traffic.

Parking: Normally good, fee parking at entry point. If the car park is full you could be up for a 200 metre plus walk. If the car park is empty, it can be just a 4 metre walk to the water.

More information...

Latitude: 38° 12.761′ S   (38.212684° S / 38° 12′ 45.66″ S)
Longitude: 145° 2.016′ E   (145.033593° E / 145° 2′ 0.93″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-23 20:13:53 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Schnapper Point / Morninton Pier, 96 m, bearing 263°, W
Depth: 3 to 8 m.

Most of the above details about our favourite pier dives were kindly provided by Michael Mallis.

Other Melbourne Pier, Jetty, Wharf and Quay Dive Sites

Melbourne Pier Dives Map

Altona Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated
Artificial reef at Altona Pier
Altona Pier

Depth: 1 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Location: Altona
MELWAY Ref: Page 54 H11

Altona Pier, in Hobson's Bay, runs out over shallow water almost to the end where the sandy bottom finally deepens to 5 metres or so. Good for both day and night diving with lots of sand dwellers and small fish.

The pylons are covered in muscles and at the end of the pier there lies a supermarket trolly. An excellent training ground for new divers close to the city of Mebourne.

Fairly boring site with not much to see. Entry is best done with a back roll off the lower landing as it is very shallow.

The pier is very sandy and has a black muck towards the end. Marine life, what little of it is there, is very skittish. Puffers and fish like that around the pier. The most interesting sea creatures are found as statues at the start of the pier.

Probably better as a snorkelling site.

Don't forget to check out the artificial reef 40 to 65 metres seaward of Altona Pier.

Weather Required: N, NE, NW and W winds should be ok, or light S, SW and E winds. Not sure if it is affected by rain.

Access: Short walk from carpark near beach. Carpark is busy in summer.

Facilities: Free parking, toilets, lots of shops, park with benches to eat.

Latitude: 37° 52.384′ S   (37.873071° S / 37° 52′ 23.06″ S)
Longitude: 144° 49.812′ E   (144.830199° E / 144° 49′ 48.72″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-17 16:41:45 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Seaholme Reef, Altona, 1,447 m, bearing 67°, ENE
Depth: 1 to 5 m.

Black Rock Jetty, Half Moon Bay

Pier Dive Shore access

Depth: 2 to 8 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

This is a good site for new divers. Around the Black Rock Jetty are small leather jackets, star fish, gobbleguts and the occasional seahorse. Half Moon Bay is the small sandy shallow area to the left of the car park. It is an excellent night dive especially in spring when the phosphorescence is at its brightest. At night you can find octopus, flathead and bull rays. Avoid during a southerly as the area can get quite choppy.

Also worth a note is the wreck of the HMVS Cerberus warship. Divers are now banned from the wreck as it is too dangerous, so please keep a distance away. The guns from the warship lie on the sandy bottom nearby.

Latitude: 37° 58.158′ S   (37.969295° S / 37° 58′ 9.46″ S)
Longitude: 145° 0.590′ E   (145.009838° E / 145° 0′ 35.42″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-14 22:49:32 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Cerberus, 274 m, bearing 321°, NW
Depth: 2 to 8 m.

Brighton Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site

Depth: 2 to 8 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

This site is a good, safe controlled training area excellent for divers just getting into the sport. Head out past the Brighton Baths and across the sandy flats along the southern edge rock wall.

Park and gear up as close to the entry/exit point as possible as there is a very gentle and paved ramp leading right into the water from the car park if you wish to dive around the seabaths and the reef further out. To dive the breakwater you can enter from the first or second landing. It is better not to do a giant stride as the water is shallow, just climb down the ladder.

Under the pier there isn't much life around other than seastars. Out along the breakwater is quite nice with lots of nooks and crannies to find blennies, starfish, zebrafish, moonlighters, leatherjackets, seahorse and life similar to South Road. It is nice to ascend along the back wall to see a cool view of the CBD before heading back to the pier. You can combine diving the breakwater with the reef, if you reach the corner of the breakwater and swim out diagonally SW.

Best dived midweek, or as a night dive, when the car parking is easier.

Weather Required: The northern breakwater of the adjacent marina coupled with the shallow water to the north should offer protection from northerly winds. This site should also be diveable in easterlies and south easterlies and possibly north westerlies.

Facilities: Public toilets open during the day near the cafe. A parking fee is required at all times of the year including public holidays. Cost of parking is $3 for 1 hour or $5 for three hours. Parking ticket machine also accepts credit cards. There is good lighting at night.

Latitude: 37° 54.523′ S   (37.908713° S / 37° 54′ 31.37″ S)
Longitude: 144° 58.941′ E   (144.982345° E / 144° 58′ 56.44″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-17 16:50:09 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: South Road Reefs and Bommie, 2,301 m, bearing 164°, SSE
Depth: 2 to 8 m.

Clifton Springs Piers

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated

Depth: 2 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

There are three pier ruins in this area. To the west is Drysdale Jetty. In the middle are the ruins of a pier with old swimming baths at the end. To the east are the ruins of the very long Old Clifton Springs Jetty.

Bottle hunting here is popular but requires skill not to stir up the sand and sediment. Seahorses, nudibranchs, stingrays and pipefish can be found at these piers.


Clifton Springs Night Dive from Alan Beckhurst on Vimeo.

Latitude: 38° 9.164′ S   (38.152728° S / 38° 9′ 9.82″ S)
Longitude: 144° 33.760′ E   (144.562667° E / 144° 33′ 45.6″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-15 17:49:00 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Portarlington Pier, 8,987 m, bearing 60°, ENE
Depth: 2 to 5 m.

Cunningham Pier, Geelong

Pier Dive Shore access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated

Depth: 3 to 10 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

In the central harbour area of Geelong there is Cunningham Pier, the remains of Steampacket Wharf, the remains of Yarra Pier, and the wreck of the sailing clipper ship Lightning.

Latitude: 38° 8.534′ S   (38.142239° S / 38° 8′ 32.06″ S)
Longitude: 144° 21.725′ E   (144.362077° E / 144° 21′ 43.48″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-17 23:32:40 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Lightning, 266 m, bearing 96°, E
Depth: 3 to 10 m.

Dromana Pier

Pier Dive Shore access

Depth: 3 to 10 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Dromana Pier lies in quiet shallow water, which means depending on the tide as you may have to do a side-roll entry. If you Snorkel directly straight out of the pier for about 200 metres you will come across the pylons of the old jetty. At the end of these pylons there are some rail wheels they are recovered in sea weed now but even now still recognisable. For the fish life you can see fiddler rays, nudibranchs, leather jackets, stingrays, bay trout and a whole lot more.

Best place to find the deadly Blue Ring Octopus - don't touch them.

This is a nice short pier and can be great for training around.

Latitude: 38° 19.914′ S   (38.331906° S / 38° 19′ 54.86″ S)
Longitude: 144° 57.890′ E   (144.964837° E / 144° 57′ 53.41″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-14 16:30:08 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Mount Martha - Ian Road, 4,463 m, bearing 22°, NNE
Depth: 3 to 10 m.
-38 19.914
144 57.890
(WGS84)
Source: Google Earth

Frankston Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated
Artificial reef at Frankston Pier
Frankston Pier

Depth: 3 to 6 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Ideal Conditions:
Easterly winds and high tide.

What To Expect:
Entry points could be either lower landing, but if your taking the first lower landing option be prepared for some shallow depths initially (the possibility of crawling over sand banks). You may also have to do a short snorkel before you get some depth.

There's quite a bit of growth, both weed and sponges. Some natural and not so natural reef if common under Frankston pier like trolleys, tyres and random bits and pieces. None the less this creates homes for some Globe fish, crabs, rays, seahorses, 11 arm star fish and sea biscuits.

You'll find the most marine life if you stay under or very close to Frankston Pier. Not a huge amount of fish life but interesting and worth doing still. Nice one for on the way home from the Mornington Peninsula, or something a little closer to the city.

Don't forget to check out the artificial reef about 40 metres seaward of Frankston Pier.

There can be a bit of boat traffic around particularly in summer so be sure to take a dive flag. A small knife to cut line is always a good idea too and there is usually fisherman around.

Plenty of parking, though a walk involved. There is a small cafe close by and plenty a small drive away! Toilet blocks are around.

Latitude: 38° 8.730′ S   (38.145497° S / 38° 8′ 43.79″ S)
Longitude: 145° 6.778′ E   (145.112969° E / 145° 6′ 46.69″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-26 23:11:55 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Frankston Reef, Olivers Hill, 1,330 m, bearing 211°, SSW
Depth: 3 to 6 m.

Gem Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site

Depth: 1 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Gem Pier, in Williamstown, is one of Victoria's oldest marine constructions. The visibility is usually pretty dirty and with fine mud on the bottom you need to stay at least a metre above it.

Latitude: 37° 51.683′ S   (37.861378° S / 37° 51′ 40.96″ S)
Longitude: 144° 54.337′ E   (144.905623° E / 144° 54′ 20.24″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-15 23:16:18 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Point Gellibrand, 1,113 m, bearing 182°, S
Depth: 1 to 5 m.

Hastings Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay

Depth: 3 to 5 metres

Latitude: 38° 18.491′ S   (38.308187° S / 38° 18′ 29.47″ S)
Longitude: 145° 11.944′ E   (145.199073° E / 145° 11′ 56.66″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-15 23:18:57 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Stony Point Pier, 7,453 m, bearing 162°, SSE
Depth: 3 to 5 m.

Kerford Road Pier

Pier Dive Shore access

Depth: 2 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The piers of Port Melbourne interrupt the sandy beaches and these man made structures create interesting habitat for marine plants and animals.

Latitude: 37° 50.985′ S   (37.849746° S / 37° 50′ 59.09″ S)
Longitude: 144° 57.045′ E   (144.950752° E / 144° 57′ 2.71″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-15 23:26:03 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: St Kilda Pier, 2,276 m, bearing 136°, SE
Depth: 2 to 5 m.

No locations found.

Mordialloc Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated

Depth: 2 to 6 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Mordialloc Pier is fairly close to Melbourne and has similar life to Mornington Pier, but not nearly as interesting.

Heaps of blennies, seahorses, puffer fish, dumpling squid, calamari, starfish, blue ring octopuses, toadfish, jellyfish, and puffers.

The best way to do this pier is to enter off the lower landing, swim to the end of the pier, and then swim all the way back to shore. There is a lot of interesting reef around this pier to check out as well. When you get closer to shore you will find heaps of agro sand crabs running around the sand and the start of the pier is more interesting in general.

This is a good night dive site. It has a lot of dumped shopping trolleys making it a shopping trolley graveyard (where you can find seahorses in particular), and also lots of golf balls as the creek near here leads to a golf course.

Location: Mordialloc
MELWAY Ref: Page 92 E2

Weather Required: N or NE winds are best, or very light winds from other directions as quite exposed. No rain runoff.

Access: Can enter via shore or via lower landing.

Facilities: Toilets during the day, parking costs between 8am to 8pm. Lighting at night, tap to wash gear near where the yachts live.

Latitude: 38° 0.742′ S   (38.01236° S / 38° 0′ 44.5″ S)
Longitude: 145° 5.004′ E   (145.083405° E / 145° 5′ 0.26″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-17 23:48:48 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Aspendale Rec Reef, 2,704 m, bearing 192°, SSW
Depth: 2 to 6 m.

Point Lonsdale Jetty

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Marine Park - No Fishing Night Dive Site Open Water Rated

Depth: 3 to 5 metres

Point Lonsdale Jetty makes for an interesting dive even though the water is shallow. This is ocean territory with a rocky bottom supporting plenty of marine life.

During slack water you can head North and East to patches of reef. But if you get it wrong you could be easily swept away. So short dives only.

Another option her is to head South from the jetty to the Point Lonsdale Kelp Beds.

This site lies in the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park. The park is made up of six separate marine areas around the southern end of Port Phillip: Swan Bay, Mud Islands, Point Lonsdale, Point Nepean, Popes Eye, and Portsea Hole.

See also, Parks Victoria: Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, and Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park - Map (PDF 1.4 MB).

Latitude: 38° 17.498′ S   (38.291637° S / 38° 17′ 29.89″ S)
Longitude: 144° 36.970′ E   (144.616169° E / 144° 36′ 58.21″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-27 21:25:31 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Point Lonsdale Kelp Forest, 148 m, bearing 178°, S
Depth: 3 to 5 m.

Portarlington Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated
Artificial reef at Portarlington Pier
Portarlington Pier

Depth: 2 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Best done at high tide for extra depth under the pier. The sheltered, sandy site makes a nice night dive. You'll probably spend most of your time exploring the outer wall, but beware of fishing lines and take a good dive knife.

Don't forget to check out the artificial reef 40 to 70 metres seaward of Portarlington Pier's rock wall section.

Latitude: 38° 6.752′ S   (38.112541° S / 38° 6′ 45.15″ S)
Longitude: 144° 39.109′ E   (144.651819° E / 144° 39′ 6.55″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-16 03:10:25 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Steeles Rocks, Portarlington, 1,175 m, bearing 87°, E
Depth: 2 to 5 m.

Rippleside Pier, Geelong

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated

Depth: 1 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

There is no public access to Rippleside Pier, so you need to make your entry and exit from the northern end of Rippleside Beach. Go directly to and from the pier, and stay under the pier during your dive.

Latitude: 38° 7.598′ S   (38.126633° S / 38° 7′ 35.88″ S)
Longitude: 144° 21.482′ E   (144.358035° E / 144° 21′ 28.93″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-17 23:32:54 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Cunningham Pier, Geelong, 1,771 m, bearing 168°, SSE
Depth: 1 to 5 m.

Sorrento Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated

One of the best night dives in Melbourne.

Depth: 7 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Ideal Conditions:
Your also going to want to dive here as close to slack water as possible because of how close Sorrento Pier is to a channel. It gets quite a lot of current. The dive site is very prone to strong currents, so plan ahead.

What To Expect:
Wait until the ferry stops for the day (usually 8:30 pm), then head straight out from where the ferry docks. You can dive under the pier but your likely to find the most interesting stuff on the pylons of the ferry terminal. That's why it's a must to make sure all the ferries have finished for the day!

Not often dived because of the restrictions and conditions required, but well worth it if you can get there for the night dive!

You need a permit to dive off the pier so it's a good idea to do a shore entry. You'll find weedy sea-dragons and great macro life also large Colony of Sponges over the pier's pylons. You may come across some old wives, flat head, squid, sometimes an eel and plenty of nudibranchs.

You may also find old bottles here. It is quite popular for divers to forage here for marble ones. Because of the sand movement and the ferry it often uncovers more bottles. Sorrento Pier was once popular with old bay steamers and visitors who would drop and throw empties from the pier. A good area to find bottles is often east of the ferry terminal.

There is a large car park here which makes it easy to get a park in winter. Ii's always busy in summer. There is a large range of cafes and pubs on the main street of Sorrento and public toilets in the car park.

Latitude: 38° 20.141′ S   (38.335677° S / 38° 20′ 8.44″ S)
Longitude: 144° 44.753′ E   (144.745887° E / 144° 44′ 45.19″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-27 00:35:35 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Sorrento Boat Moorings, 262 m, bearing 323°, NW
Depth: 0 to 7 m.

St Kilda Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated

St Kilda Pier is a suitable site for both snorkellers and divers. There is a surprising little ecosystem on the land break water. Lots of sea stars and baby fish call it home. Extensive seagrass beds surround the pier and provide a nursery area for many types of marine life.

Be careful of boats, jetskis and fishing lines. Please respect that there is a boat marina beside the pier.

Latitude: 37° 51.871′ S   (37.864512° S / 37° 51′ 52.24″ S)
Longitude: 144° 58.122′ E   (144.968698° E / 144° 58′ 7.31″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-26 22:44:35 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Kerford Road Pier, 2,276 m, bearing 316°, NW
Depth: 4 to 8 m.

St Leonards Pier

Pier Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Depth: 4 to 6 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

St Leonard's Pier and Wreck is rated as the best pier dive in the area. This dive site is well worth a visit day or night.


St Leonard's Locals from Alan Beckhurst on Vimeo.

There is an unidentified shipwreck at this dive site that is worth having a look at. See "Site Survey: Unidentified Wreck at St Leonards Pier, St Leonards, Victoria" for more details.

See also St Leonards Surf Cam.

Latitude: 38° 10.213′ S   (38.170223° S / 38° 10′ 12.8″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.246′ E   (144.720771° E / 144° 43′ 14.78″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-25 18:42:49 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: The Pipelines, Indented Head, 2,350 m, bearing 352°, N
Depth: 4 to 6 m.

For more information about the great pier dives available in Melbourne, please see our Melbourne Shore Dives and Melbourne Dive Sites Map pages.

Pier, Jetty, Wharf or Quay?

If you don't know the difference between a pier, jetty, wharf or quay, then this simple diagram should help you to understand.

Pier, Jetty, Wharf or Quay?


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.

If you don't understand the differences between the different ways coordinates are given, plus how different datum come into play, you might find the article GPS Conversions by Lloyd Borrett (100 Kb, 5 pages, Adobe PDF) a useful read. It describes the problems associated with locating dive sites using a GPS receiver.

GPS latitude explained


Scuba Doctor Dive Map KML File

In the true spirit of making it easy to obtain, utilise and share the information, you can now Download/view the Scuba Doctor Dive Map GPS Marks (KML file | 220.98 KB | 05-May-2018) in the Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file format used to display geographic data in an Earth browser such as Google Earth and Google Maps.

Some marine GPS units can import the information from a KML file. For others you can use use a file translate program (e.g. GPSBabel) to convert the KML file into an import file format (e.g. GPX) supported by your GPS unit.


Please Help Us To Correct GPS Marks and Add More Melbourne Dive Sites

If you have have information about other dive sites you'd be happy to see added to the information available here, or any corrections and/or updates to the diving site GPS marks listed here, please feel free to Contact Us.

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