Melbourne Reef Dives

When most people mention reefs, they usually mean coral reefs, without realising that reefs can be extensive in temperate (cooler) waters. There are fundamental differences in the structure and dynamics of tropical and temperate reefs.

Temperate reefs consist of a rocky substrate, which is colonised by a range of algae and attached invertebrates. Coral reefs are built up by small animals that secrete a calcium carbonate skeleton (corals). Temperate waters are cooler and nutrient levels tend to be higher compared to reefs in tropical waters.

In contrast to the domination by corals on tropical reefs, the dominant biota on temperate reefs are generally macroalgae where there is enough light. In temperate systems, the majority of carbon fixed is via these large algae. In tropical systems, the majority of carbon fixed is by the symbiotic relationship of microscopic algae living in the tissue of sponges and corals. Contrary to common belief, corals are common in temperate waters, but they do not build reefs here.

Australia's Unique South

Australia is well known for its spectacular tropical coral reefs, such as Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. Less well known is Australia's Great Sourthern Reef.

The reefs of Victoria's southern temperate waters are a part of the Great Southern Reef and are truly unique. Victoria's long south-facing coastline means we have a huge temperate (or cold water) marine environment.

Australia's many millions of years of geographical isolation means our reefs and marine environment have developed in response to an uncommon combination of environmental forces.

Not surprisingly, the marine life of southern Australia contain a multitude of species found nowhere else on earth. While coral reefs support a huge variety of fish species, it is the temperate southern areas that support a greater diversity of marine life (especially flora and invertebrate fauna). Researchers call this region Australia's Unique South.

The Unique flora and fauna of Victoria's marine environment

Consider these facts: 85% of the temperate fish species, 95% of the species of molluscs, and 90% of the species of sea stars or sea urchins (echinoderms) are unique to temperate Australia. Huge ranges of sea squirts (ascidians) are also found, with 189 species recorded. Many of these species are reef dwellers at some stage of their life cycle.

As a comparison in the tropics, where many species tend to disperse more widely, only 13% of fish species, 10% of molluscs and 13% of echinoderms are unique to the region.

In Southern waters 1,100 species of red algae described so far represent 25% of the world's total, with 75% of them being unique to our region.

Artificial Reefs

Many ships have come to grief in Victoria waters, plus there is an extensive Ships' Graveyard in Bass Strait, not far from the entrance to Port Phillip Bay and the Port of Melbourne. These wrecks have all become exciting artificial reefs and home to thousands of marine creatures.

Melbourne Reef Dive Locations

You can see where the popular Melbourne and Victorian reef dive locations are via our Melbourne Dive Sites Map. The GPS marks for these reef dives are also listed here, plus on our Melbourne Dive Site GPS Marks page.

18 Metre Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Just outside Port Phillip Heads on the Point Lonsdale side is an area of scattered reef with depths ranging from 12 to 18 metres. This area is renowned for Crayfish and Abalone and possible sightings of Weedy Sea Dragons. Rock formations and bommies rising up from a max depth of 18 metres on the seabed, ledges with a top covering of kelp, cracks and crevasses make this ideal haven for fish and critters to find protection when needed. In the protection of the ledges and overhangs you are likely to see delicate fans and soft corals plus fish including Blue Devils. This area is not current affected, but as with all coastal aspects can be affected by surge.

Latitude: 38° 17.314′ S   (38.288567° S / 38° 17′ 18.84″ S)
Longitude: 144° 34.335′ E   (144.57225° E / 144° 34′ 20.1″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-23 22:31:26 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: The Ledges, 86 m, bearing 133°, SE
Depth: 12 to 18 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.

Aspendale Rec Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site

Aspendale Rec Reef is an artificial reef created with the aim of improving recreational fishing opportunities and testing the reef's environmental suitability and performance as fish habitat.

The reef consists of 96 reef balls of different sizes (16 pallet balls, 56 bay balls and 24 mini-bay balls) placed in a specific geometric pattern over an area of 50 square metres.

The reef balls are dome-shaped concrete structures with a rough stony surface and a number of holes in them to attract marine life. The concrete mix is environmentallyfriendly so there is no leaching of toxins and these structures have a life span of at least 300 years in the marine environment.

Latitude: 38° 2.168′ S   (38.036133° S / 38° 2′ 10.08″ S)
Longitude: 145° 4.616′ E   (145.076933° E / 145° 4′ 36.96″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-23 22:32:02 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Tyre Reef, 1,692 m, bearing 174°, S
Artificial reef installed to improve recreational fishing.
Depth: 11 m.

Awesome Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Subject to Shipping Slack Water

Awesome Reef is a spectacular reef formation off of Shortlands Bluff, Port Phillip, Victoria, near the shipping channel.

Latitude: 38° 17.100′ S   (38.285° S / 38° 17′ 6″ S)
Longitude: 144° 39.395′ E   (144.656583° E / 144° 39′ 23.7″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 01:41:22 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Knawesome Bommie, 101 m, bearing 197°, SSW
Depth: 12 to 40 m.

Beacon Reef, Davey Bay

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

Depth: 3 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Beacon Reef is an underwater collection of tumbled rocks and slabs with lots of little holes and crannies that the small fish life love.

Latitude: 38° 9.824′ S   (38.163739° S / 38° 9′ 49.46″ S)
Longitude: 145° 5.279′ E   (145.087985° E / 145° 5′ 16.75″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-27 00:18:42 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Pelican Point Reef, 291 m, bearing 54°, NE
Depth: 3 to 5 m.

Black Rock Schoal

Reef Dive Boat access
Latitude: 37° 58.851′ S   (37.98085° S / 37° 58′ 51.06″ S)
Longitude: 145° 0.683′ E   (145.011383° E / 145° 0′ 40.98″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-14 23:04:43 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Black Rock Jetty, Half Moon Bay, 1,292 m, bearing 353°, N

Boarfish Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site Slack Water


Boarfish Reef, by Jane Headley.

Situated in the famous Sponge Gardens, Boarfish Reef lies approximately halfway between Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale. It starts in approximately 10 metres of water and gradually increases in depth to around 22 metres in a system of interesting rock formations and overhangs and swim-throughs.

The reef provides protection and homes to a multitude of colourful growth, fish, and marine life. Commonly seen are the spectacular Blue Devil fish, Crayfish, curious Leather Jackets, nudibranchs, mosaic sea stars, yellow sea spiders and of course Boarfish. On occasion Port Jackson Sharks have been sighted snoozing in groups or singularly under rock ledges.

Near the southern end of the reef, in 10 metres of water wedged upright, is a large 4 metre Admiralty anchor encrusted with marine growth. On the northern tip of the reef a large sponge garden extends for approx 400 metres. One of the most popular dive sites and always enjoyable.

Latitude: 38° 17.111′ S   (38.285183° S / 38° 17′ 6.66″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.301′ E   (144.63835° E / 144° 38′ 18.06″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:43:33 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: 12lb Reef, 66 m, bearing 59°, ENE
Depth: 10 to 25 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Buckley Park Reef

Reef Dive Boat access

Buckley Park Reef is a reef system off of the Buckley Park Foreshore Reserve on the Barwon Coast. An absolutely delightful spot to dive. Heaps of fish and other marine life.

Latitude: 38° 16.994′ S   (38.283233° S / 38° 16′ 59.64″ S)
Longitude: 144° 32.936′ E   (144.548933° E / 144° 32′ 56.16″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-15 16:57:47 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: ex HMAS Canberra, 1,900 m, bearing 194°, SSW
Depth: 8 to 16 m.

Chimney Rock

Reef Dive Boat access
Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Chimney Rock, off Barwon Heads, is a swiss cheese reef with lots of life. It's a weird rock full of holes with a sort of chimney hole in the top and an old cray pot under it. It is part of a reef full of similar Swiss cheese rocks.

AB's mark is 38 18.089 144 30.198, but it marks the reef, not the chimney in particular. Best try not to shot on the reef as there is a good chance the shot will go down into the Swiss cheese and get stuck. And half the fun is finding the chimney!

Black Rock Underwater Diving Group (BRUDG) GPS have the mark for this site as -38 18.079, 144 30.184.

Latitude: 38° 18.089′ S   (38.301483° S / 38° 18′ 5.34″ S)
Longitude: 144° 30.198′ E   (144.5033° E / 144° 30′ 11.88″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2018-01-12 01:30:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:44:31 GMT
Source: Alan Bechurst GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Orungal, 1,635 m, bearing 21°, NNE
-38 18.089
144 30.198

Deep Pinnacles

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Deep Pinnacles lies just outside Port Phillip Heads on the Point Lonsdale side is an area of scattered reef and rock bommies rising out of the sea bed, with depths ranging from 16 to 25 metres. The sea life in this is area is prolific with Crayfish, Blue Devils, Abalone, and much more. The soft calcium that comprises most of the terrain in this area has eroded into lots of little swim throughs valleys and overhangs, all topped off with a light scattering of kelp.

Latitude: 38° 17.847′ S   (38.29745° S / 38° 17′ 50.82″ S)
Longitude: 144° 35.699′ E   (144.594983° E / 144° 35′ 41.94″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:45:11 GMT
Source: Peter Fear GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Golden Arch, 137 m, bearing 275°, W
Depth: 16 to 25 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.

Dragons Lair

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Just outside Port Phillip Heads on the Point Lonsdale Side is an area of scattered reef with depths ranging from 12 to 18 metres. The Dragon's Lair area is renowned for hunting Crayfish and Abalone, or for the photographer the same ledges and reef also provide protection for Blue Devils, Weedy Sea Dragons, Stingrays, delicate sea fans and much more. The soft calcium that comprises most of the terrain in this area has eroded into lots of little swim throughs valleys and overhangs all topped off with a light scattering of kelp.

Latitude: 38° 17.421′ S   (38.29035° S / 38° 17′ 25.26″ S)
Longitude: 144° 34.859′ E   (144.580983° E / 144° 34′ 51.54″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:45:53 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: The Supermarket, 375 m, bearing 299°, WNW
Depth: 12 to 18 m.
Dive only on: Ebb, Flood.

Fishermans Beach / Point Linley Reef

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

Perfect dive for beginners!

Depth: 5 to 10 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Ideal Conditions:
Winds from the south to east are ideal for this dive site.

What To Expect:
Best entry point is at the end of the car park at the boat ramp. Easiest to climb over a few rock, pop your fins on then swim over to the edge of the reef.

In Mornington, Point Linley Reef at Fisherman's Beach is a nice shore dive site. Once in if you follow round the point keeping the reef on your left you will find some nice life. If you swim out towards the marker pylon (northish) you will get a little more depth. Drops off to a depth of around 10 metres. Linley Reef is a series of boulders and slabs.

You're likely to see some goat fish, lots of starfish and sea stars, crabs, lots of sea urchins and little critters like the shrimp and some other small fish. Some seahorses and small cuttlefish have also been seen there. Plenty of boulders and weed, so some nice crevices to check out.

Make sure you're careful of boat and PWC (jet ski) traffic operating from the Fisherman's Beach boat ramp. Take a dive flag with you. There are sometimes a few fisherman on the point, so keep in mind their lines and you may want to take a knife just in case.

Entry/Exit: Enter over the rocks at the Western end of the Fisherman's Beach boat ramp area. You need to do a day inspection before tackling it at night. Best to go out along the North side of the reef. Then return along the South side.

When exiting you can go the same way you entered, or swim into the beach. If you're doing the latter make sure you swim on the surface (preferably with a flag or SMB!), so that you are seen by boats as you'll have to very carefully cross the boat channel by the ramp.

Parking: There isn't any parking at the boat ramp car park, but plenty in the dirt car parks at the top of the beach, or in nearby streets. There are toilet facilities further down the beach and a cafe across the road.

This could be a perfect little team up dive with Mornington Pier and Snapper Point.

Latitude: 38° 13.596′ S   (38.226605° S / 38° 13′ 35.78″ S)
Longitude: 145° 1.548′ E   (145.025807° E / 145° 1′ 32.91″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-15 22:31:10 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Marina Cove, 116 m, bearing 152°, SSE
Depth: 5 to 10 m.

Frankston Reef, Olivers Hill

Reef Dive Shore access

Depth: 2 to 6 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Latitude: 38° 9.342′ S   (38.155693° S / 38° 9′ 20.49″ S)
Longitude: 145° 6.302′ E   (145.105026° E / 145° 6′ 18.09″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-15 23:14:39 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Frankston Pier, 1,330 m, bearing 31°, NNE
Depth: 2 to 6 m.

Geoffs Hole

Reef Dive Boat access

Geoff's Hole was discovered and named after one of the great local diving identities. This dive site is close inshore to Point Nepean and can only be dived on slack water. The shallowest section runs southwest to northeast with the deeper section to the southeast.

There have been reports that the wreck of a couta boat can be seen in this area. But with sand movement it may be covered up.

This dive makes a nice change to Portsea Hole. A great dive to do during strong southerlies, as this area is quite sheltered

Latitude: 38° 17.958′ S   (38.2993° S / 38° 17′ 57.48″ S)
Longitude: 144° 40.568′ E   (144.676133° E / 144° 40′ 34.08″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-16 22:07:28 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Cattle Jetty Drift, 452 m, bearing 124°, SE
Depth: 18 to 40 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Giddiup

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Discovered and named by a Seinfeld fan who when 'sounding' over this area did a great Kramer impersonation and yelled Giddiup! when he noticed this dive site's spectacular looking formations. The name stuck. Giddiup is approximately 1 kilometre from the Point Lonsdale Light and clear of the shipping channel, just outside Port Phillip Heads. It's an amazing area of Bommies and underwater rock formations.

The strong current flow in this area has created a nutrient rich environment and subsequently prolific marine growth and the associated marine life. But it's the amazing rock formations that make this dive site special.

Latitude: 38° 18.181′ S   (38.303017° S / 38° 18′ 10.86″ S)
Longitude: 144° 36.769′ E   (144.612817° E / 144° 36′ 46.14″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:46:42 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Lonsdale Bommies, 371 m, bearing 351°, N
Depth: 14 to 20 m.
Dive only on: Ebb.

Golden Arch

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Golden Arch, also known as Cuttle Arch, is a very nice reef dive site.


Cuttle Arch from Alan Beckhurst on Vimeo.

The mark is on the eastern side of the reef, pretty close to an old cray pot. Turn right and follow reef like Castle Rock to a 10 metre long arch with Yellow Zoanthids underneath. Go through the arch and explore the reef scattered on the west side which is home to Cuttlefish and a family of Blue Groper. Almost certain to see White Barred Boxfish there as well.

The site is also known to fishing charters as a good spot for Kingfish.

Latitude: 38° 17.840′ S   (38.297333° S / 38° 17′ 50.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 35.605′ E   (144.593417° E / 144° 35′ 36.3″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2018-01-14 18:22:04 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:47:13 GMT
Source: Alan Beckhurst GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Deep Pinnacles, 137 m, bearing 95°, E
(also Cuttle Arch)

Golden Bommies

Reef Dive Boat access
Latitude: 38° 33.069′ S   (38.55115° S / 38° 33′ 4.14″ S)
Longitude: 145° 13.450′ E   (145.224167° E / 145° 13′ 27″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-14 19:12:21 GMT
Source: Peter Fear GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: George Kermode, 3,851 m, bearing 27°, NNE
Depth: 20 to 38 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.

Hot Spot

Reef Dive Boat access

A pretty reef system with plenty of soft coral and bomies off of Shortlands Bluff, outside the heads in Bass Strait, Victoria.

Latitude: 38° 16.893′ S   (38.28155° S / 38° 16′ 53.58″ S)
Longitude: 144° 39.703′ E   (144.661717° E / 144° 39′ 42.18″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-15 23:20:00 GMT
Source: Unknown
Nearest Neighbour: Kelp Beds Reef Drift, 275 m, bearing 219°, SW
Depth: 20 m.

Jims Hole

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Slack Water
Latitude: 38° 17.043′ S   (38.28405° S / 38° 17′ 2.58″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.618′ E   (144.643633° E / 144° 38′ 37.08″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2018-01-17 21:26:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:47:56 GMT
Source: Peter Fear GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Easter Bommie, 49 m, bearing 348°, NNW
Depth: 16 to 23 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Jubilee Point

Reef Dive Boat access
Ideal For Snorkelling Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Depth: 5 to 10 metres

Level: Advanced Open Water and beyond

The Jubilee Point dive site is in the area of Jubilee Point on the Back Beaches of Nepean Peninsula out in Bass Strait, Victoria. There are many curving gutters and alley ways around the reefs.

This is a very dangerous place in the wrong conditions. It's very important to keep an eye on the sea conditions throughout the dive as they could change quickly.

Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any dive on the Back Beaches. Please read the warnings on the web page Diving the Back Beaches before diving or snorkelling this site.

Latitude: 38° 21.317′ S   (38.355278° S / 38° 21′ 19″ S)
Longitude: 144° 44.150′ E   (144.735833° E / 144° 44′ 9″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-27 04:14:36 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: St Pauls Rock, 361 m, bearing 337°, NNW
Depth: 5 to 10 m.

Kelp Beds Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Drift Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site

Approximately midway between Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff is an area, which 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 the fresh nutrients for the marine life and because of this the area should be dived at slack water or as a drift dive.

Latitude: 38° 17.056′ S   (38.284267° S / 38° 17′ 3.36″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.394′ E   (144.6399° E / 144° 38′ 23.64″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-23 20:09:05 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: 12lb Reef, 104 m, bearing 228°, SW
Depth: 8 to 23 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Lonsdale Arches

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Discovered and named by one of the great local diving identities this dive site is spectacular. Approximately one kilometre from the Point Lonsdale Light and clear of the shipping channel, just outside Port Phillip Heads is an amazing area of Bommies and underwater rock formations. The strong current flow in this area has created a nutrient rich environment and subsequently prolific marine growth and the associated marine life. But it's the amazing rock formations that make this dive site special. This site has a couple of amazing swim throughs that are very safe easy to enter. A favourite spot for catching Crayfish, possibly sightings of Cuttlefish, Draughtboard or Port Jackson Sharks sleeping under ledges, and the odd seal has been known to pop down and check out what is going on here.


Lonsdale Arches from Alan Beckhurst on Vimeo.

Latitude: 38° 17.989′ S   (38.299817° S / 38° 17′ 59.34″ S)
Longitude: 144° 36.587′ E   (144.609783° E / 144° 36′ 35.22″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:49:03 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Twin Bommies, 83 m, bearing 57°, ENE
Depth: 12 to 18 m.
Dive only on: Ebb.

Lost Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Deep Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site


Lost Reef from Alan Beckhurst on Vimeo.

Lost Reef is the end of a rocky ridge, just south of Point Lonsdale, out in Bass Strait, Victoria, Australia. It is always swarming with fish and a great deep dive!

Latitude: 38° 19.024′ S   (38.317067° S / 38° 19′ 1.44″ S)
Longitude: 144° 34.929′ E   (144.58215° E / 144° 34′ 55.74″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:49:48 GMT
Source: Alan Beckhurst GPS
Nearest Neighbour: J2 Broken Submarine, 430 m, bearing 334°, NNW
Depth: 30 to 42 m.

Nepean Bay

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

Depth: 0 to 12 metres

Level: Snorkelling, Open Water and beyond.

Sheltered just to the North of Point Nepean inside Port Phillip is Nepean Bay. This is a lovely dive site with scattered reef, lots of fish and scattered wreck debris. The rocks at Point Nepean have brought many ships to grief over the years and the scattered wreckage lies in this bay. Sometimes covered in sand and other times exposed for exploration.

The area is also a marine park and as such the fish life is slowly rebuilding to the size it was before commercial and recreational fishing decimated it. It's lovely shallow clear water sheltered from all winds except northerlies make this a fantastic dive site for the end of the day.

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° 18.287′ S   (38.30479° S / 38° 18′ 17.24″ S)
Longitude: 144° 39.680′ E   (144.661325° E / 144° 39′ 40.77″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-27 21:29:52 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Empress of the Sea, 450 m, bearing 347°, NNW
Depth: 0 to 12 m.

Point Franklin Reef

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

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Depth: 0 to 15 metres.

Ideal Conditions:
Best at slack water, but experienced divers often work out the tides and tidal flows and plan a drift dive. tide times for Point Franklin are about 30 minutes behind the Rip / Heads times.

Running out from Point Franklin is a reef that reaches 15 metres in depth about 200 metres out from shore.

Franklin Point Reef is easily one of the most interesting and relatively east access dive sites you will find round the southern Mornington Peninsula area. Best dived on slack going to an ebb tide. This will allow for at least a 60 minute dive. When you feel the current head for shore. It is also possible to dive on slack for a flood tide but best to start at Portsea Pier and head towards the point. If you overshoot head for shore and exit at Shelley Beach.

There are at least three dive options to take:

  • First, just dive the point and even go down to the reported 15 metres depth at about 150 metres offshore;
  • Second, start the dive at Franklin Point, go out about 50 to 100 metres until you get to a set depth and then change course for the pier;
  • Third, start your dive anywhere along the beach, head out and return either to Portsea Pier, the point or back to the beach. This last option is probably the safest if diving the site the first time until you become familiar with it.

Remember to plan your dive with compass directions recorded first. Note that this is a high boat traffic area, particularly during the summer months, so always carry an SMB and launch it prior to surfacing. You can also carry a dive marker buoy.

Location: Portsea
MELWAY Ref: Page 156 E2

Weather Required: This is an exposed site to any wind with a northerly component and best dived in southerly winds. This is a tide affected area so rguably dived best on slack going to an ebb tide. It's also possible to dive on slack going to a flood but requires more planning in case you're swept eastwards by the current.

Access: From Portsea Beach. There is also access from Shelley Beach to the east but requires walking down (and up) stairs. Note that the beach walk is tiring and is about 430 metres from the pier. Stop frequently and rest before entering the water.

Facilities: Carpark is unrestricted during May to November and is 2 or 4 hourly December to April. Showers and toilets (showers are warm unless it is a busy day and people have used up the hot water). Dive shops within walking distance so air is easily available. Few shops for eating. BBQ facilities.

Latitude: 38° 19.104′ S   (38.318393° S / 38° 19′ 6.21″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.166′ E   (144.719436° E / 144° 43′ 9.97″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:51:17 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Portsea Pier East Reef, 252 m, bearing 302°, WNW
Depth: 0 to 15 m.

Point Lonsdale Kelp Forest

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

The Point Lonsdale Kelp Forest grows along the edge of Shark Gutter and extends around towards the Lonsdale Jetty. You need calm conditions, and even then you need to be looking out for currents that can eddy through and around the area at peak tide flows.

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° 17.578′ S   (38.292968° S / 38° 17′ 34.68″ S)
Longitude: 144° 36.973′ E   (144.616213° E / 144° 36′ 58.37″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-27 21:26:00 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Point Lonsdale Jetty, 148 m, bearing 358°, N
Depth: 3 to 5 m.

Popes Eye

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

Pope's Eye is a man made basalt rock annulus, the foundation of what was to be an island fort built in the 1880s to protect the bay and the gold rich Victorian Gold fields of the time. It is located four kilometres from the heads between Portsea and Queenscliff in Port Phillip, Victoria. Advances in weapons technology made the defense plan obsolete and so it was never completed.

The result is that Popes Eye is a horse-shoe shaped artificial reef which has become a sanctuary for many local species of fish including Old Wives, Sweep, Leather Jackets, Blue Throat Wrasse, Scaly Fin and Cow Fish, just to name a few commonly seen. The elusive Warty Prowfish is known to be a resident here too.

This horseshoe shaped artificial reef is part of the Harold Holt Marine Reserve with an absolutely no-take policy. It is a haven not only for fish but for birds, invertebrates and algae. Other attractions to look out for are Seastars, Abalone, Nudibranchs, Giant and Leathery Kelp, Sponges and soft corals. The occasional seal can be seen having a siesta at the end of the rocks!

During Summer the small platform of the navigational beacon changes from a year round roosting site, to an overflowing nesting site for the Australasian Gannet.

The concentrations of fish are testimony to the success of marine reserves. The fish have no fear and get in your face. Nowhere else in the bay will you find more fish in such a small area.

The inside of Pope's Eye provides a safe anchorage in two to three metres of water. Depending on the height of the tide, people can sometimes stand up. Outside, the the kelp covered rocks slope away to a depth of 14 metres to 10 meters and sand.

A ships anchor is resting on its side at 12 metres in the middle of the ebb side and if diving on the flood side, there is an old wooden butter churn at the bottom in the middle. These can assist in navigating your location when underwater.

While the best time to dive Pope's Eye is on the start of an Ebb tide, it provides a great dive in all weather conditions. Local divers often dismiss this site as many learnt to dive here. Pope's Eye is an easy dive but should not be under rated.

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° 16.598′ S   (38.276633° S / 38° 16′ 35.88″ S)
Longitude: 144° 41.922′ E   (144.6987° E / 144° 41′ 55.32″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-27 21:33:38 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: William Salthouse, 721 m, bearing 55°, NE
Depth: 2 to 14 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.

Portsea Back Beach Wall

Reef Dive Boat access

Just outside Port Phillip Heads on the Point Nepean side is an area of scattered reef with depths ranging from 12 to 30 metres. The sea life in this is area is prolific with Crayfish, Blue Devils, Weedy Sea Dragons, Seals, Abalone and much more. The Soft calcium that comprises most of the terrain in this area has eroded into lots of little swim throughs valleys and overhangs all topped off with a light scattering of kelp. This is a fantastic dive site for an avid fish photographer. This also near the area where Harold Hold disappeared, so who knows what might be found here.

Latitude: 38° 20.787′ S   (38.34645° S / 38° 20′ 47.22″ S)
Longitude: 144° 41.595′ E   (144.69325° E / 144° 41′ 35.7″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-16 03:10:47 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Toms Reef, 312 m, bearing 134°, SE
Depth: 12 to 18 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.

Portsea Cray Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site Slack Water
Latitude: 38° 19.039′ S   (38.317317° S / 38° 19′ 2.34″ S)
Longitude: 144° 42.890′ E   (144.714833° E / 144° 42′ 53.4″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 19:53:34 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Portsea Pier, 178 m, bearing 225°, SW
Depth: 5 to 12 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Portsea Pier East Reef

Reef Dive Shore access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site Slack Water

Best from Shore or from the landing about half way out on Portsea Pier. To the East (left) of the Portsea Pier is a reef system that stretches out under the boat moorings.

Latitude: 38° 19.030′ S   (38.317167° S / 38° 19′ 1.8″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.020′ E   (144.717° E / 144° 43′ 1.2″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 19:49:36 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Portsea Cray Reef, 190 m, bearing 264°, W
Depth: 11 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Portsea Pier West Reef

Reef Dive Shore access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site Slack Water

Best from Shore or from the end of Portsea Pier. To the West (right) of the Portsea Pier is a reef system that stretches out under the boat moorings.

Latitude: 38° 19.083′ S   (38.318044° S / 38° 19′ 4.96″ S)
Longitude: 144° 42.674′ E   (144.711236° E / 144° 42′ 40.45″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 19:50:25 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Portsea Pier, 193 m, bearing 103°, ESE
Depth: 3 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Ramsden Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Subject to Shipping Slack Water

The wreck of the Eliza Ramsden has been a favourite of divers for a number of decades. However because of its location, and the navigational skill required to find it, many divers have been disappointed and failed to find it. This has resulted in considerable diving being done around the wreck, and fortunately the location of some magnificent reef areas — hence the name Ramsden Reef.

The most popular reef is located approx 75 metres from the wreck, directly towards Pope's Eye. Large Leatherjackets, Sweep, Trumpeter, and Trevally frequent the area with Blue Devil fish complimenting the gorgonia under the ledges where crayfish may also be found.

The Reef slopes at about a 60 degree angle down to a sandy bottom. The slope is more severe in several places and it is here that the undercut caves are usually found. The reef is only about 60 metres long and consequently, can be difficult to find.

At each end it breaks into rubble and sand, levelling at 20 metres in the east and 30 metres at the western end.

The area must be dived at slack water as the currents race through much to quickly to hang on to the reef. The Ramsden Reef is in the shipping lanes and diving may only be conducted by permit holders and even then, only when no shipping is expected.

Latitude: 38° 17.603′ S   (38.293386° S / 38° 17′ 36.19″ S)
Longitude: 144° 40.474′ E   (144.67456° E / 144° 40′ 28.42″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2018-01-24 19:24:16 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 19:43:57 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Eliza Ramsden, 75 m, bearing 228°, SW
Depth: 20 to 30 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Rosebud Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site

A lovely shallow dive on a very pretty reef situated about a kilometre offshore from Rosebud in Port Phillip, Victoria. The shallow reef runs North West for about 250 metres and rises two or three metres from the seabed in an otherwise sandy oasis.

Lots of small life, urchins etc. and an abundance of fish life. Masses of fish all congregate here to feed. This in turn attracts some lovely harmless sharks predominantly the Wobbie Gongs and the Seven Gills.


Hurricane Wreck and Rosebud Reef from Alan Beckhurst.

Latitude: 38° 20.740′ S   (38.345667° S / 38° 20′ 44.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 53.330′ E   (144.888833° E / 144° 53′ 19.8″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 20:01:31 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Hurricane, 1,572 m, bearing 289°, WNW
Depth: 4 to 10 m.

Sanctum Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Deep Rated Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Subject to Shipping Slack Water Technical Rated

This is a rugged piece of wall dive in the very middle of the main shipping channel inside Port Philip Bay. Diving is only possible as a slack water dive at the end of the Ebb or outgoing tide and even then only if no shipping is due through the heads for the next three hours. The top of the wall is 24 metres and the wall itself runs East to West at this point and drops off to the South down to 60 metres. Features of this site include huge caves, swim-through and vertical cracks.

Latitude: 38° 17.397′ S   (38.28995° S / 38° 17′ 23.82″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.429′ E   (144.640483° E / 144° 38′ 25.74″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:54:17 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: The Cathedral, 211 m, bearing 100°, E
Depth: 24 to 60 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Seaholme Reef, Altona

Reef Dive Shore access

Depth: 2 to 5 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

East of Altona Pier lies Seaholme Reef (also known as Wise's Reef) with many big boulders.

Latitude: 37° 52.090′ S   (37.868162° S / 37° 52′ 5.38″ S)
Longitude: 144° 50.728′ E   (144.845464° E / 144° 50′ 43.67″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-16 06:07:24 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Altona Pier, 1,447 m, bearing 247°, WSW
Depth: 2 to 5 m.

Sorrento Back Beach

Reef Dive Shore access
Crayfish Dive Site Ideal For Snorkelling Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Depth: 2 to 20 metres

Level: Advanced Open Water and beyond

Ideal Conditions:
The sea needs to be flat with no swell..

What To Expect:
Out through Port Phillip Heads past Point Nepean lies the Sorrento Back Beach. Although some of this area can be dived as a shore dive a lot can't. It's these areas we venture to in order to explore the lovely reefs and rocky outcrops. Usually a haven for Crayfish, snapper and other lovely edible and photogenic critters. A great dive when the seas are calm and the wind has blown from the north for a few days.

The three main dive sites from the shore at Sorrento Back Beach are:

  1. the platforms by the headland,
  2. a reasonable snorkel southwards out to the areas around Darby Rock, or
  3. after a 10-15 minute walk around the coastline to the west, the enclosed gullies at Sphinx Rock.

The walk at Sorrento Back Beach is slightly easier then many of the other back beach dives. Though during the summer months it gets really busy as lots of families bring down the kids to swim in the large artificial rock pool. Go early to get a decent park!

Be sure to always take a dive flag and a knife. You might also want to take a catch bag down here too! Be sure to always carry a measuring device too as the rangers have been known to join you in the water as well as wait on shore.

It is recommended to dive here the first time with someone who is familiar with the area and has dived here before. And to be aware of the walks involved. It's not for the unfit!

Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any dive on the Back Beaches. Please read the warnings on the web page Diving the Back Beaches before diving or snorkelling this site.

Latitude: 38° 20.757′ S   (38.345956° S / 38° 20′ 45.44″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.619′ E   (144.726981° E / 144° 43′ 37.13″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-27 04:12:32 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: St Pauls Rock, 946 m, bearing 138°, SE
Depth: 6 to 20 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.

South Channel Fort

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

Work began on south Channel Fort in 1878 with the laying of about 14,000 tonnes of bluestone rocks. The man-made island upon which the fort is built is one of only two islands in the bay and is the only man-made island. Built originally as a fort to guard the southern channel from a perceived threat of the Russian invasion during the Gold rush of the 1880s. As such it was a part of a bigger strategic defence initiative which included Port Nepean and Queenscliff in a triangle of defence.

The Fort was the most advanced fortification in the world when it was completed. Garrisoned by over 100 soldiers for nearly fifty years the fort boasted 8 inch disappearing guns. These guns sat in a bunker and could be raised to fire and then lowered back into the safety of the bunker. The guns were also the first to be rifled giving them un paralleled range. The entire fort was intentionally buried in the sand to absorb any enemy shells that were to fall onto her.

The fort also controlled an electric minefield in the channel itself. With the aid of two massive searchlights ships could be detected moving through the channel and mines could be remotely detonated from the fort.

The Fort was used during the 1950s-1980s for the storage of explosives for blasting the rocks in The Rip, and was added to the Mornington Peninsula National Park in 1995. It is now listed on the Register of the National Estate in recognition of the role the island plays as a breeding site for the White Faced Storm Petrel, and for its military and historical significance. It is also classified by the National Trust.

See also, Wikipedia: South Channel Fort and Victorian Heritage Database Report: South Channel Fort

The South Channel Fort is a great dive as there is always a side sheltered from the currents that race through the bay. The island is situated in otherwise barren sand flat and has attracted a vast amount of marine life to the area. The rocky slopes of the Fort go down to around 12 metres.

The waters are littered with large granite boulders, forming caves and hideaways, caverns, tunnels and the like which make it a photographers dream come true. On the Western side of the fort is a small landing jetty, where the water drops down to about 12 metres to a sandy uninteresting bottom. The best diving is certainly in amongst the sea grass or rocky reef between this maximum depth and the Western shore line of the Fort.

If time permits between tides, the Fort can be circumnavigated at about 5 metres. On the Eastern edge are several large pylons which have collapsed. These were something to do with the second world war and the protective nets that were drawn across the bays channel.

There is also plenty to see on around the pylons of the jetty. Best to dive the jetty and western side on the ebb tide.

Latitude: 38° 18.407′ S   (38.306783° S / 38° 18′ 24.42″ S)
Longitude: 144° 48.022′ E   (144.800367° E / 144° 48′ 1.32″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:55:40 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Wauchope, 5,189 m, bearing 244°, WSW
Depth: 0 to 12 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.

South Road Reefs and Bommie

Reef Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site
South Road Reefs and Bommie
South Road Reefs and Bommie
© James McKinnon

Depth: 2 to 6 metres

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Ideal Conditions:
The site is fine on a Northerly wind, or the slightest of Southerlies. But avoid Westerlies and strong Southerlies. Better conditions usually prevail in Summer and Autumn.

Car Parking:
Drive down South Road until you reach the beach, cross the railway lines and turn left and park in the car park immediately on your right. Then head down the steps and out through the gate in the concrete.

Access:
Head directly to the water and enter, as indicated in the picture.

Dive Route:
Head 240 degrees to the edge of the old baths (red line to the blue circled area). You can spend a good 40 minutes diving around the old baths.

From there, take a heading of 120 degrees to the reef (yellow line to the pink circle area). You can easily spend another 40 minutes diving around the natural reef.

What To Expect:
This is an excellent dive site for both night and day and very close to the Melbourne city centre. The inner reef is quite shallow, so watch out for stingrays.

Following a line straight out from the steps you will find a series of ridges and undercuts leading out to the bommie at 4 metres. Living on the bommie and surrounding reef are sea urchins, stingrays, snapper, seahorses and the occasional octopus.

Thanks to James McKinnon for the dive site map and updated description details.

Latitude: 37° 55.722′ S   (37.928703° S / 37° 55′ 43.33″ S)
Longitude: 144° 59.349′ E   (144.989143° E / 144° 59′ 20.91″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-03-05 23:09:37 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Francis Henty, 1,522 m, bearing 169°, S
Depth: 2 to 6 m.

Spec Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Subject to Shipping Slack Water Technical Rated

Spectacular Reef is part of the former Yarra River bed and lies in the South Channel, Port Phillip, Victoria and is therefore subject to shipping traffic. The area is quite large and offers many different dive sites. All dives are characterised by a spectacular wall which has large undercuts housing Crayfish, Blue Devilfish, beautiful soft corals, and an abundance of other life including Silver Trumpeter, Leather Jackets, the Rosy Wrasse, and inquisitive White Ear, along with literally thousands of small baitfish.

Spec Reef is very aptly named. The scenery, rock formations, the sheer drop-offs and the most abundant fish life in the Bay, make it a special place.

On days of good visibility you will understand why this area is called Spectacular Reef. The terrain is quite dramatic with large deep ledges. It can only be dived on the slack water when there is no shipping as it is right in the middle of the channel. This makes another elusive site but well worth the effort. It starts in 15 metres and runs East to West with deeper water down to over 33 metres to the South. The current here is not a strong as in other places, which means that this dive can be done on either of the slack waters.

Spec Reef has an unusual combination of huge undercuts and sheer drop offs. The sheer sides of the reef have fantastic overhangs and lovely colours in the sponge life. The area is big on sponges and very, very fishy. This is truly one of the prettiest dives in the bay — in fact it's spectacular.

Latitude: 38° 17.294′ S   (38.288233° S / 38° 17′ 17.64″ S)
Longitude: 144° 39.946′ E   (144.665767° E / 144° 39′ 56.76″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:56:26 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: North Wall / Spectacular Reef, 245 m, bearing 251°, WSW
Depth: 22 to 60 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Sub Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Accidentally discovered by dive boat skippers who thought they were positioned over the wreck of one of the submarines in the area. (It does look remarkably like a submarine on the sounder.) It's a great dive on its own merit and is ideal as a training dive or for those wanting to see some pristine temperate water reef and schools of the local fish life.

Latitude: 38° 18.001′ S   (38.300017° S / 38° 18′ 0.06″ S)
Longitude: 144° 34.122′ E   (144.5687° E / 144° 34′ 7.32″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:57:01 GMT
Source: Peter Fear GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: J4 26m Submarine, 440 m, bearing 275°, W
Depth: 20 to 25 m.

Tedesco Reef Seaford

Reef Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site

Tedesco Reef Seaford is an artificial reef created with the aim of improving recreational fishing opportunities and testing the reef's environmental suitability and performance as fish habitat. The reef is named after Neil Tedesco who died in a diving accident in 2009, age 31. Neil was a devoted fisher and diver and an ambassador of these sports.

The reef consists of 96 reef balls of different sizes (16 pallet balls, 56 bay balls and 24 mini-bay balls) placed in a specific geometric pattern over an area of 50 square metres.

The reef balls are dome-shaped concrete structures with a rough stony surface and a number of holes in them to attract marine life. The concrete mix is environmentallyfriendly so there is no leaching of toxins and these structures have a life span of at least 300 years in the marine environment.

Latitude: 38° 5.245′ S   (38.087417° S / 38° 5′ 14.7″ S)
Longitude: 145° 5.753′ E   (145.095883° E / 145° 5′ 45.18″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:57:33 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Restless, 2,618 m, bearing 50°, NE
Artificial reef installed to improve recreational fishing.
Depth: 11 m.

The Abyss

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Subject to Shipping Slack Water

Just inside Port Phillip Heads on the Point Lonsdale side there is a large flat area of small reefs with a lot of Crayfish lurking in the area. This dive site is prone to strong currents and swells and can only be dived during slack water turning to a flood. Because of this, caution should be exercised on this dive but the scenery makes it well worthwhile.

Latitude: 38° 17.583′ S   (38.29305° S / 38° 17′ 34.98″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.626′ E   (144.643767° E / 144° 38′ 37.56″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:58:03 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Devils Dropoff, 58 m, bearing 127°, SE
Depth: 15 to 30 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

The Cathedral

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Deep Rated Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Subject to Shipping Slack Water Technical Rated

This site is situated on a reef that runs East to West on the eastern edge of the main shipping channel. The top of the reef is in 20 plus metres, most of the dive at this site will be spent in the 30 to 40 metre range. The name arises from the fantastic Pinnacle and Bommies that rise 4 or 5 metres above the top of the reef. There is also a huge cave at 32 metres, with a swim-through at the back, leading out to the top of the wall this site can only be dived when there is no shipping and at slack water at the end of the ebb tide.

Latitude: 38° 17.417′ S   (38.290283° S / 38° 17′ 25.02″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.572′ E   (144.642867° E / 144° 38′ 34.32″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:59:06 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Sanctum Reef, 211 m, bearing 280°, W
Depth: 22 to 60 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

The Grotto

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site Slack Water

The Grotto is named after the many small caves and large overhangs that form this site. Located on top of the Lonsdale Wall system, this area is teaming with marine life and a photographers dream. This site gradually increases in depth to around 23 metres in a system of interesting rock formations and overhangs and swim-throughs.

There are spectacular Blue Devil fish, Crayfish, curious Leather Jackets, nudibranchs, mosaic sea stars, yellow sea spiders, Magpie Perch and Boarfish. On occasion Port Jackson Sharks have been sighted snoozing in groups or singularly under rock ledges. One of the most popular dive sites, always enjoyable and great for new divers.

Latitude: 38° 17.107′ S   (38.285117° S / 38° 17′ 6.42″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.357′ E   (144.639283° E / 144° 38′ 21.42″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 08:59:44 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: 12lb Reef, 36 m, bearing 316°, NW
Depth: 12 to 18 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

The Ledges

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

The Ledges, off Collendina, features awesome reef structure in 16 metres of water with triple decker ledges and swim throughs.

Latitude: 38° 17.346′ S   (38.2891° S / 38° 17′ 20.76″ S)
Longitude: 144° 34.378′ E   (144.572967° E / 144° 34′ 22.68″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2018-01-12 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 09:00:29 GMT
Source: Alan Beckhurst GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: 18 Metre Reef, 86 m, bearing 313°, NW
Depth: 12 to 16 m.

The Marbles

Reef Dive Boat access
Latitude: 38° 16.871′ S   (38.281183° S / 38° 16′ 52.26″ S)
Longitude: 144° 39.133′ E   (144.652217° E / 144° 39′ 7.98″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-17 21:20:12 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Shortland Bluff Bommie, 284 m, bearing 93°, E
Depth: 18 to 22 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

The Nice Spot

Reef Dive Boat access
Latitude: 38° 17.722′ S   (38.295367° S / 38° 17′ 43.32″ S)
Longitude: 144° 36.076′ E   (144.601267° E / 144° 36′ 4.56″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-16 09:18:02 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Castle Rock, 435 m, bearing 225°, SW
Depth: 18 to 20 m.
Dive only on: SWE.

The Pinnacles

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

Located in the South Eastern area of Phillip Island, well outside Port Phillip Heads and West past Point Nepean.

The Pinnacles are a collection of large pinnacles of rock rising from a rocky bottom at 38 metres up 9 metres from the seabed. The height of these Bommies has attracted large amounts of fish life and they are also covered in lovely coloured soft corals and sponges.

Best launching from Newhaven on Phillip Island, as it's a long way from The Heads and Point Nepean. Use a plough or sarca anchor in preference to a sand anchor. Anchor in the deep section and check that the swell and wind is holding your anchor line clear of rising reef structure.

Latitude: 38° 34.363′ S   (38.572717° S / 38° 34′ 21.78″ S)
Longitude: 145° 20.226′ E   (145.3371° E / 145° 20′ 13.56″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-05-05 04:21:18 GMT
Source: Peter Beaumont GPS (verified).
Nearest Neighbour: George Kermode, 9,908 m, bearing 305°, NW
Depth: 9 to 38 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.

The Plateau

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Deep Rated Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Subject to Shipping Slack Water Technical Rated

The Plateau is a reef dive in the middle of the Port Phillip Heads. The Plateau is a huge rocky platform in around the 16 metre range, winding its way around the edge of this platform is the Entrance Deep. This is the deepest water in Victoria, originally part of the River Yarra. Depths at the bottom of this area are between 40 metres and 103 metres.

The slack water period here is short, hard to pick, and the currents a little unpredictable. Then of course there is the problem of the dive site being in the shipping channel. Diving is only possible when sea conditions, the tide, and shipping allow. Despite all of that this area is awesome with some fantastic rock formations sheltering an amazing array of sea life.

Latitude: 38° 17.621′ S   (38.293683° S / 38° 17′ 37.26″ S)
Longitude: 144° 37.976′ E   (144.632933° E / 144° 37′ 58.56″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 09:01:47 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: 65 Metre Hole, 310 m, bearing 13°, NNE
Depth: 20 to 45 m.
Dive only on: SWE.

The Steps

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Deep Rated Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Subject to Shipping Slack Water

Located just North of the Lonsdale wall system, The Steps has some fantastic terrain. Starting in 17 metres, it steps down and along with huge overhangs and gullies and the area is also littered with caves. Swimming south will take you to the deeper water with the best parts of the dive between 20 and 30 metres.

Each step is full of marine life sheltering in little nooks and overhangs and there are Crayfish in the area.

Latitude: 38° 17.013′ S   (38.28355° S / 38° 17′ 0.78″ S)
Longitude: 144° 39.207′ E   (144.65345° E / 144° 39′ 12.42″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 09:02:55 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: The Marbles, 284 m, bearing 337°, NNW
Depth: 17 to 40 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

The Supermarket

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site

This area is a large rocky outcrop that runs out from Lonsdale Beach outside Port Phillip Heads. There used to be an outfall from the abattoir on the other side of the sand dunes many years ago, but this has now gone. The rock outcrop used to be home to hundreds of Crayfish, Port Jackson Sharks and Wobbegongs. The Crayfish are not as plentiful here as they once were but they can still be found. This site is only suitable for diving when conditions are calm as it is quite prone to surge from swell that might be running.

Latitude: 38° 17.322′ S   (38.2887° S / 38° 17′ 19.32″ S)
Longitude: 144° 34.634′ E   (144.577233° E / 144° 34′ 38.04″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 09:03:58 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: The Ledges, 375 m, bearing 263°, W
Depth: 6 to 18 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb.

The Swim Through

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Slack Water Technical Rated
Latitude: 38° 17.406′ S   (38.2901° S / 38° 17′ 24.36″ S)
Longitude: 144° 37.985′ E   (144.633083° E / 144° 37′ 59.1″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2018-01-17 21:48:53 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 09:05:38 GMT
Source: Peter Fear GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Spot G, 12 m, bearing 287°, WNW
Depth: 20 to 30 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Toms Reef

Reef Dive Boat access

Reef running East to West offshore from the Porstsea Back Beaches in Bass Strait, Victoria. A popular dive site for catching Crayfish.

Latitude: 38° 20.905′ S   (38.348417° S / 38° 20′ 54.3″ S)
Longitude: 144° 41.748′ E   (144.6958° E / 144° 41′ 44.88″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-16 09:20:43 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Portsea Back Beach Wall, 312 m, bearing 314°, NW
Depth: 23 m.

Torpedo Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site Slack Water

Nestled in under Shortland's Bluff near Queenscliff, Torpedo Reef is a group of low-lying reefs that are home to a lovely variety of fish life and the odd Crayfish. Also a great sight to see the giant black Stingrays that we have here in Port Phillip Bay. The relative shallowness of the water here allows a lot of light and nice long bottom times. A great dive to spend just admiring the colours of our temperate water reefs.

Latitude: 38° 16.627′ S   (38.277117° S / 38° 16′ 37.62″ S)
Longitude: 144° 39.857′ E   (144.664283° E / 144° 39′ 51.42″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 09:06:16 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Sponge Garden Drift, 286 m, bearing 35°, NE
Depth: 5 to 18 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

Torquay Offshore Artificial Reef

Reef Dive Boat access

The Torquay Offshore Recreational Fishing Reef was created in June 2015, when 25 concrete modules were deployed to improve offshore recreational fishing opportunities.

The purpose-built reef modules are situated approximately 3 kilometres offshore, in 25 metres of water, between Breamlea and Torquay. Each concrete module measures more than four metres high, weighs up to 20 tonnes and has been designed to create variable water currents and upwellings that will attract baitfish and predators such as Kingfish.

Latitude: 38° 20.184′ S   (38.3364° S / 38° 20′ 11.04″ S)
Longitude: 144° 22.320′ E   (144.372° E / 144° 22′ 19.2″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-16 23:26:20 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Milora, 2,294 m, bearing 137°, SE
25 purpose-built, concrete, artificial reef modules, 3 kilometres offshore, between Breamlea and Torquay.
Depth: 25 m.

Tyre Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Latitude: 38° 3.077′ S   (38.051283° S / 38° 3′ 4.62″ S)
Longitude: 145° 4.722′ E   (145.0787° E / 145° 4′ 43.32″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-16 09:21:27 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Aspendale Rec Reef, 1,692 m, bearing 354°, N

Victory Cray Reef

Reef Dive Boat access
Latitude: 38° 16.948′ S   (38.282467° S / 38° 16′ 56.88″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.134′ E   (144.635567° E / 144° 38′ 8.04″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-14 16:30:08 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Boarfish Reef, 388 m, bearing 141°, SE
-38 16.948
144 38.134
(WGS84)
Source: GPS

Wild Side

Reef Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Deep Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Reef Dive Site Subject to Shipping Slack Water Technical Rated

Part of the Nepean Wall, this is a great site for those chasing the elusive Crayfish. The wall here has its top in around 18 metres and drops to the south to 60 metres. While the wall here is spectacular the majority of Crayfish and in fact the dive will be on the plateau. This dive can only be done on the slack water at the end of the ebb or outgoing tide and only when the sea outside the heads is calm.

Latitude: 38° 17.916′ S   (38.2986° S / 38° 17′ 54.96″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.305′ E   (144.638417° E / 144° 38′ 18.3″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 09:07:24 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Trimix Corner, 205 m, bearing 161°, SSE
Depth: 10 to 60 m.
Dive only on: SWE.

Yakka Reef Frankston

Reef Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site

Yakka Reef Frankston is an artificial reef created with the aim of improving recreational fishing opportunities and testing the reefs environmental suitability and performance as fish habitat. The reef is named after the growing popularity of kayak fishing and the reefs accessibility to small craft.

The reef consists of 96 reef balls of different sizes (16 pallet balls, 56 bay balls and 24 mini-bay balls) placed in a specific geometric pattern over an area of 50 square metres.

The reef balls are dome-shaped concrete structures with a rough stony surface and a number of holes in them to attract marine life. The concrete mix is environmentallyfriendly so there is no leaching of toxins and these structures have a life span of at least 300 years in the marine environment.

Latitude: 38° 8.483′ S   (38.141383° S / 38° 8′ 28.98″ S)
Longitude: 145° 5.479′ E   (145.091317° E / 145° 5′ 28.74″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2018-01-24 09:08:05 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Isis, 899 m, bearing 34°, NE
Artificial reef installed to improve recreational fishing.
Depth: 11 m.

Total of 58 dive sites.


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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