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Victoria Wreck Dives

Of course, there are plenty of wreck dives in the waters of Victoria that aren't so close to Melbourne. Here is some information about them

Shipwrecks at Wilsons Promontory

Cambridge

Wreck Dive Boat access
Technical Rated Wreck Dive Site Wilsons Promontory
Cambridge
Cambridge
© Unknown

The wreck of the SS Cambridge is historically significant as the first Allied vessel to be lost in Australian waters in World War II. Along with the wrecks of the MS City of Rayville (1940), HMAS Goorangai (1940) and SS Iron Crown (1942) the Cambridge represents the arrival of World War II in Australian waters, the strategic importance of the Bass Strait shipping lane, and the extent of Axis activities in the Southern hemisphere.

While on a voyage from Cardiff (United Kingdom) to Brisbane via Sydney, the SS Cambridge struck a German mine and sunk in Bass Strait, 3.7 nm SE of Wilsons Promontory, on 7 November 1940.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: SS Cambridge, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: S.S.Cambridge.

Latitude: 39° 9.810′ S   (39.1635° S / 39° 9′ 48.6″ S)
Longitude: 146° 29.780′ E   (146.496333° E / 146° 29′ 46.8″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-04-27 05:05:31 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Lady Mildred, 8,571 m, bearing 325°, NW
Steel hulled screw steamer.
Depth: 60 to 68 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.
See the Cambridge dive site page

Gulf of Carpentaria

Wreck Dive Boat access
Marine Park - No Fishing Technical Rated Wreck Dive Site Wilsons Promontory

On the 15th of September 1885, the Gulf of Carpentaria (aka SS Gulf of Carpentaria), bound for England, struck an uncharted rock off Wilson's Promontory, Victoria, Australia, and sank. Now, 130 years later, she lies mostly collapsed near the Anser Island Group. Nature is reclaiming her.


SS Gulf of Carpentaria shipwreck from Alan Beckhurst on Vimeo.

The Gulf of Carpentaria is historically significant as the wreck of an international cargo and passenger vessel, and for its role as a link between Britain and her colonies. It is archaeologically significant as it was wrecked without having been salvaged.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: SS Gulf of Carpentaria.

Latitude: 39° 8.775′ S   (39.14625° S / 39° 8′ 46.5″ S)
Longitude: 146° 17.645′ E   (146.294083° E / 146° 17′ 38.7″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-13 02:06:21 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Kanowna Island, 1,179 m, bearing 115°, ESE
Steamship, 2434/ 1569 ton.
Built: West Hartlepool, UK, 1881.
Sunk: 15 September 1885.
Depth: 48 to 50 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.
See the Gulf of Carpentaria dive site page

Elm Grove

Wreck Dive Boat access
Marine Park - No Fishing Wreck Dive Site Wilsons Promontory

Wooden Sailing Barque

There were only two survivors when on 9 September 1876 the wooden sailing barque Elm Grove was driven ashore on the Five Mile Beach at Wilsons Promontory. Seven seamen lost their lives.

Capt Leddra had previously been in command of the Vanquish, wrecked at Cape Jervis SA in 1864 and the A.H. Badger which sank after a collision with the SS Nevada in the Tasman Sea off NSW in October 1871 (Caldow).

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Elm Grove, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Elm Grove.

Latitude: 38° 55.017′ S   (38.916944° S / 38° 55′ 1″ S)
Longitude: 146° 28.300′ E   (146.471667° E / 146° 28′ 18″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 00:29:33 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Miranda, 825 m, bearing 60°, ENE
Wooden barque.
Built: New Brunswick, Canada, 1863.
Sunk: 9 September 1876.
See the Elm Grove dive site page

Hannah Thompson

Wreck Dive Boat access
Marine Park - No Fishing Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site Wilsons Promontory

Sailing Cutter | Max Depth: 8 metres (26 feet)

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Hannah Thompson
Hannah Thompson
© Unknown

The cutter Hannah Thompson had a varied career as a coastal trader, and was the first vessel to trade between Melbourne and Port Campbell. It was later used as a fishing vessel, and during this time it was blown ashore and wrecked in Oberon Bay on Wilsons Promontory.

The Hannah Thompson shipwreck lies in 5 to 8 metres of water 200 metres south of Oberon Point. The site is not suitable for diving when the wind blows from the northwest, west or southwest.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Hannah Thompson, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Hannah Thompson.

Latitude: 39° 3.900′ S   (39.065° S / 39° 3′ 54″ S)
Longitude: 146° 19.200′ E   (146.32° E / 146° 19′ 12″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2019-03-12 23:02:41 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 03:55:53 GMT
Source: Australian National Shipwreck Database
Nearest Neighbour: Norman Point, South, 1,348 m, bearing 9°, N
Sailing Cutter.
Built: 1872.
Sunk: 27 July 1923.
Depth: 5 to 8 m.
See the Hannah Thompson dive site page

Lady Mildred

Wreck Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Marine Park - No Fishing Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site Wilsons Promontory

Screw Steamer | Max Depth: 25 metres (82 feet)

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The steam collier Lady Mildred ran ashore in hazy weather on the eastern side of Wilsons Promontory. The vessel could not be salvaged and was abandoned. The master was found guilty of gross misconduct by a Court of Marine Inquiry.

The Lady Mildred shipwreck lies in 6 to 25 metres of water near a 10 metre rock face south of Waterloo Point. (The rock face has a cleft with red lichen staining the south rocks.) Most of the wreckage is in 10 to 15 metres of water and includes a 2 metre long anchor, lots of anchor chain, hawse pipe, bollards and part of the iron frames of the vessel lie in gullies and overhangs in the reef. Some areas of the ships hull retain structural integrity including a section of cabin reported by Carl Ebbels.

The site is best dived when the wind blows from the west or southwest.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Lady Mildred, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Lady Mildred.

Latitude: 39° 6.000′ S   (39.1° S / 39° 6′ S)
Longitude: 146° 26.400′ E   (146.44° E / 146° 26′ 24″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2019-03-12 22:43:41 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-13 21:57:45 GMT
Source: Australian National Shipwreck Database
Nearest Neighbour: Cheviot, 2,224 m, bearing 0°, N
Screw Steamer.
Built: 1902.
Sunk: 15 February 1909.
Depth: 6 to 25 m.
See the Lady Mildred dive site page

Lune

Wreck Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site Wilsons Promontory

The Swedish barque Lune was on a voyage from Newcastle to Batavia via Melbourne loaded with coal. In a thick fog it struck a reef on the eastern side of Cliffy Island, Wilsons Promontory. The crew reached safety, but the vessel soon broke up and sank in the heavy swell.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Lune, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Lune.

Latitude: 38° 57.000′ S   (38.95° S / 38° 57′ S)
Longitude: 146° 42.000′ E   (146.7° E / 146° 42′ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 02:38:05 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Rubicon, 13,014 m, bearing 321°, NW
Depth: 19 m.
See the Lune dive site page

Miranda

Wreck Dive Boat access
Marine Park - No Fishing Wreck Dive Site Wilsons Promontory

The wooden brigantine Miranda was a regular Bass Strait trader from Hobart and Launceston to Port Albert. It carried general cargo and building material to Port Albert and livestock to Tasmania. The vessel anchored in the shelter of Rabbit Island on a voyage from Hobart to Port Albert in August 1852. A strong south easterly caused the vessel to part from both anchors, and it went ashore in a cove on Wilson's Promontory that now bears its name. No lives were lost, but the vessel was subsequently condemned, and burnt on the beach where it lay.

The Miranda is significant as an example of an Australian built cargo ship working in the Bass Strait trade.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Miranda, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Miranda.

Latitude: 38° 54.800′ S   (38.913333° S / 38° 54′ 48″ S)
Longitude: 146° 28.800′ E   (146.48° E / 146° 28′ 48″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 01:53:36 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Elm Grove, 825 m, bearing 240°, WSW
Wooden Sailing Brig.
Built: 1846.
Sunk: 7 August 1852.
See the Miranda dive site page

Victorian Shipwrecks West of Melbourne

Antares

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

4 metres (13 feet) to 6 metres (20 feet)

Antares
Antares
© Unknown

The Antares is significant as a sail trader carrying an international inbound cargo. It is part of the Great Ocean Road Historic Shipwreck Trail.

The Antares today lies in only 4 to 6 metres of water and is a little more than 70 to 80 metres offshore, west of the Bay of Islands.

The Italian barque Antares left Marseilles 18th December 1913 for Melbourne, but failed to arrive. In November 1914 wreckage was found at the base of a cliff at the Bay of Islands near Warrnambool and a body had washed ashore. Some of the timbers were charred by fire, and a small boat's stern board with the name Sutlej led to the identification of the wreck as Antares which had been reported missing.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Antares,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: Antares, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Antares.

Latitude: 38° 33.500′ S   (38.558333° S / 38° 33′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 142° 45.750′ E   (142.7625° E / 142° 45′ 45″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 01:20:47 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Falls of Halladale, 10,015 m, bearing 123°, ESE
Iron barque, 1742 ton.
Built: Glasgow, Scotland, 1888.
Sunk: November 1914.
Depth: 4 to 6 m.
See the Antares dive site page

Balmoral

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

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Balmoral,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: Balmoral, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Balmoral.

Latitude: 38° 22.583′ S   (38.376388° S / 38° 22′ 35″ S)
Longitude: 142° 14.800′ E   (142.246667° E / 142° 14′ 48″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-02-24 02:54:50 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Essington, 1,204 m, bearing 192°, SSW
Wooden schooner.
Sunk: 9 July 1868.
See the Balmoral dive site page

Casino

Wreck Dive Shore access
Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Iron Steamship | Max Depth: 9 metres (30 feet)

Casino
Casino
© Unknown

The Casino (aka SS Casino) was an iron steamship which transported cargo and passengers between Melbourne and Portland. In 1932 the loss of the SS Casino deeply affected the communities of Apollo Bay and Port Fairy.

Diving the SS Casino

The SS Casino lies in 9 metres of water on a flat sandy seabed at the northern end of Apollo Bay, almost opposite Wild Dog Creek. It lies 400 metres (1,312 feet) offshore, just beyond the breakers, with its stern to the beach and bow towards the ocean. It lies on its ports side and the remain of the hull are around 50 metres (164 feet) long.

The hull is relatively intact at the bow and near the engine and boiler, but has collapsed towards the stern, exposing the propellor shaft, steering gear and engine. Other features of the site include lifeboat davits, bollards and masts, Remains of the ship's cargo such as fragile newspapers occasionally appear as sands move across the site, occasionally all but burying it.

Even during periods of low swell and calm conditions the site is continuously subject to wave action. The surge causes sand to drift scross the site and reduces visibility. Bottom surge can also make diving uncomfortable.

The Victorian Maritime Archaeology Unit has placed an information plinth on the hull, next to the boiler on the port side of the vessel.

SS Casino Dive Site Map
SS Casino Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

SS Casino History

SS Casino
SS Casino
© Unknown

The SS Casino is historically significant for its vital role in the Western District coastal and passenger trade. This significance is enhanced by the longevity of the Casino's service to this trade — it was wrecked on the eve of celebrating its 50th anniversary. In September 1998 the wreck of the SS Casino and its associated relics were permanently specially declared to be of historic significance. Of the total of eighteen steamships that served the Western District between 1854 and 1939 there are only four of these vessels represented in the Victorian wreck resource: the SS Champion, TSS Coramba, SS Julia Percy (SS Leeuwin) and the SS Casino. The Casino and Champion are the only two of these wrecks that are located in the Western District, and the Casino is the only one of these that has been located and is accessible to divers.

Built in Scotland in 1882 and powered by steam and sail, the Casino was fast and efficient. During a period of almost 50 years SS Casino made about 2,500 trips between Melbourne and the western ports, including Port Fairy, Apollo Bay and Portland, carrying farm produce and essential supplies: a record unequalled by any other coastal steamer.

On 10 July 1932, a strong south-easterly gale damaged the ship while she was trying to dock at Apollo Bay. The Captain made for the beach but the ship was taking on water rapidly. Several Apollo Bay residents on the shore attempted heroic rescues at great personal risk. Nine people were saved from the raging surf and ten were lost, including the stewardess who had fitted lifejackets to her passengers but did not have time to fit her own.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: SS Casino,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: SS Casino,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: S.S. Casino, and
Dive Information Sheet: SS Casino (1882-1932) (Adobe PDF | 165.9 KB).

Latitude: 38° 44.600′ S   (38.743333° S / 38° 44′ 36″ S)
Longitude: 143° 40.750′ E   (143.679167° E / 143° 40′ 45″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-20 06:10:16 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Grange, 3,809 m, bearing 192°, SSW
SS Casino, Iron steamship.
Depth: 9 m.
See the Casino dive site page

Children

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

One of the first vessels to be lost in the Western District was the wooden barque Children, which was wrecked to the East of Warrnambool in February 1839. It was wrecked after striking reefs close to shore at the entrance of Childers Cove when the vessel ran ashore in hurricane-force winds. 22 passengers and crew were fortunate to escape being battered to death on the rocks.

The Children broke up within 20 minutes, sweeping sixteen of those on board to their deaths. After eleven days, the survivors, all of whom were injured, were rescued and taken to Portland.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Children, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Children.

Latitude: 38° 29.500′ S   (38.491667° S / 38° 29′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 142° 40.400′ E   (142.673333° E / 142° 40′ 24″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-02-24 01:10:38 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Antares, 10,729 m, bearing 133°, SE
Wooden barque.
Built: Liverpool, England, 1825.
Sunk: 14 January 1838.
See the Children dive site page

City of Rayville

Wreck Dive Boat access
Deep Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Subject to Shipping Technical Rated Wreck Dive Site

American Steamship | Max Depth: 82 metres (269 feet)

City of Rayville
City of Rayville
© Unknown

The City of Rayville (aka MV City of Rayville, MS City of Rayville and SS City of Rayville) shipwreck has international historical significance as the first US vessel lost due to enemy action in World War II, and is one of four World War II wrecks in Victoria. She lies in 82 metres of water, approximately 14 kilometres off the coast of Cape Otway.

Diving the City of Rayville

After years of searches for the site in August 1997 a large steel wreck believed to be the City of Rayville was verbally reported to Heritage Victoria to have been found in the shipping lane off Cape Otway by technical diver Barrie Heard. Apollo Bay cray fisherman Harry Ferrier reported a large steel wreck in the same position to Heritage Victoria in January 1999.

The City of Rayville shipwreck site lies in 82 metres depth on a sand bottom, in the shipping lane with the bow facing east. Her hull and topsides clear of the seafloor some 15 to 20 foot. Much of her steering house aft is still there. Hatch coamings, ladders, bulwarks, railings, deck winches, masts etc. Markings on plates recovered from the wreck have the initials IMMC and Buffalo Pottery. Buffalo Pottery produced crockery for commercial clients including the US armed forces, steamship and railway companies, and the International Mercantile Marine Company (IMMC). The IMMC owned the American Pioneer Line which operated the City of Rayville on a passenger and freight service to Australia (via the Panama Canal). Among the IMMC's other interests were the White Star Line which it took over in 1902, and it was therefore the owner of the RMS Titanic when it sank in 1912.


City of Rayville 2013 | © David Tipping

City of Rayville History

The City of Rayville was built in 1920 by Oscar Daniels Co in Tampa, Florida, USA. She was a 5,910 ton displacement American steamship that measured 401.9 feet (122 metres) long, 54.2 feet (17 metres) wide and 31.3 feet (9.5 metres) deep.

Sinking of the City of Rayville

On 15 June 1940 a Nazi raider named the Pinguin embarked on a mission to capture and destroy as many allied merchant ships as possible. Between June 1940 and May 1941 the Pinguin's Captain Kruder was responsible for one of the most successful operations by any German raider in World War II (Boyle: 112). Travelling from Norway to the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans — and Bass Strait — before being sunk with most of its crew by the HMS Cornwall on 7 May 1941, the Pinguin sank twelve ships and captured sixteen as war prizes. The mines laid in Australian waters by the Pinguin and one of its prizes the Storstad (renamed Passat) sank an additional four ships and damaged another.

The Norwegian tanker Storstad was captured by the Pinguin on October 7 1940 in the Sunda Straits. Renaming it the Passat and taking the crew prisoner Kruder converted it to an auxiliary minelayer. It was to be an important part of Kruder's plan — for both vessels to work in concert laying minefields around the Australian coast to inflict a maximum amount of damage, before the authorities would be alerted to the existence of multiple minefields — a water borne blitzkrieg.

Between 29 and 31 October 1940 the Passat proceeded to lay 60 mines off the north east coast of Tasmania, 10 mines off Wilsons Promontory, and 40 mines off Cape Otway, travelling west through Bass Strait in broad daylight. The narrow and busy sea lanes between Cape Otway and King Island, and between the islands off Wilsons Promontory were targeted as the areas most likely to maximise the destructive potential of the mines.

Meanwhile the American motor ship City of Rayville, a unit of the American Pioneer Line, had finished loading its cargo of lead at Port Pirie and had stopped at Adelaide to load more cargo. The City of Rayville's Captain Cronin was proceeding to Melbourne and then to New York. At 7.47 pm on 8 November 1940 as the City of Rayville entered the waters of Bass Strait, stars and stripes painted on both sides of its hull, it hit one of the Passat's mines. The Cape Otway lighthouse keeper reported a shot of flame, and Apollo Bay locals playing billiards heard a loud explosion. The crew reported water and planks and hatch covers raining down on the superstructure of the vessel, and ingots from the cargo of lead in the forepart of the vessel were also thrown onto the superstructure. The force of the explosion tore out the foremast.

Captain Cronin ordered radio operator Fred A Gritzer to send out an S.O.S. with the ship's position. The lifeboats were swung out and launched within four minutes, and 37 of the 38 crew were able to depart the ship, which already had its stern in the air. The mine had struck forward between number 1 and 2 holds, and within 15 minutes the bridge was awash — it was to sink completely within the next 25 minutes. One of the engineers was to pay with his life for an ill-timed visit to his locker to retrieve his belongings, the only other casualties were two crewmen who received shoulder and leg injuries and a rib fracture, and the ship's mascot was killed — a 'wild black cat' picked up previously in Melbourne. Captain Cronin ordered the men in the lifeboat to keep a sharp look-out for mines, while unbeknown to him the Apollo Bay rescue fleet departed the port at 8.15 pm.

It was a brave mission for the Apollo Bay fishermen, who in darkness and in the face of a biting and brisk north-easterly wind, would attempt to locate any survivors in the choppy waters. The first lifeboat was sighted at 10.20 pm, and eventually all the crew and rescuers returned safely to Apollo Bay and put up for the night in the Ballarat Hotel.

The City of Rayville was the USA's first casualty of World War II, although the USA did not enter the war until over a year later after Pearl Harbour was attacked by the Japanese on 7 December 1941.

The sinking of the City of Rayville followed that of the British cargo ship SS Cambridge less than 24 hours before, which also sank with the loss of one life after striking a mine in the Wilsons Promontory minefield laid by the Passat. Bass Strait was closed to shipping until further notice and a mine sweeping flotilla was ordered to clear the area. Rumours of Fifth Columnists working on fishing boats to help set the mines were denied by Mr Hughes, Minister of the Navy.

The effect on Apollo Bay was described as "a bit like a Collingwood premiership... all the sheilas were hanging around too. Not that there was a lot to hang around for because they were pretty old blokes, just ordinary merchant seaman" (Les Barrands, one of the Apollo Bay fishermen rescuers quoted in The Age, 8/11/1990). The crew were later entertained by the Governor Sir Winston Dugan, while US Secretary of State Cordell Hull wrote individual letters of thanks to all the rescuers.

Following the sinkings of the SS Cambridge and City of Rayville, the sinking of the Royal Australian Navy's minesweeper HMAS Goorangai with the loss of all 24 crew on 12 November 1940 was a tragic sequel in the chain of events. HMAS Goorangai was ordered to salvage floating debris from the City of Rayville and sweep for mines in the area and approaches to Port Phillip Bay. Sunk in a collision by the Duntroon during a brown out in Port Phillip Bay HMAS Goorangai was the RAN's first surface vessel lost with all hands, and the first RAN vessel lost in World War II.

Yet another wreck in this chain of events was the running ashore of interstate cargo and passenger steamer SS Orungal at Barwon Heads on 20 November 1940 during a brown-out of coastal lights in squally weather.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: M.V. City of Rayville,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: M.V. City of Rayville and
Wikipedia: MS City of Rayville.

Latitude: 38° 58.800′ S   (38.98° S / 38° 58′ 48″ S)
Longitude: 143° 30.600′ E   (143.51° E / 143° 30′ 36″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2019-04-27 01:19:26 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-09 23:54:08 GMT
Source: Australian National Shipwreck Database
Nearest Neighbour: Grange, 26,499 m, bearing 31°, NNE
American Steamship.
Built: Tampa, Florida, USA, 1920.
Sunk: 8 November 1940.
Depth: 82 m.
See the City of Rayville dive site page

Diana, Port Fairy

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

The Tasmanian built brig Diana was wrecked at Port Fairy when driven ashore by a gale. Captain Mills, the Harbour Master, and some whalers rowed to the vessel and secured a line, allowing the crew to reach safety.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Diana, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Diana.

Latitude: 38° 21.967′ S   (38.366112° S / 38° 21′ 58″ S)
Longitude: 142° 15.733′ E   (142.262222° E / 142° 15′ 44″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 00:21:55 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Balmoral, 1,773 m, bearing 229°, SW
Wooden brig.
Built: Hobart, Tasmania, 1840.
Sunk: 1 October 1844.
See the Diana, Port Fairy dive site page

Edinburgh Castle

Wreck Dive Boat access
Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
© Unknown

A mistake by the pilot resulted in the barque Edinburgh Castle going ashore in calm weather in Lady Bay at Warrnambool. The vessel was loaded with cement for the new breakwater, and hopes were high that it could be refloated. However, it soon began to settle into the sand, and then broke up in subsequent rough weather.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Edinburgh Castle, and Dive Information Sheet: Edinburgh Castle (1863-1888) (Adobe PDF | 327.59 KB).

Latitude: 38° 24.150′ S   (38.4025° S / 38° 24′ 9″ S)
Longitude: 142° 29.580′ E   (142.493° E / 142° 29′ 34.8″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-20 06:11:29 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: La Bella, 1,033 m, bearing 258°, WSW
Three masted iron barque.
Built: Glasgow, Scotland, 1863.
Sunk: 15 January 1888.
Depth: 5 m.
See the Edinburgh Castle dive site page

Emily S

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

The Emily S lies about 350 metres east of Lawrence Rock on the sheltered side. A purpose sunk wreck she lays beautifully upright on her keel in 24 metres between two rocky reefs.

The Emily S was scuttled on the 1st September 1991 by the PDS dive club. The Emily S is an old fishing trawler, 30 metres in length. She is still in great intact condition and is a great dive for beginers to experience some easy penetration dives on. Often has a family of Weedy Seadragons near the prop.

Latitude: 38° 24.500′ S   (38.408333° S / 38° 24′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 141° 40.000′ E   (141.666667° E / 141° 40′ 0″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-02-20 08:27:24 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: New Zealander, 9,103 m, bearing 326°, NW
Tug.
Max Depth: 24 m.
See the Emily S dive site page

Essington

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

Wooden Sailing Brig | Max Depth: 11 metres (36 feet)

The brig Essington anchored at Port Fairy and commenced to unload cargo. A south easterly gale sprang up, which gradually increased in strength, bringing a heavy swell into the bay. The Essington parted from its best bower anchor but was brought up on its small bower anchor. However, the vessel struck to the bottom in the trough of one wave. As the Essington rode at anchor, it continued to strike the bottom, but it was not making any water. One heavy sea caused the vessel to strike and break the rudder. The anchor began to drag causing the Essington to strike the bottom further as it moved towards the beach. By this time the hull was making water faster than the pumps could cope.

When the gale and the sea moderated, attempts were made to unload the cargo, but the water continued to gain on the pumps. A kedge anchor was run ashore and the vessel hauled up on it. All fittings and cargo were then removed and the Essington was abandoned. (Taken from log extracts published in the Argus, 25 February 1852).

The Essington was originally built as a New South Wales government brig.

The wreck of the brig Essington is archaeologically significant for its remains of an early Australian built vessel. It is historically significant for its role in the whaling industry and in the early development of Victoria, and for its association with the pioneers Captain Mills and John Griffiths.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Essington, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Essington.

Latitude: 38° 23.217′ S   (38.386945° S / 38° 23′ 13″ S)
Longitude: 142° 14.617′ E   (142.243612° E / 142° 14′ 37″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 00:38:39 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Balmoral, 1,204 m, bearing 12°, NNE
Wooden brig.
Built: Government Dockyard, Sydney, 1826.
Sunk: 3 May 1852.
Depth: 11 m.
See the Essington dive site page

Falls of Halladale

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

Four Masted Iron Sailing Barque | Max Depth: 14 metres (46 feet)

Falls of Halladale
Falls of Halladale
© Unknown

The magnificent four masted barque Falls of Halladale was 102 days out from New York when it ran ashore at Peterborough at 3 am on the morning of 14th November 1908. Within minutes, water poured into the holds and the crew safely disembarked and rowed for three hours until they beached at the Bay of Islands.

Diving the Falls of Halladale

The remains of the Falls of Halladale lie approximately 300 metres (984 feet) off Wreck Point, at Curdies Point near Peterborough. The vessel lies on a rocky bottom in 3 to 14 metres of water. The bow faces towards the north and the wreckage extends out to sea for approximately 100 metres (328 feet).

The port side of the vessel is upright with five to six metres of the hull at the bow and two to three metres at the stern. The starboard side has flattened out and masts are scattered towards the east. As a diver swims towards the stern, the site appears as complex lattice of iron beams and hull plates which were the floors, frames and bilge plating. The scattered beams and plates provide a perfect home for many reef fish.

Some slate and coiled wire cargo stowed at the stern of the vessel 80 years ago, still remain in their original area of stowage. Other features of the site include large iron anchors, bollards, deck supports and iron knees.

Falls of Halladale Dive Site Map
Falls of Halladale Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

The site is flanked by a reef which causes heavy breaks in all but the calmest conditions. In rough weather waves break over the site and are hazardous to all small craft. The best conditions to dive the shipwreck occur during periods of low swell and northerly winds.

Falls of Halladale History

The four masted barque Falls of Halladale was 102 days out from New York when it ran ashore at Peterborough at 3 am on the morning of 14th November 1908. Within minutes, water poured into the holds and the crew safely disembarked and rowed for three hours until they beached at the Bay of Islands.

The vessel grounded in fair weather on an ENE tack. A mist over the land created an optical illusion of a distant horizon, and the crew thought the ship was 10 miles off the coast when it was less than one mile away, heading for the rocks.

When the danger was discovered, it was too late. The anchors could not be let go in time, and the ship had no headway to change tack. The Falls of Halladale struck heavily amidships, about 200 yards from shore. Soon after abandoning the ship, the crew found the stern awash with breakers sweeping over the decks as far as the foremast.

The vessel lay in a small bay just to the west of Peterborough with its sails set, and provided a spectacle for sightseers. Two salvage ventures proved to be financial disasters. The captain of the Falls of Halladale was found guilty of a gross act of misconduct in that he carelessly navigated the vessel. His certificate was suspended for six months.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Falls of Halladale
Heritage Council Victoria: Falls of Halladale,
Wikipedia: Falls of Halladale,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: Falls of Halladale, and
Dive Information Sheet: Falls of Halladale (1886-1908) (Adobe PDF | 506.84 KB).

Latitude: 38° 36.500′ S   (38.608333° S / 38° 36′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 142° 51.500′ E   (142.858333° E / 142° 51′ 30″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-14 07:34:42 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Schomberg, 2,603 m, bearing 110°, ESE
Four masted iron barque.
Built: Greenock, Scotland, 1886.
Sunk: 14 November 1908.
Depth 14 m.
See the Falls of Halladale dive site page

Fiji

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

Three Masted Iron Barque | Max Depth: 7 metres (23 feet)

The Fiji is a three masted iron barque built in Belfast, Ireland for a Liverpool, England based shipping company. This shipwreck is archaeologically significant as the wreck of a typical 19th century international sailing ship with cargo. It is educationally and recreationally significant as one of Victoria's most spectacular historic shipwreck dive sites with structural features and remains of the cargo evident.

Diving the Fiji

The wreck of the Fiji is some 50 metres (164 feet) to 70 metres (230 feet) from Wreck Beach and Moonlight Head. It lies in six to seven metres of water in a sandy gully of sandstone boulders. The wreckage extends for a distance of 71 metres (233 feet). The bow is orientated towards the shore and is flanked on one side by a large boulder which is visible from the surface. Waves often break over the boulder.

The wreck has been broken up over the years but there is still a large amount of wreckage which can be seen by divers visiting the site. Remains of the hull include the ship's bow, flooring, bilge frames, hull plating and rudder plating.

At the bow, a large mound of chains is clearly visible along with two anchors, two winches, hawsepipes and rigging.

Divers can see remnants of the ship's cargo in two main mounds. One mound near midships comprises pig iron and wire coil. The other mound in the bow includes bricks and wire coils. Broken gin bottles, ceramic toys and porcelain doll parts have been found of the wreck site over the years.

The site is in a very dangerous and exposed position. It's subject to heavty swells and surge conditions and is best visited by divers during moderate notherlies when the swell is minimal.

Fiji Dive Site Map
Fiji Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

Fiji History

The barque Fiji left Hamburg on 22nd of May 1891. The vessel went ashore at 3 am on the morning of the disaster in squally and boisterous weather soon after sighting Cape Otway.

The wind had suddenly veered, and the vessel missed stays after attempting to wear ship and was driven onto the rocks. Attempts were made to launch the boats but they were swamped and dashed to pieces. Delays in getting the lifeboat and rocket apparatus to the scene resulted in 12 of the 25 crew drowning after 10 hours trapped on board.

A local resident, Arthur Wilkinson, lost his life trying to save one of the crew who was struggling in the surf. Coffins were made out of the wreck timbers and the men buried on the cliff top above the wreck. The deaths precipitated critical comment in the press over the lack of prompt action. Other news items appeared claiming drunk and disorderly behaviour by plunderers amongst the corpses and wreckage on the beach. The controversy reached parliament.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Fiji,
Heritage Council Victoria: Fiji,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: Fiji, and
Dive Information Sheet: Fiji (1875-1891) (Adobe PDF | 667.25 KB).

Latitude: 38° 45.750′ S   (38.7625° S / 38° 45′ 45″ S)
Longitude: 143° 13.500′ E   (143.225° E / 143° 13′ 30″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-20 06:15:24 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Loch Ard, 18,186 m, bearing 312°, NW
Three masted iron barque.
Built: Belfast, Ireland, 1875.
Sunk: 6 September 1891.
Depth: 7 m.
See the Fiji dive site page

Grange

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

The Grange, which lies near Little Haley Reef, Apollo Bay, is archaeologically significant as an example of a Scottish built wooden barque and international trader, with remains of its wooden hull available for study. It is a typical vessel as used in international and coastal cargo and passenger carrying trades in the early to mid 19th century ie: representative of a particular category or type. It is educationally and recreationally significant as it is one of the only wooden vessels accessible to recreational divers along this stretch of the coast.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Grange.

Latitude: 38° 46.610′ S   (38.776837° S / 38° 46′ 36.61″ S)
Longitude: 143° 40.201′ E   (143.670015° E / 143° 40′ 12.05″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 03:31:50 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Casino, 3,809 m, bearing 12°, NNE
Wooden barque, 300 ton.
Built: Scotland, 1840.
Sunk: 24 March 1858.
Depth: 5 m.
See the Grange dive site page

La Bella

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

Four Masted Barquentine Sailing Ship | Max Depth: 13 metres (43 feet)

La Bella lies in Lady Bay, Warrnambool. The La Bella is typical of the type of medium sized iron / steel sailing vessels sailing in an age where sail was being rapidly superseded by steam i.e.: representative of a type.

Diving the La Bella

The La Bella now lies on its port side, with its bow facing south-west, in 13 metres (43 feet) of water, 300 metres (984 feet) south-east of the end of the Warrnambool breakwater.

Although heavily covered in thick kelp and weed growth, the La Bella is a spectacular dive.

The five metre high ship's bow lies on its port side. Divers swimming around the bow will be able to see the bowsprit, several anchors, an anchor chain, catsheads, winches and hawsepipes.

In the midships region divers should see a donkey engine, parts of the rigging, decking frames, a deck winch, bilge pumps and bollards.

Overtime the stem has broken up and has now disappeared. An information plinth lies in the mid ships region off the port side of the ship. It was placed there by staff of the National Safety Council and the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum, sponsored by Warnambool Textiles.

La Bella Dive Site Map
La Bella Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

The current is usually minimal although in south westerly winds the swell can make boating dangerous, particually near the reef.

La Bella History

Wrecked on 10/11/1905 after hitting rocks south of the Warrnambool breakwater (now known as La Bella Reef) in heavy seas.

The brave rescue of five crew by local fisherman William Ferrier made him a national hero and upon its declaration as an Historic Shipwreck in 1992 the La Bella was declared a 'monument to bravery'.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: La Bella
Heritage Council Victoria: La Bella, and
Dive Information Sheet: La Bella (1883-1905) (Adobe PDF | 1.34 MB).

Latitude: 38° 24.258′ S   (38.4043° S / 38° 24′ 15.48″ S)
Longitude: 142° 28.882′ E   (142.481367° E / 142° 28′ 52.92″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-20 06:18:21 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Edinburgh Castle, 1,033 m, bearing 78°, ENE
Four masted barquentine sailing ship.
Depth: 13 m.
See the La Bella dive site page

Loch Ard

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

Iron Clipper Sailing Barque | Max Depth: 25 metres (82 feet)

Loch Ard
Loch Ard
© Unknown

The Loch Ard is historically significant as one of Victoria and Australia's worst shipwreck tragedies. It is archaeologically significant for its remains of a large international passenger and cargo ship. It is highly educationally and recreationally significant as one of Victoria's most spectacular diving sites, and popular tourist sites in Port Campbell National Park.

Diving the Loch Ard

The shipwreck of the Loch Ard lies on the south-west side of Mutton Bird Island, five nautical miles from Port Campbell. It covers a wide area, and has a length of 80 metres (262 feet).

The site extends from 10 metres (33 feet) to 25 metres (82 feet) depth. At 10 metres a large section of hull lies concreted to a collection of railway irons. At 15 metres, lead and zinc sheet rolls, copper artefacts such as scissors, ceramics, pewter mugs and ink wells can be seen.

Extensive hull plating is strewn over the site. The bow is relatively intact with its bowsprit jammed under a rock. Nearby, lie the Loch Ard's anchors. On the port side of the bow, divers can see a section of the hull with deadeyes (used to secure rigging). The port side of the hull has actually collapsed down the side of Mutton Bird Island spilling its contents.

The ship's frames extend back to a section of the starboard side of the hull. In this part of the wreck, the hull leans against the island to form a cave.

The stern of the ship has not been found and has possibly broken up over time.

One of two located anchors was raised for the Loch Ard centenary year in 1978 by a consortium of dive groups organised by Peter Stone of the Scuba Divers Federation of Victoria (SDFV), and including boats and divers from the Victorian Sub Aqua Group (VSAG).

Back at Port Campbell, the submerged wreck of the steamship Napier, associated with the wreck of the Loch Ard, can be seen near the pier.

Diving on the Loch Ard requires calm conditions and a very low swell. The best months to dive the shipwreck are March, April and May.

Ther anchorage is in 25 to 30 metres of water and even on relatively calm days, the backwash from Mutton Bird Island can be quite severe. there is also a risk of changeable weather on this part of the coast. care must be taken to avoid the wave break east of Port Cambell at the entrance to the inlet.

Loch Ard Dive Site Map
Loch Ard Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

Loch Ard History

The wreck of the 1693 ton iron clipper Loch Ard is one of Victoria's best known and tragic shipwrecks. Nearing the end of a voyage from Gravesend to Melbourne, the Loch Ard sank after striking Mutton Bird Island near Port Campbell in calm foggy weather and 52 of the 54 crew and passengers were lost. A nearby gorge into which the only two survivors, 18 year olds Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael were able to get ashore is named Loch Ard Gorge.

The Loch Ard's cargo included 2375 tons general cargo including copper and lead, building materials, bottled goods, marble fireplaces, gaslight fittings, railway iron, and exhibits destined for the 1880 International Exhibition, to mark the official opening of the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings in 1880. The famous majolica ware Minton Peacock which was to be the main exhibit was found floating in its packing case at the time of the wreck, and is currently on display in Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum.

Contemporary salvage and pilfering of washed up cargo on beaches occurred, and one major salvage effort ended when the 90 ton PS Napier sank after striking rocks inside Port Campbell Bay.

See also, Wikipedia: Loch Ard (ship),
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Loch Ard,
Heritage Council Victoria: Loch Ard, and
Dive Information Sheet: Loch Ard (1873-1878) (Adobe PDF | 705.9 KB).

Latitude: 38° 39.060′ S   (38.651° S / 38° 39′ 3.6″ S)
Longitude: 143° 4.300′ E   (143.071667° E / 143° 4′ 18″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-14 07:46:07 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Newfield, 14,124 m, bearing 281°, W
Square rigged iron sailing ship.
Depth: 25 m.
See the Loch Ard dive site page

New Zealander

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

The New Zealander departed from Liverpool on the 23rd August to Australia carrying 465 assisted passengers. The immigrants were mainly Irish (103) and Scottish (362). After unloading the passengers, and 16 days in Portland, the vessel underwent an extensive refit. 18 of the original crew had to be jailed for failing to prepare for the return journey.

On the 16th December, after Captain Brown had tried to muster a new crew, the ship was found ablaze at 4am. It was towed to the beach at Whalers Bluff and continued to burn. One theory at the time was that the cook set the ship alight because the crew had wanted to go ashore, whilst another theory was spontaneous combustion of the coal cargo, fuelled by the new varnish which kept the hull burning. The vessel burned for 2 to 3 weeks, and was visible for many years above the water at the foot of the lighthouse. Spruce, pine, birch, iron hanging knees, yellow metal.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: New Zealander.

Latitude: 38° 20.400′ S   (38.34° S / 38° 20′ 24″ S)
Longitude: 141° 36.550′ E   (141.609167° E / 141° 36′ 33″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 12:40:33 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Emily S, 9,103 m, bearing 146°, SE
Built: 1852.
Sunk: 16 December 1853.
See the New Zealander dive site page

Newfield

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Iron Sailing Barque

Newfield
Newfield
© Unknown

Mistook Cape Otway Light for one on King Island. The Newfield had left on 28th May from Sharpness. Exceptionally rough weather had been encountered and hurricanes and storms after the Cape of Good Hope. The Cape Otway light was sighted in squally, bumpy weather, but the captain was under the impression it was the King Island light.

The ships chronometers were wrong. Orders were given to tack the ship away from the light, which headed it straight for the cliffs of the Victorian coast. The vessel struck rocks about 100 yards from shore, and 5 feet of water filled the holds immediately. The captain gave orders to lower the boats which caused a disorganised scramble for safety among the crew. The panic resulted in the deaths of 9 men including the captain when they drowned after the boats capsized in heavy seas.

The 17 men who regained the ship decided to wait until daylight, and rowed to Peterborough in the ships jollyboat and gig when locals failed to secure a rocket apparatus line to the ship. The Marine Board inquiry found the wreck was caused by a 'one man style of navigation' and that the Captain had not heeded the advice of his crew.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Newfield.

Latitude: 38° 37.500′ S   (38.625° S / 38° 37′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 142° 54.750′ E   (142.9125° E / 142° 54′ 45″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 02:11:53 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Schomberg, 2,455 m, bearing 292°, WNW
Iron Sailing Barque.
Built: 1889.
Sunk: 29 August 1892.
See the Newfield dive site page

Orungal

Wreck Dive Shore access
Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site
Orungal
Orungal
© Unknown

The SS Orungal, near Formby Reef, Barwon Heads, has social and historical significance for its role as an interstate passenger and mail steamer in the inter-war period, and as a chartered vessel represents the economic impact of the Depression on Australian shipping lines, especially the AUSNCo. It also represents the risks and threats faced by domestic shipping in World War II.

The wreck of the Orungal is about 700m offshore from the mouth of the Barwon River. It's a nice dive in about 10m, though the shipwreck is pretty broken up. The boilers stick up out of the water at low tide.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: SS Orungal, and Australian National Shipwreck Database: S.S. Orungal.

Latitude: 38° 17.267′ S   (38.287783° S / 38° 17′ 16.02″ S)
Longitude: 144° 30.606′ E   (144.5101° E / 144° 30′ 36.36″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-04-27 04:55:52 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Chimney Rock, 1,635 m, bearing 201°, SSW
Steel Steamer.
Built: 1923.
Lost: 20 Nov 1940.
See the Orungal dive site page

Osprey

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Schooner

The remains of the Osprey are archaeologically and historically significant as evidence of the timber trade and early development of Lorne. It is the only positively located wreck site in Louttit Bay. It is historically significant as the earliest known site of any kind associated with Lorne's settlement, and for its role in the early development of the Lorne and the Otway region generally.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Osprey.

Latitude: 38° 32.100′ S   (38.535° S / 38° 32′ 6″ S)
Longitude: 143° 58.700′ E   (143.978333° E / 143° 58′ 42″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 12:53:45 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Casino, 34,811 m, bearing 228°, SW
Wooden Sailing Schooner.
Built: 1834.
Sunk: 18 June 1854.
See the Osprey dive site page

Rubicon

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

The schooner Rubicon was loading lime for Melbourne at the jetty at Walkerville when a heavy swell set in. The vessel was hauled off from the jetty to the safety of the anchorage. Shortly afterwards, the wind shifted and the ship parted from its cables and drove onto the rocks to become a total wreck in Waratah Bay, Wilson Promontory. The Victorian Steam Navigation Board investigated the circumstances attending the wrecking of the vessel and found that the wreck was caused by stress of weather and no claim could be attached to master or crew.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Rubicon, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Rubicon.

Latitude: 38° 51.500′ S   (38.858333° S / 38° 51′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 146° 36.390′ E   (146.6065° E / 146° 36′ 23.4″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 12:59:03 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Tomatin, 11,996 m, bearing 302°, WNW
Sailing Schooner.
Built: 1972.
Sunk: 10 October 1887.
See the Rubicon dive site page

Schomberg

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

Wooden Clipper Sailing Ship | Max Depth: 9 metres (30 feet)

Schomberg
Schomberg
© Unknown

Schomberg was a three masted wooden clipper ship, built in 1855 at Aberdeen, Scotland. The Schomberg story was almost the nineteenth century's Titanic, built at great expense, labeled the most perfect clipper ship ever built, and designed to be the most comfortable vessel to sail to Melbourne, and sinking on its maiden voyage in 1855.

Diving the Schomberg

The remains of the Shomberg now lie in 9 metres (30 feet) of water south-east of Shomberg Rock off Peterborough. The weck runs north-south along a reef, with its bow to the north.

The site is badly broken up and heavily concreted. Small artefacts such as buttons, and shoe and belt buckles are cemented into a matrix of limestone.

No hull structure is visible but divers can see a large number of railway tracks which lie lengthways following the contours of the reef. Large railways following the contours of the reef. Large railway girders are also visible.

Large iron tanks, iron pots, a mast and deck stanchions can be seen at the wreck site.

The site is covered by various seaweeds and plenty of reef fish now inhabit the wreck.

Schomberg Dive Site Map
Schomberg Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

South-easterly and southerly windes expose the shipwreck to dangerous swells making diving unpleasant and anchorage unsafe.

Schomberg History

Schomberg was a large clipper ship built in 1855 for James Baines' famous Black Ball Line. Schomberg has historical significance as one of the luxurious ships built to bring emigrants to Australia, cashing in on the gold rush era. The clipper is one of only three clipper wrecks in Victorian waters that operated the England to Australia run. While the other two, Empress of the Sea and Lightening, were built by the famous American shipbuilder, Donald MacKay, Schomberg was built in Aberdeen. It was an attempt to build a faster ship than MacKay and a vessel fast enough to break the sailing record to Australia. Schomberg never got the chance to break any records, sinking on its maiden voyage to Australia (Heritage Victoria 2010).

See also, Wikipedia: Schomberg (1855),
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Schomberg,
Heritage Council Victoria: Schomberg, and
Dive Information Sheet: Schomberg (1855-1855) (Adobe PDF | 604.27 KB).

Latitude: 38° 37.000′ S   (38.616667° S / 38° 37′ 0″ S)
Longitude: 142° 53.180′ E   (142.886333° E / 142° 53′ 10.8″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-20 06:22:51 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Newfield, 2,455 m, bearing 112°, ESE
Three masted wooden clipper.
Built: 1855.
Sunk: 1855.
Depth: 9 m.
See the Schomberg dive site page

South Milton

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Barque

The South Milton has historical and archaeological significance as the wreck of an inward bound international merchant ship, although the site near Charlemont Reef, Barwon Heads, does not retain a high level of integrity being easily accessible by boat and having been extensively visited over the years. It represents the remains of a typical 19th century British built wooden sailing vessel i.e.: representative of a type.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: South Milton.

Latitude: 38° 18.130′ S   (38.302167° S / 38° 18′ 7.8″ S)
Longitude: 144° 29.060′ E   (144.484333° E / 144° 29′ 3.6″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 13:06:44 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Chimney Rock, 1,657 m, bearing 87°, E
Wooden Sailing Barque.
Built: 1877.
Sunk: 10 April 1886.
See the South Milton dive site page

Victoria Tower

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

Three Masted Iron Sailing Clipper | Max Depth: 8 metres (26 feet)

The Victoria Tower was a magnificent three masted, iron hulled, sailing clipper ship, one of a small class of general cargo traders. On her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, with 34 passengers aboard, the Victoria Tower ran ashore in thick weather on 17 October 1869 at Point Impossible, west of Thompsons Creek, Breamlea in the Torquay region. For divers the legacy of this disaster is the most intact historic shipwreck accessible between Point Lonsdale and Cape Otway. The iron construction has borne up well over the last 130 years, and the dimensions and features of the wreck are easily identifiable.

Diving the Victoria Tower

The shipwreck of the Victoria Tower lies in approximately 5 metres (16 feet) to 8 metres (26 feet) of water on the Victoria Reef, a limestone network of underwater caves and gullies. The wreckage extends for approximately 100 metres (328 feet) and lies broadside to the shore with its bow facing east.

The most impressive part of the wreck is the bow which is intact. Divers can see a large section of the hull, and the bowsprit and martingale in this region of the wreck site. Good examples of the ship's upright frames can be seen at the starboard midships. Towards the bow and between the deck framing are two hatches either side of the foremast step.

The masts and yard arm lie on the seaward side of the wreckage.

The site has been extensively salvaged, though divers can sometimes see fragments of ceramics scattered around the wreck and pieces of slate and glass bottles in the hull.

Victoria Tower Dive Site Map
Victoria Tower Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

Victoria Reef is subject to heavy surge even in a low swell. When local rivers are in flood, visibility is extremely poor.

Victoria Tower History

Victoria Tower Wreck
Victoria Tower Wreck
© Unknown

Named after one of the two towers of the British Houses of Parliament, the iron clipper Victoria Tower was an equally magnificent construction. Like the four-masted iron barques George Roper (1883) and Holyhead (1890) wrecked on Lonsdale Reef also while approaching Port Phillip Heads, the Victoria Tower had been built in Liverpool for the Australian trade, and was wrecked on its maiden voyage.

The Victoria Tower is archaeologically significant as the wreck of an international inward-bound passenger and cargo vessel. It is educationally and recreationally significant as a coherently intact example of a British built iron clipper i.e.: representative of a class or type.

The Victoria Tower made landfall on 17 October 1869 after a voyage of 85 days from Liverpool, England to Melbourne. She ran into dense fog soon after rounding Cape Otway and this prevented an accurate estimate of her position. She struck without warning, the force driving the mainmast through her keel and breaking her back; drove broadside on to the sea about 400 yards from the shore. Most of the crew and forty passengers were still on board but as the sea calmed all were landed, using the ship's boats and local fishing craft.

The Victoria Tower was built in 1869 by Evans in Liverpool, England, as a three masted, iron sailing clipper ship with a length of 247 feet (75 metres), a beam of 39 feet (12 metres), and a draught of 24 feet (7.3 metres).

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Victoria Tower
Heritage Council Victoria: Victoria Tower, and
Dive Information Sheet: Victoria Tower (1869-1869) (Adobe PDF | 542.03 KB).

Latitude: 38° 18.971′ S   (38.316183° S / 38° 18′ 58.26″ S)
Longitude: 144° 22.002′ E   (144.3667° E / 144° 22′ 0.12″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-20 06:23:49 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Torquay Offshore Artificial Reef, 2,295 m, bearing 168°, SSE
Three masted iron hulled clipper, 1563 ton.
Sunk: 1869.
Depth: 8 m.
See the Victoria Tower dive site page

Victorian Shipwrecks East of Melbourne

Albert

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Technical Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Ketch | Max Depth: 70 metres (230 feet) — Graveyard

Albert
Albert
© Unknown

The Albert was a ketch that sprang a leak in rough seas shortly after leaving Lorne, Victoria for Melbourne. The pilot schooner Rip took her in tow but she founded about three nautical miles outside Port Phillip heads.

Built in 1884 and sunk on 13 August 1890, the overall length of the vessel was approximately 22.43 metres (74 feet), beam 6.13 metres (20 feet) with a displacement weight of 42 tonne (46 short tons).

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Albert, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Albert.

Latitude: 38° 44.862′ S   (38.7477° S / 38° 44′ 51.72″ S)
Longitude: 146° 39.576′ E   (146.6596° E / 146° 39′ 34.56″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-10 02:14:00 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Clonmel, 1,631 m, bearing 75°, ENE
Ketch, 42 ton.
Built: Footscray, Victoria, 1884.
Sunk: 13 August 1890.
Depth: 69 to 70 m.
See the Albert dive site page

Amazon

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

Three Masted Wooden Sailing Barque

Amazon Wreck Site Survey 2018
Amazon Wreck Site Survey 2018
© J Leach & M Khoiru

The shipwreck of the Amazon three masted wooden sailing barque lies on the shore and in Venus Bay near Andersons Inlet at Inverloch on Victoria's East Coast. Most of the wreck is situated between the high and low water marks. The remains are typically covered by sand, but this changes from time to time.

Amazon Shipwreck History

Amazon was a 402 ton barque built in 1855 by Frederick Charles Clarke of Jersey in Channel Islands, UK. The vessel was owned by the merchant John Carrel and other shareholders. Amazon was a 3-masted barrow with wooden frames, a round stern, carvel build and having a 'full woman' figurehead. The final entry for the barque in Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign shipping identifies the ship as 131.5 feet (40 metres) long, 25.5 feet (7.8 metres) wide and 16.2 feet (4.9 metres) deep.

Amazon left Melbourne bound for Mauritius on 12 December 1869 with a cargo of salted meats. The vessel cleared Port Phillip Heads at 8 pm that same evening and turned to starboard to head west towards the Indian Ocean. By 2 am on the 13 December the wind had picked up and by 4 am the Captain reported the gale had turned into a hurricane. 14 miles off Cape Otway, the wind tore off some of Amazon's sails. By the 14 December, Amazon attempted to return to the Heads and the relative safety of Port Phillip but by noon on the 15th, the Captain realised they weren't going to make it and turned his attention to keeping his vessel away from the shore.

Amazon continued to drift east as the storm still raged through into the next day and at 6 am, there were breakers off the port bow and rocks ahead. Amazon struck the beach near what is now the Inverloch surf beach at 10 am and Captain Ogier kept the vessel on course in an effort to drive the ship as far up the beach as possible. The crew, having been on deck for 48 hours straight, were exhausted, and it wasn't until 3 pm in the afternoon that everyone made it to shore.

They set up tents on the beach the next day and searched the nearby area for signs of inhabitants. There was no sign of anyone until the 21st December when Mr Heales who was passing close by on his way to Melbourne to visit family for Christmas saw a distress flag flying. He escorted Captain Ogier to Melbourne who raised the alarm.

The crew were rescued by HMCS Victoria (which happened to be the first vessel of the Victorian Colonial Navy). Victoria's captain reported that the wreck was lying broadside onto the beach but embedded into the sand about three metres. The ship was high enough up the beach that it was dry at low tide. He also reported that sixty feet of the main keel and forefoot was broken off and lying on the beach at the high-water mark.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Amazon, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Amazon.

Latitude: 38° 38.912′ S   (38.648533° S / 38° 38′ 54.72″ S)
Longitude: 145° 41.773′ E   (145.696217° E / 145° 41′ 46.38″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-04-26 03:01:08 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Artisan, 10,076 m, bearing 263°, W
Wooden Sailing Barque, 402 ton.
Built: Jersey, 1855.
Sunk: 13 December 1863.
See the Amazon dive site page

Artisan

Wreck Shore access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Three Masted Wooden Sailing Barque

Artisan
Artisan
© Unknown

The Artisan lies in Harmers Haven, Cape Paterson. The vessel is historically significant to the community of Wonthaggi, however archaeologically the vessel has limited significance due to it being totally wrecked, however some information might be obtained from the small sections of the wreck washed up into the creek bed.

Artisan History

The Artisan was a 1155 ton single decked, three masted sailing barque built in 1881 by Stewart and Richie in St John, New Brunswick, Canada. The Artisan was 189.6 feet (58 metres) in length, with a beam of 37.7 feet (11 metres) with a depth of 22.4 feet (6.8 metres). The hull was of softwood (pitchpine and spruce) construction and sheathed in felt and yellow metal. In 1897 structural modifications were made to the vessel with two tiers of iron beams being added to the existing supports, structural improvements not surprising for a softwood vessel then approaching its seventeenth year in service.

Sinking of the Artisan

Artisan
Artisan
© Unknown

The large wooden barque Artisan left Manila in the Phillipines in February 1901 bound for Newcastle in NSW to pick up a cargo of coal. On 21 April 1901 just off the coast of Victoria the ship was struck by a severe storm and thick weather which lasted for two days and made position fixing impossible. The gale continued and one by one, although close-reefed the gale carried the sails away and the buoyant, lightly ballasted vessel with bare poles was at the mercy of the driving wind and waves.

The drama was compounded by an oil lamp igniting and setting fire to the deck of the vessel, which was bought under control by the crew. Seven hours later at about 3am on the 23rd of April 1901 the vessel was driven ashore onto a low rock platform near the present day hamlet of Harmers Haven. Blue distress rockets had failed to draw attention to their plight, but miraculously at daylight the captain's wife and crew found they could safely step ashore.

Caretakers of the Cape Paterson Coal Mine, Richard Jennings and his wife, lived a short distance away and looked after the crew, the Captain and his wife. The captain was critical of the delay in arranging transport for himself and the crew to Melbourne. The Newhaven-San Remo Rocket Corps made a hazardous overland voyage with lifesaving gear after spotting the wreck and later assisted the passage of the mariners to Melbourne.

With its back broken and impossible to refloat the vessel was a total loss. The mate stayed behind to deter looters during the salvage operations. Extensive salvage took place.

Built at an estimated cost of 4000 pounds the Artisan was owned by 23 part owners all from St Johns, New Brunswick, major shareholders being John Stewart and William Ritchi. Lesser shareholders included William Thompson & Co. who were large shipowners with a fleet of 14 ships and barques, three steel ships and nine steel ocean steamers.

A Marine Court of Inquiry found no-one was to blame for the wrecking, and the ship was well found with gear and safety equipment, but considered that it would have been prudent for the master to have kept his vessel on a port tack, when the wind was from the eastward. A number of vessels including the Canadian ship George T. Hay which was sheltering behind Cape Woolomai and burning blue distress flares, and the Tasmanian schooner Marie Laurie which sheltered in Western Port after having its port bulwarks stove in, were in distress during the period of the gales.

See also, MAAV: Artisan 1881-1901,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Artisan,
Heritage Council Victoria: Artisan, and
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: Artisan

Latitude: 38° 39.568′ S   (38.659467° S / 38° 39′ 34.08″ S)
Longitude: 145° 34.862′ E   (145.581033° E / 145° 34′ 51.72″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-14 05:15:32 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Amazon, 10,076 m, bearing 83°, E
Large wooden barque, 1155 ton.
Built: St John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1881.
Sunk: 23 April 1901.
See the Artisan dive site page

Blackbird

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

The SS Blackbird lies off the southern shore of Clonmel Island, Port Albert, in shallow water. The SS Blackbird is archaeologically and recreationally significant as a representative example of auxillary steamer involved in the Australian colonial coastal trade.

SS Blackbird
SS Blackbird Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Blackbird,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: SS Blackbird,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Blackbird,
MMAV: S.S.Blackbird 1863-1878, and
Dive Information Sheet: SS Blackbird (1863-1878) (Adobe PDF | 584.24 KB).

Latitude: 38° 43.268′ S   (38.721133° S / 38° 43′ 16.08″ S)
Longitude: 146° 41.902′ E   (146.698367° E / 146° 41′ 54.12″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-20 06:09:11 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Clonmel, 3,106 m, bearing 215°, SW
SS Blackbird, Steamship.
Built: Newcastle on Tyne, 1863.
Sunk: 1878.
See the Blackbird dive site page

Clonmel

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Historic shipwreck protected zone. Permit Required.

PS Clonmel
PS Clonmel
© unknown

The paddle steamer Clonmel (aka PS Clonmel) was one of the first steam-powered vessels on the Australian coast. However, its career was short, being wrecked on its third voyage on what is now known as Clonmel Island at the Port Albert entrance. All on board reached safety, but much of the cargo was lost.The wreck of the PS Clonmel was instrumental in the settlement of Gippsland and the establishment of the towns of Port Albert, Tarraville and Alberton.

Although the wreck of the Clonmel was a disaster at the time, it is now one of the most significant archaeological sites in Victoria. The site is archaeologically significant for being the earliest located steamship wreck in Australian waters. It is also technically significant for the remains of a wooden hulled paddle steamship, including its early flue type boiler which is believed to be the only example known in Australia. It is historically significant for its role in the discovery of Port Albert and subsequent development of Gippsland.

A 50 metre radius Protected Zone (prohibited entry without a permit from Heritage Victoria) has been declared around the position of the boiler situated at latitude 38 deg 44' 44" S, longitude 146 deg 40' 37" E.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: PS Clonmel,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: PS Clonmel,
Wikipedia: PS Clonmel,
Australia Post: Shipwrecks: Capturing our maritime past - Part 3, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: PS Clonmel.

Latitude: 38° 44.640′ S   (38.744° S / 38° 44′ 38.4″ S)
Longitude: 146° 40.668′ E   (146.6778° E / 146° 40′ 40.08″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-14 07:30:42 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Wave, 1,612 m, bearing 173°, S
Historic shipwreck protected zone.
Permit Required.
See the Clonmel dive site page

Duke of Wellington

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

The barque Duke of Wellington was on a voyage from Melbourne to Newcastle for coal when it was becalmed. Although the anchors were dropped, the vessel drifted ashore at Tarwin Lower. The Duke of Wellington was left high on the beach, and significant wreckage still remains.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Duke of Wellington,
Heritage Council Victoria: Duke of Wellington, and
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: Duke of Wellington.

Latitude: 38° 49.050′ S   (38.8175° S / 38° 49′ 3″ S)
Longitude: 146° 57.000′ E   (146.95° E / 146° 57′ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 00:24:49 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Blackbird, 24,305 m, bearing 296°, WNW
Wooden barque.
Built: Carleton, New Brunswick, Canada, 1840.
Sunk: 3 April 1853.
See the Duke of Wellington dive site page

Glenelg

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

Iron Twin Screw Steamer | Max Depth: 32 metres (105 feet)

Historic shipwreck protected zone. Permit Required.

SS Glenelg
SS Glenelg
© Unknown

The Glenelg (aka SS Glenelg), which lies in Bass Strait, near Lakes Entrance, is historically significant as one of the worst maritime disasters in Victorian history, with the deaths of at least 38 people and only three survivors. The shipwreck has the potential for archaeological significance with some of the hull preserved under the sand. These remains may provide unknown technical detail of iron shipbuilding, details of the refit the vessel underwent in 1898 and information pertaining to life on board a typical cargo/passenger vessel at the turn of the century. SS Glenelg is representative of the fleet of small iron steamers on the small country trading routes around Australia.

SS Glenelg History

Glenelg
Glenelg
© Unknown

The SS Glenelg was built by Aitken and Mansel of Glasgow Scottland and launched on Friday, 22 January 1875. She was an iron twin screw steamer of 210 gross tons (64 net tons) and built with the dimensions of 135 feet (41 metres) long, a breadth of 21 metres (69 feet) and a depth of 11.3 metres (37 feet). The Glenelg was driven by two compound steam engines totaling 85 hp from a single coal fired boiler; the engines were built in Glasgow by Rait and Lindsay. She was clincher built with a round stern and she was rigged as a fore aft schooner. The vessel carried two large lifeboats and had two holds with steam winches.

On 24th May 1875 the Glenelg held distinction of being the first southbound ship to pass through the new Suez Canal. Designed to operate as a tug / passenger / tender vessel, she also had the capacity to ship cargo. She worked out of Port Adelaide and later worked in the St Vincent's Gulf trade.

After departing Lakes Entrance for Melbourne the previous night, the small coastal steamer encountered a ferocious storm and was blown off course. Several iron plates in the hull cracked and the Glenelg began taking water. Despite valiant attempts by the crew, the vessel started to sink. A lifeboat was launched with three crew members aboard while about 20 passengers boarded a second lifeboat. The captain, remaining crew and passengers went down with the ship at 4.30 am on 25 March 1900. At daylight, the three in the first lifeboat found themselves in an empty sea — the ship and second lifeboat had disappeared without trace.

The Glenelg lay hidden beneath the waters off the 90 Mile Beach in South West Gippsland, Victoria for 109 years. The shipwreck of the SS Glenelg was eventually discovered by Southern Ocean Exploration (SOE) divers on June 28th 2009.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: SS Glenelg,
Heritage Council Victoria: SS Glenelg, and
Southern Ocean Exploration: SS Glenelg.

Latitude: 38° 33.144′ S   (38.5524° S / 38° 33′ 8.64″ S)
Longitude: 147° 12.444′ E   (147.2074° E / 147° 12′ 26.64″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 03:42:50 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Duke of Wellington, 36,988 m, bearing 217°, SW
Iron Twin Screw Steamer.
Historic shipwreck protected zone.
Permit Required.
Depth: 32 m.
See the Glenelg dive site page

Magnat

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Three Masted Iron Barque | Max Depth: 20 metres (66 feet)

Very flat bottomed, German owned and registered vessel 4 Single deck, 2 tiers of beams, 1 cemented bulkhead, anchors and chains proofed and tested. Captain Ostermann believed strong currents carried him more than twenty miles off course. Local stockmen found the wreck the next morning with the crew armed with knives ready to defend themselves against Aborigines.

The vessel was embedded in six feet of sand twenty feet from low water mark. In early July Mssrs. W and J. Lempriere acting for the Board of Bremmen Underwriters arranged to try and float the vessel free. Tugs pulled the vessel free but before it was clear the lines snapped and the Magnat went ashore again, this time breaking its back. The captain and crew stayed on the vessel, but Captain Ostermann later died on the Magnat and was buried locally. A dance was held for the locals on the stricken vessel. The Magnat was due to load coal in Newcastle bound for Chile. Captain Ostermann had lost his previous vessel, also named Magnat, off the coast of Chile where he was jailed for two years over the incident, but released earlier when it was proven the charts were incorrect.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Magnat,
Heritage Council Victoria: Magnat, and
MMAV: Magnat 1885-1900.

Latitude: 38° 41.950′ S   (38.699167° S / 38° 41′ 57″ S)
Longitude: 145° 47.783′ E   (145.796389° E / 145° 47′ 47″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 01:39:36 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Amazon, 10,360 m, bearing 302°, WNW
1120-ton, three masted iron barque.
Built: Sunderland, England, 1885.
Sunk: 8 May 1900.
Depth: 20 m.
See the Magnat dive site page

Monumental City

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

The American steamer Monumental City was one of the first screw steamers to cross the Pacific, attracted by the Victorian gold rush. It had previously been involved in the Californian gold rush carrying passengers from Nicaragua to San Francisco as they crossed the American continent from Europe and the east coast of America. The surviving engine parts and propellor are significant as they represent a transition phase from wooden hulled steamships to iron screw steamships, and a phase of rapid development in marine steam engine technology. It is also rare as at the time most American steamships were paddle steamers. It had a short career on the Australian coast, being wrecked on Tullaberga Island after only one month in service. Thirty seven lives were lost in the disaster, of whom 35 were passengers including its owner, and it led to the building of the Gabo Island lighthouse.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Monumental City, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Monumental City.

Latitude: 37° 33.500′ S   (37.558333° S / 37° 33′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 149° 50.700′ E   (149.845° E / 149° 50′ 42″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 01:57:46 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Schah, 16,458 m, bearing 230°, SW
Wooden Screw Steamer.
Built: 1850.
Sunk: 15 May 1853.
See the Monumental City dive site page

Schah

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Schooner

Schah
Schah
© Unknown

The Schah is the second oldest identified wreck in Victorian coastal waters. It is of great historical value as a onetime illegal African slave trader, and for its short involvement with early prominent Australian colonists, John and John Robert Raine. The archaeological potential is also very high as the remains of the wreckage still exist at Shipwreck Creek, 6 miles SE of Mallacoota.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Schah.

Latitude: 37° 39.100′ S   (37.651667° S / 37° 39′ 6″ S)
Longitude: 149° 42.000′ E   (149.7° E / 149° 42′ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 02:18:29 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Monumental City, 16,458 m, bearing 50°, NE
Wooden Sailing Schooner.
Sunk: 20 December 1837.
See the Schah dive site page

Tomatin

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Barque

A severe gale on the Gippsland coast in July 1865 claimed three colliers sheltering at Wilsons Promontory, the Natal, Lady Young and Tomatin. After one of the Tomatin's anchor chains parted, the crew attempted to sail into the lee of Rabbit Island. However, the force of the gale was so great that the vessel was driven onto rocks on the mainland in Johnny Souey Cove, Wilsons Promontory, where it broke up rapidly. The crew abandoned ship before the Tomatin struck, and they were able to reach safety in Sealers Cove.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Tomatin, and Australian National Shipwreck Database: Tomatin.

Latitude: 38° 48.000′ S   (38.8° S / 38° 48′ S)
Longitude: 146° 29.400′ E   (146.49° E / 146° 29′ 24″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-13 08:06:23 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Tin Mine Cove, 6,060 m, bearing 265°, W
Wooden Sailing Barque.
Built: 1839.
Sunk: 11 July 1865.
See the Tomatin dive site page

Victoria

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Barque.

When the Victoria ran onto the bar at Port Albert on 25 February 1863, it broke up rapidly drowning most of the cargo of livestock. The timber in the hull was later found to be rotten although the vessel was only five years old.

After lying wind bound behind the Port Albert bar, the barque Victoria attempted to leave for a voyage to New Zealand with a cargo of livestock. The discoloured state of the water caused by floods, and the absence of channel buoys which had all been washed away, made the channel difficult to navigate. The vessel struck the bar and began to take water. As the tide rose, the waves began to break over the vessel and it was abandoned, breaking up soon after. Mariners at Port Albert were surprised by the rapidity at which the vessel disintegrated. Later, timber samples brought from the wreck were found to be badly decayed, even though the vessel was supposed to be only five years old.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Victoria, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Victoria.

Latitude: 38° 43.014′ S   (38.7169° S / 38° 43′ 0.84″ S)
Longitude: 146° 33.554′ E   (146.559233° E / 146° 33′ 33.24″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2019-02-24 22:22:54 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 13:37:18 GMT
Source: Unknown
Nearest Neighbour: Albert, 9,355 m, bearing 111°, ESE
Wooden Sailing Barque.
Built: Glasgow, Scotland, 1858.
Sunk: 25 February 1863.
See the Victoria dive site page

Wave

Wreck Dive Boat access
Outside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Sailing Schooner

The Wave was chartered to carry stone to be used in improving the roads around Port Albert and Tarraville. The vessel approached the Port Albert bar with a load from Corner Inlet, but was forced to anchor due to a strong north west wind. After riding safely at anchor for three hours, the cable parted and the Wave was blown onto a sandbank, becoming a total wreck on 11 December 1859.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Wave, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Wave.

Latitude: 38° 45.504′ S   (38.7584° S / 38° 45′ 30.24″ S)
Longitude: 146° 40.797′ E   (146.67995° E / 146° 40′ 47.82″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 13:35:01 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Clonmel, 1,612 m, bearing 353°, N
Sailing Schooner.
Sunk: 11 December 1859 .
See the Wave dive site page


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 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 for non-commercial purposes, you can now Download/view the Scuba Doctor Dive Map GPS Marks (KML file | 243.99 KB | 08-May-2019) 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. See also, Dive Site Help.

Copyright in photographs and other materials used here remains with their artists and authors. We are happy to acknowledge appropriate copyrights should they be made known to us.

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