Dive some of Australia's greatest but least known sites along the Great Ocean Road or charter Port Phillip Bay for marine life and the HMAS Canberra. Ranging from 20-metre high kelp forests to spectacular caves and shipwreck sites, see an abundance of underwater creatures and swim with dolphins and seals.
Port Phillip Bay
Discover the underwater world of Port Phillip Bay with over 60 nineteenth century shipwrecks and four sunken submarines from World War I, plus the HMAS Canberra – Victoria's first artificial reef created for the sole purpose of diving. Join thousands of curious divers who have already flocked to the sunken frigate since its opening on the 5th of December 2009. Take an organised tour with a dive operator in Queenscliff to explore the wrecks and experience the diversity of one of the most colourful and interesting underwater habitats in the world.
Check out the wreck of the SS Casino that sank while trying to dock in rough seas with the loss of ten lives. She lies in 9 metres of water, approximately 400 metres from the shore of Apollo Bay.
Moonlight Head is home of the shipwreck Fiji that ran aground in 1891 and resulted in the deaths of twelve of the crew. See large coils of chain, anchors, gin bottles, ceramic toys and porcelain dolls in 6 metres of water. The site is 60 metres from shore off Wreck Beach and can be accessed via a long climb down the stairs or by charter boat.
See the famous Loch Ard wreck near Port Campbell. It was carrying passengers to Melbourne from England when it struck Mutton Bird Island in 24 metres of water. This is a magnificent dive and you can still see general cargo such as lead ingots, lead shot, tiles, bottles and crockery, even a marble headstone. Access is by charter boat.
Explore Thunder Cave near the Loch Ard Gorge. The cave is about 25 metres deep and is full of crayfish sitting on ledges. Access by charter boat only.
Try a dive off the Port Campbell jetty where you will see many types of fish life and old moorings made from engine blocks and gearboxes. On the Peterborough side of Port Campbell there are more shipwrecks including the Newfield, which lies in 6 metres of water and went down in 1892 with the loss of nine lives. The Shomberg ran aground at Peterborough in 8 metres of water with no lives lost. The wreck has deteriorated over time due to heavy seas in the area.
In Peterborough there are good shore dives at Wild Dog Cove, nursery bay and Crofts Bay. On the Warrnambool side of Peterborough there is the wreck of the Falls of Halladale that ran aground in thick fog in 1908. No lives were lost and it is an excellent dive by shore or boat. She lies in 4-11 metres of water, is nearly 300 feet long and home to lots of fish life.
Experience one of the many shore dives around Warrnambool. The breakwater wall is home to juvenile fish and is about 4-6 metres on the inside and 5-8 metres on the outside. The shipwreck Labella is about 250 metres off the end of the breakwater and is a great dive with lots of fish life, plant growth and crayfish. The Labella sank in 1905 with the loss of seven crew. She lies in 15 metres with the bow section still intact, south-east of the breakwater.
Stingray Bay is a good shore dive with plenty of fish returning as it is now part of the Merri Marine Sanctuary. Middle Island is another good spot, a shore dive with lots of swim throughs and magnificent scenery, although a strong current is sometimes present when wading through the islands.
Pickering Point and Thunder Point are two very good dive spots, accessible by shore or boat, with breathtaking scenery and under water landscapes. Dives range from 3-24 metres.