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The Dive Victoria Group

News / Media Releases

Diving the Victorian Ships graveyard

22 September 2015

Have you dived the Victorian Ships graveyard?

If not, then put it high on your to do list. The Victorian Ships Graveyard is located South of Melbourne, just outside Port Phillip Heads and extendes down to Torquay. And the best part is that it has wrecks accessable to divers of all levels. As an Open Water Diver you can experience wreck diving on the Ex HMAS Canberra with a guided dive around the purpose sunk wreck. For the more experienced diver you can penetrate the wreck and explore the many levels including the engine room, mess hall, galley and more. From here there are wrecks at a range of depths from 8 - 80m.

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Diver on the bow of the Ex HMAS Canberra - Photo by Mary Malloy

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The Ex HMAS Canberra masts - Photo by Jane Headley

During the period 1913 to 1999 a total of 46 obsolete vessels were systematically and purposely disposed of in the Victorian Ships' Graveyard. These vessels range in size from 50 tons to 3347 tons and include sailing ships, steam ships, dump hopper barges, steam hopper barges, J-Class submarines, dredges, tugboats, a Paddle Steamer, and an RAN Attack Class Patrol Boat. Followed by the Ex HMAS Canberra which was sunk specifically for diving in 2009.

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Divers on the Waretea Wreck in 46m - Photo by Steve Trewavas, Suex Scooters

The Victorian Ships Graveyard is the only place in Australia you can dive WWI Submarines, these J-class submarines were given to Australia after the first world war and were used for a short period before being scuttled in the 1920's. The J1, J2. J4 and J5 now lie in 37m, 38m, 27m and 35m respectively.

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The Coogee wreck is another great dive and fantastic for photography in 32m - Photo by Mary Malloy

For those interested in technical diving there are over 30 wrecks beyond 40m that are visited on a regular basis. Some of the popular wrecks include the Beverwijk a steel suction dredge in 46m, the Edward Northcote a steamship in 51m, the Auriga a 3 mast iron barque in 57m, the Hygeia a paddlesteamer in 61m, the John Nimmo a steal dredge in 69m, and the deepest is the Bayonet a small Royal Navy attack patrol boat in 80m.

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Visibility on the wrecks varies and can be 30m+ at times - Photo Steve Trewavas

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So if you love your wreck diving, visit Melbourne one of the worlds most liveable cities and experience Victoria's world class diving

See the fulll Dive Site List

 

Josh Clark

SSI XR Instructor #55363

 

 

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