Victorian shipwreck dive sites
Shipwreck discovery trails
Victoria's coastal waters and bays offer opportunities for divers which are hard to beat. Apart from the state's spectacular marine life, Victoria can claim an underwater cultural heritage unequalled anywhere else in Australia.
Below is a list of historic shipwrecks in Victoria. Each contains the history of the shipwreck site and also a Dive Information sheet with a map and notes on the diving conditions.
The wreck of Clarence lies offshore from St Leonards in Port Phillip Bay. It is the best preserved example of an early Australian built schooner found in Australian waters.
Joanna was part of a large fleet of small ketches, cutters and schooners that sailed the waters of Port Phillip Bay and Victorian coastal waters between the 1840s and the early 1900s.
Mountain Maid shipwreck
When Mountain Maid was launched in Dundee in March 1841, the local newspaper reported that “the event ran smoothly, the mould of the vessel was beautiful, and the figureheads was exceptionally neat”.
William Salthouse shipwreck
William Salthouse is one of the oldest and most important shipwrecks to be discovered in Victoria. It sailed on trading voyages to the West Indies, Mauritius, India, Singapore and Batavia.
Eliza Ramsden shipwreck
Eliza Ramsden was only one year old when it ran aground on Corsair Rock, Point Nepean Reef. In its short career, it had made only one complete voyage.
Empress of the Sea shipwreck
Empress of the Sea was a magnificent wooden clipper built by prominent American ship builder Donald McKay in 1853.
The magnificent four masted barque, Holyhead became quite a local attraction after it wrecked on Point Lonsdale Reef in February 1890.
George Roper shipwreck
George Roper was on its maiden voyage to Port Phillip when it ran onto rocks off Point Lonsdale loaded with a valuable cargo worth ₤10000.
SS Coogee shipwreck
SS Coogee was originally built to sail between Liverpool and the Isle of Man and was then known as the Lancashire Witch.
J4 submarine wreck
Following the First World War, the British Government gave Australia a gift of six J Class submarines and six navy destroyers in 1919.
SS Wauchope was originally built for the NSW coastal trade, but in 1910 it began to sail between Melbourne, King Island and Launceston.
The fast, sleek clipper, Hurricane was built in 1853 to transport cargo and take passengers between Liverpool and Melbourne. It was considered a safe, modern ship for its time.
Victoria Tower shipwreck
The new White Star Clipper, Victoria Tower was on its maiden voyage to Melbourne when it was wrecked on rocks at Bream Creek, near Barwon Heads.
SS Casino shipwreck
For fifty years, Casino took cargo and passengers between Melbourne and Portland, stopping at Apollo Bay, Warrnambool and Port Fairy.
A lonely headstone on the cliffs overlooking Wreck Beach, west of Moonlight Head pays tribute to the men who lost their lives when Fiji ran aground in 1891.
Loch Ard shipwreck
Loch Ard was bound for Melbourne loaded with passengers and cargo when it ran into a rocky reef at the base of Mutton Bird Island, near Port Campbell. Of the 54 crew members and passengers on board, only two survived.
Schomberg, the most famous of the Black Ball Lines' fleet of passenger ships was said to be the most perfect clipper ship ever built.
Falls of Halladale shipwreck
Falls of Halladale was one of the last of the "windjammers". It belonged top the celebrated Glasgow Falls Line: a fleet which was built for carrying cargo and for speed under sail.
Edinburgh Castle shipwreck
Twenty ships are believed to have sunk in Warrnambool's Lady Bay, but only the wrecks of two, La Bella and Edinburgh Castle, have been discovered.
La Bella shipwreck
The sinking of La Bella triggered one of the most heroic rescues in Victoria's shipwreck history.
SS Blackbird shipwreck
SS Blackbird was a mid-19th century steamship initially designed to carry cargo and passengers but later converted to carry coal.