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Scuba Diving

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Scuba Diving

There are world-class dive sites located in the region, and tour operators based at the Queenscliff Harbour can take you there.

The area is richer in marine life than the Great Barrier Reef, there are plenty of shipwrecks to dive along the coast and the cool air temperature often leads to calmer water conditions and clearer visibility.

One wreck terrific for diving is the ex HMAS Canberra, which was scuttled in the waters off Barwon Heads to create an artificial reef specifically for divers.  The ship was well prepared for its new life as a dive site - it has been cleared out for safety but some working parts have been retained so it is still remarkably like a working ship. 

The Ozone, off Indented Head, is also a popular spot with divers and higher parts can be seen from land at low tide.

Highlights

ex HMAS Canberra

The ex HMAS Canberra dive site is the first artificial reef specifically created for diving in Victoria. It lies in approximately 28 metres of water, with the top of the mast about 5 metres below the surface at low tide. The site provides opportunities for divers with varying levels of experience and certification, from open water level certificates to advanced wreck divers, to enjoy this site. When the ship as prepared for scuttling many of the original working features were retained so divers still get a sense of being on board a working ship. Dive charter operators based at Queenscliff Harbour can lead trips to dive the ex HMAS Canberra.

Diving

The Point Lonsdale component of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park includes spectacular deep water scenery comprising cliffs, caverns, rocky reef walls, sponge gardens and kelp beds. The Rip side of Point Lonsdale contains an extensive intertidal rocky platform covered with algae such as Neptune's Necklace, and has a number of larger rockpools suitable for snorkelling. The Point Lonsdale intertidal platform has the highest recorded invertebrate diversity of any calcarenite reef in Victoria. The reefs offshore from Point Lonsdale provide spectacular underwater terrain with ledges, rock outcrops and bommies, and beds of bull kelp on sections exposed to large waves. The channel between the main rock platform and the outer reef is around 20 metres wide and 2- 4metres deep and contains a small forest of Giant Kelp, a species which is showing signs of decline along the south east coast of Australia. The Lonsdale Wall is a series of ledges that mark the edge of the historical course of the Yarra River. The wall drops down a series of ledges from 15 to 90 metres depth, extending horizontally for about a kilometre. The vertical walls, sheltered caves, ledges and overhangs and their associated communities of colourful sponges, fish and encrusting algae provide spectacular scenery and are popular dive sites. The species diversity in this area is very high, including more than 43 species of fish. The Kelp Beds are areas with reefs that previously supported Giant Kelp forests and are now dominated by leather kelp. These kelps grow attached to shallow rocky reefs and provides shelter for communities of algae, fish, encrusting sponges, and numerous seastars and sea urchins. The Sponge Gardens contains a high diversity of sponges and other filter feeding invertebrates in a variety of colours, shapes and forms. Being in the main flow of current through the Rip, these animals are able to extract plankton from the water that passes by. The area derives its name from the spectacular and diverse sponges, branching soft corals, stalked ascidians and carpets of colourful anemones.

Point Addis Marine National Park

The Point Addis Marine National Park features spectacular scenery with wide sandy beaches, crumbling limestone and sandstone cliffs, rocky platforms and copious small rocky reefs. The coastline is exposed to intense wave action from the southern ocean, a major contributor to the shaping of this rugged coastline. Visitors exploring the marine environment within this park may enjoy exploring the limestone reefs with abundant rockpools filled with marine life. The subtidal waters are recognised as supporting a wide range of fish and algae species as well as seals, dolphins, brilliantly coloured sponge gardens and extensive rhodolith beds. Offshore, and often difficult to access due to tides and swell, Ingoldsby Reef is a particularly popular destination for divers to explore and search for such creatures. Aboriginal Traditional Owners Parks Victoria acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Victoria - including its parks and reserves. Through their cultural traditions, Aboriginal people maintain their connection to their ancestral lands and waters. Indigenous tradition indicates that this park is part of the Country of the Wathaurong people and that Indigenous people have a long association with this region. Before you go Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website. Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.
 

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