Bass Strait | Australian Diving Instruction

Bass Strait

Dive Site Depth Certification Level
12lb Reef 12m+ Open water (2)

 

12lb Reef is located on the Lonsdale Wall. Its name has a similar pedigree to that of 16lb reef - namely that it was home to a massive crayfish. The difference, however, is that this one was caught.
The story goes along the following lines: a cray diver caught site of the monster in its cave, and grabbed it. In fact, it's more accurate to say that the cray caught him: by the time he reached the surface the two were still locked in a mortal struggle! Neverthelss, there could well be more still lurking here, so if you fancy your skills as a cray basher it is definitely worth a look.
The many overhangs and plentiful soft corals make this a popular and picturesque open water training dive as well.
16lb Reef 12m+ Open Water (2)

 

16lb Reef is (apparently) home to one of the biggest crays ever seen around Port Phillip. Originally spotted by a cray diver who was unable to reach it, the cray remained the stuff of legend until its existance was confirmed several years later. As far as anyone know it is still there.
The Reef is located on Lonsdale Wall, the kilometre long wall that runs through to the Heads. There are many overhangs and small dropoffs, with a wide variety of fish including the spectacular Blue Devil.
Boarfish Reef 10m - 22m Open water (2)

 

The reef which lies approximately halfway between Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale starts in approx. 10m of water and drops off to 22m in a system of caves drop-offs and overhangs. The reef provides a multitude of colour, plant and animal life. There are the spectacular Blue Devil fish, crayfish and of course Boarfish. Near the southern end of the reef, lies a large 4m Admiralty anchor encrusted with marine growth. On the northern tip of the reef a large sponge garden extends for approx 400m.
Captain Nitro's Dropoff 18m - 60m Advanced Open Water (3)

 

The Dropoff is located on the western end of Spectacular Reef, and consists of a series of walls that plunge to over 60 metres in 5-10m increments. This makes it a great dive for all levels. Huge boulders the size of houses are scattered over the area, lying where the ancient Yarra River deposited them. Midwater, large fish can often be spotted as they make their way into the Bay and if you are lucky seals and dolphins are also occasional visitors.
Castle Rock 18m Open Water (2)

 

Castle Rock is located outside the Port Phillip Heads in approximately 18 metres of water. It sits on a sandy bottom and rises to around 12 metres. The rock is around 200m in circumference, has many overhangs, walls and swimthroughs, and can be circled several times in a dive. The fixed depth, lack of current and easy navigation make this the perfect dive for newer Open Water divers.
It is a wonderful fish dive, with a wide variety of creatures from seadragons to Port Jackson sharks to be found on and around the Rock. There is even a slim chance of a cray or two under the overhangs at the bottom.
Corsair Rock 3m - 9m Open Water (2)

 

The name Corsair Rock has sent shudders down the spine of many a seaman navigating Port Phillip Heads. The rock has been responsible for an extremely large number of shipwrecks and strandings. The rock itself is 6m in diameter and covered by 3m of water. The rock is located 600m west of Rock Beacon and can usually be identified by the swell breaking above it. When conditions are favourable the kelp covered top of the rock may be seen from the surface. When conditions such as this exist diving around Corsair Rock is at its best.
Kelp Beds 12m+ Open Water (2)

 

Approx. Midway between Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff is an area which is marked on Admiralty charts as the Kelp Beds. Here, large stalks of kelp extend up from a bottom of 15m to the surface where the fronds spread out to seemingly blanket areas of 50sq metres or more. The currents run fast and strong, providing the nutrients for the kelp growth and because of this the area should be dived at slack water.
Lonsdale Wall 12m+ Open Water (2)

 

Located on the Lonsdale side of Port Phillip Heads, the Lonsdale Wall extends for 1km, therefore providing many different dives. The Wall is characterised by an almost vertical drop. As you descend there is a slight step-out every 6-9m and behind each step-out there is a huge overhang which is easy to swim through. These overhangs support an enormous variety of fish including the spectacular Blue Devils, soft corals, sponges and other invertebrate life.
Nepean Wall 7m Open Water (1)

 

Is an area of water to the south of a line joining Point Nepean and Observatory Point. This area is extremely popular even though it is fairly shallow, and is an ideal location to anchor and have lunch in calm conditions, when it is rough outside. Many divers take advantage of the location to snorkel or scuba in depths ranging from 0-7m
Ramsden Reef 20m Open Water (2)

 

The wreck of the Eliza Ramsden has been a favourite of divers for a number of decades. However because of its location, and the navigational skill required to find it, many divers have been disappointed and failed to find it. This has resulted in considerable diving being done around the wreck, and fortunately the location of some magnificent reef areas - hence the name Ramsden Reef.
The most popular reef is located approx 75m from the wreck, directly towards Pope's Eye. Large Leatherjackets, Sweep, Trumpeter, and Trevally frequent the area with Blue Devil fish complimenting the gorgonia under the ledges where crayfish may also be found.
The Reef slopes at about a 60degree angle down to a sandy bottom. The slope is more severe in several places and it is here that the undercut caves are usually found. The reef is only about 60m long and consequently, can be difficult to find. At each end it breaks into rubble and sand, levelling at 20m in the east and 30m at the western end.
The area must be dived at slack water as the currents race through much to quickly to hang on to the reef. The Ramsden Reef is in the shipping lanes and diving may only be coducted by permit holders and even then only when no shipping is expected.
Rip Drift 12m+ Open Water (2)

 

The Rip is the name given to that renowned stretch of water at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, separating Points Lonsdale and Nepean. This area can be one of the most dangerous stretches of water on our continent, but at times can be so peaceful and calm that one could not invisage the hundreds of ships which have been lost in its vicinity.
One of the reasons for the severe turbidity of the water in this area is the deep rift which travels from the edge of the Kelp Beds, towards Lonsdale and then out through the centre of the Rip, towards and then past Point Nepean. This rift gives us the popular diving locations of the Drop Off and Nepean Wall. The currents in this area can reach speeds in excess of 5knots and it is at this time that the fabulous Rip Drift is conducted, on an incoming or flood tide only, for obvious reasons. The divers, attached to a line and float, descend and travel along the top of the rift, following the contours at approx 20m, untill they are swept past the rift as it veers to the right
Spectacular Reef 15m+ Open Water (2)

 

Spectacular Reef lies in the South Channel and is therefore subject to shipping traffic. This is also part of the former Yarra River bed. The area is quite large and offers many different dive sites. All dives are characterised by a spectacular wall which has large undercuts housing crayfish, Blue Devilfish, beautiful soft corals, and an abundance of other life including Silver Trumpeter, Leatherjackets, the rosy Wrasse and inquisitive White Ear, along with literally thousands of small baitfish. Spectacular Reef is very aptly named. The scenery, rock formations, the sheer drop-offs and the most abundant fish life in the Bay, make this without doubt, the best dive in the Bay.
Unfortunately Spectacular Reef can only be dived from boats containing permits, and then only if no shipping is in the area.
The Drop Off 12m+ Open Water (2)

 

The Drop Off as the name implies is a near vertical wall situated just inside The Rip, or the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. Understandably, this is only a slack water dive and extreme care must be taken to observe water movement prior to entry