Victoria is a state located in the south-eastern corner of Australia. Click here for the map. It is the smallest mainland state in area, but the most densely populated and urbanised. White settlement in Victoria began in the 1830s as a farming community. The discovery of gold in 1851 transformed it into a leading industrial and commercial centre.
Melbourne, the capital city, is on the edge of Port Phillip Bay but the main diving operations are based out of Portsea which is about 100Km or 1hr 15 mins away from the city centre.
Diving in the Melbourne area is colder than its compatriots further north in Sydney or Brisbane. During the winter, a drysuit and hood is highly recommended, though during the summer months a full 5mm full length is ok.
- Port Phillip Bay - the Eliza Ramsden is a 3 masted barque built in Glasgow in 1874 which sank in Port Phillip Bay in 1875. Its location is right by a shipping channel so dives to this wreck often get cancelled at the last moment due to shipping.
- The J Class Submarines - 7 of these were built in 1917 and were the world's fastest at 19 knots on the surface and 10 submerged. 1 of them was lost at war and the remaining 6 were donated to Australia. In 1924 they were stripped of valuables and scuttled outside Port Phillip Heads.
- Popes Eye - one of the smallest marine reserves in Australia. Originally built in the late 1800s as an island fort to defend the Port of Melbourne against the Russians, it is now a ring of rocks that is a sanctuary for many species of marine life including fish, birds and seals.
- In Octoner 2006, The Federal Government agreed to make the ex HMAS Canberra available for sinking as an artificial reef and dive wreck in Victoria and commits to providing A$2.8 million towards the cost of the project. Divers should be able to dive her from Easter 2009. Click here for further details and timescales.
Thanks to John Alsopp, Dive Experience, Melbourne, for providing details of the Canberra.
In Australia, you must have a Recreational scuba diving medical to Australian Standard 4005.1 2000 (AS4005.1 2000).
The South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society lists doctors who have completed a Diving Medical Course and will be able to perform these Medicals. Medicals incur a fee which you pay directly to the doctor.
|Climate:||Semi-arid and hot (north-west)|
|Temperate and cool along the coast|
|Diving season:||Year round|
|Water temperature:||11C - 20C|
|Air temperature:||30 °C/86°F (summer)|
|15 °C/59°F (winter)|