Wilsons Promontory, the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, attracts many visitors per year. While a popular spot for surfing and hiking, few get the opportunity to dive beneath the waves.

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Boonwurrung, Bunurong and Gunaikurnai peoples who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Getting Out to the Dive Sites

The first challenge faced by divers is getting the boat in the water. As Wilsons Prom has no boat ramp within the park, boats must either sail down from beyond the Prom or undergo a beach launch and retrieval from Norman Beach.


Prepping the boat for launch (1/1600, f/5, ISO 200, 53mm)

Special access is required from Parks Victoria to drive down the beach, where the trailer is unhitched and manually pushed into the waves. The bigger the boat the harder the slog. Good news, it has wheels. Bad news, it’s on sand and through the water.

While there are dive sites accessible from shore, getting to them presents its own challenges.

The Islands

The Glennie Islands, consisting of the Great Glennie Island, Dannevig Island, Citadel Island, and McHugh Island, tend to be our sites of choice due to travel time and number of divers. 

But on calmer days, further islands such as Skull Rock are a popular choice. We’ve even gone as far Rodondo Island in Tasmanian waters.


Eagles Beak, Great Glennie Island (1/1600, f/6.3, ISO 200, 14mm)

The Landscape

The large granite boulders that pepper the landscape above the waves of Wilsons Prom extend well beneath the surface.


Diving amongst huge granite boulders that surround the islands (GoPro 10 video screen capture)

Where on land the cracks and crevices between these boulders are packed with dirt and shrubs, under the waves, they open up to create incredible swim throughs, overhangs, and ‘caves’.

Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park is teeming with an abundance of life, although not in the form most people expect.

Tell someone you’re diving a reef and they’re likely to imagine a tropical reef. In the colder waters around Victoria, yellows, oranges, and pinks are the more common colours.

‘Sponge gardens which consist of a technicoloured assemblage of sponges, sea tulips, sea whips, lace corals, and sea fans,’ is what you can expect to see, as described by Visit Victoria’s website.

Above these coral gardens, the (relatively) shallower depths are covered in kelp. These aren’t as huge as the kelp forests of California or Tasmania, but still thick and lush. Entanglement is something to be mindful of.

Kelp growth over the boulders at shallower depths (GoPro 10 video screen capture)

The Marine Life

Seals are a regular sighting, some are shy – checking out the divers before swimming off. Others will hang around, flipping and spinning far more gracefully than any dive buddy.

Seals are always an enjoyable encounter, until the moment they suddenly dart off…

While we do know larger species of sharks like Great whites are in the area, so far we’ve been lucky (unlucky?) to have not encountered them. Instead, smaller species of sharks, such as Port Jacksons, Draughtboards, and Fiddler rays are commonly sighted around the dive sites.

Similarly, whales and dolphins are known to frequent the area, being spotted regularly by cruises. Whale songs have been heard underwater during dives, but other than a tail breach in the distance, we’re yet to encounter one!

Close up of a jellyfish (1/80, f/4, ISO 200, 16mm, 2x 1000 lumens video lights)