When you realise that the Star of Greece wrecked off Port Willunga over 125 years ago, it’s amazing that this site isn’t a more popular dive site! Maybe it’s because sometimes it’s completely uncovered and a beautiful site to dive and other times half of it is covered under the sand and it’s only half as interesting!
Considering this was once 3 masted iron ship, you can imagine how large it used to be! No wonder there were many people on board at the time it wrecked and 18(!) lives were lost. There used to be a buoy on the wreck, but unfortunately that’s gone now, so if you’re out here for the first time, it may take a little bit of time to locate it. However, if you go out on low tide, you can see a small part of one of the masts sticking out, as the wreck is only in about 4 metres of water!
The best way to get to this dive site is to park in the sandy car park, at the bottom of the Star of Greece Road in Port Willunga. The closer you can park to the right (looking at the ocean), the better, as this will shorten the walk out to the wreck. When you walk out to sea after gearing up in the car park, you can either walk all the way north and start looking for the wreck straight away, or you can simply swim out to the Port Willunga Reef and follow that north until you hit the sand. If you dive on the outside of the reef, you’ll be in about 8 metres of water. Keep an eye out for macro life, as on one of our dives, we found some (for South Australia) uncommon nudibranchs on this reef!
As soon as you hit the sand after you get to the edge of the reef, go straight north at a depth of 4 metres and after diving north along the sand for about 5 minutes you will see the shipwreck. Don’t worry, you’ll know it’s the wreck when you see it! You’ll usually see big schools of small fish on and around the wreck and there are heaps of crabs in the area as well.
Take your time exploring the wreck. As it’s only shallow, you should have plenty of bottom time. In the event you get low on air, you can always simply head back to shore and walk back to the car (it’s a few hundred metres from where the wreck is, along the beach, to the car park). After you’re done exploring, simply head south until you hit the reef again. This time it’s easiest to follow the inside of the reef, until you hit the sand again. At that point you head east to the beach until you get back to your starting point!
As it’s a beach entry, picking a good day with low winds and low swells is always a good idea, especially since the dive is only shallow, so rain, wind and swell can easily stir up the bottom!
Latest Blog Posts: Diving into history at the Star of Greece Wreck.