Quick facts on our MV Bellubera wreck dive
- Location: 2NM offshore, Mona Vale Headland
- Diver Level: T1/Tec45
- Depth: 46m to 51m
- Recommended Gas: 21% & 50% / 21/20 & 50% / 21/35 & 50%
- Dive time: 25-30min BT / 60-75min TRT
- Visibility: 5m to 40m
- Marine life: wobbegong sharks, Port Jackson sharks, red morwong and giant cuttlefish
- Season: All year
Beautiful underwater vistas
The Bellurbera ferry was one of the former Sydney ferry’s, which operated on Sydney Harbour providing passenger services from Circular Quay to Manly. The MV Bellurbera was a double ended ferry, the same as the Dee Why ferry, this double end construction allowed the ferry to birth, disembark without the need to turn around, the Bellurbera was built for the Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company and was launched in Sydney Harbour’s Mort Bay on 26th April 1910, she was the fastest and largest ferry built to that date. Powered by steam from two boilers, coupled to two triple expansion engines, turning bronze propeller’s located at each end of the ferry. She carried 1,529 passengers was 63 metres long, 9.75 metres wide and had a gross tonnage of 499 tons.
A scuttled ferry wreck
The ferry was scuttled on 1st August 1980 in the artificial reef area off Long Reef, in 48 metres of water. The MV Bellurbera is the northern most scuttled wreck in this artificial reef area and now lies in two pieces, the eastern end and the western end. The ferry was striped prior to scuttling not only of its heavy machinery but larger parts of its upper hull. As the upper decking was timber very little remains of the decking or wheelhouses but her steel bow and stern areas still rise high from the sand and very good structure can be explored with some smaller penetration. Technical scuba divers will note the location of a rail, which position would have been just above the waterline, is still easily identifiable when diving around the outer edges of the hull, this rail can be seen on some old black and white photos of the MV Bellurbera.
A beautiful Sydney wreck dive
The wreck use to have a rope connecting the eastern and western ends of the wrecks but this has long gone, technical scuba divers can swim between the two sections, but a scooter or DVP is advisable when attempting this.
There is usually good fish life on either the bow or stern ends of the wreck and wobbegong and/or Port Jackson sharks are also encountered lying amongst the wreckage, with many red morwong and giant cuttlefish.
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