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Great Ocean Road to gain diving wreck

Great Ocean Road to gain diving wreck
August 13, 2009

The Great Ocean Road region will eclipse the Great Barrier Reef for sport diving once the de-commissioned Australian warship, HMAS Canberra, is sunk to form an artificial reef, according to a Victorian dive operator.

Diving in the region is to be enhanced significantly once the proposed sinking of HMAS Canberra takes place.

According to dive operator Jason Salter, "you already have the situation where this area is rich in sea life, probably the richest in Australia and certainly far more than the Great Barrier Reef.

"That's because you have the waters of the Pacific mixing with those of the Southern Ocean so you get both warm water species and cold water species.

"The sinking of the Canberra to create a reef is going to make the diving experience even more fantastic - they are not stripping it completely so there will be quite a lot for divers to explore."

According to Salter, even when the air temperature is at its coldest, diving still takes place along the Great Ocean Road, adding "in many ways it's probably the best time ... the conditions are a bit calmer, the water's nice and clear."

The HMAS Canberra arrived in Geelong in June 2008 and is set to be sunk at a location which is yet to be finalised.

Salter explained "there are many, many wrecks, some were scuttled, some were sunk in tragic circumstances. They are all great for diving."

Though behind schedule, the sinking was due to take place earlier this year in March, it is anticipated that the addition of the HMAS Canberra will enhance the rich array of sea life already established in the region.

Says Salter, "I would say that one of the best places in Australia, for breadth of diving opportunities, is the Great Ocean Road."

The Great Ocean Road is a haven for sports such as diving, fishing, surfing, walking, hiking, and cycling with a plethora of flora and fauna and marine life to see.

For more information go to www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au


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