The western coast of Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and among them is Coogee Beach, located south of Perth. This beach is also home to the Omeo Shipwreck Dive Trail, which offers snorkelers and divers an up-close look at history.

The Omeo Shipwreck lies just 25m from the shore of Coogee Beach and is an ideal spot for snorkelers and novice divers of all ages, including kids!

The Omeo was an iron steamship built in Newcastle, England in 1858 and later converted to a sailing ship. It was used to lay the Bass Strait Telegraph cable and the Overland Telegraph linking Australia to Britain via Singapore. The ship was wrecked in 1905 after coming adrift from Fremantle port and now lies in shallow waters.  The sternpost and a section of the collapsed bow are visible from the shoreline.

Omeo Shipwreck Dive Trail

In recent years, the City of Cockburn has embarked on a conservation effort to preserve the Omeo. The shipwreck has become the centrepiece for the Coogee Maritime Trail. The snorkel or dive trail features an underwater reef and over 55 submerged art installations around the Omeo Shipwreck, which focus on WA’s maritime heritage, maritime archaeology, history and beautiful marine wildlife.

The Omeo is the state’s only shore-based shipwreck which can be accessed with only a pair of goggles!

Omeo Shipwreck Dive Trail

Most of the trail is around 2m to 5m with a maximum depth of 7 metres as you head out along the groyne.

The dive and snorkel trail features an underwater reef and many interesting artworks centred around our maritime heritage, maritime archaeology, history and beautiful marine wildlife.

On our recent visit to the Omeo Shipwreck, we took our pool noodles along with us. It was a great way for the younger kids to get around the wreck and the structure. They can still put their faces in the water, move around easily, and they don’t get tired as quickly, meaning you can stay out enjoying the view for longer.

 Omeo Shipwreck Dive Trail

Even before you reach the Omeo Wreck, you are surrounded with a variety of marine life. We started our snorkel over towards the groyne then headed to the wreck.

Our first stop was the seal statue, replica cannon and the Apollo cluster. Depending on the tide, these pieces are only waist deep and an easy walk.

 

The Omeo Shipwreck is very intact, and it’s easy to make out the boat’s shape as you swim around and over it. Keep your eye out for the resident eel, who pops his head out occasionally. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot him this trip, but the aquatic life in the area is plentiful, and we saw so many schools of different fish.

 

Heading west along the groyne the water depth gets to about 7m and the underwater art gallery continues. The day we were there it was a little rough so we didn’t get to see everything.

There are 55 structures along the trail that have attracted a mass of aquatic life to the area which you start to see as soon as your face is in the water. The structures also include plaques with information about the Omeo, the maritime history of the area, and marine life.

I wanted to see the Stella Maris seastar swim-through sculpture by Artist Melanie Maclou. However, we did see the anchor and railway wheel that were recovered during the construction of Elizabeth Quay.

The trail is easily accessible from the beach access path from Perlinte View, North Coogee or from the northern end of Coogee Beach. How much beach area is accessible depends on the tide.

Omeo Shipwreck Dive Trail

There is also a land-based Trail along the pathways that follow the breakwater esplanade near Socrates Parade in North Coogee. This walk trail includes maritime artefacts, including two restored anchors from the Omeo and a viewing area overlooking the shipwreck.

Omeo Shipwreck Dive Trail

The grass area at the top of the stairs is perfect for a picnic, there are no BBQ facilities around the trail, the nearest public BBQ facilities would be the Coogee Jetty or the Port Coogee Marina.

Parking around North Coogee and Omeo Park is limited however, the northern end of the Coogee Jetty car park gets close access to the area.

The trail is within walking distance or a short drive away from many cafes, including the Dome Cafe and Beachpoint Café, and Coogee Beach Café. The closest public toilets that also provide a Changing Place, baby change table and outdoor shower can be accessed from Maraboo Loop, near the Ngarkal Beach Water Park. Toilets are also available at the Port Coogee Shopping Centre on Marine Parade.

The snorkel trail and Coogee Beach, in general, are fantastic for families. It is a calm beach without any large wave breaks with clear water, a resident seal and a family pod of dolphins who make a regular appearance.

Things to remember:

  • Do not stand or climb on any of the trail features 
  • Do not break off or take any part of the Omeo shipwreck
  • Please don’t handle the marine life

 

Omeo Shipwreck and Coogee Maritime Trail

Socrates Parade, Coogee Beach, WA

Coogee Beach, WA

Click here to see the map

www.cockburn.wa.gov.au/Coogee-Maritime-Trail

Find more family-friendly beaches in Perth

Find more beaches in Perth

About Jacqui Snelgar

Jacqui is a busy mum to 4 school age children who is currently a Swimming Teacher with Jump! Swim School Bibra Lake and studying part time towards a Commerce degree in Human Resources & Marketing.

In her free time, Jacqui enjoys getting out & about with her family checking out new places. You can follow Jacqui on Facebook and Instagram as Perth Tweens

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