underwater treasures

Explore Victoria's shipwrecks without getting wet

By Margaret Burin - ABC

A virtual tour of south west Victoria's underwater treasures can now be taken with the click of a finger.

Heritage Victoria has posted more than 2000 images of Victorian shipwrecks, giving people the opportunity to see sites that are usually only accessible to experienced divers, or in some case, no one.

The photos have been taken from maritime archaeologists and volunteers over thirty years.

Heritage Victoria executive director Jim Gardner says a permit is required to dive around any shipwreck.

"We'll obviously consider permits for any ship. However, there are protected zones around certain vessels such as HMVS Cerberus, which mean that boats aren't even allowed to go within the vicinity of them for the risk of damage to those vessels."

He says this collection of images is being used to study and monitor the ships.

"We can look and see whether things have deteriorated, whether there are changes in currents or silt build ups or whether there's been damage for instance by the illegal mooring of other vessels and things like that.