Uncover the hidden gem of Western Australia's Maritime Heritage

When it comes to discovering the treasures that Western Australia has on offer, there's one hidden gem that is a must-see for casual adventure seekers and history enthusiasts alike – the Omeo Shipwreck. Nestled along the Coogee Maritime Trail, this underwater marvel promises a unique opportunity to access stunning marine life and explore a significant relic of WA's maritime history and archaeology. Whether you're a beginner snorkeller or seasoned diver, or even if you don't feel like having a swim, there is something for you. 

A Glimpse into the Omeo's Maritime Legacy

The Omeo began as an iron steamship built in 1858 in Newcastle, England, and was later converted into a sailing ship. It was historically used to lay the Bass Strait Telegraph cable, and the Overland Telegraph linking Australia to Britain via Singapore.

This vessel was involved in international trade for many years between Adelaide, Melbourne and New Zealand, and famously collided with, and wrecked, the Swan Spit pile lighthouse in Port Phillip in 1881, before becoming a coal hulk. Eventually, the Omeo came adrift from Fremantle port and was wrecked in 1905.

Nowadays, the Omeo lays only 25 metres from the white sandy shore of Coogee Beach and is the centrepiece of the Coogee Maritime Trail – an award-winning underwater dive and snorkel trail and land-based trail.

The linear dive trail invites you to explore an incredible array of underwater art sculptures and a purpose-built reef that is home to an array of aquatic life. 

What to Do and See

Make the Most of Your Experience

While enjoying your day out on the water, it's crucial to explore the trail with a duty of care. As more people flock to the Omeo shipwreck in recent times, it's essential to approach the historical site with respect for its natural and cultural environment. Swim responsibly and look but don’t touch the wreck, including not climbing on it!
Remember to follow these simple tips when snorkelling on the trail, and always be a responsible explorer.


  • Explore with your eyes but not your hands
  • Take photos (and don't forget to tag the City of Cockburn if you share)
  • Stay calm, quiet, and move slowly.


  • Climb, stand or rest on the wreck
  • Remove pieces of the wreck or reef
  • Leave rubbish behind.

By snorkelling responsibly we can ensure that generations to come can share in the extraordinary experience.

Swim Along the Reef

The purpose-built reef comprises 33 distinct reef modules, varying in height from 1m to 5m. This reef has been designed by a team of marine engineers and scientists as a natural habitat to support a diverse array of marine wildlife and flora. Besides being a fantastic place for aquatic exploration, you'll also discover informative signage about the reef and its marine inhabitants.

Enjoy Underwater Art

It's not often you can go admire an art gallery while being underwater. 
The trail features an impressive display of over 50 objects to see or interact with, including reef pyramids, a captivating swim-through sculpture, a replica cannon, a Mystery Railway wheel, and a folding stock anchor (retrieved from the Swan River). Additionally, you'll encounter a charming sea lion sculpture, a fun selfie porthole, and plenty more nestled in the white sands and clear water. 

Coogee Maritime Trail Map
Coogee Maritime Trail Map

Voyage on Dry Land 

If you're not planning to take a dip in the water today, you can enjoy a stroll along the limestone land-based trail. You can delve into the history of the Omeo through four interpretive signage panels that line this path. Can't make the physical journey? Take a peek at the virtual tour here.

To discover what else you can explore on a day trip to see the Omeo, visit our Choose Your Own Adventure in Cockburn blog.