The Hygiea was one of 3 paddle steamers that was used to take people from Melbourne to the southern beachside towns of Mornington Peninsula in the early 1900’s. She regularly had more than 1500 people on board and must have been a great fun day out for those who chose to be a part of the adventure to go to Sorrento for the weekend.
She was built in 1890 in Glasgow, Scotland for the Bay Steamers Ltd in Melbourne. She was the largest of the 3 main steamers in Melbourne at 91.4 metres in length and 10.5 metres wide. She could travel at speeds up to 20 knots and was considered to be the fastest and largest operating in Port Phillip Ba7. She had promenade decks, saloons, dining rooms, bars and a barber’s shop. The other 2 steamers were Ozone and Weeroona.
Today she sits in 62 metres of water directly outside ‘The Rip’ in the shipping lane after being scuttled in 1932. The paddles are still in tact and are a quite unique object for divers to investigate. The wreck can be penetrated in some areas and has an abundance of fish life and also the occasional southern rock lobster can be seen.
As the wreck is ‘on the shipping leads’ it is always subject to shipping.
Water type: SaltWater Temperature: 10-20CCertification: Tech60Depth: 62M