The Omeo Wreck is the centrepiece of the Coogee Maritime Trail, a recently completed initiative by the City Of Cockburn to create an epic snorkelling trail along Coogee Beach.
The long, white sandy beach at Coogee is one of Perth’s best as it is, but the addition of the maritime trail makes it fantastic for a day on the water.
What Is It:
The Omeo is Perth’s premier shore-based shipwreck, lying just under water, only 25m from the shore of Coogee Beach. It came adrift from Fremantle port way back in 1905, getting bogged in the sand at Coogee. Over the years it has remained in that spot, gradually falling apart with only the sternpost and a section of the collapsed bow triangle protruding from the water.
In recent times it has become the subject of a serious conservation effort from the City Of Cockburn, becoming the centrepiece for the Coogee Maritime trail, with over 55 structures to guide divers along their aquatic voyage.
Where Is It:
Located at the northern end of Coogee Beach as part of the new Port Coogee development, head to Socrates Parade where you can park right on the beach. From there you can’t miss the wreck, submerged in 2-4m water about 25m off the beach.
What To Do:
Snorkel, of course! Following a recent upgrade last December, the trail now has more than 55 structures for you to discover. These include reef pyramids, a swim through sculpture, replica cannon, Mystery Railway wheel and folding stock anchor (from the Swan River), sea lion sculpture, selfie porthole and more.
Along with the art installations and strcutures, there’s a heap of marine wildlife enjoying the nooks and crannies along the journey, from fish and stingrays to the occasional passing seal or dolphin (if you’re lucky).
Make sure you have a read of the underwater educational plaques too!
What Not To Do:
Don’t get your ambitions mixed up with your capabilities – most of the trail is around 2.5-5m deep, designed for snorkelers and novice divers. As always with water-based activities, swim within your limits, and take a buddy.
Go down when the wind or swell is up. Coogee beach is generally pretty well protected, but there’s not much point in snorkelling when the water is all stirred up and visibility is only a couple of feet.
Coogee Beach is one of WA’s most pleasant, so make sure you pack the sunscreen and umbrellas to stay a while and make a morning of it. There’s also a land-based, accessible trail along the pathways of Port Coogee, providing plenty of maritime history about the area.