Following the mooring line down through the crystal clear water we could see the wreck of the Tasman Hauler stretched out below us. We headed straight to the deepest part of the wreck first, the propeller (approx. 28m). The propeller is GIGANTIC!! We slowly swam up, around and through the old ship, beautifully coloured jewel anemones cover parts of the ship and life seemed to be everywhere.
The above is written about just one of my dives on the tug called the Tasman Hauler. Apart from diving this great wreck Eden also has the Henry Bolte to offer, which is a tug of similar size but slightly more run down than the Tasman Hauler. Still, it is a worth while dive. Just off Merimbula is yet another wreck, the wreck of the Empire Gladstone. She sunk in 1950 and due to her shallow resting place (approx. 10m) she has been beaten a lot by the waves but it is still an interesting wreck and being so shallow you can spend at least an hour exploring the wreckage.
Apart from the 3 great wrecks that lay around Merimbula and Eden there are some other fantastic dive sites as well. During a dive at 'The Cave' last time I was there the water was so clear the boat driver simply pointed over the side of the boat and gave the dive brief saying 'well see that rock there!' My dive at The Cave was magnificent, some of the best viz. I have ever seen and the view from inside the cave looking back out was truly stunning. Great spot to see Basket Stars and Blue devil fish too.
Apparently Merimbula wharf is also an excellent shore dive. I saw the dive site when I was there but was too dived out most days to go and do it after all the great boat dives! So if you have the energy after the boat dives please give it a go and let me what it is like.
Apart from the diving the accommodation at Merimbula Divers Lodge is located in a great spot right near all the shops, restaurants and clubs. There are a few different set ups there but I stayed in a two bedroom apartment type lodge, which slept 4 to a room (two sets of bunks) and had a lounge room with TV. Dinning room, toilet and showers and kitchen. The also have a great wash area and drying space for your gear to dry out overnight. There are some nice tables and chairs outside to sit around and relax in the afternoons.
Merimbula is located approximately 485km south of Sydney. If you get the chance during the drive there or home stop off at the Bega Cheese Factory and buy one of their double ice-cream cones! They are almost as good as the diving!