The Maori (1909)

LOCATION: North of the Oakburn, approximately 75m offshore, directly in front of the large, flat cleft rock.
ACCESS: It is only a short trip from Hout Bay harbour and is probably the most popular charter destination in the summer months.
CONDITIONS: The bay is well protected so it is usually calm. in summer, after a few days of south-easterly wind and strong upwelling, it can be crystal clear but icy cold, and the wreck can be seen from the dive boat. Be very careful of sharp, protruding bits of metal, particularly when there is a surge. The wreck has become unstable over the last few years, so divers should exercise caution when swimming under the structures.

The Maori, a British cargo steam ship of 5317 tons, was carrying a cargo of explosives, water piping and crockery from London to New Zealand, when it was wrecked. It struck a rock in thick fog and drizzle on 5 August 1909. 32 lives were lost. It lies in the protection of the well-sheltered Maori Bay and the waves break over it only in the worst storms. For this reason, it has remained remarkably intact and was declared the most well preserved wreck of it's vintage by Jacques Cousteau when he visited the site. Local divers have since then blasted thorough some sections. The total length of the wreck is approximately 175m. Marine life is not particularly colourful as most of it is dominated by kelp, fish and crayfish. This is a historical wreck and nothing should be removed.