Every year ship wreck diving has grown in popularity since the ex-HMAS Brisbane was destroyed and utilised as a scuba diving site.
Normally to go diving into a wreck (known as wreck penetration) you either had to be a technical diver or have your wreck speciality certificate, however with regular maintenance from commercial divers it has allowed penetration into the wreck with only an open water certification but it’s still strongly advised to be advanced so you can completely enjoy the depths. The specially designed man holes allow light in all parts within the wreck so you are always able to see an exit out of the wreck to safely make an ascent to the surface.
Many divers venture to this site for their advanced course and wreck specialities. The stern is at 28 metres and the bow at 18 metres. As you descend into the wreck from the drop line you come aboard the bow and are greeted by the forward gun bang. You now know you have arrived on the ex-HMAS Brisbane.
My experiences on this wreck have always given me unexpected surprises, from seeing yellowtail kingfish hunting the surrounding reef fish or hearing the whales communicating with each other (or the divers). Also when you enter this wreck and you swim through the engine or control room (which gives off a little eerie feeling) and see the kill switches still intact, you suddenly realise this was once a warship.
You then glide through the dark corridors with minimal kicking while trying not to stir up the bottom and cause a silt out for the following divers in trail and when making sharp turns you can usually come face to face with a giant cod that has made this sanctuary his home. You pass him and make your way to an exit and demersal fish will let you know that you’re in their domain and convince you to kindly move on. You can be with a gentle giant cod one minute then the next minute you can be with a little demersal fish that is having a crack.
The ship was one of three Perth class guided missile destroyers to serve the Royal Australian Navy. She saw deployments to the Gulf and Vietnam Wars and was involved in the post-cyclone Tracy disaster in 1974. Ex-HMAS Brisbane was decommissioned in 2001 and was professionally sunk as a dive wreck off the Sunshine Coast coastline about 9km from Mooloolaba in 2005.
Come and explore this well prepared warship. Contact us today to book your dive trip.