Explore the HMAS Brisbane

Explore the HMAS Brisbane

A missile destroyer turned reef

For those visiting the area, water activities, of any variety, are some of the most popular things to do in Mooloolaba!

At The Wharf, we have so many options for people to enjoy the local waters, including snorkelling, fishing, coastal cruises and one of our favourites- diving.

Mooloolaba’s waters offer brilliant visibility – generally around 15 to 20 metres – allowing divers to experience beautiful reefs filled with some of the best coral and marine life on the planet, AND one of the world’s best wreck dives – the HMAS Brisbane.

Wreck Dive with Sunreef

A short 15-minute boat ride will get you to the year-round dive site, where you will soon experience the monstrous sunken warship, now thriving with marine life.

Sitting upright, the ship’s forward decks rest in 15 metres of water, while the stern is at 18 metres – making this a perfect dive for those with Open Water qualifications. The best part – Open Water Divers can explore the entire wreck – no need for advanced certification. This means you can even you can swim through the boiler room and engine rooms; accessible through the ship’s old chimney stack.

Diving around the site, the sheer size of this ship will amaze. At 133 meters long and, when functioning, weighing around 5000 tons, the HMAS Brisbane really is a sight and will impress even the most experienced of divers.

When you drop to the depth of the boat, you will have the opportunity to weave throughout the wreck, entering and exiting the metal carcass through strategically cut holes that have been cut to create a safe environment for divers, free from items that could tangle.

On this trip, divers are likely to see turtles, such as hawksbills, loggerheads, or even rays such as bull, shovel nose and eagle rays. If you look closely, you may even spot nudibranchs living amongst the soft and hard corals of the site. Leopard sharks are known to visit the site along with the big local Queensland groupers, squid, yellowtail kingfish, red emperor, snapper, lionfish, angler fish, blennies, sea hares, batfish, heaps of octopus and so much more.

Each dive will last for 50 minutes or as soon as a diver or their buddy reaches 50 bar, whichever comes first. Every trip is a double dive and when complete, return to Sunreef, where the gear is washed for you.

The History

Commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in 1967, the HMAS Brisbane was a guided-missile destroyer that served in both the Vietnam and Gulf War. The highly complex and capable warship was also used on a number of humanitarian missions, including providing aid and support in the wake of cyclone Tracey.

After servicing Australia for 34 years, the ship was decommissioned in 2001 before being carefully prepared for scuttling. In 2005, explosives were professionally detonated to sink the HMAS Brisbane for it to become an artificial reef and dive site. In just one year, the dive reef was already thriving with new life!


Each year the HMAS Brisbane attracts countless dive enthusiasts and marine species to its rich biodiverse environment.

For divers with wrecks on their bucket list, look no further than a trip to Mooloolaba! If a missile destroyer turned artificial reef isn’t the glow-up of the century, we don’t know what is! Make a whole weekend of your dive adventure and experience the countless things to do in Mooloolaba at The Wharf, like a post-dive celebration at The Wharf Mooloolaba and a luxurious stay at one of our local holiday rentals.