Ex-HMAS Brisbane Conservation Park Sunshine Coast

Diver exploring the abundant marine life around ex-HMAS Brisbane. Photo credit: Courtesy of Gillian Davison, Noosa Blue Water Dive

About Ex-HMAS Brisbane

    Park features

    Good light, great sights

    • Access inside the ex-HMAS Brisbane is optimal with:
      • all internal areas offer three points of natural light
      • wide and open entry and exit swim-throughs.
    • Access holes allow passage into:
      • the forward engine room
      • boiler room
      • gun mount
      • ship's interior with crew quarters.
    • The smoke stack starts at just 3m below the surface.
    • The ship is:
      • eight stories high
      • seven cricket pitches long (133m).

    RAA—protecting divers and site

    The conservation park, and its restricted access area (PDF, 201.2KB) (RAA) protection, ensures that the site can be enjoyed, yet managed to maintain the cultural, historic and aesthetic values of the ship, as well as the ship's 'dignity', that is, showing respect to its historic service to Australia during the Vietnam and Gulf wars.

    Still serving

    The ex-HMAS Brisbane may have finished its military service, but still serves today as excellent habitat for large and small marine life, a stunning artificial reef and exciting exploratory dives for years to come.

    The ship was kept, as much as possible, in its original condition before scuttling. The bridge, missile launcher and propeller were removed by the Royal Australian Navy and serve as interpretive displays at facilities including the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. A few minor items were removed for safety, but essentially the ship's structural integrity was maintained.

    Read more:

    Looking after the park

    Great dive. Safe dive.

    Diver and snorkeller numbers are limited for safety. Controlling numbers in the site, at any one time, maintains the quality of the dive and snorkel experience, and minimises impacts on the reef and the wreck.

    The following conditions apply when you dive this site:

    • Divers/snorkellers must not deface, damage, interfere or remove any material from the ex-HMAS Brisbane.
    • Divers/snorkellers must not interfere with or collect marine life or any other naturally occurring material in the park.

    See the general guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

    Park management

    The wreck and artificial reef is managed as the Ex-HMAS Brisbane Conservation Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) is responsible for managing the site and regulating access by licensed dive tour operators, dive clubs and recreational divers and snorkellers. It has the authority to restrict or prohibit activities that could compromise safety, amenity or protection of the site, such as fishing and anchoring.

    Conservation park status provides for a range of recreational, commercial and scientific research opportunities and the ability to regulate activities for ecologically sustainable use of, and access to, the dive tourism infrastructure, by current and future generations.

    Commercial activity agreements under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 have been negotiated between QPWS and dive tour operators for the provision of commercial and recreational dive tour services at the site. Dive tour operators that hold this agreement are required to manage the site in a manner that is consistent with the proposed management intent and use of the conservation park.

    Day-to-day management of the artificial reef includes:

    • managing visitors
    • administering dive tour activity
    • surveillance and compliance
    • communication and community engagement
    • risk assessment and mitigation
    • environmental assessment and monitoring
    • installing and maintaining moorings and navigational aids.

    QPWS aims to minimise risks to divers and snorkellers by:

    • managing conflicting activities
    • requiring operators to practise safe diving procedures
    • removing hazardous material and protrusions
    • minimising risk of entrapment.

    QPWS rangers undertake regular daytime and night-time patrols of the site.

    Tourism information links

    Licensed dive tour operators and QPWS permit agents

    The following dive tour operators are licensed to issue QPWS permits to private divers, snorkellers or club divers using the public mooring.

    Scuba World, Mooloolaba
    The Wharf, Parkyn Parade Mooloolaba Harbour
    PO Box 906, Mooloolaba Qld 4557
    Phone: (07) 5444 8595
    Fax: (07) 5444 8596
    Email: info@scubaworld.com.au

    Sunreef, Mooloolaba
    110 Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba Qld 4557
    Phone: (07) 5444 5656
    Fax: (07) 5478 0716
    Email: dive@sunreef.com.au

    General tourism information

    Sunshine Coast Destination Limited

    For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

    Further information

    Dive medical advice and emergencies

    Divers Emergency Service (DES) Australia: Phone: 1800 088 200 (24 hour service).
    For medical emergencies: Call Triple Zero (000).

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.