AUSTRALIAEx-HMAS BrisbaneThe ex-HMAS Brisbane is located in Queensland, just off the Sunshine Coast at Mooloolaba, about a one-hour drive north of Brisbane. This 133-metre-long ex-Australian Royal Navy guided-missile destroyer was sunk in 2005 around 3km off the Sunshine Coast. The former warship now sits upright in 27m of water, with the smokestacks a mere 3m beneath the surface. “ The Brisbane is also a great wreck to explore with plenty of points of interest, including large gun turrets at the bow and stern, a coral-encrusted anchor chain, missile control room, engine room and mess, plus plenty of smaller rooms and gangways In its 17 years underwater, the ex-HMAS Brisbane has become a remarkable artificial reef attracting a staggering amount of marine life. An array of critters can be found on the wreck, including nudibranchs, pipefish, octopi, small crab and shrimps, to name but a few.

Numerous rays and even the occasional grey nurse shark visit this rusting hulk. There is impressive soft and hard coral growth on the wreck’s exterior and interior.

Large schools of silver batfish are usually found congregating around the smokestacks and communications tower, while huge schools of grunts can often be found just off the wreck being harried by jewfish, snapper, wahoo and trevallies.

However, the most-impressive residents of the HMAS Brisbane are the millions of glassfish, cave sweeper and baitfish that inhabit this massive wreck. Occasionally a blanket of baitfish seems to engulf the whole exterior of the wreck. Still, these shiny little fish usually stick to the interior, crammed in almost every room, sometimes so densely that it is almost disorientating. It is also important to watch where you put your hands as scorpionfish and lionfish are prolific

The Brisbane is also a great wreck to explore with plenty of points of interest, including large gun turrets at the bow and stern, a coral-encrusted anchor chain, missile control room, engine room and mess, plus plenty of smaller rooms and gangways. One of the favoured routes is to enter the wreck by descending through one of the smokestacks into the engine room. Then to work your way back up through the different level’s corridors and rooms, finishing back at the smokestack and communications array for a safety stop among the large schools of fish that often congregate here.

This is a dive site that just keeps getting better and better and the marine life that congregates in and around this wreck is simply breathtaking.

Who to dive with
Sunreef
www.sunreef.com.au
Did you know?HMAS Brisbane was one of three Perth-class guided missile destroyers to serve in the Royal Australian Navy. The United States-designed ship was laid down at Bay City, Michigan in 1965, launched in 1966 and commissioned into the RAN in 1967.Essential informationLocation: Queensland, Australia
Depth: 3m-27m
Diver level: Beginner to advanced