OUR mission:

create safe, comfortable, enthusiastic divers

who always have a personal and enjoyable experience at Scuba World

Founded in Brisbane in 1979 by Ian McKinnon, Scuba World is a world-class dive centre and offers regular trips to the ex-HMAS Brisbane Conservation Park, Mooloolaba Coral Reefs and Moreton Bay Marine Park. Training is provided for all levels from Open Water to Dive Instructor.

Scuba World is situated in a spacious establishment, featuring a stunning showroom, training pool, service centre, top-of-the-line rental equipment, and an 11.3m Naiad rigid hull inflatable custom built boat on site. Addtionally ample street parking is available. Scuba World is located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast boasting seductive sunsets, breathtaking views and white sandy beaches.

With over 45 years of experience, Scuba World is one of Australia’s leading dive shops. Scuba World is proud to be the only Aqualung Partner Centre and a Scuba Schools International (SSI) Diamond Dive Centre in Australia – the highest level achievable worldwide.

Scuba World boasts a team of 14 highly qualified and experienced staff, with an average tenure of over 4 years with the company. Scuba World remains a family business, with Ian’s son Mike serving as the owner and general manager. With a diving history dating back to 1997 and a full-time commitment to Scuba World since 2003,  Mike has amassed extensive experience.  He holds the distinguished title of an SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor Certifier, a designation attained by only a select few. Mike’s unparalleled expertise, combined with his unwavering passion for diving, distinguishes him as a leader in the industry. 

Click on any staff photo to learn more. 

MEET THE TEAM

Mike McKinnon

OWNER/GENERAL MANAGER

Mike is one of only seven active SSI Instructor Certifiers in Australia. This is the highest professional level you can achieve through the SSI system. Having dived in over 14 different countries and certified well over 800 people from Open Water level through to Instructors, Mike has a wealth of knowledge that puts him at the top of his profession.

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD:

2003

QUALIFICATIONS: SSI Instructor Certifier, Coxswain (Skipper), XR Instructor
SSI EXPERIENCE POINTS: 5720 (PLATINUM Pro 5000 Instructor)
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 3000+
DIVING SINCE: 1997
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Da Phat, Great Detached (GBR)
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: San Francisco Maru – Truk Lagoon
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: Every time you venture underwater, you never know what you might see! 70% of the world is water – why not explore it. My favourite quote is: ‘From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free’. Jacques Yves Cousteau.
WHY I ENJOY WORKING AT SCUBA WORLD (what makes Scuba World special): I started washing wetsuits at the age of 14 when my dad was running the show. After many years of blood sweat and tears (and a lot of non-paid ‘family business’ hours) I can honestly say I do this job for the love of it. Teaching someone to dive and seeing them progress through to Dive Master or Instructor and become absolutely addicted to the underwater world is a huge privilege. Seeing people smile after a dive and all the wonderful people I have met over the years is fantastic.

Mike

Chris Maxwell

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD:2019

QUALIFICATIONS: Advanced Open Water Instructor
SSI EXPERIENCE POINTS: 1800 (PLATINUM Instructor)
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 1500+
DIVING SINCE: 2010
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: ex-HMAS Brisbane
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Great Astrolabe Reef, Fiji
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: I dive because marine life has always fascinated me. I love encounters with sharks and manta rays. I also enjoy instructing new divers and introducing them to scuba life.

Chris

Tim Denyer

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2021

QUALIFICATIONS: Open Water Instructor
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 430+
DIVING SINCE: 2020
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Cathedrals – Far North Queensland
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Cathedrals – Far North Queensland
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: I love the wildlife! You can always find something new.

Tim

Steve Bowtell

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2011

QUALIFICATIONS: Open Water Instructor
SSI EXPERIENCE POINTS: 70
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 1000+
DIVING SINCE: 2010
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Osprey Reef, Queensland
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Truk Lagoon, Micronesia
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: It’s rewarding and challenging. I also feel a great sense accomplishment!

Steve

Scott Thorburn

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2019

QUALIFICATIONS: Dive Master
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 300+
DIVING SINCE: 2004
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Mudjimba Island, Mooloolaba (Old woman island)
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Bali
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: It’s the one place I can go to relax and calm my mind.

Scott

Leila Barnsley

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2020

QUALIFICATIONS: Advanced Open Water Instructor & Ecology Instructor
SSI EXPERIENCE POINTS: 976 (GOLD Instructor)
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 3500+
DIVING SINCE: 2014
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Great Detached Reef (GBR)
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Gordon’s Rock (Galápagos Islands)
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: You never know what you are going to find underwater. It is a completely different world under the surface. There is always something new on every dive and there are so many amazing opportunities to learn more knowledge and skills.

Leila

David Ryan

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2023

QUALIFICATIONS: Dive Master
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 250
DIVING SINCE: 2022
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Opsrey Reef – Fairy Grotto or North Horn, honestly any dive at Osprey reef is spectacular. Massive walls, lots of swim throughs and nooks and crannies galore to explore. Just loved it!
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: I havent dived over seas yet, but remote Papua New Guinea really piques my interest. Id like to explore where most people don’t get to.
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: Observing nature underwater, close up, is not something I can do very often. Watching the dynamics, inter-relationships and personality expressions of the different types organisms, personally I find just fascinating. Being apart of someone’s elses enjoyable experience of this and potentially helping them to have a better one, helps me want to get out and be a dive guide.

David

Cam

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2022

QUALIFICATIONS: SSI AOW Instructor
SSI EXPERIENCE POINTS: 478 (22 off GOLD)
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 3000+
DIVING SINCE: 2017
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Lonsdale Wall, Port Phillip Bay
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Cenote Dos Ojos, Quintana Roo
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: The ocean, like all great works of art, will outlive us. And the diver whose job is to gaze into the ocean, must face eternity, or the lack of it, each dive.
WHY I ENJOY WORKING AT SCUBA WORLD (what makes Scuba World special): The excellence in leadership and depth in experience, as well as the many members drinking the kool-aid.

Cam

Savanah Mahony

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2022

QUALIFICATIONS: Deep Diver
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 25
DIVING SINCE: 2022
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Haven’t explored any dive sites other than the HMAS Brisbane and Mooloolaba Reefs (both are beautiful)
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Yet to dive overseas! Fiji is first on my list
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: Scuba diving allows you to explore the fascinating world beneath the waves. The tranquility of the underwater environment is incredibly calming and stress-relieving. And I love how it brings people together, creating a sense of community among enthusiasts who share a passion for the ocean and diving.
WHY I ENJOY WORKING AT SCUBA WORLD (what makes Scuba World special): Working at Scuba World has provided me with opportunities for continuous learning, skill development and professional growth within the industry. Scuba World ensures everyone is happy and having fun but also keeping diving safe. Scuba World is friendly towards the local diving community, providing a space for divers to gather, exchange stories and build relationships, this is what makes Scuba World so special.

Savanah

Chris Toshach

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2023

QUALIFICATIONS: Coxswain , Master 24m NC, Open Water Diver
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 50
DIVING SINCE: 1985
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: LIHOU ATOLL marine park (350nm east of Cairns)
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: LIHOU ATOLL marine park (350nm east of Cairns)
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: Its always an eyes wide open adventure expect the unexpected
WHY I ENJOY WORKING AT SCUBA WORLD (what makes Scuba World special): Local family operated business with happy crew giving their customers the Xfactor diving experience.

Chris

Jake

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2023

QUALIFICATIONS: SSI AOW Instructor, Coxswain
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 3000+
DIVING SINCE: 2017
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: ex-HMAS Brisbane
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD:
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: I gain that incredible feeling of immersion, the feeling of total weightless and only hearing the sound of bubbles with Humpbacks in the distance (during winter of course). Seeing the incredible marine life that call the reef home and the beautiful colours like no other.
WHY I ENJOY WORKING AT SCUBA WORLD (what makes Scuba World special):

Jake

Matt

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2022

QUALIFICATIONS: SSI Dive Master
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 160
DIVING SINCE: 2017
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Flat Rock – North Straddie
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: I am looking forward to my first overseas diving holiday
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: I scuba dive to experience the ocean in a different way to what most people experience it because I’ve always been interested by the Marine Ecosystems present on reefs and wrecks.
WHY I ENJOY WORKING AT SCUBA WORLD (what makes Scuba World special): I enjoy working at Scuba World because of the team and how friendly and professional everyone is towards each other and customers while still having fun and keeping everyone safe!

Matt

Jasmin Gawlista

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2024

QUALIFICATIONS: Advanced Open Water
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 100
DIVING SINCE: 2011
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Agincourt reef
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Elphinstone in Egypt Red Sea
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: The feeling of weightlessness and the peace under the water is incredible. With every dive you discover something new, that you haven’t seen before.
When you go diving, you always get to know new people and sometimes contacts and friendships are formed all over the world.

WHY I ENJOY WORKING AT SCUBA WORLD (what makes Scuba World special): Scuba World is an authentic, honest diving centre. Everyone welcomes you with open arms. Good training and safety is the highest priority. The team consists of many different personalities, which makes it special.

Jasmin

Gwen

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD: 2024

QUALIFICATIONS: Advanced Open Water
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: 350
DIVING SINCE: 2003
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN AUSTRALIA: Tijou Reef, Far North Queensland
FAVOURITE DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD: Koh Hat, Thailand and Shaab Rumi, Port Sudan
I SCUBA DIVE BECAUSE: I feel weightless and free underwater and the friends you meet make it an awesome sport
WHY I ENJOY WORKING AT SCUBA WORLD (what makes Scuba World special): Enjoyment is always about the people – the ones I work with and the ones who come through the shop or call up during the day. I love the shared interest, the funny things that happen and feeling part of a community.

Gwen

Simba McKinnon

YEAR I JOINED SCUBA WORLD:
2020

QUALIFICATIONS: Customer Service Expert
NUMBER OF COMPLETED DIVES: I jumped into the swimming pool at 3 months and had a little freak out. Still deciding if scuba is for me
I WORK AT SCUBA WORLD BECAUSE: I love greeting people at the door and receiving a pat.  Not to mention the crumbs that magically fall from the kitchen when the staff are preparing food for the dive charter!

Simba

OUR BOAT

Scuba World’s dive vessel is an 11.3 metre Naiad rigid hull inflatable, and has been rated as one of Australia’s most comfortable day boats. Our boat is perfect for diving the ex-HMAS BRISBANE and the close inshore reefs. It is spacious, fast, and has all the comforts divers look for in a boat.

The vessel has a stepped hull and this design provides the divers with the softest ride possible. With a beam in excess of four metres it has plenty of room for divers to move around.

The vessel is powered by twin 250 horse power Suzuki four stroke outboards giving it a top speed in excess of thirty knots and a cruising speed of around twenty knots.

The console is located towards the front of the vessel and this leaves plenty of space down the middle of the boat for seating for all divers and their two tanks.

Tank storage and ease of loading and unloading are crucial to satisfying divers.

Thoughtful planning and careful execution have resulted in a simple, yet effective solution. The custom made black PVC tank racks not only look good, they are fully functional.

Each diver’s personal snorkeling system is located directly under their seat. Weight systems are stowed out of the way directly in front of each diver. Light gear such as caps, sun glasses and jackets can be stowed above the diver’s seat under the canopy.

Diver comfort and safety are of the utmost importance in any dive charter operation. Both issues have been properly addressed with the water entries.

Divers have the choice of either a roll back entry off either side of the vessel or if they choose they can perform a giant stride entry from the rear of the vessel.

Divers appreciate the ease of exiting the water using our two fin friendly ladders.

There is a marine toilet on board and a shower is located at the rear of the vessel.

There are drop down clear side covers at the front of the vessel for wind protection during the winter months.

Your day’s diving will be even further enhanced when you travel on this impressive vessel.