The HMAS Brisbane is around 28 metres below water. The main deck is 15 metres deep and the diving conditions are absolutely fantastic. The best thing about this dive site is that it is suitable for all experience levels. If you are a beginner, then it is a fantastic way for you to explore the depths below and if you are experienced then you will be able to go inside the HMAS Brisbane itself. There are large holes which allow very easy entry and you can even explore the engine and boiler room if you want. The HMAS Brisbane has a total length of 133m and this means that ideally, you’ll need two dives if you want to be able to explore everything.
How it All Began
The HMAS Brisbane has an extraordinary history. It was built by the Australian Navy and it was one of the very first guided destroyers. The start of this vessel’s life involved doing ocean exercises in America before setting sail for Australia. The Australian government tried to resist the USA’s calls for them to join the Vietnam war. America believed that the Australian Navy would be beneficial to the effort and that is why the HMAS Brisbane went to war- twice.
In 1969, the HMAS Brisbane prepared for her very first deployment. She departed for Vietnam on the 20th of March and arrived in the Philippines on the 31st of March. She was then deployed to Vung Tau, where she arrived on the 15th of April. That same night, she underwent her first mission. She was to provide naval gunfire support. She then sailed to Subic Bay for repairs, maintenance and shore relief. On the 10th of June, she sailed back alongside the famous USS Rowan. Over the next four days, both ships conduced 200 NGS missions. The majority of them were aimed at areas of intelligence and at enemy camps.
On the 22nd of July, in the heart of the war, the Brisbane suffered a devastating blow. While on shore duty, the vessel took damage to the gun turret. Everyone onboard survived but the damage could not be repaired. The turret was removed and the vessel then served as being the head of escort for the USS Oriskany. The replacement was fitted on September 25th.
On the 1st of July, 2005 the HMAS was scuttled, with explosive charges. It took two minutes and 10 seconds for the ship to sink, and it now serves as a historical monument and magnificent wreck site.
The HMAS Brisbane sunk in the year 2005 and the marine life there is slowly growing both inside and outside the wreck. You can easily spot octopus, turtles, eagle rays, groupers and thousands of other fish. Coral is also thriving all over the shipwreck as well. The HMAS Brisbane wreck can be located 5km off the sunshine course and the best way for you to get there would be for you to go to the Mooloolaba town. There, you can reach the dive site in as little as 20 minutes. It’s also entirely possible for you to reach the dive site from the city of Noosa as well. The Brisbane wreck is protected and therefore you will need to dive with a reputable authority, such as ScubaWorld.
There are countless animals within the ship and it also serves as a hunting ground for fish as well, including tuna and mackerel. These species use the shipwreck as a place to feed while also using it as a place to rest. The main reason for this is because the ship is able to deflect current. Over the years, the wreck has become a somewhat oasis for marine life and it offers superb conditions for those who want to dive and snorkel. In just one year, the entire ship was covered with sessile invertebrates, plants and more. This formed a very complex food chain and with coral flourishing as well, it’s a fantastic sight to see. The coral colonies provide a good degree of framework where all kinds of reef animals, such as worms, starfish and molluscs reside. Over the coming years, the coral will continue to grow in thickness, encouraging even more life to come to the area. It’s an amazing sight to say the least and if you have a keen interest in diving then you really won’t want to miss out on what the HMAS Brisbane has to offer. It’s a bucket-list moment and one that you’ll never forget.