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Exploring Scuba Diving Spots in Brisbane

Exploring Scuba Diving Spots in Brisbane

Ever wondered about the enchanting world beneath the ocean’s surface? Since the inception of scuba diving, adventurers have taken the plunge, inspired by pioneers like Jacques Cousteau, who unlocked the mysteries of the underwater realm.

Brisbane is a great place for divers seeking unforgettable underwater experiences. From historic wrecks to vibrant coral reefs, Brisbane’s aquatic landscapes offer a playground for exploration and wonder.

So read on if you want to discover the beauty of Brisbane’s top scuba diving spots, where each dive offers an extraordinary adventure!

1. Flat Rock Dive Site

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Address: North Stradbroke Island, Redlands Coast Area, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Depth: 12 to 35 metres

If you’re looking for an exciting dive near North Stradbroke Island in Brisbane, check out Flat Rock Dive Site. It’s a popular spot among locals wit colorful coral gardens around a rocky island where turtles, wobbegongs, and more can be spotted.

The depths go down to 35 metres, so you’ll need Advanced Open Water Diving qualifications to explore here.

In winter, from June to August, you can see lots of grey nurse sharks, especially in Shark Alley. While it might not be the best spot for beginners, there are shallow areas for training dives.

Additionally, you can reach Flat Rock by taking a day trip to the island or hopping on a boat from the mainland.

Pro tips:
Brush up on your navigation skills before diving at Flat Rock Dive Site. The site features various underwater landmarks and terrain, so having strong navigation abilities will help you explore effectively and safely.

Utilise the buddy system and dive with a reliable partner who shares your level of experience and training. Effective communication and teamwork are vital for managing complex dive scenarios and ensuring safety throughout the dive.

2. Manta Ray Bommie


Address: North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Depth: 5 to 16 metres

For those of you seeking an unforgettable diving experience near Brisbane, Manta Ray Bommie is a must-visit spot. This premier dive site has the largest congregation of Manta Rays in the area. 

It’s just a short 10-minute boat ride from North Stradbroke Island, but if you’re journeying from the Brisbane coast, be prepared for a roughly 1.5-hour trip.

So, why do Manta Rays flock to this site? Manta Ray Bommie serves as a cleaning station, where these majestic creatures hover above the bommie, eagerly awaiting their turn for a thorough cleaning. 

If you’re lucky, you might even have Manta Rays pass above you, seemingly enjoying the bubbles expelled from your regulator!

But the wonders of Manta Ray Bommie don’t end with there. Here, you can explore the rocks and crevices, where you’ll discover colourful Nudibranch species.

With its sandy bottom and rocky surroundings, Manta Ray Bommie is also home to stingrays, wobbegongs, leopard sharks, bull rays, octopuses, guitar sharks, and eagle rays.

The shallow diving conditions make it an ideal spot for open water students to immerse themselves in the wonders of the underwater world.

Pro tip:
Maintain a respectful distance from Manta Rays and other marine life to minimise stress and disturbance. 

Manta Ray Bommie is open to the elements and may not always be accessible so time your visit well.

3. Flinders Reef

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Address: Moreton Bay, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Depth: 3 to 28 metres

Named after the renowned explorer Matthew Flinders, Flinders Reef reef is found within the protected confines of the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Monitored by the Reef Check conservation program, it’s a thriving ecosystem with diverse marine life year-round.

From colourful Wrasse and Sweetlip to agile Trevally and mesmerising Parrotfish, the reef is a busy hub of activity. You might even catch a glimpse of batfish, surgeonfish, turtles, and other tropical fish gliding through the crystal-clear waters.

Moreover, the underwater landscape of Flinders Reef is a sight to behold, with walls, gutters, caves, and pinnacles adorned with over a hundred species of corals.

From staghorn and brain corals to delicate plate corals and vibrant soft corals, the reef is a kaleidoscope of colours and textures. Gorgonians and sponges add to the visual feast, creating a mesmerising backdrop for your diving adventures.

It’s a magical experience for you to observe a green or loggerhead turtle getting cleaned by smaller fish, a true testament to the intricate symbiosis of marine life.

Pro tip:
Consider Flinders Reef as a fantastic spot for honing your diving skills, especially if you’re a beginner or intermediate diver.

The calm waters and relatively shallow depths make it an ideal training ground for practising buoyancy control, navigation techniques, and underwater communication. 

4. Tangalooma Wrecks

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Address: Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Depth: 1 to 12 metres

For those of you itching to explore beneath the waves near Brisbane, the Tangalooma Wrecks are an absolute gem of a scuba diving site.

It’s a dream come true for beginners and open-water divers alike, offering a fantastic underwater adventure. But don’t let its accessibility fool you; even advanced divers will find plenty to marvel at the Tangalooma Wrecks.

What makes this site particularly special is its ease of navigation. Imagine 15 wrecks lined up in a row, just 100 metres from the shores of Moreton Island.

It’s like an underwater playground waiting to be explored! And you won’t be the only one drawn to this aquatic wonderland—snorkelers and free divers often join in on the exploration, adding to the exciting marine activity.

The Tangalooma Island Resort offers guided tours of the wrecks throughout the day, making it incredibly convenient for visitors staying on the island for a weekend getaway. 

Alternatively, you can hop on a boat from the shores of Brisbane and spend the day diving among the wreck!

Keep in mind, though, that boat traffic can get a bit hectic, especially on weekends and during school holidays. With guided dives, snorkelling tours, private boats departing from both Tangalooma and Brisbane, the area can get quite busy.

Pro tip:
Be mindful of boat traffic, especially on weekends and during school holidays. Watch out for approaching boats and stay close to the wreck line to ensure your safety while underwater.

5. Curtain Artificial Reef

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Address: Curtain Artificial Reef, Moreton Island, QLD 4025, Australia

Depth: 16 to 27 metres

If you’re seeking a unique underwater adventure near Moreton Island, the Curtain Artificial Reef is known for its man-made structures and vibrant marine life.

Picture this: 30 wrecks clustered together beneath the waves, creating an artificial haven for sea creatures of all kinds.

As you explore the Curtain Artificial Reef, you’ll encounter remnants of ships, cars, and possibly even pontoons, each adorned with a diverse assortment of marine inhabitants.

Watch out for the majestic Big Groupers gracefully swimming around the wrecks, adding to the enchanting underwater landscape.

Here, you can prepare to be amazed as you come face to face with some of the largest Nudibranchs you’ve ever seen, nearly the size of your hand! Their vibrant colours and intricate patterns add a splash of brilliance to the underwater scenery.

Of course, no dive at the Curtain Artificial Reef would be complete without encountering the iconic Wobbegongs, which are common throughout Brisbane waters.

You can also wait for schools of Barracuda bolting through the currents, and the graceful movements of Stingrays gliding along the ocean floor.

It’s important to note that diving at the Curtain Artificial Reef requires skill and experience. Sometimes visibility is poor and currents are strong, so this area is best suited for advanced divers.

Pro tips:
Before descending, carefully plan your dive considering factors such as entry and exit points, dive duration, and maximum depth, keeping in mind the multiple wrecks comprising the Curtain Artificial Reef.

Fine-tune your buoyancy control skills to manoeuvre gracefully through tight spaces and avoid accidental contact with delicate marine life and structures. 

6. Ex-HMAS

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Address: Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Australia

Depth: 15 to 30 metres

If you’re a wreck enthusiast, the Ex-HMAS Brisbane is a scuba diving spot you won’t want to miss. What’s even better is that it’s just a quick 10 to 15 minute boat ride away, so you’ll spend less time waiting and more time exploring the depths.

Prepare to be amazed by the sheer size of the exploration area. Here, you can also find a diverse array of creatures! Navigating around the wreck is a breeze, thanks to several mooring lines that make descending and returning to the boat effortless.

As you explore, you’ll have the option to venture around the exterior of the wreck or dive into one of its many openings. Don’t worry about safety – the Ex-HMAS Brisbane is designed with plenty of access points, ensuring you’ll always have a view of daylight.

But the real magic lies in the marine life that calls this wreck home. With approximately 1,000 different species to discover, every dive offers a new and exciting encounter.

And while you’re marvelling at the underwater world, take a moment to reflect on the history of this decommissioned guided-missile destroyer.

From the forward gun to the stories of its service, the Ex-HMAS Brisbane is a living piece of maritime history waiting to be explored.

Pro tips:
Deploying a surface marker buoy (SMB) before ascending can help alert boat traffic to your presence and ensure a safe ascent. Make sure to practice deploying and using an SMB before your dive to ensure proficiency.

Consider using Nitrox if you’re certified, as it can extend your bottom time and reduce the risk of nitrogen narcosis, allowing for longer and safer dives around the expansive wreck.

7. Cook Island

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Address: Gold Coast, Australia

Depth: Up to 15 metres

If you’re on the hunt for an exciting diving spot along the Gold Coast, Cook Island is where the underwater magic happens. This beautiful diving destination offers an underwater paradise that’s a breeze to explore, no matter your skill level.

As you descend beneath the waves, you’ll be greeted by an interesting landscape of large rocks, each hiding a bunch of colourful fish and delightful sea creatures.

Here, you need to wait for the elusive octopus, known to make appearances among the rocky crevices. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of some shy turtles gracefully gliding through the crystal-clear waters.

Even if you’re new to the world of diving, Cook Island can amaze you with its spectacular sights and vibrant marine life.

With its easy navigation and abundance of underwater wonders, it’s a great playground for divers of all abilities to explore and discover the beauty of the underwater world.

Pro tips:
Hydration is key to staying comfortable and alert during your dives at Cook Island. Drink plenty of water before and after your dives to prevent dehydration, especially in the warm Gold Coast climate.

Consider using surface intervals between dives to relax, hydrate, and refuel. Take advantage of the scenic surroundings of Cook Island by enjoying a snack or engaging in surface activities like snorkeling or bird watching.

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