ex-HMAS Tobruk dive site Fraser Coast

  • Written by Tracey Joynson

Fraser Coast Has a New Sunken Treasure for Divers to Explore

A rush of scuba divers from around Australia is expected to begin exploring the underwater wonderland created by the ex-HMAS Tobruk after the launch of commercial operations on February 25.

Fraser Coast Tourism & Events general manager Martin Simons said many divers had been waiting for months to dive on the wreck and operators were likely to be busy in the coming months as they worked through long waiting lists.

“The ship is resting on her starboard quarter about 25 nautical miles from Hervey Bay in 28 metres of water and it will be an extraordinary experience for beginner and experienced divers alike,” he said.

“The side of the ship will be within about 10m of the surface and divers of all skill levels will have access to the vessel's major compartments as well an outside view of the propeller and rudder.”

When in service with the Royal Australian Navy, the 127m amphibious heavy-lift ship could carry up to 18 tanks, had two helicopter decks and provided accommodation for up to 520 troops.

The uniqueness of the Tobruk as a naval dive wreck was its size, Mr Simons said.

“There is plenty of room to move around its wide companionways and large transport decks,” he said.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said tourism was a major employer and economic driver on the Fraser Coast so the development of new attractions to entice visitors to the region was welcome.

“I look forward to working with the State Government on campaigns to promote the dive wreck nationally and internationally,” he said.

Mr Simons said the State Government was investing $1 million to promote tourism in the Wide Bay region with $500,000 spent promoting dive tourism and the other $500,000 marketing the major natural attractions of the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg regions.

Hervey Bay Dive Centre director Ed Gibson toured the dive site recently and said it was unbelievable.

“The sea life is extraordinary,” he said.

“We saw loads of fish, turtles, the biggest eagle ray I've ever seen and squid eggs floating everywhere.”

Mr Gibson added a grouper had even taken up residence at the wreck.

“We're just really excited,” he said.

“We've got a mountain of people on a waiting list to dive the ship.”

Dive Hervey Bay owner Glenn Bowman, a dive instructor with more than 35 years of experience and retired paramedic, said the ex-HMAS Tobruk would be one of the best dives in Australia.

He said the safety and comfort of passengers were among his main concerns and his staff would be highly trained.

Mr Bowman will operate the dive side of the business while joint venture partner, Spirit of Hervey Bay owner, Glen Dorn will supply the transport to the wreck.

He said a new, high-speed vessel was due to be ready in about April-May and would replace the craft they would use to start operations.

Weather permitting, both companies will be out at the dive site with their first customers on the day it opens.

Private divers can book two-hour time slots on moorings via visitfrasercoast.com/experiences/ex-HMAS-Tobruk.

About the ship

Ex-HMAS Tobruk, with the motto faithful and strong, was launched on March 1, 1980 by Lady Anne Cowan.

It was the Royal Australian Navy's first purpose-built amphibious heavy-lift ship.

The vehicle deck had a roll-on, roll-off function and held 40 armoured vehicles and personnel carriers.

Its cabins provided accommodation for up to 520 troops. 

It was involved in 26 major operations including to the Middle East, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Bouganville, East Timor and Philippines before being decommissioned on July 31, 2015.

The ship was scuttled on June 29, 2018. 

About Fraser Coast Tourism & Events

We are a regional tourism organisation bringing to life our spectacular part of the world. Visit us if you want to enjoy:

  • A beautiful climate and relaxed lifestyle
  • World Heritage-listed Fraser Island – the biggest sand island on the planet
  • Australia's best whale watching in Hervey Bay
  • Miles of safe swimming beaches
  • A short scenic flight to Lady Elliot Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef
  • The art and history of Maryborough
  • Coastal and country towns off the beaten track
  • A holiday without the stress of crowds

More Articles ...

  1. 3 Steps to Make Your Dream of Working Abroad Come True This Year
  2. 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do In Wellington
  3. New data reveals Aussie travellers’ biggest fears in 2019
  4. Road Trip On Your Mind? Keep These Aspects In Mind As Well
  5. Best Short Term Accommodation in Brisbane
  6. Best Short-term Accommodations in Sydney
  7. Short Term Accommodation In Melbourne
  8. ESTA Application Facts You Should Be Aware Of
  9. How to Plan a Road Trip
  10. Pet friendly Camping Areas In North Island NZ
  11. Tyre Security Measures For An Off-roading Trip
  12. 5 Tips to Prepare Your Car For a Long Trip
  13. 7 Off Roading Tips For The First Time Travellers
  14. Top NZ Campervan Spots For First Time Visitors
  15. Pet-Friendly Summer Destinations in NZ
  16. DriveMyCar
  17. Looking for a Romantic Destination? Here’s Why the Philippines May Be Perfect for You
  18. Lonely Planet Releases Its First-Ever Atlas
  19. The Best Moment of Your Life from Lonely Planet
  20. Travel expert Anthony Goldman outlines what's trending for elite travellers
  21. End of year travel can deliver big benefits if booked on certain credit cards
  22. Top Hiking Spots in South Island NZ
  23. Lonely Planet’s Amazing Train Journeys
  24. AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI
  25. Visit Pet Friendly Lake Macquarie
  26. Visiting Turkey as an Australian
  27. Useful tips for travellers who have disabilities
  28. The top 5 expensive places to travel
  29. Point Cook café scene
  31. Holiday Hacks: How to beat the travel companies at their own game
  32. Experience European Glamour with Ecruising
  33. Factors to Consider When Buying a Campervan
  34. Highett Cafe scene
  35. The Best Fishing Destinations in Australia
  36. AYANA Komodo Resort, Waecicu Beach
  37. Discovering South Australia
  38. Lake Macquarie for an adventure to match every budget
  39. Fun and exciting things to do in Sydney
  40. Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane
  41. Winter In Rotorua: Things To Do
  42. Discover Hong Kong Your Way With Ecruising
  43. Discover Safari Luxury in the Barossa
  44. The Whitsundays Offers Winter Escapes Packed With Plenty of Value!
  45. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore transforms into a car lover's dream
  46. Alpine Pacific Highway: Top Stops
  47. The Vegetarian Voyeur: AYANA offers fresh food travel adventures in Bali
  48. 5 Camping Essentials
  49. Lonely Planet publishes its Global Coffee Tour
  50. Safe Driving Tips for Your Road Trip


Prime Minister interview with Alan Jones

Good morning Alan.   ALAN JONES: Thank you for your time. Could I just begin by saying that politicians rarely get praise. I have been speaking to farmers during the course of the weekend. You wen...

Alan Jones - avatar Alan Jones

Scott Morrison on Shorten's Border Protection backdown

Border Protection   PRIME MINISTER: Less than 24 hours ago, I warned Australia that Bill Shorten would make Australia weaker and the Labor Party would weaken our border protection. That they could...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Funding to support women and children escaping domestic violence

Hundreds more women and children escaping domestic and family violence will have a safe place to sleep with a $78 million investment by the Morrison Government.   This investment includes a $60 mi...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Why Branding is vital to your family owned business

Once available only to large corporations, branding is now more accessible and vitally important to every size (and type) of family business, including yours. But what is branding and how does it ...

Stella Gianotto - avatar Stella Gianotto

Statewide Super announce Tony D’Alessandro as CEO

Tony D’Alessandro Tony D’Alessandro will be the new Chief Executive Officer of Statewide Super, effective 1 March 2019. Mr D’Alessandro will replace Richard Nunn, who in January announced his ...

Media Release Service - avatar Media Release Service

Why ‘Handover Culture’ Doesn’t Exist in Australia – And Why It Should

Handing over a business to the next generation might seem like something that can wait, but Australian business is largely unprepared for succession – and that’s a problem.   Handover culture is t...

Andrew Williams - avatar Andrew Williams


Fun Things You Must Do In Perth

Perth: Sun, sand and 19 beaches might seem to sum up the city, but not quite. The sunniest capital city in Australia offers so much more for you to do. Regardless of what your idea of fun is, you wi...

News Company - avatar News Company

ex-HMAS Tobruk dive site Fraser Coast

Fraser Coast Has a New Sunken Treasure for Divers to Explore A rush of scuba divers from around Australia is expected to begin exploring the underwater wonderland created by the ex-HMAS Tobruk after...

Tracey Joynson - avatar Tracey Joynson

3 Steps to Make Your Dream of Working Abroad Come True This Year

Oh, the New Year. The time of year when anything seems possible and everything seems doable. For some people, nothing will change over the course of the next 12 months. For others, everything may. I...

Bevan Berning - avatar Bevan Berning