The HMAS Tobruk wreck is one of the most popular dives in Hervey Bay. The wreck was sunk in 2018 between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg to create a fun and safe wreck for scuba divers to explore. Our experience will help you plan your HMAS Tobruk dive with tips about the level of experience you need, what we saw, the best time to dive the HMAS Tobruk and why we booked a tour from Hervey Bay.

Fish life on the HMAS Tobruk wreck with a scuba diver in the background

History of the HMAS Tobruk

When diving a wreck, it’s always interesting to learn more about the vessel before the exploration. The dive guide will include information about what you’re going to see during their dive plan, but it will be easier to follow and remember if you’ve done a bit of homework.

The HMAS Tobruk was in service from 1980 to 2015 in the Pacific. It could transport three helicopters, many tanks and more than 500 people! You can find more information about the wreck on the Australian Navy website and even do a virtual tour of the boat before it was sunk using this app from the Queensland Government.

Level of experience needed to dive HMAS Tobruk

The bottom of the wreck is at 30 metres, so you’ll need to be an Advanced diver to see it all.

Even if you’re not an experienced diver, you can have fun following your instructor into the wreck. Diving a wreck is always a bit challenging when you’re not used to it, so getting experience on the HMAS Tobruk is perfect as it has been made for divers. It has many exits to make the dive safer and more enjoyable, and you can even swim for 100 meters inside the vessel without having to turn around.

Some narrow spots aren’t easy to negotiate and will make you test your buoyancy skills. The boat is sunk on its side, so many passages are as high as a door width. But it’s a fun exploration!

What we saw when diving HMAS Tobruk

It’s incredible how marine life already took control of the place. We saw a lot of different fish, including a grouper and giant trevallies. But, unfortunately, the resident turtle didn’t show up when we visited.

However, marine life was nothing like the life on the SS Yongala, which remains one of my favourite dives in Australia.

It was fun to explore the HMAS Tobruk wreck. But there was nothing in particular that stood out compared to the other wreck dives we’ve done. The HMAS Brisbane is an easier trip to organise when you come from Brisbane and was as good in my opinion. However, I’m not particularly fond of wrecks, so there may be details that I didn’t notice.

When is the best time to dive the HMAS Tobruk?

You can scuba dive the HMAS Tobruk all year round.

We were told you would have more chance of having good visibility if you dive the HMAS Tobruk in winter, around slack tide. Of course, the water temperature will be colder than during the warmer months. We stayed warm by wearing shark skins under our wetsuits. If you go there in winter and wear a hoodie, which is great to keep you warm, make sure you take your ears out from time to time to listen to the whales singing!

Scuba diver at the HMAS Tobruk

HMAS Tobruk: from Hervey Bay or Bundaberg?

We chose to dive the HMAS Tobruk from Hervey Bay. It only takes 3.5 hrs to drive to Hervey Bay from Brisbane, whereas Bundaberg is one hour extra. Trips from Hervey Bay are also more regular, so it was easier to organise diving the HMAS Tobruk from Hervey Bay.

The boat trip was very comfortable, with nice views of K’gari (Fraser Island) and the coast at the start. It took us 1.5hrs to reach the HMAS Tobruk from Hervey Bay. We were lucky to see whales on the way back, which made the trip even more exciting.

Another reason why I liked diving the HMAS Tobruk from Hervey Bay is that it was easy to find great accommodation options in Hervey Bay with lovely views of the harbour or the ocean. We stayed at the Mantra* and BreakFree Great Sandy Straits*. Both are within walking distance from the marina. I always find options more limited when we’re looking for a nice place in Bundaberg.

We planned our trip at the end of winter so that we could have a great weekend away from Brisbane scuba diving and whale watching.

Did you scuba dive the HMAS Tobruk from Hervey Bay or Bundaberg? Share your experience in the comments below!

Where is the HMAS Tobruk?

The HMAS Tobruk was sunk between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg, on the west coast of K’gari (Fraser Island).

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