There are already many dive sites that you can explore as a scuba diving day trip from Brisbane. But if you’re ready to drive a little bit further for the weekend (or a long weekend!), here’s a list of additional destinations you can put on your list. I have ordered the list according to the approximate time to drive to the destination from Brisbane.

This article does not include scuba diving destinations you can reach by plane, as the list would become way too long! If you’re looking for inspiration for scuba diving sites in Australia, you can use this map and filter by activities.

Scuba Diving Stradbroke Island - Mantas

Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island)

Drive from Brisbane: 45 minutes + boat transfer
Level: minimum Open Water

Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) makes a great day trip from Brisbane for scuba diving, but it’s also perfect for a weekend! It’s always special to spend time away on an island, and there’s a lot to do to keep you busy when you’re not scuba diving!



Drive from Brisbane: 1.5 hours
Level: minimum Open Water

You can easily dive from Mooloolaba as a day trip from Brisbane. But if you wish to do a night dive on the HMAS Brisbane, or a fluoro dive, then it’s a good opportunity to turn your trip into a weekend! There are a lot of things to do on the Sunshine Coast if you choose to stay for a few days.

Byron Bay Scuba Diving with Sharks

Byron Bay

Drive from Brisbane: 2 hours
Level: minimum Open Water

Scuba diving Byron Bay can be done as a day trip from Brisbane, but it makes a fantastic weekend getaway! There’s a lot to do in this beautiful region.

Julian Rocks is one of the most reputed dive sites in Australia.

Grey Nurse Shark Wolf Rock Diving Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach

Drive from Brisbane: 3 hours
Level: minimum Advanced

Wolf Rock, just in front of Double Island Point, is a fantastic dive site. The boat trip to Wolf Rock from Rainbow Beach isn’t short but it’s worth it, for the views and for the dive. It is a perfect place to see the big ones all year round: rays, sharks, giant groupers, turtles… We didn’t know where to look!

Scuba diver swimming through a door inside the HMAS Tobruk wreck

Hervey Bay

Drive from Brisbane: 3.5 hours
Level: minimum Advanced (for HMAS Tobruk)

You can dive the HMAS Tobruk or other local wrecks from Hervey Bay. During winter, you’re almost guaranteed to hear the whales sing underwater. It’s a fantastic and easy weekend away from Brisbane.

NSW Scuba Diving Solitary Islands Anemone Bay

North Solitary Islands

Drive from Brisbane: 3.5 hours
Level: minimum Advanced and experienced (for a chance to go to Pimpernel Rock)

You can dive the North Solitary Islands from Wooli in New South Wales. Marine life was abundant, from small nudibranchs and shrimps to big rays and sharks. You’ll have to be very lucky with the weather conditions and the experience of other divers to make it to Pimpernel Rock.

Lady Musgrave

Drive from Brisbane: 4.5 hours + long boat trip
Level: Advanced preferable

Lady Musgrave has some of the best dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef, accessible when the conditions are good for experienced scuba divers. Beginners can dive or snorkel the lagoon. It’s a long day trip from Bundaberg, but doable on a weekend away from Brisbane if you can share the drive.


Drive from Brisbane: 4.5 hours
Level: minimum Open Water

There are a few shore dives near Bundaberg (Barolin Rocks) that can be fun to explore during a weekend away from Brisbane. You can also dive the HMAS Tobruk and Lady Musgrave from Bundaberg if you don’t mind a long boat trip.

Coffs Harbour

Drive from Brisbane: 4 hours
Level: minimum Open Water

You can dive the Solitary Islands (North and South) from Coffs Harbour. If you go there for a long weekend, you can drive back inland (same itinerary as the South West Rocks road trip).

South West Rocks - Fish Rock Cave Dive - Bull Ray

South West Rocks

Drive from Brisbane: 5 hours
Level: minimum Open Water

At Fish Rock Cave, you can dive into an impressive cave to see big rays, grey nurse sharks and many other species of fish. It’s always an impressive experience.

The drive to South West Rock is quite long just for a weekend, but it can become a fantastic road trip if you turn it into a long weekend!

What’s your favourite weekend destination from Brisbane for scuba diving? Share your experience in the comments below!


Eloise is the creator and writer of She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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