ex-HMAS Canberra


ex-HMAS Canberra

The ex-HMAS Canberra, a former warship which served the Australian Navy between 1981 and 2005, is the first artificial reef in Victoria created specifically for diving. The vessel was scuttled off Barwon Heads in October 2009 and now lies in 30 metres of water.

Please note, ex-HMAS Canberra public mooring no. 2 (recreational mooring buoy) is unavailable for booking until further notice. The site can still be utilised by recreational divers however, bookings and fees will not apply during this time.

Experience the thrill of diving in a shipwreck at the ex-HMAS Canberra. The dive site offers divers the opportunity to explore a large portion of the former Australian Navy ship. Swim over flight decks and through the bridge, engine rooms, galley and the accommodation quarters.

The HMAS Canberra was the second of four FFG-7 Class Guided Missile Frigates built for the Royal Australian Navy by Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation Seattle, Washington, USA. The HMAS Canberra was commissioned on 21 March 1981 and de-commissioned on 12 November 2005.

The vessel hull is constructed of steel and the superstructure is aluminium alloy. It has an overall length of 138.1 metres and a beam of 13.7 metres. In service, the height from keel to top of the mast was approximately 39 metres. Parts of the ship, including the gas turbine engines, rudder, missile launcher, a section of the mast and propeller were removed by the Navy, prior to it being prepared for use as a dive site.

Over time, marine life will continue to colonise the wreck, transforming it into an even more spectacular reef.

Access to the site is limited to visitors who are participating in diving or snorkeling activities.

A dive permit is required for all independent recreational dives. Fees apply. Permits are available for a maximum of two hours (except for the 10pm time slot which is six hours).

The permit allows use of mooring number 2 only. Mooring 1 is reserved for licensed tour operators. You do not need a permit if you book your dive through a licensed tour operator.

Divers are reminded that they must be appropriately trained, certified and experienced in Victorian conditions to dive the site. Divers must comply with Australian Standard AS4005.1 as a minimum level of certification.

Any vessel with divers operating from it must always display signals by day or night to inform other users. Signals should be placed to ensure all round visibility.

Divers are advised to take all necessary precautions, be aware of changing weather conditions and watch for potential hazards, obstructions, and sharp edges when diving the HMAS Canberra, particularly after storm events.

Parks Victoria regularly monitors the condition of the ex-HMAS Canberra in accordance with the long term management and monitoring plan for the site.

As beaches and coasts are natural environments, you may encounter hazards. Follow our water safety advice to make sure your day out at Ex-HMAS Canberra Recreation Reserve is a safe and enjoyable one.

Things to do in the area

A diver takes a photo a school of fish in the Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park.

Scuba diving

Dive to the depths of the ocean floor in marine national parks or explore shipwrecks at the bottom of the bays.

How to get there

ex-HMAS Canberra

The ex-HMAS Canberra is located offshore from Ocean Grove within Bass Strait in Victoria. It is approximately 25 minutes by boat from Queenscliff Harbour. The dive site is clearly marked by two Special Mark buoys and two mooring buoys.


Need to know

ex-HMAS Canberra

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