Diving the HMAS Hobart

The HMAS Hobart lies within the Rapid Head Sanctuary Zone in the Encounter Marine Park and offers spectacular diving opportunities.

The site is regarded as one of South Australia’s, and even Australia’s, premier dive sites, complementing the other fantastic diving locations in the region including Port Noarlunga Reef and Aldinga Reef.

Management of the site now rests with DEW, in cooperation with South Australian Tourism Commission and Department for Infrastructure and Transport. The HMAS Hobart is managed as part of DEW’s marine parks operations. The needs of divers and dive tour operators, as well as the wreck and its marine life, are given the highest priority at the site.


To conserve marine life, fishing is now prohibited in the Rapid Head Sanctuary Zone, a larger area surrounding the wreck. Although fishing on the wreck has been prohibited for many years, divers have reported large amounts of fishing gear tangled around the structure. Tangled fishing gear and the removal of fish and other marine life detracts from the fantastic diving experience the HMAS Hobart offers.


The vessel was built in the US and first commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in 1965. In 1967 it was deployed to fight in the Vietnam War. It assisted in disaster relief after Cyclone Tracey, completed a round the world voyage in 1975 and was sunk as a dive wreck in 2002.

The 134m, 4,500 ton ship lies in 30m of water and rises from the seafloor to approximately 5m below the surface and is now completely covered in beautiful marine life such as colourful sponges and algaes and hosts a myriad of fish species.

Heritage values and the incredible variety of marine life found at the wreck are protected by law, under both the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981 and the Marine Parks Act 2007.

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