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Oceans of opportunity for diving

May 27, 2021

Located close to some of southeast Queensland’s most spectacular underwater sites, the proposed North Harbour marina and recreational precinct will offer fantastic opportunities for amateur scuba enthusiasts right through to professional dive operators.

With the $2.74 billion precinct incorporating a 400-berth marina as well as a substantial village, it lends itself to a multitude of tourism opportunities.

Here’s a selection of what’s on North Harbour’s doorstep for scuba enthusiasts:

The Wrecks: Offering great diving from two to 10 metres deep, The Wrecks comprises a cluster of sunken vessels on the western side of Moreton Island – only a short trip from North Harbour.

The ships were scuttled by the State Government from 1963 to provide a safe anchorage spot for recreational boat owners.

Now home to an amazing array of marine life, including over 100 species of fish such as wobbegongs, yellowtail, trevally and kingfish, The Wrecks are just waiting to be explored.

The Aarhus: The wreck of the Aarhus not only provides some sensational scenery, it has an intriguing history to match.

The three-mast ship sank in 1894 after setting sail from New York with a cargo of kerosene, glassware, alarm clocks and general merchandise.

The Aarhus carried a cargo of kerosene, glassware, wire bails and alarm clocks, with some of those timber artifacts under the sand still preserved by the kerosene they were drenched in.

The vessel struck a rock and the crew of 15 as well as the captain’s wife made for Moreton Island in lifeboats, where they landed safely.

Partially buried in the sand, the Aarhus accommodates a variety of species including pufferfish, sweetlips, sponges, wobbegongs, stingrays, lionfish, gropers and schools of cardinal fish.

Only accessible with a permit, this is a site for advanced divers.

The Cementco: A popular dive site, the wreck was a  67-metre hopper barge that worked in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay for many years transporting fossilised coral to be used in cement production.

Located upside down in 25 metres of water off Cape Moreton, its rusting hull provides shelter for reef fish as well as attracting trevally, batfish, mackerel and barracuda.

Cherub’s Cave: Often described as one of the Brisbane region’s best dive sites, Cherubs Cave is located on the exposed east side of Moreton Island.

A cave surrounded by rocky gullies, this site is for experienced divers. In winter, divers converge on Cherub’s Cave to see the  grey nurse sharks. They also get to enjoy watching large schools of fish and abundant marine life including turtles.

China Wall: Popular in winter when the conditions are calmer, China Wall is also located on the eastern side of Moreton Island.

At this time of the year, divers can also be lucky enough to be serenaded by humpback whales as they cruise past on their annual migration.

The site features caves, gutters, walls and a tall vertical outcrop.

The area is covered with a thick layer of kelp. Although it provides protection for crayfish,  lobsters and the like, it can also make navigation for divers challenging.

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